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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Herbs for Cardiovascular Health - Part 3 of 3

NOTE: This is an excerpt of an article originally published in 1998 in Dr. Leung's newsletter, "Leung's Chinese Herb News", Issue 12, page 3. It is the third and final in a series of excerpts on cardiovascular health. The first excerpt provided a summary of herbs used in cardiovascular health, while the second excerpt discussed hyperlipidemia. Today's excerpt covers hypertension. The information is as useful today as when it was written. -ed

Chrysanthemum flower, kudzu root, and duzhong are a few of the most commonly used herbs for treating high blood pressure.

Chrysanthemum flower
It is one of my favorite herbs to recommend for hypertension because it is simple to use. Simply place a few flowerheads in a pot of boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes. If you like, you may sweeten the tea with honey or sugar. And you don't need to have high blood pressure to enjoy it either.

Herbal pillow
I am not that up-to-date on aromatherapy, and I don't know what culture started it first. But I know the Chinese for centuries have been using herbal pillows for treating various illnesses, and I keep a file on them. I have never tried any of these remedies myself because I personally would not want my bed to smell (or should I say reek) of herbal medicines. However, in case some of you are into aromatherapy, here is an herbal pillow treatment for hypertension. Fill a small pillow case (about 20 cm x 30 cm) made of loosely knit cloth with the following coarsely ground herbs: 150 g Sichuan lovage (chuanxiong), 35 g chrysanthemum flower, and 85 g mulberry leaf (dried). Sleep on your side with you rear resting on the pillow. Normally, herbal pillows are much bigger and are to be used like normal pillows. But this is specially made for proximity to the ears. You don't need to press your ear directly on the pillow. Rather, you can make an indentation in the middle of the pillow and let your ear sink into this, to avoid a sore ear in the morning. In addition to hypertension, it also helps headache and dizziness. One word of caution: watch for allergies! So far, I have not come across any reported, but you never know. It is better to be safe.

These and more herbal remedies are available from the volumes of Dr. Leung’s newsletter, of the same name as this blog (Leung’s Chinese Herb News). This newsletter was published and sent to subscribers (most were industry-insiders) from 1996 to 2004. The collected works now serve as an excellent reference work, created with Dr. Leung’s frank, honest opinions and down-to-earth communication style.

For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com. To order the newsletter containing the remedies mentioned above, visit the bookstore, click “Buy Now” on the newsletter, and select Issue #12 from the drop down list.

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