High Blood Pressure Treatment - Alternative Medicine

Describe any alternative or complementary medicine you use to treat your high blood pressure.

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Is alternative medicine used to treat high blood pressure?

Alternative medicine, also called integrative or complementary medicine, features the use of nontraditional (at least in the Western world) techniques for treatment. For example, self-relaxation approaches to the therapy of hypertension include yoga, biofeedback, and meditation. These techniques can be effective in lowering blood pressure, at least temporarily. In order to produce sustained reductions in the blood pressure these techniques may require hours of diligent adherence daily. They are generally practical only for a few highly motivated individuals with hypertension. Acupuncture has not yet been established as a standard or proven therapy for hypertension in the Western world.

Certain herbal remedies have blood pressure-lowering components that may well be effective in treating hypertension. Most herbal remedies are available as food supplements and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve them as drugs. Therefore, herbal treatments for hypertension have not yet been adequately evaluated in scientifically controlled clinical trials for effectiveness and safety. In particular, their long-term side effects are unknown. A major problem with most herbal treatments is that their contents are not standardized. The ways in which herbal treatments work to lower blood pressure are not known. For all of these reasons, herbal remedies usually are not recommended for the treatment of hypertension.

As mentioned previously, some supplements, such as garlic and flaxseed have been shown in studies to lower blood pressure. Some small-scale studies have shown that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may lower blood pressure, but further studies are needed. Other home remedies, such as calcium, magnesium, and fish oil have been shown in studies to lower blood pressure. Patients should consult their physicians before taking any supplement or home remedy.

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