In every issue of Herbs for Health, professionals from a variety of health-care fields answer your questions about using medicinal herbs. Herbalist Mindy Green and physician Robert Rountree responded for this issue.
I’m a forty-two-year-old female with low blood pressure and no energy. I have a good appetite and walk after dinner for exercise, but I still smoke. I am premenopausal, but about six years ago, I had a partial hysterectomy because of cancer. I also suffer from hay fever.
When I remember, I take vitamin C (2,000 mg a day), B complex (1,000 mg a day), bee pollen, and Siberian ginseng. After reading “Herbal Care for Colds & Flu” in the September/October issue of Herbs for Health, I took schisandra and astragalus to help boost my immune system and fight my husband’s cold germs.
What can I do to build up my energy level and blood pressure?
If I had to pick one herb for you, it would be licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Licorice supports depleted adrenal glands, helps the immune system fight infections and cancer, alleviates allergic symptoms and cough, and helps regulate estrogen metabolism to decrease menopausal symptoms.
Finally, it mimics the effects of aldosterone, an adrenal hormone that raises blood pressure. This action can make it unsuitable for use when blood pressure is already high but makes it ideal for your condition.
A starting dose would be 1-2 g daily of the powdered root or 250-500 mg of the solid extract (4:1 concentration). It would be wise to check your blood pressure regularly and adjust the dose accordingly.
Robert Rountree, M.D., is a physician at the Helios Health Center, a multidisciplinary holistic clinic in Boulder, Colorado. He serves on the advisory board for the Herb Research Foundation.
The information offered in Q & A is not intended to be a substitute for advice from your health-care provider.