High Blood Pressure / Hypertension

Paul L. Reller L.Ac. / Last Updated: August 03, 2017

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Information Resources / Additional Information and Links to Scientific Studies

  1. A 2015 guideline revision for the United States Preventice Services Task Force (USPSTF) notes that many patients that have their blood pressure taken in the doctor's office are diagnosed incorrectly with hypertension (false positive) because the blood pressure is variable and may be elevated due to wide number of factors. This new guideline indicates that physicians should utilize a 24-hour monitoring device to confirm hypertension when multiple readings are consistently high in order to avoid prescribing high blood pressure medication when unnecessary, and thus prevent adverse effects. This recommendation finally addresses that widespread practice of prescribing unnecessary medications when the blood pressure readings are elevated due to stress, emotion, or stimulants, as is often the case. The proper way to take the blood pressure is to ask the patient to avoid caffeine and other stimulants, rest quietly in an upright position for 5 minutes before taking the reading, and taking the reading on the left arm: http://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20151015htnprevrec.html
  2. The New York Times article that addresses the ALLHAT study can be quickly found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/28/business/28govtest.html?em
  3. The NIH website concerning the ALLHAT study is indirect in dissemination of the study findings, but can be accessed at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/allhat/index.htm
  4. A 1996 review of research concerning hypertension therapy, by experts at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) noted that standard treatment protocols applied to young and middle-aged women is not conferring protection from stroke and heart attack, that more harm than benefit is seen for this female population from standard treatment guidelines and protocols, and that clinical trials have largely excluded this large section of the population. By 2012, we saw a marked rise in the incidence and mortality from heart attack in the U.S. female population, showing the failure of standard medicine to address individualized needs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8858082
  5. A 2012 review of scientific study of the differences in hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk between men and women, conducted by experts at the Oslo University School of Medicine in Norway, showed that more than 67 percent of women treated for high blood pressure still have hypertension that is not controlled. Obviously, a need for a more gender-specific and holistic approach is needed, and an end to the one-size-fits-all mentality in treatment guidelines. This study revealed that not only is normal blood pressure defined differently with sex and age, but that many pharmaceutical treatment strategies may be gender specific, with the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS) different between men and women, and the higher levels of adverse health effects from standard pharmaceutical treatment seen in women. The role of sex hormone fluctuations, differences in the Renin-Antiotensin System, oxidative stress, autonomic sympathetic activation in relation to cortisol and weight gain, and enothelin expression from the vascular membrane endothelium were cited to account for sex differences with hypertension. These health factors need to be addressed with holistic integration of Complementary Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513905/
  6. A 2010 article in the New York Times reviews findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003-6 that found a strong association between consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (the prevalent industry sweetener) and high systolic blood pressure: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/health/research/06patterns.html
  7. A 2010 article in the New York Times reveals that research confirms a significant cancer risk from the antihypertensive drugs called angiotensin receptor antagonists: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/health/research/22risk.html
  8. A 1999 assessment of the incidence of angioedema, an allergic reaction involving vascular swelling of the skin, tongue, throat membrane, or other membrane, sometimes cutting off the airway, and sometimes appearing as blood petechiae on the skin, diagnosed as a reaction to ACE inhibitors, showed an incidence of 20 cases at one hospital in the United Kingdom over 6 years, 30 percent of which occurred after the patient had been taking the drug for more than a year, and 65 percent of cases in Afro-Caribbean patients. Since then, the incidence of angioedema attributed to ACE inhibitors has been reevaluated, with some studies suggesting that it occurs fairly often, affecting as high as 1 in 30 African Americans, often with long-term use. The implications of underlying adverse effects related to immune and neurovascular response are a concern: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014308/
