Black Garlic

Unveiling the power of Black Garlic: A natural solution for blood pressure

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is made up of 2 numbers. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure and measures the pressure your heart is under when blood is pumped out around the body. The bottom number is called the diastolic blood pressure and measures the pressure in our vessels between heartbeats. Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). You may also have heard of high blood pressure referred to as hypertension. In general, women have lower blood pressure than men, this difference decreases as women enter the menopause.

Blood pressure differs depending on your age and this can be seen below:

Blood pressure ranges for adults – 16yrs+

Low BP is classed as under 90/60 mmHg

Ideal BP – Between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg

Pre-high blood pressure – Between 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg

High BP - Over 140/90 mmHg. For over 80-year-olds, this would be 150/90 mmHg 

Blood Pressure Chart

Source: Blood Pressure UK

How can I check my blood pressure?

There are many ways you can check your blood pressure. You can go to your local pharmacy for a free blood pressure check, call your GP surgery or take it yourself at home with a blood pressure monitor. Blood pressure monitors can be bought from pharmacies, big retailers and online.

If you do decide to take your own blood pressure at home here are a few tips to try and prevent an inaccurate reading:

  • Drinking caffeine or smoking should be stopped 30 minutes prior
  • Give yourself 5 minutes of quiet time before attempting to take the reading
  • Take your blood pressure seated with your legs uncrossed and flat on the floor
  • Place the blood pressure cuff around your bare arm and make sure the wire is facing upwards and in a central position.
  • Place your arm in a relaxed bent position, preferably resting on a table or the arm of a chair
  • Don’t talk whilst your blood pressure is being taken
  • Press the start button
  • Document the reading. Such as 120/80
  • Do this 3 times with a 1–2-minute pause in between

If you are trying to track and compare your blood pressure it is recommended to take your blood pressure at the same time each day.

When getting your blood pressure done at the pharmacy or GP surgery most of the above will be done for you but you may find that the reading is higher than when you take it yourself at home. This could be due to something called “white coat syndrome” which is when just being in a healthcare setting increases blood pressure due to anxiety, stress or worry. GPs may offer you a portable 24-hour blood pressure monitor to take home. The monitor measures your blood pressure at regular intervals throughout the day whilst doing your day-to-day activities.

Try taking your blood pressure in both arms and seeing if there is a difference.  A small difference in blood pressure readings (around 10 mmHg) between each arm is normal. However, a difference of more than 10 mmHg might be a sign to talk to your doctor. The difference can be in the top number or the bottom number. This could be a sign of peripheral artery disease or developing heart disease in future.

Blood pressure monitor

When is the best time to take blood pressure?

The best time to take your blood pressure is twice a day, in the morning and in the evening to get an overall view of how your blood pressure is doing throughout the day.

In the morning, our blood pressure is at its lowest and in the evening between 4 pm and 6 pm, it is at its highest. Our blood pressure can fluctuate by up to 30% throughout the day due to our hormones, our activity level and eating habits.

Ultimately, the best time to take your blood pressure is when it suits you and your lifestyle.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are many causes for high blood pressure. These can be singular or additive or because of a health condition:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • High stress levels
  • Age – Over 50 years old
  • Smoking
  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High salt intake
  • Family history of high blood pressure especially in black and Asian populations

High blood pressure can also be caused by other health conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney problems
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Thyroid problems 
Matches and Cigarette broken

Signs of high blood pressure

High blood pressure doesn’t often result in symptoms until blood pressure is at extremely high levels. You may not realise we have high blood pressure and feel completely normal which is why we should be checking it more frequently as we age. However, there are some physical signs and symptoms that could occur to look out for:

  • Visual disturbance – blurred vision, floaters
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleeds

Blood pressure during the menopause and pregnancy

Hormonal changes such as menopause can indirectly result in higher blood pressure because oestrogen drops during menopause. This female hormone plays a vital role in protecting our cardiovascular system. It stimulates our blood vessels to relax and widen allowing blood to flow more easily. Oestrogen dropping during the menopause has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease therefore keeping an eye on our blood pressure is recommended.

Blood pressure during pregnancy normally decreases in the first and second trimesters, however high blood pressure can occur and result in the following:

Chronic hypertension

This is high blood pressure before 20 weeks gestation — a woman with high blood pressure before week 20 of pregnancy is likely to have pre-existing high blood pressure.

Gestational hypertension

This is high blood pressure that is new and occurs after 20 weeks' gestation and there is no protein found in the urine.


