Blood pressure has long been one of the best markers of your health. It is a number you can remember and monitor. High blood pressure (hypertension) is linked to a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes.
About one out of three adults has high blood pressure, which is usually defined as a reading of 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.
The first, or upper, number (systolic pressure) represents the pressure inside the arteries when the heart beats, and the second, or lower, number (diastolic pressure) is the pressure between beats when the heart rests.
Blood pressure rises with age because of increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term buildup of plaque, and the effects of other diseases involving the heart and blood vessels. Typically, more attention is given to the diastolic reading as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
“In fact, for a long time, some physicians felt that a systolic (upper) number higher than 140 could be tolerated in older people,” says Dr. Paul Huang, a cardiologist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “But both upper and lower numbers are equally important.”
While 140/90 continues to be the blood pressure cutoff, a study published in the Nov. 26, 2015 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine shows that lowering pressure to around 120/80 may reap greater benefits.
Researchers examined the initial results from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial, or SPRINT, which studied 9,361 adults over age 50 who either had hypertension or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease.
The subjects were divided into two groups. The first received an intensive treatment to lower blood pressure to less than 120/80. The other group followed a standard treatment to lower it to less than 140/90.
After three years, the researchers found that the group with the target of below 120/80 had a 25% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death compared with those with the standard target of less than 140/90. They also had 27% fewer deaths from any cause. (The study was stopped early because the outcome in the intensive treatment group was so much better than in the standard treatment group.) Ups and downs of lower numbers
This study supports observational studies that have found that lower blood pressure reduces cardiovascular risk.
But what does it take to get to the lower numbers? “On average, the people in the intensive treatment group took three blood pressure medications, while those in the standard treatment group only took two,” says Dr. Huang.
Moreover, the study found that the benefits in reducing heart attacks, strokes, and death were found equally in those older or younger than age 75. “So we can no longer say that a higher blood pressure is okay just because someone’s older,” he says.
But should older men focus on going lower? Is lower than 140/90 good enough, or should you be more aggressive and get that number down as close as possible to 120/80?
“If you currently are on blood pressure medicine, and your pressure is lower than 140/90, you should discuss with your doctor whether you should aim to go even lower,” says Dr. Huang. “There may be additional benefits to further reducing your stroke and heart attack risk.”
Still, there may be some downsides to going lower. For instance, many people may not want to take any additional medication. They may be concerned about battling common side effects, such as extra urination, erection problems, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, and fatigue. They also may have enough trouble monitoring their current medication without adding more to the mix.
Another potential problem: pressure that drops too low. “This could lead to dizziness and lightheadedness, especially when suddenly rising from a seated position, and increase your risk of falls,” says Dr. Huang.
Also, because the study was stopped early, other possible downsides of the extra medications, such as effects on cognitive function or kidney function, remain unknown.
If anything, this study reinforces the need for men to be more diligent about maintaining a healthy level, says Dr. Huang. He suggests older men follow these basic guidelines:
*Check your pressure every month and alert your doctor to changes. “If the upper number is repeatedly higher than 140, or the lower number higher than 90, let your doctor know,” he says.
*Continue to take your medications as prescribed. “If you suffer from any side effects, talk with your doctor about changing the dosage or drug.”
*Reduce your salt intake. “You do not have to go sodium-free, but be more aware of how much sodium is in the foods you eat,” he says. In general, try to keep your sodium intake below 2,000 milligrams a day. Foods that include the words “smoked,” “processed,” “instant,” or “cured” in the name or on the label are often quite high in sodium.
*Continue to exercise or adopt some kind of workout routine. “Activity and weight loss can help lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure,” says Dr. Huang.
From : Harvard Health Publications
Harvard Medical School
Habitat : Acacia decurrens is native to eastern New South Wales, including Sydney, the Greater Blue Mountains Area, the Hunter Region, and south west to the Australian Capital Territory
It grows naturally in woodlands and dry sclerophyll forests in New South Wales, with associated trees such as Eucalyptus punctata and E. crebra. In areas where it has become naturalised, Sydney green wattle (Acacia decurrens) is generally found on roadsides, along creeklines and in waste areas. It also grows in disturbed sites nearby bushlands and open woodlands.
