My mother was diagnosed with high blood pressure well over twenty years ago. I relate her story here not only because it is a great tale of the value of herbal medicine. It was a large determining factor in my own endeavors into the study and experimentation of all forms of alternative medicines as well.
In the late 80’s, my mother was diagnosed with high blood pressure. She began the usual treatments, and stuck with them for a time, but within a year, she stopped taking them, and asked that I help her search for alternative treatments. When I asked her why, she promptly pushed a pill bottle in my face and said, “I refuse to keep taking something that plainly tells me it could lead to kidney failure or death!” She then threw the bottle in the garbage, and has not taken it since.
We both checked out herbals from the library and read on the subject voraciously. I also found mail order herbs and herbals, and we both began our passion for and collection of herbal lore then and there. My mother tried various herbs and combinations thereof before deciding on the two that seemed to work best for her.
Dandelion is something we consider a common weed. Despite their pretty yellow heads that later turn to “fluff balls” used by children everywhere to grant their fondest wishes, we mow them down. We spray them with weed killer, and pluck them out when they try to be friendly and nestle among the other pretties in our flower beds.
Mother nature sees their value, however. For every dandelion we pluck, spray, or mow down, she seems to pop two more out in its place. I believe she does this because she knows we truly need this little plant, whether we realize it or not.
Dandelion leaves, flowers and roots are very helpful in treating high blood pressure. The roots must be dried first, for they are acidic and toxic otherwise. In fact, the liquid within the roots before it is dried can actually be used topically in wort removal. My mother even enjoys the flowers and leaves in salads, and used to have me pick them for her before mowing the lawn. She likes to drink tea made from the dried roots as a beverage. The roots are actually used as a coffee substitute my some.
Hawthorn Berries actually seem to regulate blood pressure, making them effective for treating both high and low blood pressure issues. My mother had excellent results with the dandelion, but when she added hawthorn, it seemed to make her treatments even more effective. For the most part, this combination seems to keep her blood pressure well under check.
The only time I have noticed her have any issues is during hot summer days. She seems to think the addition of banana ice cream helps in this instances. I would later study and find that potassium, which bananas have in abundance, actually does lower blood pressure as well. Dandelions also contain potassium, but I think she probably prefers a nice bowl of ice cream to a hot cup of tea on a hot summer day anyway, blood pressure aside, and I can’t say I blame her there.
Based on personal experiences of and with my mother, and the over 20 years I have spent studying herbs and alternative medicines since then.