This is new high blood pressure presenting after 20 weeks gestation with significant protein from in urine. Pre-eclampsia is a multi-system disorder which can affect the organs of the mother. It is a concern and seeking medical advice immediately is needed. Some of the physical symptoms of pre-eclampsia include vision disturbances, severe headaches, sudden swelling of the face, hands/feet, vomiting and breathlessness.

What causes low blood pressure?

Movements such as going from lying to standing up can sometimes make us feel lightheaded or dizzy for a brief period of time. This is due to something called postural hypotension. This can occur when you are dehydrated due to lower blood volume.  

Medications that are taken to lower blood pressure may be taken incorrectly or too much taken can result in low blood pressure.  This can also happen with water tablets (diuretics) and heart disease.

Low blood pressure can sometimes also be a sign of a life-threatening emergency such as sepsis, an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or heavy blood loss.

What are low blood pressure symptoms?

Low Blood pressure is below 90/60 mmHg and may be accompanied by some of the symptoms below:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheaded
  • Fainting
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Falling

How to reduce high blood pressure?

Blood pressure tablets to treat high blood pressure may be prescribed to you. These blood pressure medications are split into various categories and have different mechanisms of action. Below are some of the main groups of medication for high blood pressure.

  • Angiotensin converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as ramipril. Common side effects include a dry cough, dizziness and headaches
  • Calcium Channel blockers such as amlodipine. Common side effects include ankle swelling, constipation and headaches
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) such as candesartan. Common side effects include headaches, dizziness
  • Diuretics such as Bendroflumethiazide. Common side effects include needing to go to the bathroom more frequently, postural hypotension and increased thirst.

The timing of your blood pressure medication is down to personal preference if taking a once-a-day dosage. It might be a clever idea to take blood pressure medication at night to minimise the risk of falls and dizziness. However, this wouldn’t be a good idea if taking diuretics due to the side effects of urinary frequency; these would be best taken in the morning.

Statins are also another group of medications that can indirectly lower your blood pressure by reducing cholesterol especially low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Too much of this type of cholesterol can build up along the artery walls and create a narrowing of the arteries resulting in an increase in blood pressure

Black Garlic

How to lower blood pressure naturally

We offer a few natural alternatives that could help reduce blood pressure and can be used alongside blood pressure medications and other prescribed medication such as statins:

  • Black Garlic
  • Marine Magnesium
  • Metabolic Gold

These three supplements can be taken together and work in different ways.

Black Garlic with Vitamin D

Our Black Garlic contains fermented black garlic which is more potent than normal raw garlic. Normal garlic contains Allicin and during the fermentation process, Allicin converts to S-Allyl Cysteine (SAC) which is the natural compound responsible for stimulating circulation and lowering blood pressure. Black Garlic can help blood flow more easily and this is why we wouldn’t recommend taking it if you are on any blood thinners or antiplatelets such as Warfarin, Apixaban, Clopidogrel and Aspirin.

Metabolic Gold

Our Metabolic Gold contains Bergamot fruit extract and Artichoke Leaf extract. Both ingredients may improve certain risk factors for heart disease. Lowering cholesterol levels to avoid atherosclerosis and build up along the vessel walls which narrows them resulting in increased blood pressure.

Marine Magnesium

Our Marine Magnesium can also help with blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.


Other than supplements we can help our blood pressure through the food we eat and don’t eat.

  • Reduce salt intake to less than 6g per day – Not all salts are the same. Here we are referring to table salt that contains sodium.
  • Increase consumption of healthy unsaturated fats - oily fish, avocado, eggs and nuts/seeds.
  • Reduce consumption of artificial sugars and saturated fats.
  • Reduce alcohol intake – 14 units weekly. Try to spread them over a few days rather than consuming them all at once as our liver finds it hard to process. What does a unit of alcohol look like? 40% spirit (25ml), wine (100ml), Beer (180ml).
Cycling Sunset


The main thing when it comes to exercise is to do something you enjoy and that you can be consistent with. For heart health, we need to do some form of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, swimming or cycling.

150 minutes of moderate intensity (you can still hold a conversation) cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity (you can only speak a few words) cardio a week is recommended by the NHS. It has now been shown that muscle mass and cardio-respiratory fitness are linked with longevity. A full body strength training session is an effective way to do this, aiming for twice a week to maintain muscle mass especially as we age.


Speak to our expert pharmacists today

A key element of our vision is accessibility to our expert advice service; allowing customers to make a personalised and considered decision when it comes to their health. 

