Top Herbs for Heart Health
Are you wondering what are the top herbs for heart health? Perhaps you are looking for herbs that treat high blood pressure? Maybe you have congenital heart failure or mild arrhythmia? Read on to find out what herbs are great for your heart!
Your heart is an incredibly powerful, life-sustaining organ. It pumps over 1 million gallons of blood per year and for most of us beats 60 to 100 times each minute. The effects of the heart are far-reaching, as we have over 40,000 miles of blood vessels. The heart also has receptors sites for numerous hormones and neuropeptides, intimately linking our cardiovascular and nervous systems. The heart and circulatory system play a role in every physiologic function of the human body. All of this is happening in each of our bodies at this exact moment, without any conscious effort, action or thought on our part.
It is easy to take our hearts for granted. We go about our lives as it sustains our every move, unconsciously depending on it to keep us well. For many, the heart goes unacknowledged until we run into a problem. Typically this after something has been off for quite some time, when the body speaks loudly enough to communicate something is wrong. Heart disease remains the one of the top causes of death in Africa, just behind HIV/AIDS. Cardiovascular complications can be very serious and life-threatening, and are also largely preventable. Diet, movement and lifestyle all play a critical role in keeping our hearts healthy and strong. They are also the first line of defense for reversing any pathology that has arisen. Herbal medicine can complement these approaches to nourish, protect and strengthen the heart. Here are recommendation of the top herbs for heart health:
- Hawthorne. Hawthorn berries, and flowers are used to help protect against heart disease and help control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both animal and human studies suggest hawthorn increases coronary artery blood flow, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure. You can buy Hawthorne berries and flowers here and take it in tea form or make a Hawthorne tincture. It’s really quite simple.
- Chamomile. Chamomile tea is abundant in flavones, a class of antioxidants. Flavones have been studied for their potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers of your heart disease risk. One such study took a group of 64 individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 and divided them into experimental and control groups. The experimental group consumed chamomile tea three times per day immediately after each meal for eight weeks. Those who drank chamomile tea showed significantly lower levels of serum insulin levels and insulin resistance related to diabetes. In a review published in Nutrition Review, scientists examined 20 studies looking to connect the consumption of flavonoids with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The review found that flavonoids present in tea were shown by the majority of these studies to reduce the incidence of heart disease.
- Green Tea. For centuries, people around the world have consumed green tea for its health benefits. This study looks at one of its chief components, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), for its ability to protect the heart. The study shows significant benefits with the consumption of five to six cups of green tea per day.
- Cinnamon. This delicious spice that goes great in your favorite breakfast and dessert recipes. It’s also popular around the winter holidays for its delightful smell. People have used cinnamon for thousands of years, and it’s loved for its numerous medicinal properties. One of those properties is its ability to lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. It also might lower your blood pressure. Studies show that a daily sprinkling of cinnamon may even help reduce your risk of heart disease. Be sure to buy real cinnamon like the variety we stock and not the store bought one which is more than likely cinnamomum cassia.
- Cayenne (Capsicum annum):Another familiar herb from the kitchen, cayenne is a major stimulant for the circulatory system. It can increase circulation and strengthen the heartbeat. Large doses of cayenne can be irritating to the stomach, so start with small amounts or take with food.
- Ashwagandha root. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Animal studies have found that it significantly decreases levels of these blood fats. Ashwagandha is also used to promote general health and longevity and for heart ailments. coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypercholesterolemia, anginal pain and can be considered as a useful drug for coronary artery disease, hypertension and ischemic cardiomyopathy.
- Motherwort. Motherwort is used for heart conditions, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and heart symptoms due to anxiety. It is also used for the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas (flatulence), and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Motherwort might slow down the heart and thin the blood. It might also stimulate uterine tone and blood flow.
- Cardamom. One study found that cardamom, an intense spice often found in Indian dishes, may lower blood pressure. Research also shows it helps lower the risk of blood clots.
- Ginger. Eating this spicy root may reduce your risk for high blood pressure, research shows. People who ate more of it had the lowest risk. The study authors recommend 2-4 grams (or about ½ teaspoon to a teaspoon) a day to prevent this heart problem.
- Coriander. Coriander is used in dishes all over the world. Populations that include a lot of coriander in their diets boast some of the lowest rates of heart disease, too. This herb may help reduce some of the risk factors for heart disease, such as lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Because coriander acts as a diuretic, a substance that flushes extra fluids and sodium from your body, it can help keep your blood pressure down.
A healthy diet is the first step toward a healthier heart. Drinking lots of water and eating lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, healthy fats like olive oil, and lean protein like fish and chicken, can’t be beat for preventing heart attacks and strokes.
One of the very best gifts you can give your heart is physical activity. In fact, pairing regular exercise with the top herbs for heart health mentioned above and maintaining a normal weight and not smoking is a great protection plan against coronary artery disease and vascular disease. Exercise works like beta-blocker medication to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure (at rest and also when exercising). High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. A combination of aerobic workouts (which, depending on your fitness level, can include walking, running, swimming, and other vigorous heart-pumping exercise) and strength training (weight lifting, resistance training) is considered best for heart health. These exercises improve the muscles’ ability to draw oxygen from the circulating blood. That reduces the need for the heart—a muscular organ itself—to work harder to pump more blood to the muscles, whatever your age.