  9. A 2007 article concerning the direct renin inhibiting drug Aliskiren was published in THEHEART.org online publication HeartWire, where prominent hypertension researchers discussed the pros and cons of this new drug. The discussions reveal that 1/3 to 1/2 of patients treated with drugs do not get their high blood pressure controlled, that the renin-angiotensin drugs have a limited antihypertensive dose-response curve, that many patients have side effects from these drugs, and that patients respond differently to these various drugs. The researchers Drs. Sealey and Laragh found that data from the clinical trials of Aliskerin, involving more than 5000 patients, revealed that even when combining the drug with other antihypertensive drugs, that less than 50% of patients achieved blood pressure control: http://www.theheart.org/article/791131.do
  10. A 2014 meta-review of published scientific studies of the efficacy of beta-adrenergic agonist drugs to treat hypertension, by the esteemed Cochrane Database Systematic Review, and experts at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, found that these studies showed that a partial agonist beta blocker (Alprenolol, Pndolol, Celiprolol) was only mildly effective, but just as effective as a higher dose beta-blocker. The peak systolic average was lowered 8 mmHg and the diastolic 4 mmHg, with the heart rate lowered by 5 bpm. This review stated that these results "were probably exaggerated as it was subject to a high risk of bias", and that a surprising lack of large studies of high quality existed. Only 1 of the 13 trials reviewed studied patient withdrawal due to adverse health effects, and the effectiveness for patients with mild to moderate hypertension was less than that for patients taking ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Such scientific review, taken in context, shows that these medications provide less effectiveness than an array of healthy improvements in diet and lifestyle habits, and a similar effect to a course of 12 treatments with electroacupuncture: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25427719
  11. A study by experts at the Joan and Sanford Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in New York, New York, U.S.A. that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) outlines the many differences in the pathophysiology of sustained high blood pressure, or hypertension, between men and women. It is now well known that pharmaceutical and general research largely excluded women in clinical studies of cardiovascular disease for over 30 years. With gender specific data we see why. The one-size-fits-all approach to cardiovascular care appears particularly misguided when seeing these gender differences. The challenge is to achieve a thoughtful reevaluation of just how we actually define and individualize hypertension, and how we individualize the treatment: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jcem.84.6.5724
  12. A 2015 review of female cardiovascular health and pathophysiology, by experts at the University of Chieti, in Chieti, Italy, show that information and data on the importance of hormonal homeostasis is key to devising appropriate treatment for women in the control of hypertension and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. While estrogen is always emphasized in past study, these experts now see that the complex relationship between progesterone and androgens (e.g. cortisol), affecting the diurnal function of the autonomic nervous system, myofascial contract and release pathways, and membrane ion channels is all-important, and will need a dramatic change in the core focus of female cardiovascular health and disease prevention: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25845675
  13. A 2013 review of female cardiovascular health and disease prevention, by experts at the University of Toronto, in Canada, shows that since women were finally included in cardiovascular studies, that we have found that "there are dramatic sex-related differences in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, apparently related to the presence of steroid hormones", including progesterone, and the balance of estrogens and progesterone. Estrogen dominance is found to have negative effects on cardiac function, reducing ion sodium channels in heart muscle cells, and while testosterone supplementation was promoted as a means to increase cardiac performance, many studies now show that this treatment may increase the stiffness of the left ventricle by increased collagen synthesis in the muscle, reducing diastolic performance. Studies now show that a great percentage of heart attacks in women involve such ventricular growth and hardening with the Takutsubo Syndrome, in the absence of coronary artery disease, and these heart attacks are often precipitated by stress affecting the vagal and autonomic nervous system. Obviously, a broader holistic treatment protocol tailored to female physiology is needed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23404619
