Among the top 10 prescribed drugs in the United States 3 of them are heart related, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Not only does 30% of the top prescribed drugs include heart related illnesses, but even the number 1 position.
Pharmaceutical drugs are vastly prescribed to help with heart related issues, but they come at a price. The #1 most prescribed drug is Lipitor which is a statin to reduce cholesterol. However, permanent liver and kidney damage can result from the medication.
For those that aren’t suffering from severe heart disease can often use herbs as alternatives to drugs, as well as use for preventative care. Additionally, there are no drug-herb interactions when using herbs in conjunction with heart medications. This will allow you to better control your symptoms and in time lower the medications you are on.
High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart problems. Improper diet, lack of exercise, and quality of foods lead to a reverse balance of cholesterol density. Low density cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) increases and start attaching as plaque to your vessel walls which lead to later heart problems. It is high cholesterol that has lead to ‘antihyperlipidemic’ medication the #1 most prescribed drug in the US.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a silent killer in the world as it is often accompanied with little to no symptoms. Additionally, high blood pressure can be idiopathic, meaning there isn’t always a cause or reason why you have high blood pressure.
Lack of Circulation
Circulation can be a problem on many different levels. Lack of circulation to the heart muscles can lead to a heart attack. Poor circulation can lead to other problems with the extremities and water retention which can increase blood pressure as well.
Food & Supplement Consideratoin
Vitamin D: Most of the body’s vitamin D requirements are met by the skin in response to sun exposure. Other less potent sources of vitamin D include foods such as salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, and vitamin D-fortified foods like milk and some cereals
Vitamin E: an important micronutrient involved in the protection of LDL from oxidation. Foods high in vitamin E include wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds and dark leafy greens.
Vitamin C supplements have been suggested to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and reducing blood cholesterol levels. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, mango, broccoli, tomato, and sweet red peppers.
Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in many of the same foods as vitamin C. These include red bell peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, brussel sprouts, garlic, spinach and green tea
Vitamins: A diet high in grains, fruits, and vegetables is advised to assure adequate intake of these vitamins. Vitamin B3 is found in mostly animal-derived foods like chicken, pork, beef liver, salmon, swordfish and mackerel, but you can also get niacin from bran, seeds, peanuts, wild rice, brown rice, peas, almonds, barley, peanuts and whole wheat
Vitamin B6 is found in wheat germ, soybeans, bananas, avocados, lima beans, lentils, sunflower seeds, walnuts, buckwheat, watermelon, peanuts, meats, fish, poultry, whole grains and potato skins
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is typically found in many plant-based foods like soybeans, dark-green leafy vegetables, rice, kelp, asparagus and oranges
DHA/EPA: Clinical evidence suggests that EPA and DHA help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The best foods to get these nutrients from are fatty fish including mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon, and tuna n-It is recommended to consume fish up to twice per week to ensure you are getting adequate omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients can also be found in smaller quantities from plant sources such as flax seed, walnuts, beans and dark leafy greens.
Herbs for these Conditions
There are 5 main herbs that cover most heart health issues and biomedically act in similar mannerisms that pharmaceuticals use to treat these conditions:
Shan Zha- Shan Zha is Hawthron Berry and is the king of all herbs for heart health. Hawthron Berry is a complete heart tonic. This herb actually increases blood flow to the heart muscles, benefits circulation to lower blood pressure, and has marked effects at lowering cholesterol. Shan Zha is an excellent heart tonic and can be taken every day to treat or prevent heart ailments.
Jue Ming Zi – Jue Ming Zi is Cassia Seed. Jue Ming Zi has years of research showing beneficial cardiovascular effects. Its main contribution is reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body and fighting arteriolosclerosis. However, this herb does has a diuretic effect that helps lower blood pressure as well.
Ze Xie – Alisma is often used in Chinese Medicine for urology health. Because it has beneficial diuretic effects it is added to formulas to help control blood pressure by regulating water metabolism. This is also a commonly used method in pharmaceutical drugs to help control blood pressure. n nDan Shen – Salvia is another herb to always add to a heart health formula. Dan Shen has special tonic effects to blood as well as circulation. Through modern research we know this herb not only increases circulation through the body, but also increases circulation directly to the heart.
Tian Ma / Gou Teng – Gastrodia and Uncaria are another set of useful herbs and are a set of quality herbs to dilate blood vessels in the periphery of the body. This is not only beneficial in lowering blood pressure, but can be used specifically to help those with poor circulation to the hands and feet. These two herbs are used together due to their synergy ability in combination and are very useful as hypertensives. n nXia Ku Cao – Spica Prunella is another anti-hypertensive herb that is invaluable in a formula for high blood pressure. Xia Ku Cao is best paired with Jue Ming Zi as the combination is effective for many heart problems both cholesterol and hypertensive related. Spica Prunella is also handy for clearing side effects of high blood pressure like red eyes, headaches, flushing.
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