Our pharmacists are on hand Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm. Book your free consultation today! Book Now!


Charlotte Parker-Lennox

Charlotte Parker-Lennox

Charlotte is a pharmacist with 6 years of experience working in retail pharmacy and integrated urgent care (IUC) alongside nurses, paramedics and doctors.

She has changed the direction of her career to support people with a holistic approach to wellness by treating the root cause of your health concerns. She enjoys an outdoor challenge, completing marathons and cycling adventures around the UK.

Metabolic Gold for liver health

Metabolic Gold for liver health

"It's estimated that up to 1 in every 3 people in the UK has early stages of Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease"



When our fat cells can’t cope anymore with storing fat – the liver takes the burden and becomes the “overflow” storage organ for fat. This sets the stage for a vicious cycle and metabolic dysfunction.

As the fats in blood increase, gene function in the liver is inhibited causing more fat to be dumped there. At the same time, levels of leptin are increased – causing a corresponding fall in the fat-burning hormone known as adiponectin. Low adiponectin levels lead to insulin resistance in the liver – which then causes blood sugar to rise – and this sugar is then converted to more fat.

Early symptoms of NAFLD (Non Fatty Liver Disease) may be mild:

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Discomfort in upper right abdomen
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Weakness

Losing weight can help to slowly unclog the liver, reduce the amount of stored fat, thereby speeding up the metabolism as well as to help to reduce blood sugar, harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.


Dietary suggestions to unclog the liver and support its optimal function:

  1. A Mediterranean diet (vegetables, fruits, antioxidant spices and herbs, whole grains, oily fish, nuts and olive oil) have been shown to benefit liver health. 

         Liver nourishing foods include : cruciferous veg (Brussels sprouts,                                                   cauliflower, kale, cabbage, broccoli, rocket (arugula), watercress)

        Bitter foods: rocket, radicchio, dandelion greens

  1. Practising some intermittent fasting can also help un-clog the liver, even if you can only manage a 12 hour overnight fast, as it allows the body to rest and regenerate.
  1. Ensure you are eating enough protein. If you are not consuming enough protein this can impair your liver’s ability to carry out it’s detoxifying and metabolic functions. 
  1. Drink plenty of pure water to help flush out excess toxins.



The great news is that we can support our hard working liver with specific nutrients which have been supported by scientific research:


    • AGED GARLIC can help shift unwanted fat from being dumped in the liver.
    • VITAMIN D deficiencies are linked to NAFLD (Non Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease) : Vitamin D deficiency leads to the release of pro-inflammatory agents that can contribute to fatty liver disease
    • BERGAMOT & ARTICHOKE EXTRACTS - Bergamot fruit extract has been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel activity and artichoke boosts your production of bile.
If you have any questions about how our products can help improve your health please call our Pharmacists on 01483 685 630 or email
Jeff Schmidt - Heart Attack

Heart attack by Jeff Schmidt

It turns out that we really are ‘the sum total of our experiences.’ Had I known then the impact of many of my decisions, I may have made changes earlier, but it turns out that we must live life to truly understand it.  



I was definitely living life. Perceived invincibility provided me with the tunnel vision which enabled me to dash from one task to another, ticking off one more achievement, adventure and accolade.

Of course you can’t sustain this symphonic level of intensity without topping up the tank with quick access fuel, mine came in the form of sugar- packets of delicious sweets and finely baked biscuits.

I also gradually began to neglect my regular exercise regimen in exchange for a membership in the weekend warrior club. Gut irritation and a little extra weight accumulated, but, as far as I was concerned, I felt normal for a 40-something professional.

‘That’ evening, the one that irreversibly shook up my life, Thursday 3 December, I found myself staring eternity squarely in the face. I had returned home from work with my two girls. It had been a stressful day capped by a suitably heated, hard-hitting quarrel that left me trembling. 

 I did not generally consider my life stressful, and yet I knew that I ran at a pretty high-octane pace. But that was OK, because, despite warnings from others, I was, or believed I was, bulletproof.  

I wore my intensity like a shiny badge of honour. On that evening, however, the engine said ‘no more’; you can’t drive even the most brilliantly engineered sports cars at 5000 RPM indefinitely. 

 It took my mum, who spotted me bent over, clutching my chest, rubbing my arms on FaceTime and my daughter's subsequent fear-filled plea to get help for me to make the medical call. Reluctantly, in a haze of pain, I did make the call. In minutes an ambulance was there. 