  14. A 2012 review of nutritional therapy in hypertension, by the Austrian Nutrition Society, and the Center for Public Health, Medical University of Wien, Austria, found that scientific study supports a diet rich in potassium, low in sodium, the DASH diet (fresh whole plant-based dietary protocol), weight management, and moderation of alcohol consumption as the most essential aspects of dietary management of hypertension: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22588364
  15. A 2013 review of "alternatives" to drugs in lowering blood pressure, by the American Heart Association Professional Education Committee, announced that integration of these so-called alternative protocols should be incorporated into standard care, but that the clinical research has, until recently, been scant. Current research with human clinical trials shows that guided breathing techniques had a moderate level of evidence (Level B), as did acupuncture (Level B), with guided breathing given a Class II A (special controls and professional guidance needed to guarantee efficacy, but effective and without high risk), and acupuncture a Class III rating (an error, as the U.S. FDA changed the status of acupuncture from a Class III to a Class II medical device in 1996, showing continued bias in standard medicine). Class B evidence in medicine is described as that in which at least one high-quality study has been published, supported by other studies with some limitations, and that future published research is expected to have a positive impact on proof of efficacy and safety, according to the Working Group 2007. Aerobic exercise is supported highly (Class I and Evidence Level A), as is dynamic resistance exercise (Class II A and Level of Evidence B), with yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques showing modest benefits in human clinical trials. The beauty of these integrated therapies is that all of them can easily be combined and performed with little cost and a modest amount of time and effort. For instance, short courses of guided breathing (relaxed slow inhalation, pause, and slow relaxed exhalation for 10 minutes) can be combined with acupuncture, with or without a guiding device (an expensive monitor of breathing): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23608661
  16. A 2014 meta-review of all published high quality scientific study of acupuncture for the treatment of essential hypertension, by 4 prominent University Medical Schools in China, reviewing clinical studies up to November, 2012, found that still only 4 high quality randomized controlled human clinical trials have been found in publication, with evidence showing significant benefits when acupuncture is used as an adjunct treatment combined with pharmaceutical protocol, but not a significant benefit by itself. Even in the medical specialty of Traditional Chinese Medicine, though, acupuncture needle stimulation has always been recommended as part of a more comprehensive protocol in treating chronic high blood pressure and underlying cardiovascular health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24723957
  17. In 2013, the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in Chengdu, China, announced that it was sponsoring the first large multicenter randomized controlled human clinical trial of acupuncture for the treatment of essential hypertension, recruiting 428 patients and devising a more complex set of controls to evaluate so-called sham acupuncture more effectively, and comparing these treatments to patients waiting to enter the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24216113
  18. For summary of the Yin et al Korean study of acupuncture as adjunct treatment in essential hypertension mentioned in this article, to check the facts and opinions expressed in this article, go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17359649
  19. In 2013, researchers at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, in Irvine, California, summarized their findings of the effects of acupuncture stimulation in the treatment of chronic high blood pressure. These researchers revealed that point specific acupuncture works by modulating neurovascular autonomic controls primarily via effects at the brain stem and cerebral nuclei, and that beneficial effects are not just temporary reduction of blood pressure after each treatment, but that prolonged and sustained cardiovascular effects are noted. These researchers also found that there is a range of responsiveness to treatment that is in part due to the individual neural modulators that regulate autonomic function, but the for many patients repeated short courses of acupuncture have a capability for profoundly regulating cardiovascular function to prevent future stroke and heart attack: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215927
  20. For details of the SHARP study to check the facts and opinions expressed in this article go to: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/48/5/838#R35-069898 NOTE: you may have to type the address into the server as this document from the publication Hypertension does not utilize a www address. You may also copy and paste the address to the Google search and then click the appropriate address or HTML selection to see the full report of the study.