Despite its invasive nature, it has not been declared a noxious weed by any state or Australian government body Description:
Acacia decurrens is a fast-growing tree, reaching anywhere from 2 to 15 m (7-50 ft) high. The bark is brown to dark grey colour and smooth to deeply fissured longitudinally with conspicuous intermodal flange marks. The branchlets have longitudinal ridges running along them that are unique to the species. Young foliage tips are yellow. .
Alternately arranged leaves with dark green on both side. Stipules are either small or none. Base of petiole swollen to form the pulvinus. Leaf blade is bipinnate. Rachis is 20-120mm long, angular and hairless. 15-45 pairs of widely spaced small leaflets (pinnules) are connected each other and 5-15 mm long by 0.4-1 mm wide, straight, parallel sided, pointed tip, tapering base, shiny and hairless or rarely sparsely hairy leaves.
The small yellow or golden-yellow flowers are very cottony in appearance and are densely attached to the stems in each head with 5-7 mm long and 60-110 mm long axillary raceme or terminal panicle. They are bisexual and fragrant. The flowers have five petals and sepals and numerous conspicuous stamens. Ovary is superior and has only one carpel with numerous ovules.
Flowering is followed by the seed pods, which are ripe over November to January.
Dark brown or reddish brown to black colour of the seed are located inside of parallel sided, flattish, smooth pod. They are 20-105 mm long by 4-8.5 mm wide with edges. Seed opens by two valves. Pods are initially hairy but they become hairless when they grow.
Cultivation & propagation :
Acacia decurrens adapts easily to cultivation and grows very quickly. It can be used as a shelter or specimen tree in large gardens and parks. The tree can look imposing when in flower.Cultivation of A. decurrens can be started by soaking the seeds in warm water and sowing them outdoors. The seeds keep their ability to germinate for many years.
Fieldwork conducted in the Southern Highlands found that the presence of bipinnate wattles (either as understory or tree) was related to reduced numbers of noisy miners, an aggressive species of bird that drives off small birds from gardens and bushland, and hence recommended the use of these plants in establishing green corridors and revegetation projects.
The flowers are edible and are used in fritters. An edible gum oozing from the tree’s trunk can be used as a lesser-quality substitute for gum arabic, for example in the production of fruit jelly.
Flowers – cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. A gum that exudes naturally from the trunk is edible and is used as a substitute for Gum Arabic in making jellies etc. It is insoluble in water and is of low quality. Larger quantities can be obtained by tapping the trunk. Some species produce a gum that is dark and is liable to be astringent and distasteful, but others produce a light gum and this is sweet and pleasant. It can be sucked like candy or soaked in water to make a jelly. The gum can be warmed when it becomes soft and chewable .
Constituents:Acacia Bark contains from 24 to 42 per cent. of tannin and also gallic acid. Its powerful astringency causes it to be extensively employed in tanning.
Strongly astringent, babul is used to contract and toughen mucous membranes throughout the body in much the same way as witch hazel or oak bark does. Babul may be made into a variety of preparations: for instance, a lotion for bleeding gums, a gargle for sore throats, a wash for eczema, an eyewash for conjunctivitis and other eye problems, and a douche for excessive vaginal discharge. The herb is taken internally to treat diarrhea, mainly in the form of a decoction. In Ayurvedic medicine, babul is considered a remedy that is helpful for treating premature ejaculation. . Other Uses:
Uses for it include chemical products, environmental management, and wood. The bark contains about 37-40% tannin. The flowers are used to produce yellow dye, and the seed pods are used to produce green dye. An organic chemical compound called kaempferol gives the flowers of Acacia decurrens their color. It has been grown for firewood, or as a fast-growing windbreak or shelter tree. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion.
