Even though certain herbs such as St. John’s Wort may not be ideal for treating hypertension, some herbs such as saw palmetto for high blood pressure may be an option for those interested in using a more natural remedy to treat their condition.
What is saw palmetto and how can it lower blood pressure? Saw palmetto (botanical name: Serenoa Repens) is a small ever-green palm plant that is found in America. The berries of the plant contain the active ingredients used for herbal medicine. Although it is recommended and primarily used for its effectiveness in treating an enlarged prostrate in men caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), saw palmetto for high blood pressure treatment isn’t completely uncommon.
Reasons why this herb is used to treat high blood pressure, in some cases, is because it is a diuretic herb that contains active anti-androgen properties that help reduce water retention and control high blood pressure. Diuretic herbs have a direct effect on the body’s cells and tissues. They increase blood flow to the kidneys, which in turn increase urination, allowing excess salt and toxins to be flushed out of the kidneys, which helps to lower overall blood pressure.
Keep in mind, however, like water pills (prescribed diuretic medications), saw palmetto and other blood pressure reducing diuretic herbs, such as ginger, are generally used to treat mild cases of high blood pressure, and are used in combination with dietary changes, exercise, and possibly with other high blood pressure medications to control hypertension.
Although you will need to adopt other lifestyle changes to help reduce your blood pressure when taking saw palmetto for high blood pressure, you should know that some studies have found this herb to interact with certain antihypertensive drugs, such as terazosin, which are used to treat high blood pressure.
In addition, due to its potential hormonal active ingredients, saw palmetto may also alter the effects of hormone replacement therapy and hormonal birth control. Therefore, while saw palmetto may not interfere with all drugs, you should speak with your doctor to ensure this is a safe and effective treatment option for you.
Saw palmetto is taken orally and is available in tablet, capsule, tea and natural berry form. You can find this herb at your local health store. Both men and women may take this herb, although, due to the fact that it has the potential to affect hormones, pregnant women should not take this drug. Saw palmetto should only be taken as directed by the package, or as recommended by a qualified herbalist or health care provider.
You should also be aware that while saw palmetto for high blood pressure is a possible treatment, in very rare cases some side effects of increased blood pressure have been reported by patients taking this herb. Other rare side effects include headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, decreased libido, impotence and urinary retention. Therefore, always make sure you speak to your health care provider before using any herb or other form of treatment for your high blood pressure.