  21. In 2010, a clinical study by the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine was conducted in Germany, comparing a standard antihypertensive drug to acupuncture with a randomized choice of hypertensive patients: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21375023
  22. In 2010, a clinical study by Shangxi College of TCM in Xianyang, China, showed that addition of acupuncture protocol to standard medication therapy delivered a measurable benefit in improvement of vascular endothelial function, reducing E-selectin, and nitric oxide synthase (a vascular constrictor) both in the arterial membrane (eNOS) and inside the cell cytosol (iNOS), and improved the degree of success in therapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21246843
  23. A 2010 study at the University of California at Irvine, in the United States, showed that electroacupuncture stimulation at the points PC6 and PC5 activate serotonin-containing nerves in the brain nucleus raphe pallidus, with then inhibits sympathetic nerve excicitability linked to high blood pressure in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, and reflex vagal nerve responses to the heart and arteries. To prove that such acupuncture treatment worked, laboratory animals were used with implanted electrodes in the brain, and vagal responses were induced to raise the blood pressure. This specific electroacupuncture stimulation reversed these autonomic effects. Such study provides just part of the holistic treatment protocol in TCM, and improves guidelines in therapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20720173
  24. In 2012, a meta-review of clinical study at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), showed that scientific evidence shows that acupuncture stimulation activates important centers in the brain to reduce sympathetic nerve activity and high blood pressure, helps regulate the endocrine system, and provides a complex potential benefit to normalize both the renin-angiotensin system and the sympathetic nervous system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22216059
  25. In 2010, a clinical study at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, demonstrated that a 7 day course of acupuncture with inclusion of stimulation of a specific acupuncture point (ST36) demonstrated improved endothelial function and flow-mediated dilation after this short course of therapy, demonstrating how short courses of acupuncture could prevent the progression of cardiovascular diseases in hypertension patients : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673141
  26. In 2011, a clinical study at Sun Yat-Sen University, in Guangzhou, China, at the Zhongshan School of Medicine, showed that biomechanical effects of electroacupuncture at the ST36 point, affecting both the nitric oxide (vasodilator) levels in blood circulation, and thickness of the aortic wall and nitric oxide levels in the heart muscle tissue, both prevents progression of hypertension and aids healthy tissue remodeling in patients with chronic hypertension and cardiovascular disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21785633
  27. In 2010, a clinical study at the University of California, Irvine, Susan-Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, found that low frequency electroacupuncture stimulation at just 2 points (ST36 and P5-6) demonstrated measurable effects in the brain that improved blood pressure regulation with a long-lasting effect. These studies with fMRI and blood tests have become famous at this University, proving the remarkable ability of acupuncture to affect specific targeted sections of the brain and initiate a cascade of neurohormonal changes that are consistent with the classic literature of TCM : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20444652
  28. In 2010, a clinical study at Shandong University of TCM, in Jinan, China, found that a simple two point electroacupuncture protocol (LI11 and LV3) reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as medication, and presented significant benefits in controlling types of blood pressure that varies in the diurnal cycle of day and night: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20862935
  29. A 2010 mega-analysis of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension, accessing all of the major scientific medical databases, conducted by the Far East University in Korea, found that acupuncture treatments effectively reduced blood pressure when individualized to patients utilizing standard syndrome differentiation, but not significantly when ignoring individualized syndrome differentiation in the selection of acupuncture points and treatment. Acupuncture also significantly reduced blood pressure when combined with standard medication therapy, compared to such combinations with sham acupuncture. The researchers did note that there was still a limited number of acupuncture clinical trials adhering to the rigorous standards of the pharmaceutical industry trials published in medical journals, and that more rigorously designed clinical trials needed to be conducted. This research again shows that study design is difficult with acupuncture, and that study designs that do not allow the acupuncture treatments to be individually applied in a syndrome differentiation, as occurs in actual clinical practice, result in poor outcomes, as could be expected from improper treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in TCM for a reason: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20232615
  30. A 2008 Taiwan study found significant risk of new onset diabetes with patients taking beta blockers and diuretics for a prolonged course: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18475020
  31. A 2006 study found the pathophysiological link from beta-blockers to chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease and asthma: http://www.springerlink.com/content/u087k72k7106nl04/
