My first response was to look at what I was eating and drinking to see if there was anything I could improve upon, but since I'd been getting by healthy green nutri-bullet blitz in the morning and being pretty healthy the rest of the time, I was stumped. Until I checked the ingredients in my two favourite herbal teas, and guess what, both contain liquorice root. Now I do know that liquorice can increase blood pressure, but I checked it out just to make sure and bingo, I had remembered correctly.
So, with much reluctance (because they're really, really lovely) I've given up my two delicious herbal teas. And yes, my blood pressure has dropped. OK, I can't prove that the teas were contributing to my high blood pressure, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....
Now the point of this is not to put you off liquorice, or warn you against herbal teas, quite the opposite. I'm really keen to encourage natural products and avoid all things artificial and chemical, but I would like to make the point that natural can be powerful and needs to be treated with respect. And often times, the quantity consumed is important: I think I'm right in saying that mint is cooling in small quantities, but warming in larger quantities; and chamomile is relaxing is small doses, but stimulating in greater quantities.
Natural may not always be healthy - especially if it's in combination with prescribed medicines - so do your research and check out any possible side effects of supplements or herbal remedies before you begin. And read the labels - I didn't! My teas had liquorice root listed on the ingredients but not on the front of the pack.
I'd like to encourage everyone to "go natural" as much as possible, but also to be well informed about what you're consuming - learn from my lesson, please.