Pride masking the danger, I couldn’t help, but feel that all this commotion was quite unnecessary. The seasoned paramedics quickly assessed my traumatised frame, blood pressure surging through my veins like a blocked firehose. They looked me straight in the eyes, piercing my vanity, and said, “We are taking you to hospital. Now.” 

Jeff Schmidt - a loose wire


‘That’ evening marked the beginning of a myriad of changes.  Naturally, and most significantly was that of my health, but also, running neatly alongside, compelling me, almost without choice, was my desire to capture the goodness in life around me. 

Being in hospital forced me to slow down and rest, my senses sharpened and my eyes opened to the subtleties in the world around me, to things I had not previously noticed before. 

I became acutely aware of nuances in conversation, of the sacrifices of those around me and of the delicacy of relationships. I was also painfully cognizant, in increasing measure, of the compounding effects of the bad choices I had made for my body- sugar addiction, stress, exercise withdrawal and sleep deprivation.

Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” So, that is what I did (and am doing), engineering a new, more tantalising model for life. 

My diet, for instance, has been transformed. The once glutinous intake has been replaced with cleaner foods, nutrition straight from the earth and, perhaps more importantly, I expunged sweets. 

Implored by the immediacy of the situation, I also instilled radical changes to my work routine and introduced regular, gentler exercises in the great outdoors. The list goes on, but I feel that, if indeed we are ‘the sum total of our experiences,’ I have been gifted a lifeline with which to significantly alter the outcome of my time here on earth. And, I must say, my heart feels good, very good indeed.



Jeff’s story highlights the importance of regular heart health checks for both men and women above the age of 30. The good news is many heart and circulatory diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified

Key risk factors as identified by The British Heart Foundation are cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, physical inactivity, smoking and having high blood pressure. As well as a family history of heart issues

As a pharmacist, I believe that relatively simple diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of heart disease

Our targeted high strength supplements can help and the general rule for these supplements is to start as early as possible to help prevent problems rather than have to treat later, especially if you recognise the risk factors

My two supplements of choice are Metabolic Gold to reduce the build-up of bad fats in the body and improve the metabolism. Research is now showing that the four specific polyphenols in high strength organic bergamot fruit extract provide effective support for managing weight and cholesterol, by binding to bad fats in the gut.

Alongside Black Garlic an organic compound that is produced when white garlic is fermented over several months. It helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, as well as protecting the cardiovascular system.


Jeff Schmidt is the Author/illustrator of the bestselling book: 

 HEART ATTACK- Finding hope, joy and inspiration through adversity. 

How to lose weight naturally

How to lose weight naturally

Accumulation of belly fat is something that can creep up over the years and catch us by surprise. It is suggested that on average adults gain ~1.5kg annually and never shed that weight. Why is that?

The answer is often our lifestyle. Reducing calorie intake and supporting gut health by increasing your vegetable intake will support weight loss but shifting belly fat can be more troublesome. Coupled with this is the effect this fat is having internally - on our blood vessels and heart for example.

One of the biggest culprits driving stubborn belly fat is sugar intake

Hidden sugars in many foods and drinks will increase the accumulation of fat in the tissues and blood vessels. Look at the sugar contents of many cereals, breads, fizzy drinks etc and try to cut them out completely. Every improvement you make by increasing exercise or supplementing can be completely counteracted by your sugary intakes.

Metabolic Gold

One clinically tested solution for bad fats is Metabolic Gold, a natural food supplement made from Italian bergamot fruits. Studies have shown that 2 capsules daily with food for a period of 4 months can help manage weight and cholesterol alongside a healthy eating and exercise routine. How does it do this? Each tablet is packed full of active ‘power house’ polyphenols at 35% effective strength. These polyphenols bind to bad fats from our diets in our gut and tissues. They also help to balance cholesterol in the liver. Double whammy!


Black Garlic

When it comes to protecting our heart we can further help by supplementing our diet with daily Aged Black Garlic. This has been shown to help relax our blood vessels, allowing for more efficient circulation of blood to our tissues. How does it do this?...Our Black Garlic is selected due to its naturally high concentrations of the chemical allicin. A six month aging and fermentation process converts allicin to active S-allyl cysteine (S-AC). This high strength, premium grade S-AC provides the protection for our cardiovascular system. Aged Black Garlic and Metabolic Gold are a perfect combination, working in harmony with each other on separate cardiovascular systems.

Autumn wellness

Autumn wellness

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