  32. A 2013 study at the University of Gottingen, Germay, found that hypertension in youth, estimated in many developed countries at about 10 percent, was not just associated with negative health factors, such as obesity and poor physical fitness, but also with positive measures, such as higher academic achievement, better quality of life in terms of dealing with family stress, higher self-esteem, fewer emotional problems, and less occurrence of hyperactivity disorder. These researchers surmised that high blood pressure in youth may trigger increased response to stress in the brain, but that further study was needed to fully explain these findings: http://www.wolterskluwer.com/Press/Latest-News/Pages/Press%20Releases/2013/pr3May2013a.aspx#.UZUncYLt4ok
  33. There are a variety of simple changes in diet and lifestyle that have been shown to reduce high blood pressure. A 1985 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that increasing calcium rich foods in the diet significantly lowered blood pressure, while reducing salt intake had no effect. Since calcium is a backbone for chloryphyll, increasing fresh green vegetables in the diet will help lower blood pressure: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/
  34. A number of scientific studies and human clinical trials showed mild effects of lowering the blood pressure, especially with diabetic patients, using Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), and this 2015 study in Poland showed that a sizable dose administered to normotensive laboratory animals singificantly lowered the blood pressure after one dose, but did so safely. The mechanism of action was related to potassium channels and ATP regulation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26488376
  35. A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that diets high in beneficial essential fatty acids ALA and LA (alpha linoleic and linolenic acids) significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure by 2-3 mm Hg, and total peripheral vascular resistance by up to 4 percent. Eating fresh walnuts and flax seeds daily were recommended. These essential fatty acids are found in many Chinese herbs, and plant-based diets rich in whole grains, beans, legumes and fresh green vegetables also supply these important nutrients for cardiovascular health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677123
  36. A 2014 meta-analysis at Griffith University School of Medicine, Queensland, Australia, found that a number of randomized controlled human clinical studies have proven that probiotics could reduce both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, by 3.5 and 2.5 mm Hg. Obviously, a combination of simple dietary regimens, daily exercise, and periodic treatment in Complementary Medicine could both control high blood pressure and actually result in improved health: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/07/21/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469.abstract
  37. An example of the recent research confirming the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine in treatment of high blood pressure is found on the NIH website PubMed, with one of the most common Chinese herbs, Scutellaria baicalensis, or Huang qin, showing a proven array of benefits in reducing cardiovascular risk and atherosclerosis, in a 2007 meta-review of scientific studies by the Pomorski University of Medicine in Poland: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17966898
  38. A 2015 large cohort population study of the efficacy of integration of Chinese Herbal Medicine into the treatment protocol for hypertension among Type 2 Diabetes patients, conducted by experts at the China Medical University, Taipei Medical University and Asia University in Taiwan, with input from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A., found that overall survival rates were significantly improved with CIM/TCM integration. In addition, these common Chinese herbal formulas improved the functional cardiovascular smooth muscle contractility as well. The benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine appear to be broader than just direct control of, or reduction of, the blood pressure: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26699542
  39. A 2014 meta-review study at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, in Beijing, China, found that a typical formula taken periodically as a kidney tonic provided significantly improved outcomes to control hypertension when combined with standard drug protocol in aging patients, lowering systolic blood pressure, balancing lipids, improving BUN and creatinine levels, and endothelin. This study shows that just this simple part of a TCM protocol helps a lot when integrating with standard care. The patient can choose to utilize a simple and inexpensive periodic course of therapy from their acupuncturist or a more comprehensive integrated treatment strategy, and any choice provides a positive benefit that is inexpensive and individualized: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24693323
