There are a number of herbs that can assist in heart health. As you will notice, many of them fall into the “food” category. This makes them easy to purchase and easy to take.
The number one favorite of course is Cacao. As you read in my previous blog, 65% of Canadians and 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is a requirement for heart health.
Cacao is also rich in flavanoids which help reduce blood pressure, help blood flow and prevent clotting. See the Cleveland Clinic site for full details.
Cacao is antioxidant rich. Higher than red wine, blueberries and green tea! Antioxidants help repair the damage caused by environmental pollutants and free radicals. Check out my posting from December on Antioxidants and Cacao for the full story.
Garlic is excellent for healing almost everything. In terms of its benefits for heart health, it is outstanding. Garlic is a natural blood thinner which helps in the reduction of blood pressure.
Garlic is antioxidant and helps prevent free radical damage. It protects against atherosclerosis which is the build up of plaque in your arteries. It may be smelly but it is the breaking of the cell walls in the garlic which releases the allicin which is what does the healing.
Crataegus oxyacanthoides or Hawthorn is possibly the best known herb for heart health. In healthy individuals it can prevent plaque build up in the arteries. It has been shown to strengthen damaged heart muscle. It improves circulation in the coronary arteries and can help with enlargement of the heart.
Hawthorn can be purchased in supplement and tincture form from most health food stores. Warning, those that are already on heart medication need to check out the interactions before taking any herbal supplements.
This spicy little pepper is very good for the heart. It improves circulation and even levels it out in aged individuals. It improves energy levels and even lowers blood pressure by cutting through any mucus blocking blood flow. As a side benefit it increases body warmth and aids in digestion.
Gingko is an awesome vasodilator. It is most commonly known for it’s benefits in improving memory. It is also a great remedy for painful varicose veins.
For the heart, gingko assists in lowering blood pressure by increasing blood flow. It prevents clotting which in turn lowers the risk of stroke. It fights free radical damage to the vascular walls and is a great general tonic.
There are a number of natural ways to increase heart health. Sometimes it is as simple as a slight change in diet. Sometimes it requires an adjustment in lifestyle and supplement. Most importantly, you need to take care of your body before it begins to develop symptoms.
Diet and exercise are a huge part of heart health and combined with supplements where needed, they can help you lead a long and healthy life.