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High blood pressure in Women

High Blood pressure in middle age women  is a leading factor in poor cardiac health.
A woman's risk of developing high blood pressure is extremely high if she lives long enough, says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital. About 70% of women in their 60s and 70s have high blood pressure (hypertension), and that rises to nearly 80% after age 75.

Plaques that cause strokes and heart attacks restrict heart vessels and increase risk factor of cardiac events and if not treated even death. The main drive of this reports by Harvard medical schools is to promote the use of drugs over people changing their lifstyle immediatly. Dr Bhatt ssuggets that the use of mediaction such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers, and beta blockers much earlier for women whose blood pressure is 140/90 or higher and this approach is better than diet.

Choosing the right diet for strong cardiac health

What is a Cardiac Remedy?

This is a general term for herbal remedies that have an action on the heart. Some of the remedies in this group are powerful Cardio-Active agents such as Foxglove, while others are gentler and safer Cardiac Tonics such as Hawthorn and Linden. These remedies are discussed in more depth in the section on the cardiovascular system.

How Do Cardiac Remedies Work?

The strong and effective cardio-active remedies owe their power to the presence of the cardiac glycoside group of plant constituents. These have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the muscles of the heart without increasing their need for oxygen. This enables the heart to pump enough blood around the body and ensure there is not a build-up of fluid in the lungs or extremities. That sounds wonderful, as indeed it is, but there is always the possibility of accruing too much of the glycosides in the body as the removal rates tend to be low. This is the main drawback of Foxglove and why it is potentially poisonous, unless used with skill and knowledge. The clinically trained medical herbalist uses Lily of the Valley in preference to Foxglove as there is less chance of such problems developing.
Another group of remedies, called Cardio-Tonics, have an observably beneficial action on the heart and blood vessels but how they work is either completely obscure or an area of great pharmacological debate. Flavones appear to be major contributors to the beneficial role of these tonic remedies. These remedies are herbs such as Hawthorn, Linden, Garlic and Motherwort.

The search for plants with cardiovascular activity is being undertaken by pharmacologists around the world. This is not simply for herbs and new constituent compounds with the potency of the cardiac glycosides, but also substances for adjuvant heart therapy, for geriatric heart conditions or milder cardiac insufficiency. In their search a number of approaches are used in selecting herbs for testing. Acknowledgment of the value of herbal traditions plays a large part. This hassled to the identification of various cardio-tonic substances including phenylalkylamines found in the Night Blooming Cereus, alkaloids such as those in Prickly Ash and Scots Broom, and flavonoids from Hawthorn and Bilberry.
© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH Share

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