Food Therapy to Treat High Blood Pressure
TRADITIONAL Chinese medicine stresses that building up one's health is the fundamental necessity. Food therapy is an important way to do this. Diet therapy, noted a Qing Dynasty doctor of Chinese medicine, is ready at hand, leaves no side effects and the food itself is enjoyable.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that high blood pressure is closely linked with the liver, as stated in Yellow Emperor's Manual of Internal Medicine. The disease is also thought to be affected by irrational eating and the lack of inner energy. Statistics show that the incidence of the disease among people who like fatty food is 8.1 percent, while for those who like light food it is only 2. 4 percent. Mental workers have a higher incidence than manual workers.
Points for Attention
Three points must be observed in maintaining a proper diet for preventing high blood pressure.
1. Less liquor but more tea. Excessive alcohol in the body lowers the systolic function of the heart that, in turn, enhances the systole of the blood vessels of the internal organs. This causes a rise of blood pressure. The tannin in tea has the effect of vitamin E and strengthens the capillary walls. High blood pressure, therefore, is to that extent controlled. Constant drinking of tea reduces weight and blood lipoids. However, strong tea excites people and makes the heart beat faster.
2. Eat light food with less salt. The Yellow Emperor's Manual of Internal Medicine states that too much salt in the diet stagnates the blood circulation and even changes the blood color. Low fat, low cholesterol and low caloric food is recommended for patients with high blood pressure. They should especially take less salt. The incidence of high blood pressure with high salt intake is much higher than with low salt intake. Animal fat leads to plaque deposits in blood vessel walls, thus raising blood pressure.
3. Eat vegetable, vegetable oils and protein foods. The white of eggs, fish, lean pork, and bean products are high in protein necessary for good health. But don't overdo it and get fat. Vegetable oil promotes the oxidization of cholesterol into cholic acid, which is expelled from the body. Cholesterol thus can be lowered and the resiliency of the capillaries enhanced.
Nine Types of Food to Prevent High Blood Pressure
There is a great variety of food that helps prevent high blood pressure. The following are recommended.
1. Staple foods
Corn porridge. Eating corn porridge prevents constipation and helps expel cholic acid and thus lower the cholesterol level in the blood. Steam 100 grams of crushed corn or cook them into a gruel.
Lotus leaf porridge. Cook 50 grams of polished rice into a porridge. When it is almost ready, spread a lotus leaf on top and continue it over a slow fire for a few more moments. This porridge is specially recommended in hot summer, as it promotes the secretion of saliva and body fluid. It is good for the weak, old and fat who have high blood pressure and also patients who suffer from apoplexy.
Celery porridge. Wash a proper amount of celery and cut it into sections. Cook 50 grams of polished rice in a gruel. When it is almost done, put celery sections into it and continue to cook until the celery is soft. The porridge is ideal for breakfast. Laboratory tests show that celery can help lower high blood pressure and has a tranquilizing function. It is thus effective for overexcitement and headache in patients with high blood pressure.
Watermelon. Both its juice and rind have a diuretic function and lower high blood pressure. Slowly boil down 12 grams of watermelon rind with 10 grams of Cassia tora and drink the broth as tea. It is effective in helping to lower high blood pressure. But those with a weak stomach and loose bowels should take less.
Bananas. Bananas tend to lower chronic disfunctioning of the internal organs. High blood pressure patients can eat up to five a day. It can be chopped and placed into a tea with sugar, a small cup three times a day.
Haw. This is effective in helping to lower high blood pressure. Slowly boil down 12 grams of haw or 7 grams of haw flowers into a gruel and drink it.
Persimmon. This fruit is good for lowering blood pressure. Cook ripe persimmon into a heavy mixture and take it with milk or rice water three times a day.
3. Aquatic products
Lotus seed pistil. Remove the plumule of the lotus and dry. Make 7 grams of broth with it and drink every day.
Kelp. Containing ammonia acid, it lowers blood pressure. Boil down 20 grams of kelp with 15 grams of Cassia tora and drink the soup or eat the kelp.
Jellyfish. Wash 200 grams of jellyfish and 600 grams of water chestnuts with skins. Boil down in a liter of water. When the water is down to about 250 grams, the broth is ready. It can be taken before or after meals. When blood pressure lowers to normal and symptoms have disappeared, reduce the frequency of taking it.
Mussels. Cook 10 grams of mussels and 30 grams of shepherd's purse or celery, and drink frequently.
Dissolve honey in lukewarm water and drink a half cup twice a day. Persistence gives better results.
5. Instant drinks
Wash 1,000 grams of corn tassel. Boil in water an hour and throw dregs away. Continue to boil over low fire until the broth becomes concentrated. Remove from fire and let cool. Add 500 grams of powdered sugar to take up the remaining water. Stir until smooth, then dry it. Crush into small pieces and put into bottles for use. Three times a day dissolve 10 grams in water and drink. Corn tassel is a diuretic and helps to lower blood pressure.
Blue dogbane. Wash 500 grams of the leaves. Boil 20 minutes in water, strain off juice, add more water and boil again. Repeat this three times. Throw away the dregs. Combine the juice of the different times and slowly boil it over a low fire until concentrated. Let cool. Add 500 grams of powdered sugar to take up remaining water. Stir smooth, let dry and crush, placing crystals in bottle. Each time dissolve 10 grams in boiling water and drink as tea.
Chrysanthemum and Cassia tora. Put 3 grams of clean, dry chrysanthemum flower, 15 grams of raw haw slices, and 15 grams of Cassia tora into a thermos bottle. Pour boiling water in and cover to steep for half an hour. Drink several times a day.
6. Meal dishes
Stewed beef with tomatoes. Clean 250 grams of tomatoes and cut into even pieces. Slice 100 grams of beef. Stew both with vegetable oil, salt and sugar. Serve.
Steamed eggplant. Put two clean eggplants, a little vegetable oil and salt on a plate and steam it. Serve.
Spinach with sesame oil. Clean 250 grams of spinach. Boil three minutes in water with a little salt. Pour sesame oil over it, mix and serve.
Crystal sugar and vinegar soup. Put 100 milliliters of vinegar and 500 grams of crystal sugar in a bottle. Shake until the sugar is dissolved. Take a spoonful after each meal. This is good for high blood pressure patients whose body fluid is insufficient or have blood stagnancy. Do not take this if you have stomach trouble.
Chrysanthemum tea. Put 10 grams of dried chrysanthemum petals and 3 grams of Dragon Well tea (or other green tea) in a cup. Add boiling water and cover to steep. It is ready in a minute or so.
Black fungus tea. This is sour but fragrant. Add sugar and more water to taste. Take 150 milliliters three times a day. If you have stomach trouble, drink it only after meals.
Garlic. In the morning before breakfast eat one or two garlic segments soaked in vinegar. The vinegar in which they have been soaked can also be taken. Two weeks of this should show results in lowering blood pressure.
Peanuts. The skin of peanuts helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol level. Boil the peanut skins and take 150 grams of the broth as tea morning and night. The tender leaves of the peanut plant can be substituted for peanut skins. You can also soak raw peanuts in vinegar and eat 20 of them morning and evening. The peanuts themselves also help lower blood pressure.