- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Have High Blood Cholesterol? Control It Naturally With These Home Remedies
Is Cholesterol Important For The Body?
The simple answer is YES.
We know that all of us have cholesterol in our body. Even mother's milk has it since it is needed by infants, even more.
*Human milk supplies an infant almost 6 times the amount of cholesterol consumed by an average adult from his diet. Also the breast milk is very high in fat content. This seems quite a paradox when we have been brainwashed into thinking that high levels of cholesterol are bad.
These high levels of cholesterol are needed by the infant and young children for their growth and development. Studies have shown that breast fed children grow up as adults with a lower cholesterol level.
Cholesterol is a fat and is constantly being produced by the body, in the liver.
- It is needed to build all cells and maintain them.
- It is a constituent of all cell membranes and the permeability of the cell membranes is dependent on the presence of cholesterol.
It performs many important functions :
- It is required for the production of hormones produced by the sex glands.
- It is needed in the production of bile.
- It converts sunlight into Vitamin D.
- It is needed for the metabolism of the fat soluble vitamins.
- It acts as an insulation for the nerve fibers.
*Jensen RG. Lipids in Human Milk. Lipids 1999;34:1243-1271.
What Is High Blood Cholesterol
Cholesterol per se is not a problem. The problem arises when cholesterol levels become high - the LDL cholesterol levels, become high. Rather, the LDL/HDL ratio and the total cholesterol go up. The increased cholesterol levels lead to increase in heart diseases and can trigger a heart attack.
About 85% of the cholesterol in our blood is produced in our body. The rest about 15% comes from what we eat.
Cholesterol is transported by the protein molecules when both combine to form a lipoprotein molecule which is then transported via the blood. The density of the lipoprotein is determined by the amount of protein in this molecule. So, LDL molecule has less protein and more of fat (cholesterol) as compared to HDL.
When the cell does not need more cholesterol for its chemical processes the LDL levels rise in the blood and start depositing on the arterial walls resulting in a reduction of the arterial core.
The HDL molecule removes this excess cholesterol and takes it to the liver for breakdown and disposal. When the HDL Cholesterol level goes down and the LDL cholesterol level goes up, it becomes a cause for probable health issues.
Some Figures For Cholesterol
Less than 100 mg/dL
Near Opimal-Above Optimal
190 mg/dL and above
For Heart Disease
Less than 40 mg/dL
60 mg/dL and above
Less than 200 mg/dL
240 mg/dL and above
3 to 5
Total cholesterol/HDL Ratio
200 mg/dL and above
Factors Affecting Cholesterol Levels
Some persons have a family history of having high cholesterol, in successive generations.
A high fat diet especially rich in saturated fats and cholesterol usually coming from eating meat and animal products.
Avoid junk food.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Being physically active raises HDL and lowers LDL levels.
- AGE & SEX
Women post menopause, and men as they age find their cholesterol levels go up.
- STRESS LEVELS
Increase in stress levels 2 hormones, cortisol and adrenaline are produced. These raise the production of cholesterol. Cortisol produces more sugar to tackle stress but most of it lies unused and is converted to cholesterol.
Also, under stress one tends to eat a lot of fatty foods like chocolates and sweets and take drinks and smoke.
- BLOOD SUGAR
Excess blood sugar raises LDL in blood. Also, foods that have a high glycemic (GI) index raise blood sugar levels faster as they are digested faster. To counter this sugary surge, excess insulin is produced.
This excess insulin raises LDL cholesterol levels.
- BODY WEIGHT
Being overweight increases the tendency to have a high LDL cholesterol level. Reduction in weight causes a lowering of LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase in HDL cholesterol levels.
Indulging in too much of alcohol causes liver and heart damage resulting in high BP and triglycerides levels.
- MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Some physical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure increase the risk for developing high cholesterol.
Both damage the arterial walls rendering them more susceptible to cholesterol deposits.
Smoking also damages the artery walls and causes deposition of cholesterol on the walls. Simultaneously, it reduces the HDL so that these LDL depositions cannot be removed and taken away for excretion thus causing the deposits to increase.
- Stop excessive alcohol consumption. Best to refrain from drinking.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid red meat and eggs.
- Do not consume bakery & fried foods.
- No processed foods.
- No processed fruit juices. Only consume fresh juice.
- No dairy products.
- Forego carbonated drinks.
