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I recently had the experience of having to treat my Mom’s high blood pressure without the aid of conventional medication. As a result, I came to the realization that I, as natural healer who should know better, have been so programmed to seek out conventional medical solutions in an emergency, that I forget about the treatments that have been used for millennia and remain as effective as conventional medications, often with far less side effects.

My Mom had been ill for a couple of weeks with a bad infection, after three sets of antibiotics without any improvement in her condition, my family and I agreed it would be best for her to come stay with me in Pretoria for a few days, so I could take her to casualty at Unitas Hospital, hopefully for a full assessment and referral to a specialist for treatment. During the intake exam they noted her elevated blood pressure, given that she has been diagnosed with hypertension and is on an ongoing prescription for it, it was merely noted. They proceeded to run tests and after giving her medication, a prescription and a referral to a specialist she was discharged. We were asked to make sure she took her blood pressure medication as soon as she got home as it was sitting at 166/105, which is disturbingly high.

Unfortunately, when we got back to my home, we realized that she hadn’t packed her medication, so we went to the pharmacy (one of the big chains) which had her chronic monthly prescription on file, as luck would have it her prescription had expired and without a visit to the GP there would be no way to get a prescription for her regular medication. Given her exhaustion, and desperate desire to just go home and rest and not see another GP, I reluctantly agreed but decided to give her some Chela Potassium.

Given that I knew that potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. “A number of studies have shown an association between low potassium intake and increased blood pressure and higher risk of stroke. On the flip side, people who already have high blood pressure can significantly lower their systolic (top number) blood pressure by increasing their potassium intake.” Also being aware that she doesn’t have any kidney problems, which would have precluded her from using the supplement, we made the purchase and headed home.

Everything seemed relatively under control that evening, I managed to get her to eat some dinner and she went to sleep. I woke up at around 1am to noises coming from the guest room. When I went to check on her, she was flushed, complaining of dizziness, blurred vision, disorientation, and a bad headache. My intuition said that we were dealing with severely elevated blood pressure. My first thought was to get her to casualty straight away, but she was really reluctant after having spent hours there the day before. She wanted to just go back to sleep and only go if her symptoms got worse, I felt she needed to take something straight away to bring it down. She had already taken Potassium before heading to bed and I vaguely remember reading about two herbs which specifically treat high blood pressure but at 1am and slightly panicked, I couldn’t remember their names, so I referred to one of my many herbal remedy books and found the names of three herbs: Hawthorn, Linden Blossom and Motherwort.

I had Hawthorn Leaves in my pantry. I proceeded to make a herbal infusion and got my Mom to drink it. She reported feeling better and wanted to go back to sleep. So we agreed we’d take her to get her blood pressure checked the next morning. The reading the following day was 147/85, still high but a marked improvement on the previous reading taken the day before. She also told me the headache had cleared and so had the blurred vision, she also no longer felt dizzy.

I made up a tea leaf mix for my Mom containing Hawthorn Leaf, Motherwort, Yarrow and Dandelion which she takes as a herbal infusion three times daily now. Pictures of each along with some information pertaining to their properties is given below.

This experience has highlighted to me that there is no reason why we can’t use a herbal remedy as first aid should the need arise, and has encouraged me to start teaching the herbalism courses that I have thought about putting together for years.

Details of my next herbalism course can be found at: https://facebook.com/events/736950203340467/?ti=as

Parts used: Flowers, berries & leaves

Traditional Uses: Used internally. Best remedy for heart and circulation, regulating blood pressure. Lowers harmful cholesterol. Strengthens heart muscle and regulates heart rhythm. Protects heart muscle, reduces inflammation in blood vessels and helps prevent clots and heart attacks.

Can be used in cases of palpitations and acts as a tonic for the circulatory system.

Parts used: Aerial parts

Traditional Uses: High in potassium so used to lower blood pressure. Is a diuretic and assists with water retention associated with heart conditions.

Dandelion aids the liver and kidneys to clear bodily wastes, it is a go-to herb for those suffering from chronic skin and joint problems, including acne and eczema, arthritis and rheumatism.

Parts Used: Aerial parts

Traditional Uses: Benefits the heart, reduces palpitations and blood pressure. Reduces blood clotting, harmful cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Calms anxiety and aids in sleep. Reduces nervous palpitations and irregular heart rates. Relieves headaches and muscular twitches and spasms. Beneficial for menopause as it is cooling during hot flushes.

Precaution: may increase menstrual flow, so don’t use if pregnant.

Parts Used: Aerial parts

Traditional Uses: Taken in hot tea it promotes sweating and reduces fevers. Lowers blood pressure, improves circulation and relieves leg cramps and varicose veins. Antihistamine effect Is useful in treating allergies.

Precaution: Avoid with anticoagulants. Avoid during pregnancy.


Virtue Joannou (BSc (Hons) – Geology) is a Crystologist and Usui Tibetan Reiki Master Teacher.

Virtue discovered at an early age a sensitivity to crystal energies, not truly understanding the source of her fascination with rocks and minerals, she decided to go down the science route when she finished school and studied Geology and Environmental Science at the then Rand Afrikaans University, before doing her Honours Degree in Geology at the University of Adelaide, in Australia. After her awareness was expanded, she studied various healing modalities and discovered a deeper understanding of the metaphysical properties of crystals.

Virtue is passionate about helping others on their journey of spiritual awareness, healing & growth, through the use of alternative therapies. She offers Reiki, Reflexology, Colour Therapy and Crystal Healing through her business: Violet Sun Complementary Therapies. She regularly teaches Crystal Healing courses and Reiki. Details of upcoming workshops can be found on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/violetsun.therapies/


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