Celery (Apium graveolens)
Four or more stalks per day.

May lower blood pressure; contains calcium, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.

Researchers have noted positive results with four or more stalks daily. Snack on celery throughout the day, or add it to soups and salads.

English hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
160–900 mg extract/day, administered in divided doses, 3x/day, for six weeks minimum.

Dilatory effects increase coronary blood flow; some effectiveness in lowering cholesterol.

Anyone with cardiovascular disease and anyone taking any kind of cardiovascular medication should consult with their doctor before taking hawthorn; not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Garlic (Allium sativum)
For atherosclerosis, 600–800 mg powder/day; for hypertension, 200–300 mg powder 3x/day; for lowering cholesterol, 600–900 mg powder/day. Note: Look for freeze-dried garlic powder, which retains its efficacy longer than regular garlic powder.

Helps prevent age-related vascular changes and atherosclerosis; lowers blood pressure; regulates cholesterol.

Adverse reactions with therapeutic use may include headache, myalgia, fatigue, and vertigo.

Psyllium (Plantago ovata)
12–40 grams/day; mix powder with fruit juice or cool water and stir.

Lowers serum cholesterol levels.

Not recommended for those with narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract or bowel obstruction.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
100–1,800 mg extract/day; 15 grams root powder/day.

Has sedative properties that may help with emotional stress and anxiety that contribute to hypertension.

Not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.

—Kelli Rosen

Note: Larger doses may be necessary for disease management and prevention. Check with your health care practitioner for individualized recommendations.

Sources: Laurel Vukovic, an Ashland, Oregon-based herbalist and author of Herbal Healing Secrets for Women (Prentice Hall, 2000); PDR for Herbal Medicines (Thomson Medical Economics, 2000).