- Take sugar in moderation.
- No saturated fat & trans fat.
Do not use hydrogenated oils.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid taking undue stress.
- If you are overweight get rid of the excess weight.
- Choose healthy fat.
Use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for cooking or Olive oil for non cooking use.*
- Indulge in regular physical activity and do yogasanas & pranayama.
- Consume fresh fruits & raw vegetables.
- Chicken and fish can be consumed. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like herrings, mackerel, sardines, salmon etc should be consumed.
*Extra Virgin Coconut oil is high in saturated fats but these fatty acids (50% of it is lauric acid) are medium chain fatty acids which are not circulated in the blood but go straight to the liver and are converted into instant energy for the body. For more info read my article here : http://rajanjolly.hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-Of-Coconut
Some Natural & Home Remedies To Reduce Cholesterol
- Mix 1 tsp of roasted chicory root powder, 1 tsp of lime flowers, 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds, 1/2 tsp of ginger powder in 250 ml water.
Boil, cool & strain. Take 2 cups daily.
- Eat 2-3 cloves of raw garlic daily first thing in the morning on empty stomach. Garlic lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterol.
- Take 1 tsp honey in 1 cup hot water early in the morning. Lime jice 1 tsp can be added for more benefit.
- Consume 1/2 cup of oatmeal daily.
- Consume brown rice. The high fiber content helps in reducing cholesterol.
- Soya bean reduces LDL and also reduces the rigidity of the arteries. Take 25-50 gms soya bean daily.
- Snack on some almonds and walnuts daily. Just don't overdo it since they are rich in fats/calories
- Consume alfalfa sprouts.
- Eat Carrots & Apples. They contain pectin which lowers cholesterol.
- Consume beets. The carotenoids & flavonoids lower LDL.
- Rhubarb - Eat after a meal that is rich in fats.
- Turmeric - Add a little in your cooking. It lowers LDL & triglycerides.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water to keep the system flushed.
- Consume onions or onion juice. It helps to reduce cholesterol, remove toxins and regulate the heart.
- Coriander - Drink coriander water regularly to stimulate the kidneys.
To make this water, boil 2 tsp coriander seeds in 200 ml of water. Cool, strain and drink 3 times a day.
- Cinnamon - Boil 10 pieces of 1" cinnamon sticks in 5 cups of water. Strain. Add 1 tsp honey to it and drink.
- Drink Green tea - The polyphenols do not allow the cholesterol to be absorbed in the small intestine.
- Drink Cranberry juice. It is found to reduce total and LDL cholesterol.
- Cinnamon oil - It raises HDL and lowers triglycerides.
Add 1 tsp to a pot of coffee.
- Noni juice (Morinda citrifolia) - It lowers triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol.
- Use Cayenne pepper or red pepper. It contains capsaicin which prevents cholesterol build up.
- Use alfalfa & fenugreek seeds as sprouts. They contain saponins which bind to cholesterol and prevent its absorption.
- Fenugreek seeds - You can soak the seeds 1 tsp in water overnight. In the morning remove the water and gulp down the seeds with water.
- Guduchi powder or Giloy ( Tinosporia cordifolia) - Take 3 gms of guduchi powder and a little black pepper powder with water twice a day.
- A cholesterol balancing spice mixture is given below :
3 tsp turmeric powder
6 tsp cumin powder
6 tsp coriander powder
6 tsp fennel seed powder
2 tsp fenugreek seeds powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
Use 1 tsp of this spice mixture for flavoring food or while preparing a meal with vegetables.
- Sweet Limes (Citrus limetta or Mosambi in India) - Regular consumption of sweet limes makes the arteries soft and elastic, removes plaque deposits and give strength to the capillaries and the blood vessels.
- Chromium is extremely important in the synthesis of cholesterol & fat. Take 400 mg daily to raise HDL/LDL ratio.
- Take Vitamin C with bioflavonoids to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. 4000 mg/day.
- Take lecithin 1 tsp after every meal.
- Orange oil & lemon oil have been found to dissolve grease (oil). Take a pill of either and a pill of fish oil and one pill of psyllium husk.
- Consume 2-3 tsp olive oil daily.
- Mix 2 tbsp of raw Apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp honey in 250 ml water. Drink once daily.
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The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime or practice.
This article is for health information purposes only.
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© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly