Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What do you offer for elevated blood pressure? I take all natural supplements for this, but I know there must be a Chinese remedy you would recommend.
A: Hypertension is a complicated condition and may become dangerous. I suggest you not stop taking the medications prescribed by your primary care physician; instead, discuss with him/her the possibility of adjunctive treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal prescriptions. There are many treatment modalities for high blood pressure. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, a licensed traditional Chinese medicine doctor will be able to accurately diagnose and prescribe a treatment protocol.
From a dietary perspective I recommend the following:
1. Avoid smoking, alcohol, spicy foods, coffee, and other stimulants. Reduce or eliminate fatty, fried foods, and salty foods. Avoid stress and constipation. Do not consume potatoes, pork, MSG, baking soda, diet soft drinks, aspartame (artificial sweetener), and ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil).
2. Incorporate more celery, spinach, garlic, bananas, sunflower seeds, honey, tofu, mung beans, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, hawthorn berries, plums, lotus root, and chrysanthemum into your diet.
3. Vitamin supplementation, such as omega-3 oils and vitamin C, is also recommended. Take garlic oil capsules to clean out the arteries.
4. Drink a tea made from hawthorn berry and chrysanthemum.
5. Eat three green apples per day.
I recommend tai chi or qigong exercises, as they have been shown to help regulate metabolism and glandular function.
You may find these specially formulated Traditions of Tao herbal supplements helpful for your high blood pressure: “Creative Balance”, “Ancient Treasures”, “Internal Cleanse” and “Emotional Tranquility” teas, and the “Super Clarity” and “Calm-fort/Sleeping” formulas. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.