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion. Often grown as a screen in Australia.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Definition: Chronotherapy refers to the use of circadian or other rhythmic cycles in the application of therapy. Examples of this are treatments of psychiatric and somatic diseases that are administered according to a schedule that corresponds to a person’s rhythms in order to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects of the therapy.
Chronotherapy is used in different fields, examples of this are the treatment of asthma, cancer, hypertension, and multiple types of depression, among others seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder. Apart from the clinical applications, chronotherapy is becoming increasingly popular in non-clinical settings, for example on the work floor, where it is used to increase productivity and performance.
*Methods of pharmaceutical chronotherapy: *Imitative/Mimetic:Imitating the natural changes in a certain substance in the body. *Preventive/Precautionary: Taking medicines at the moment that they are most necessary, for example taking hypertension medicine at the time of day that the blood pressure is rising. *Wake therapy
Chronotherapy is a successful treatment of diseases may depend on the time of day or month that a medicine is taken or surgery performed. Asthma and arthritis pain are examples of conditions now being treated by the clock or calendar.
How our bodies marshal defenses against disease depends on many factors, such as age, gender and genetics. Recently, the role of our bodies’ biological rhythms in fighting disease has come under study by some in the medical community.
Our bodies’ rhythms, also known as our biological clocks, take their cue from the environment and the rhythms of the solar system that change night to day and lead one season into another. Our internal clocks are also dictated by our genetic makeup. These clocks influence how our bodies change throughout the day, affecting blood pressure, blood coagulation, blood flow, and other functions.
Some of the rhythms that affect our bodies include:
*Ultradian, which are cycles shorter than a day (for example, the milliseconds it takes for a neuron to fire, or a 90-minute sleep cycle) *Circadian, which last about 24 hours (such as sleeping and waking patterns) *Infradian, referring to cycles longer than 24 hours (for example monthly menstruation) *Seasonal, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which causes depression in susceptible people during the short days of winter.
Chronotherapy (sleep phase)
In chronotherapy, an attempt is made to move bedtime and rising time later and later each day, around the clock, until the person is sleeping on a normal schedule. This treatment can be used by people with delayed sleep phase disorder who generally cannot reset their circadian rhythm by moving their bedtime and rising time earlier.
Here’s an example of how chronotherapy could work over a week’s course of treatment, with the patient going to sleep 3 hours later every day until the desired sleep and waketime is reached. (Shifting the sleep phase by 3 hours per day may not always be possible; shorter increments of 1–2 hours are needed in such cases.)
Day 1: sleep 04:00 to 12:00 Day 2: sleep 07:00 to 15:00 Day 3: sleep 10:00 to 18:00 Day 4: sleep 13:00 to 21:00 Day 5: sleep 16:00 to 00:00 Day 6: sleep 19:00 to 03:00 Day 7 to 13: sleep 22:00 to 06:00 Day 14 and thereafter: sleep 23:00 to 07:00
While this technique can provide temporary respite from sleep deprivation, patients may find the desired sleep and waketimes slip. The desired pattern can only be maintained by following a strictly disciplined timetable for sleeping and rising. Other forms of sleep phase chronotherapy:
A modified chronotherapy is called controlled sleep deprivation with phase advance, SDPA. One stays awake one whole night and day, then goes to bed 90 minutes earlier than usual and maintains the new bedtime for a week. This process is repeated weekly until the desired bedtime is reached.
Sometimes, although extremely infrequently, “reverse” chronotherapy – i.e., gradual movements of bedtime and rising time earlier each day – has been used in treatment of patients with abnormally short circadian rhythms, in an attempt to move their bedtimes to later times of the day. Because circadian rhythms substantially shorter than 24 hours are extremely rare, this type of chronotherapy has remained largely experimental.
Chronotherapy is not well recognized in the medical community, but awareness is increasing. The implications are broad in every area of medicine.”
The safety of chronotherapy is not fully known. While chronotherapy has been successful for some, it is necessary to rigidly maintain the desired sleep/wake cycle thenceforth. Any deviation in schedule tends to allow the body clock to shift later again.
