Q. I have high blood pressure (about 180/80) and my doctor has prescribed nearly everything he can think of. We have tried over a dozen different medicines, with unacceptable results or side effects. I am currently taking Diovan which makes my head and ears hurt. 

I go for a massage every few weeks because it makes me feel good. The woman who does them has suggested a remedy containing lots of flowers, including chrysanthemum and honeysuckle. She says it will work wonders for my blood pressure, but herbs scare me to death. Should I stop my medication and try this remedy?  

A. It isn't likely the flower remedy will replace your blood pressure medicine. Even though you are feeling frustrated about your difficulties with blood pressure treatments, tell your doctor about your trouble with Diovan. 

Your type of blood pressure problem may respond well to a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products and minimizes sodium. This "DASH" diet is especially helpful when the upper blood pressure number is too high and the lower number is okay, as yours is. 

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  1. Douglas H.
    Reply

    I’ve also had blood pressure problems for several years, which I think I inherited from my father, although I get readings the like of which he’s never seen. I’m 38, and I routinely have readings like 160/100. For a few years, I tried all the medications except beta blockers, which I had tried once before but it made me confused. The best readings I ever had while on meds was 140/90. My bp seems impervious to treatment. I believe I eat much less salt than the average American, and I swim over 3000 meters 2-3 times a week, and mix in 6-7 mile hikes, as well as a weekly spin class. I’m not overweight, either; I’m 6’0″ and 175 lb. Is slower breathing the secret?

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