  40. A 2015 meta-analysis of all published randomized controlled clinical trials of the integration of Chinese Herbal Medicine for the treatment of hypertension resistant to standard pharmaceutical therapy, by experts at the Harvard Medical School Laboratory in Belmont, California, the McMaster University School of Medicine, in Ontario, Canada, and the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, in Beijing, China, found that the integration of Chinese Herbal Medicine into the treatment protocol produced an average reduction of systolic blood pressure of 10.32 - 12.56 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure of 3.3 - 7.89 mm Hg (alone or combined with hypertension drugs). Of course, these positive clinical results were deemed "statistically insignificant", and "no definite conclusions" could be reached according to the study design. Any sensible patient would realize that these are significant, especially considering the safety and low cost of this adjunct care, and the use of such treatment within a broader holistic protocol in actual clinical care with CIM/TCM. The combination of safe and effective therapies in CIM/TCM practice, combining this herbal medicine with short courses of acupuncture stimulation, as well as advice with dietary and lifestyle therapeutics, all now proven to each provide significant mild benefits in the control of hypertension, with the only side effects being improved overall health, indicate that this more holistic protocol would have very significant proven benefits in standard care for hypertension: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636788
  41. A 2007 study of the Chinese herb Danshen by UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School, published in the American Journal of Physiology and Heart Circulatory Physiology, elucidated how just this one Chinese herb achieves benefit in cardiovascular health and reduction of high blood pressure with modulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase to achieve normalized vasodilation. Dan shen would be just one of the herbs in a Chinese Herbal Medicine formula taken periodically to help regulate blood pressure: http://http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17172272
  42. A 2006 study found the pathophysiological mechanism of blood pressure reduction utilizing acupuncture; this study was also performed by the UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School, and published in Microcirculation. 2006 Oct-Nov;13:577-85: http://http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16990216
  43. A 2006 randomised controlled trial to study the hypotensive effects of the herb hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), used in formulas to help lower blood pressure, showed a significant reduction in diastolic pressure with 16 weeks of use. This study added hawthorn extract to hypertensive medications in diabetic patients, as is common in England, and showed that an integrative medical approach is effective and sensible. This outcome also shows that a properly prescribed formula utilizing a number of mild hypotensive herbs, including hawthorn, is effective and very safe: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16762125
  44. A 2006 randomised controlled trial to study the hypotensive effects of green coffee extract by the Kao Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, demonstrated that this aid to weight loss metabolism also provides significant ability to help lower both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820341
  45. A 2012 study of the Chinese and Ayurvedic herb Viscum articulatum Burm. (or Viscum coloratum, or Viscum album) by the R.C. Patel Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Maharashta, India, found that this herbal extract (Hu ji shang) may have a significant antihypertensive effect in the nitric-oxide deficient type of hypertension. An alcohol tincture extract was used in the study. Previous study in China found that this alcohol extract, or a water extract, could lower high blood pressure by 32 percent in animal studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22626924
  46. A 2005 study and the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that the common Chinese herb Scutellaria baicalensis (Huang qin) exhibited potent anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects to act as a significant adjunct in herbal formulas to treat hypertension and atherosclerosis: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15853750
  47. A 1989 review of the scientific literature associated with the Chinese herb Apocynum venetum (Jiao gu lan), showed the array of beneficial effects, including lowering of high blood pressure, lipid balancing, platelet-aggregating homeostasis, and antioxidant SOD levels. Researchers found that this Chinese herbal medicine reduced high systolic blood pressure in aging patients from an average of 171 to 154 after 4-8 weeks of dose-dependent treatment, and raised the protective HDL-cholesterol from an average of 47.5 to 63.9. They noted that positive measures of heart function and red blood cell super oxide dismutase levels, the measure of detox and antioxidant effect, showed a significant anti-aging effect as well. This points to the use of Jiao gu lan as an important part of a holistic treatment protocol, taken periodically in a larger context, for aging, hypertension, reduced cardiovascular risk, and longevity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2776275
  48. A 2000 meta-review of scientific studies of Apocynum venetum (Jiao gu lan) by the Institute of Natural Medicine in Toyama, Japan, found that this Chinese herbal medicine significantly reduced oxidation of lipoprotein cholesterol molecules, lowered systolic blood pressure and renal hypertension in study animals, and exerted a number of metabolic benefits in cardiovascular health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10967454
  49. A 2013 study at the Federal University of Piaul, Teresina, PI, Brazil, found that alcohol extract of the herb Zanthoxylum rhoifolium (Hua jiao) exerts significant reduction in high blood pressure via vasorelaxant effects attributed to calcium channel inhibition: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24228390
  50. A 2009 study at the University Federal da Paralba, Brazil, found that the Chinese herb Curcuma longa (turmeric or Jiang huang) demonstrated significant lowering of high blood pressure and tachycardia in laboratory animals, in part due to calcium channel modulation. Curcumin, found in a number of Chinese medicinal herbs, is now widely used as an active herbal chemical, optimized, and used either alone or in formula, and has shown dramatic benefits to treat inflammation and immune dysfunction as well: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19481144
