HOUSE CALLS by Dr. Gerald W. Deas
Do you realize that until 1955, the medical profession had no treatment for hypertension? Control of this condition was accomplished mostly with low-sal diet and home remedies. Many of the folks in the “hood” had high blood pressure due to ingestion of a large quantity of salt-laden foods, such as salt mackerel, salt pork and salty bacon.
This intense salt diet caused one’s blood pressure to rise and the person’s head would begin to throb. This throbbing often was reduced by taking a dose of Epsom salt and grapefruit juice. The chemical name for Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is the mineral that cause relaxation of the blood vessels, thus reducing the elevated pressure. In fact, magnesium sulfate is used intravenously today to reduce the blood pressure of pregnant women, who are experiencing elevated pressure during delivery. This folk remedy is not far off from scientific reality.
Magnificent magnesium is found abundantly in wheat germ, soybeans, oats, wheat bran, green leafy veggies, whole grains, fish and corn. This mineral keeps the body in tune.
Magnesium is known as nature’s calcium channel blockers. It prevents calcium from entering the cells, thus preventing relaxation of the blood vessels. It has been shown to be very effective in reducing blood pressure. Magnesium also is capable of relaxing the cells that surround the bronchi (the tubes that lead to the lungs), thus preventing an asthmatic attack. This wonderful mineral supports the production and activity of insulin, lending to better control of diabetes. It also has been found to be helpful to people who have been afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome. Painful menstrual cramps have been relieved by taking 500 milligrams of magnesium at bedtime.
A deficiency of magnesium due to poor dietary habits or the use of water pills (diuretics) can cause many symptoms, such as weakness in the leg, an irregular heartbeat, poorly controlled hypertension and diabetes. If one’s diet is poor in foods that contain magnesium, a supplement of 300 to 500 milligrams of magnesium aspartate can restore the body’s physiological needs.
Yes, magnesium is magnificent and can magnify your health!
For great health tips and access to an online community of physicians and other healthcare professionals, visit DrDeas.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 10 print edition.