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  1. Sutherland, Judith A. PhD, RN, CNS, LCDC


The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have targeted the treatment of mild or borderline hypertension as a critical health care issue. Conventional practitioners' focus on more intensive treatment for blood pressure elevations in the lower ranges is accompanying the consumer-driven movement toward the use of complementary methods. Over 60 million Americans used herbal therapies in the past year, and visits to complementary care practitioners are expected to increase beyond the 425 million now made annually. The purpose of this article is to identify four herbs that consumers commonly select for the treatment of hypertension and identify nursing care considerations for their use. Additionally, the article reviews research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for hypertension, along with nursing care implications for patients.