  51. A 2003 study by the University of California at Irvine demonstrates that oxidative stress from environmental lead exposure is one of the potential causes of high blood pressure, and that the normal physiology does not produce enough antioxidants to counter this oxidative damage. A wide array of Chinese herbs contain potent antioxidant chemicals in combination with other chemicals that increase vasodilation by encouraging increased nitric oxide, inhibit calcium channel excess, modulate beta-adrenergic mechanisms, reduce vascular inflammation, reduced formation advanced glycation endproducts, and improve lipid profile: http://www.nature.com/ki/journal/v63/n1/full/4493411a.html
  52. A 2013 controlled study at The Federal University of Technology, Department of Biochemistry, in Akure, Nigeria, studied the effects of the herbal and nutrient chemicals quercetin and rutin on laboratory animals with induced hypertension, and found that with a 2 week course that a number of measurable parameters were improved significantly, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, pulse rate, and lipid peroxidation, compared to controls treated with nefidipine, a common calcium channel blocker prescribed for hypertension. Quercetin is an active chemical in the Chinese herbs Luo bu ma, Sang ji sheng, Sang ye, Chai hu, Bian xu, and others, while rutin is a chemical found in Chai hu and Xia ku cao, all common herbs used in formulaic treatment of high blood pressure. Rutin is also found in buckwheat, citrus fruits, and other foods in small amounts, and metabolizes to quercetin in the body: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24064906
  53. A 2012 controlled study at the Federal University of Paraiba, in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, found that the herbal chemical Quercetin significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and the baroreflex in study animals with reactive high blood pressure. Baroreflex is a key homeostatic mechanism to control the blood pressure in the autonomic system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23117438
  54. A 2010 randomized clinical study at the Institute of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine at Central South Unversity in Changsha, China, compared a common formula to help with essential hypertension, Calming Liver and Restraining Yang Formula (Ping Gan Qiang Yang), to the pharmaceutical drug amiodipine (Norvasc, a calcium channel blocker). The study found that overall antihypertensive effects were statistically the same, but that the Chinese formula over time decreased night-time blood pressure better, provided an improved lipid profile, alleviated symptoms, and improved quality of life better than Norvasc: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545208
  55. The 2010 randomized clinical study at the Institute of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine at Central South Unversity in Changsha, China, mentioned above, concerning the common Chinese antihypertensive formula Ping Gan Qiang Yang, found that this herbal treatment may recover the circadian rhythm of blood pressure and improve the carotid elasticity to improve reduction of cardiovascular risk when combined with standard pharmacological treatment: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21660675
  56. The now popular website of Dr. Ray Sahelian, reviews the Chinese herb that is most specific for blood pressure reduction in Chinese formulas, Luo bu ma, or Apocynum venetum. He cites studies that show that chemicals in this herb increase nitric oxide to vasodilate, reduce the formation of advanced glycation endproducts, exert anxiety calming effects, and improved kidney function: http://www.raysahelian.com/apocynum.html
  57. While large human clinical trials have not yet been conducted to evaluate the effects of magnesium supplement on hypertension, much evidence points to the value of this mineral, as well as potassium, in the normalizing of blood pressure and addressing of key underlying health problems. Of course each individual should be properly assessed by a professional. This study in 2012 from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Department of Clinical Medicine, outlines this topic and research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22518291
  58. The role of magnesium-rich foods in a plant-based diet and supplementation in the overall holistic protocol to treat hypertension was elucidated in 2003 by the University of Montreal, Multidisciplinary Research Group on Hypertension: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12537992
  59. The addition of green coffee bean extract, with chlorogenic acids, in the holistic treatment protocol for hypertension was studied in a small randomized placebo-controlled human clinical trial in Japan, in 2006. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased in the group taking green coffee bean extract, a supplement useful to achieve weight loss: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820341
  60. The addition of chlorella to the holistic treatment protocol with hypertension was studied by Toho University School of Medicine, in Tokyo, Japan, in 2009. A significant lowering of high blood pressure and normalization of borderline hypertension was seen with this food supplement that is contained in standard Chelation formulas that may significantly aid the clearing of calcification of arterial endothelium, as well as other heavy metal toxicities associated with high blood pressure, such as lead and iron: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19811362