Amlodipine is the generic name for Norvasc. Doctors usually prescribe this medication to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. Your physician might give you a prescription for amlodipine for other health conditions such as angina. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that reduces blood pressure by dilating your blood vessels. Discuss the use of herbs and amlodipine with your physician.
Your doctor can give you a prescription for Norvasc, the brand name, or amlodipine, the generic form. Both versions have the same chemical properties. Certain prescription medicines that doctors recommend when you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol include amlodipine in a formulation that contains a cholesterol-lowering medication. In addition, several prescription high blood pressure medicines are formulations that contain amlodipine in combination with another medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medication that you take for blood pressure or for cholesterol control also contains amlodipine.
Ginger comes from the root of the ginger plant, and is mainly used to season foods such as baked goods and Asian dishes. You can also consume ginger as a tea, in ginger ale and as ginger beer. Ginger can reduce your blood pressure. When you take amlodipine and consume ginger, it is possible to have extremely low blood pressure, or hypotension, according to Medline Plus. The interaction between ginger and amlodipine can also cause an irregular heartbeat.
In Chinese traditional medicine, ginseng root has mainly been used for treatment of circulatory problems and erectile dysfunction. In the Western world, ginseng has gained popularity as a tea and in powdered forms, available in health food stores. Ginseng is a stimulant that can increase your blood pressure. This might make your amlodipine dosage less effective.
The herb hawthorn has had a place in alternative medicine as a treatment for heart problems since the early part of the 20th century. It is also a traditional medicine for high blood pressure, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you take amlodipine, avoid consuming hawthorn because it can intensify the effects of calcium channel blockers. This could make your blood pressure too low. Heart palpitations are also a known side effect of hawthorn consumption.
Pleurisy root and foxglove belong to the same plant family. They both contain naturally occurring cardiac glycosides, the source of prescription digitalis, a potent heart medication. A common adverse effect of combining pleurisy root and a calcium channel blocker is decreased kidney clearance of digoxin, the active cardiac glycoside in plants in the foxglove family. When you take calcium channel blockers and cardiac glycosides together, you risk having increased digoxin levels, which can result in a cardiac glycoside overdose.
- MedlinePlus: Amlodipine
- MedlinePlus: Ginger
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Asian Ginseng
- MedlinePlus: Ginseng, Siberian
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hawthorn
- Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Cardiac Glycosides (Digitalis Compounds)
- Clinical and Investigative Medicine: Digoxin-Like Factors in Herbal Teas