7 Herbs That Strengthen the Cardiovascular System
Herbs for Cardiovascular Health
Are there simple and inexpensive ways to strengthen the cardiovascular system? There are! If you are new to the idea of using herbs for heart health purposes, this lens is a great place to start. I've kept the page simple and at a digestible length.
The word herb is an English version of the Hindi word 'aushadhi'.
Medicinal Herbs have been in use for thousand of years and are used for their effectiveness in health and healing. Herbs are very effective in boosting the immune system, increasing the body resistance to infections, healing the allergies, and raising and renewing the body vitality.
The following 7 herbs are used to strengthen the cardiovascular system.
THIS LENS OFFERS INFORMATION ONLY and no recommendation for the use of herbs is implied. Many herbs have health considerations that only doctors and herbal practitioners know. Never assume that all herbs are OK for everyone.
photo: cintaherbal / photobucket
“A man's nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.”
~ Francis Bacon ~
One of the most valuable heart herbs is Hawthorne berries. Rich in bioflavenoids, Hawthorne acts a normalizer upon the heart, increasing blood flow and oxygen to that part of the body. Hawthorne helps to gently move the heart to normal levels of functioning, and it may safely be used in heart weaknesses and palpitations.
Hawthorne is good for protection against the early stages of heart disease, pressure/tightness in the chest, and mild arrhythmia. Its known to speed-up recoveries from heart attacks. The leaves and flowers of the plant are best for heart conditions.
Hawthorne dilates the coronary (and other) blood vessels getting more oxygen to the heart. This herb contains enzymes that get the heart pumping with more force, and converts "bad" LDL cholesterol into the "good" HDL kind. Hawthorne can also dissolve plaques deposits in arteries.The effects of Hawthorn happen when taken over time.
Latin: Leonurus cardiaca, Leonurus heterophyllus
Another valuable cardio-tonic is Motherwort. Motherwort, a member of the mint family, is specific for a racing heartbeat caused by anxiety and tension. The ancient Greeks and Romans used this herb to regulate heart palpitations and treat depression. A woman's menstrual cycle is affected by Motherwort because it balances the related hormones but both sexes benefit from its effects on the heart.
Motherwort in Latin is "lion heart." It can strengthen the heartbeat without increasing the pulse. It increases circulation to the heart by sedating and relaxing coronary arteries. This herb is also used for heart irregularities caused by hyperthyroidism.
Because Motherwort stimulates the uterus, pregnant women should avoid taking it.
Latin: Ginkgo biloba
Gingko biloba has been recommended by herbalists for over 5,000 years to improve circulation throughout the body. Some trees live 1,000 or more years, and researchers are just beginning to understand their medicinal value. But this tree dates back more than 200-300 million years, making it one of the oldest species still alive.
Not only does Gingko exert a positive effect upon the vascular system by delivering blood and oxygen more efficiently to the various organ systems, but it also improves memory and the ability to concentrate. Studies also show that Gingko contains powerful antioxidants which may slow the aging process.
Gingko reduces the production of the fibrous tissues in arteries which are like "velcro" to plaque, causing arteries to narrow.
Latin: Ruscus aculeatis
If you suffer from discomfort and pain caused by poor circulation in the legs (a heavy-leg feeling) consider the using the herb Butcher's Broom. This herb is particularly good for people who are on their feet most of the day. This herb will improve circulation in the hands and feet and reduce edema.
This bush used to be dried and used as a broom which is, of course, how it was named. Both the root and the above ground part of the bush are used in herbal medicine. Butcher's Broom is known to cleanse blood vessels. It helps the blood to maintain viscosity and supports blood circulation, especially in the legs.
Butcher's broom may interfere with some high blood pressure medications.
What About You?
DO YOU USE HERBS TO SUPPORT GOOD HEALTH?
When Butcher's Broom is used in combination with Cayenne, you have a powerful team to rebuild the circulatory system. Cayenne was brought to Europe from Central America in the 17th century.
Cayenne is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory which is why it helps the circulatory system. It also increases gastric juices, and supports metabolism. The substance in Cayenne that makes it a medicinal herb is Capsaicin which is found in more than 130 species of pepper.
Latin: Allium sativum
A real wonder drug of the herbal world is Garlic. This amazing food and herbal medicine does everything from treating ear infections to preventing heart disease. Include it in the daily diet and it will support the body in many ways, more than any other herb perhaps.
Think of Garlic as a basic food that augments the body's health and protects it in general. Garlic lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol, fights infections, aids in digestion, relieves gas, helps with respiratory problems. The list of benefits goes on. on.
Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels which in turn keeps blood platelets from getting sticky. It also stimulates the process by which blood clots dissolve (fibrinolysis).
Latin: Panaax ginseng
Another famous herb that has been introduced to us by the Chinese is Ginseng. There are many types of Ginseng, but for our purposes, the most interesting two are Panax Ginseng, also called Korean Red Ginseng, and American Ginseng. The American is somewhat "lighter" in its effects, and therefore more appropriate for people with high blood pressure. (Side note: a Ginseng crop takes at least four years to mature.)
Ginseng means "root of man," and it has the property of increasing physical and mental endurance. It has the power to move people to their physical peak, and many athletes claim that it gives them a competitive edge.
Ginseng has "adaptogenic" properties, which means it has a unique ability to normalize body functions. For example, if blood pressure climbs too high, or if blood sugar falls too low, an adaptogen will help to return the body to normal levels. It relaxes the lining in blood vessels
"Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men."
~ Ben Franklin ~
The garden is the poor man's apothecary.
- German Proverb ~