Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. It rises when the heart beats and falls when the heart relaxes between beats. Such a pumping cycle normally generates blood pressure at the reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg. However, if the reading goes higher and reaches 140/90 mmHg, it is considered high blood pressure or Hypertension. Most of the time, high blood pressure is asymptomatic. Occasionally there may be headaches, changes in vision, nosebleed, dizziness, nausea or vomiting. Elevated blood pressure is an important risk factor for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, etc. Blood pressure is influenced by many factors including electrolyte balance, hormones, medications, stress, diet, lifestyle and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), rising blood pressure often falls into a pattern called "Ascendant Liver Yang" or ascendant hyperactivity of liver yang, which is often associated with headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, sensation of swelling in the eyes, irritability, insomnia, or palpitations. The TCM pattern results from an imbalance of Yin and Yang in which Yin is weakened and cannot hold Yang in the Liver in balance and causes the Yang uprising. Therefore, a main principle in TCM to address rising blood pressure is to calm the liver, subdue the errant Yang, and simultaneously enrich the Yin.
HypertenSure™ is Guang Ci Tang's signature formula that works to maintain a healthy blood pressure. This Chinese herbal supplement is recommended for blood pressure elevation due to Liver Yang rising, and in cases where Heat is evident (especially of the Liver) such as a red tongue and a rapid pulse.
Jiang Ya Pian is composed of 11 herbs which act together to calm the liver, subdue the Yang, enrich the Yin, and regulate blood pressure as detailed below.
Huang Qin (Scutellaria) clears heat especially from the upper body and has been shown to lower blood pressure by causing dilation of the blood vessels.1 Zhi Zi (Gardenia) clears heat and sedates fire and also has anti-hypertensive properties. Long Dan Cao (Gentiana) clears heat and anchors Liver Yang. Zhen Zhu Mu (Pearl shell) calms the Liver and anchors the Yang. In addition, it settles the Shen (spirit) to help with sleep and irritability.
Xia Ku Cao (Prunella) clears Liver fire and causes dilation of vessels,2 similar to Huang Qin. Huai Mi (Sophora) is used here in conjunction with Xia Ku Cao to sedate Liver fire, and it also possesses anti-hypertensive properties.3
Mu Dan Pi (Mouton) clears heat due to Yin deficiency or heat in the blood level and also treats Liver Yang rising/Liver fire. Studies show that Mu Dan Pi is empirically effective at lowering blood pressure.4 Dan Shen (Salvia root) is a key blood invigorating herb which regulates blood circulation, cools the blood and is prized for its ability to treat chest pain.5 It is also shown to regulate blood pressure. Similarly, Niu Xi (Achyranthis root) nourishes the Liver and Kidneys, activates the blood and eliminates stasis but has the added effect of directing fire downwards and reducing blood pressure.
Zhi Mu (Anemarrhena) clears heat and sedates fire but also nourishes Yin and protects fluids, and clears deficiency fire. Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia root) nourishes Yin, Blood and Essence (Jing). Their inclusion in the formula is also very suitable for those who undergo menopause