Scientists say that yarrow herbs may help reduce high blood pressure.

Researchers says that besides its use by its namesake Achilles to stop the bleeding wounds of his soldiers, yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) might be a natural remedy for high blood pressure.

The herb’s blood pressure lowering ability lies in its rich antioxidant and flavonoid content as well as its ability to promote widening of the blood vessels. Yarrow might also increase the efficiency of anti-hypertension drugs.

A 2011 animal study published by ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s online scientific database, was the first to show that the primary blood pressure lowering effect of crude yarrow extract and parts is due to its high levels of artemetin, a methoxylated flavonoid — even after a single administration. It is also due, in part, to ACE inhibition.

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, yarrow also shows promise in the treatment of anxiety with an effect similar to anti-anxiety medication diazepam. It has also traditionally been used to treat insomnia and as a sedative. Stress and anxiety alone are well researched as contributors to high blood pressure.

The University of Maryland cautions that while “the use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease,” they “can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.” It is also not recommended for pediatric use or for pregnant women.

Other scientific studies on the health effects of yarrow have found that it may offer cardiovascular benefits. In a 2011 study published in the journal Phytomedicine, for example, tests on rats revealed that yarrow may help improve cardiovascular health by curbing inflammation in the blood vessels.

Traditionally seen as an herbal medicine, yarrow is available as a dried or fresh herb, capsules or tablets, mixtures or as liquid extracts. It is widely available for purchase online, sold in many natural-foods stores, pharmacies, and stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Other natural ways to improve high blood pressure include taking vitamin D, exercising regularly, not smoking, following a balanced diet high in antioxidant-rich foods, limiting salt intake, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress levels. Also, hypertensives might try RESPeRATE — the first non-drug, non-invasive medical device clinically proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.

 

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