Chronotherapy has been known to cause non-24-hour sleep–wake disorder in at least three recorded cases, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1992. Animal studies have suggested that such lengthening could “slow the intrinsic rhythm of the body clock to such an extent that the normal 24-hour day no longer lies within its range of entrainment.
Hawthorn is a small to midium sized deciduous tree 5 to 15mtr. tall, grows as a hedge plant in Europe but found mostly in temperate regions North America ,Western Asia, India, China and northern Africa.Its flowers are umbrella shaped and clustered white or pink,leaves are glossy green toothed and the berries are bright shiny red. The white coloured flowers are borne in flat-topped inflorescences termed corymbs or globular in inflorescences termed umbels and usually contains 5 petals,5 and 18 stamens and have a rancid oder. the fruits are known as pomes, although the seeds and their bony ndocarps are termed pyrenes. The calyx is present. The throns are small with sharp tipped branches that arise either from other branches or from the trunk, and are typically 1-3 cm long.Hawthorn bark or stem has hardwood ,smooth and ash-grey. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES..>….(01).......(1).…..(2).
Part Used: Berries, young stems, leaves and flowers.
Plant Constituents of Hawthorn
*Coumarin (an anti-coagulant)
*Crataegin (alkaloid contained in the bark)
*anti-arrhythmic effects (heart)
*anticoagulant [an agent that prevents the formation of clots in a liquid, as in blood]
*antispasmodic [an agent that relieves or checks spasms or cramps]
*antioxidants [contributing to the oxidation of free radicals which are believed to contribute to premature aging and dementia] that help increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart
*astringent [an agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges]
*cardiac [an agent that stimulates or otherwise affects the heart]
*cardiotonic [an agent that has a tonic effect on the heart]
*diuretic [an agent that secretes or expels urine]
*hypotensive [an agent that lowers blood pressure]
*sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]
*tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]
*vasodilator [an agent that widens the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure]
Hawthorn is a good preventative herb for people with a family history of
*hardening of the arteries
*high or low blood pressure
*inflammation of the heart muscle
Hawthorn is used for:
*inflammation of the blood vessels
*strengthens the walls of blood vessels
Brain and Nervous System Conditions
*enhances poor memory by improving circulation of blood within the head and increasing the amount of oxygen to the brain, when combined with Ginkgo Biloba
*increases blood flow to the brain
*angina, a disease marked by intense chest pain
*enhances the strength of the heart’s contractions
*heart failure and debility
*heart muscle weakened by age
*helps prevent irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias, which can lead to heart attacks
*helps protect the heart against oxygen deprivation by inhibiting free radical formation which is beneficial in maintaining healthy heart vessels and promoting overall heart health
*improves blood supply to the heart
*improves circulation and increases tolerance for physical exertion
*increases blood flow to the heart and brain
*increases metabolism in the heart muscle
*lowers blood pressure (with extended use)
*lowers cholesterol and the amount of plaque in arteries
*myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
*nervous heart problems
*normalizes blood pressure by regulating the action of the heart, not only lowering high blood pressure but also raising blood pressure that is low
*normalizes cardiovascular functions
*normalizes heart action
*rapid heart beat
*reduces blood pressure and stress to the heart muscle
*relaxes and dilates the arteries
*restorative after a heart attack
*stabilizes and strengthens the heartbeat
*strengthens a heart muscle weakened by age
*supports the heart
*weak heart, combined with Rosemary and Rue
*helps rid the body of excess salt and water thus supporting weight-loss and weight control programs
*urinary tract infections, combined with Agrimony, Thyme and Golden Rod
Respiratory Tract Conditions
*an excellent liquor made from Hawthorn berries and brandy
*repels bees and is only pollinated by flies
Hawthorn is best-used long term as the active constituents do not produce rapid results. Benefits develop slowly having a direct effect on the heart itself, especially in cases of heart damage and heart problems associated with liver disease. It is gentle and safe for long-term use with no toxic side effects.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.