Herbs for Heart Health
Disclaimer: This is for your educational purposes only. You are responsible for your health. Consult with your Health Care Provider. Check with your PCP and pharmacists before starting any supplement or herbal care.
THE HARD WORKING HEART
Each day your heart beats between 85,000 to 115,000 times. About 5,000 gallons of blood travel 60,000 miles through blood vessels.
A well-conditioned healthy heart beats about 55-75 beats per minute.
HINDERERS OF THE HEART
Chronic Stress, Unhealthy Diet (high sugar, salt, cholesterol, trans fats), Inflammation, Lack of Circulation/Exercise, Obesity, Smoking & Alcohol
Hypertension- Also known as high blood pressure. This occurs when excessive blood force pushes against the walls of the arteries. Reasons this problem may occur: Abnormal heart pumping, narrowing of arteries (due to plaque/cholesterol build-up), & inflammation in arteries.
DID YOU KNOW?
Nearly 50% of Americans have high blood pressure. It is known as The Silent Killer.
Systolic- Blood pumped from the heart throughout the body (active state).
Diastolic- Blood returns to the heart (relaxed state).
Normal BP: 120/ 80 or Less
Pre-hypertension: 120-139/ 80-90
Hypertension: 140 or higher/ 90 or higher
Resource: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
MORE CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONS
Total Cholesterol above 200mg/dL is considered “at-risk”. Consult with your doctor about lifestyle alterations, consider medication if necessary. HDL is a healthy cholesterol. HDL levels should be at least 50 mg/dL. LDL should be less than 130 mg/dL. Triglycerides less than 150mg/dL.
Arteriosclerosis- Hardening of arteries due to excessive amounts of plaque. Plaque contains cholesterol mixed with calcium and other fatty material. A build-up of plaque can lead to interruption/blockage of blood flow to an artery in the brain (causing a stroke) or to a coronary artery (causing a heart attack).
Angina- This occurs when an opening of an artery is partially blocked. This causes chest pain and is often a sign that a heart attack is on the way.
NATURAL SUPPORT FOR HEART HEALTH: Vitamin E, Garlic, Fiber (i.e. oatmeal, flaxseed, bran), Beet Root Powder, Magnesium, Niacin (get no-flush). Eat a low sodium diet (DASH Diet). These have been shown to improve circulation, cell function, and lower lipid levels.
Did you know Herbs & Spices contain Antioxidants & Flavonoids that help protect the heart, nourish and stimulate the cardiovascular system?
HEART HEALTH-SUPPORTING HERBS & SPICES:
Siberian Ginseng- Also known as Eleuthero. In large doses, Ginseng supports the central nervous system, protecting it from stress, increasing metabolic function, as well as increasing immunity. It is considered the king of all tonics. Chinese medicine recommends Ginseng for indigestion, immune support, and as a heart/circulation tonic.
Artichoke & the leaves- A natural chemical in this plant called “cynarin” has been shown in many studies to decrease LDL 10-15% and even raise HDL (the healthy cholesterol). This herb also supports the liver-related to the liver detoxing herb, Milk Thistle.
Pu’ Er- When brewed, the tea is brownish red and has a bold earthy taste. Traditionally in China, the properties of Pu-Er are known to warm the spleen and stomach, aiding digestion & elimination of fat. Studies show that drinking Pu-Er regularly helps support healthy cholesterol & uric acid levels, weight management & heart function.
Cayenne & Turmeric- Tasty spices for heart therapy & calming inflammation. It can be used externally for swelling and pain relief. Note: These are strong substances. May need to gradually increase.
Garlic- A mild, natural blood thinner. Reduces cholesterol (inhibits platelet oxidation & improves HDL) and blood pressure. It also defends the body by acting as an antiseptic and antiviral agent. Do NOT take if on blood thinners.
Kelp- The integration of kelp into the Japanese' lifestyle has shown profound health profits. Holds gastro-intestinal soothing properties & the ability to offset the effects of stress on the heart.
Hawthorn Berry- Studied to relieve angina & hypertension.
Nervines- Substance that balance, calm, and help sustain the Nervous System & Heart (i.e. stress). Examples: Slippery elm bark, comfrey, oats, barley, marshmallow root, California poppy, passion flower, St. John’s wort, catnip, valerian, lemon balm, hops, lobelia, skullcap, lavender, wood betony, chamomile & nettle.
Yerba mate- A tree native South American Rainforest. A member of the holly family, it produces leaves & stems that are used to make tea in Brazil, Paraguay, & Argentina. Consumed as tea, yerba mate is used in traditional medicine to treat various health problems. Yerba mate extract may help heart-muscle dysfunction resulting from ischemia (a condition that occurs when a blockage in coronary artery reduces blood flow to the heart).
HOW DO I CONSUME THESE HERBS & SPICES?
Drink calming nervine tea: Skullcap, hops, lobelia, valerian, chamomile, passionflower, lavender, oat, lemon balm. Check out www.RepublicofTea.com
Add spice to food: Cayenne, kelp, artichoke, turmeric, garlic.
Add to smoothies: Blend powdered herbs with fruit juices or organic soy/almond milk. Check out www.sunfood.com
Supplements: Capsules, tabs, pill form.
Tinctures & extracts: Concentrated liquid extractions of herbs, often based in alcohol or glycerin. Consume straight or mixed with water or juice.
The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. (n.d.) (pp. 53-60,87-92, by D. B. Mowrey Ph.D. 1986, Keats Publishing: Contemporary Publishing Group)
Tierra, M., L.Ac., O.M.D. (1998). The way of herbs. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor New York, NY 10020-1586: POCKET BOOKS. (Original work published 1980)
Vitacost, (supplements, natural food, & more at great prices): https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-8855512-13830374
Check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3UA-bTbWDc
In Grace~ Cara