Photo by Aruna Radhakrishnan

May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month, so it seems fitting to have an herb that addresses high blood pressure. Indian snakeroot, Rauwolfia serpentina, is one such herb. Traditionally used as an antidote to snake bites, Rawolfia contains an alkaloid that is highly effective at lowering blood pressure. Reserpine is the name of this alkaloid and it works by slowing down your heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels.

One in three adults has high blood pressure and over 20% do not know that they have it. High blood pressure is a silent condition and is a major contributor to stroke and heart attacks. The good news is that in most cases it is a modifiable condition. Through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, blood pressure can be controlled. There are times, however, that medication, or in this case herbs, are necessary. Indian snake root is an excellent option.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Indian snakeroot in the treatment of high blood pressure; however, it is not without risk. There are many drug interactions with this herb, so it is imperative that a discussion with your doctor take place before taking this herb.

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