grebned - Hi, there are ways to lower your blood pressure other than medications. I just want to caution you against assuming that herbal medications are SAFER than pharmaceuticals just because they are "natural". Herbal medications are just as much drugs as pharmaceuticals are, and if you choose to go that route, should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional! Herbal supplements are derived from natural sources, but are often taken in doses MUCH higher than what would be considered "natural" and can lead to just as many side effects. In fact, some would argue that because pharmaceuticals are subject to strict research and standards while herbal medications are not subject to any FDA standards at all, they are riskier in general. Just as an example, the first herbal medication the previous poster mentioned is aconite (or wolfsbane) which hs been documented to result in death from as little as 5cc of tincture, 2mg of pure aconite, 1g of crude plant parts, or 6g of cured aconite. NO KNOWN ANTIDOTE EXISTS. In addition, it has been documented (Fitzpatrick et al., 1994; Tai et al., 1992) to cause ventricular tachycardia
which can lead to cardiac arrest
Two natural methods for lowering blood pressure that have been proven by research are exercise, meditation/stress
reduction, and reduction in salt intake. Exercise does not mean training for a marathon or anything intense, just moderate aerobic exercise
at least 3 times a week for at least half an hour a day. The more the better. Yoga
, meditation techniques and stress reduction counseling have all be shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure in smaller studies. Finally, some people are more sensitive to salt intake than others, and reducing salt intake can lead to an improvement in your blood pressure. Also, if you are taking herbal supplements, let your physician know as some can significantly INcrease your blood pressure.
Most physicians are perfectly fine with patients trying herbal medications as long as you do so with their supervision. Remember, herbals are medications too. Just because they are natural doesn't make them safe. Hemlock is a natural herb, but Socrates drank and killed himself...