National Heart Awareness Month: Herbal Preventatives
February is National Heart Awareness Month and throughout the month I
will be posting tips for improving heart health.
Herbal medicine is a wonderful preventative solution. If you are concerned about
the health of your heart and you are not on Western medication, you may first
want to explore the possibilites available through natural means. Complications
can arise when taking herbal medicine and allopathic drugs your doctor has
Great caution should be used especially if you are on blood thinners, diuretics
or any other heart related medication. Consult your doctor with any questions
you may have, before taking additional herbs or supplements.
These herbal supplements must be part of a comprehensive diet, exercise and
lifestyle program that supports cardiovascular health.
: Strengthens the heart. Also known as "St. Benedict Thistle" and
"Holy Thistle", this herb contains B-complex, calcium, iron, manganese and
cincin. This herb has been used to tonify the heart, improve circulation and
: Blood pressure and health of blood vessels, Capsicum
stimulants circulation, enhances blood flow and is considered to be
food for the circulatory system. Capsicum assists in lowering blood
pressure and breaking down cholesterol buildup.
: is renowned, not only for healing the entire digestive system,
and for arthritic pain relief, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It
acts as a catalyst and increases the
effectiveness of other herbs when used with them. Cayenne has been
known to stop heart attacks within 30 seconds. Cayenne has a high
source of Vitamins A & C, has the complete B complexes, and is very
rich in organic calcium and potassium, which is one of the reasons it
is good for the heart. Consider the synergy of taking both cayenne
and Hawthorne berry together. Cayenne is also linked to decreases in cholesterol
and blood pressure and the general maintenance of a health circulatory system.
: Natural diuretic. Corn silk is used as a tea. the potassium in corn
silk helps to offset potassium loss which is caused by increased urination.
Compared to other diuretics, corn silk reduces the likelihood of muscle cramps
and irregular heartbeat due to a loss of electrolytes by increasing urination.
: A rich source of potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and
Vitamin C, is commonly used to fight infection, increase circulation
and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Consider eating raw Garlic
every day; since it is a very effective antifungal agent, or use it
in tincture form. Research has shown that garlic is an anti-
cholesterol remedy and is recommended for heart and circulatory
problems. This is a wonderful natural antibiotic and detoxifier which
protects the body against infection by enhancing immune function, as
: is a known fighter or cerebro-vascular disease. Impaired
circulation to the brain, often called a stroke, can cause severe and
far-reaching effects on the entire body. Ginkgo has been shown in numerous
studies to cause dilation and increase the blood flow in the arteries,
capillaries and veins. In addition, they inhibit platelet aggregation, reduce
blood clotting and work through antioxidants to protect our vascular walls from
: Berberine, an active ingredient of goldenseal, can dilate
blood vessels. Therefore, it may prove useful in the treatment of
certain causes of both irregular heartbeat and heart failure. Do not use
goldenseal for more that seven days at a time. Seven days off/seven days on.
: This herb has a positive effect on the circulatory system as it
strengthens the heart and helps lower blood pressure. It improves the flow of
blood while strengthening the veins and capillaries. It has been used
successfully to treat phlebitis, leg cramps, and abnormal tingling of the
: a member of the rose family, was recognized by physicians in the
early 1800s for its ability to treat disorders
related to circulation and respiration (breathing). Considered
a "cardiotonic" herb, the flowers and berries of the hawthorn plant
have been used in traditional medicine to treat irregular heartbeat,
high blood pressure, chest pain, atherosclerosis, and congestive
heart failure. Hawthorn berries contain large amounts of bioflavonoids, which
help dilate and strengthen the walls of blood
vessels, relax arteries, and improve circulation of blood to heart
muscles. studies suggest that Hawthorn berry extract improves heart
function and exercise capacity in those with CHF. Participants in
research trials also report significantly improved symptoms (like
reduced shortness of breath and fatigue). Hawthorn extract may even
prove to be as effective as low doses of ACE inhibitors (a leading
class of heart medication) in improving symptoms of congestive heart
failure. Hawthorne must be taken daily to be affective.
: Helps to clean and maintain the arteries. Some animal studies show kelp
may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. On the other hand, kelp is also
high in sodium, which may raise some people's blood pressure. Salt-sensitive
individuals with high blood pressure should not consume large amounts of kelp.
Others may include the herb in a comprehensive heart-disease prevention program.
: Used as a cardiac tonic to stimulate circulation, reduce
blood pressure and arteriosclerosis and strengthen capillary walls.
Constricts blood vessels and stimulates heart beat. It lessens reflex
irritability and strengthens the heart's beat, as it raises the frequency of a
: Improves blood flow circulation and reduces heart blood
pressure and palpitations. The glycosides appear to have a short-term ability to
lower blood pressure and reduce blood platelet aggregation. As a cardiac tonic,
it is said to reduce heart palpitations. This herb strengthen the heartbeat
without increasing the pulse rate as it sedates the coronary arteries. This
results in increased circulation to the heart.
Olive Leaf Extract
: Naturally support the circulatory and immune
systems. Based on a recent study published in the medical journal, Nutrition,
Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, polyphenols from olive leaf extract,
significantly inhibited platelet aggregation in the laboratory. This has
important benefits as the antiplatelet effects in olive leaves may offer a
degree of protection from thrombosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
: Extracts from the root of rhodiola have been the subject of intensive
pharmacological and clinical investigations in Russia and Scandinavia for more
than thirty-five years. The results of these studies strongly support the use of
Rhodiola as an adaptogen: a substance that normalizes physiology in response to
stressors. As such, Rhodiola provides a solid foundation for restoring and
maintaining health. It promotes cognitive and physical performance, supports
positive emotional states, immune function and cardiovascular health, and
restores balance to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
: Is considered a heart tonic. Rosemary is also linked to decreases in
cholesterol and blood pressure and the general maintenance of a health
Again, I must stress, if you are on any type of Western medication it is
important to check with your doctor before starting an herbal supplement regime.
Do your research. Weight your facts carefully. Side effects and the combination
of certain Western drugs with herbs can be dangerous and deadly.