Herbs for the Heart

By | January 27, 2014

Using the right herbs for the heart can be a cheaper and easier way to treat high blood pressure and other heart related diseases without resorting to expensive and potentially dangerous medicines. By using herbs, you are free from worry about negative side effects and becoming addicted or unable to cope without the drugs. Having said that, herbs alone will not cure your heart, and they need to be taken in conjunction with other lifestyle changes to see real improvements.

Caring for your Heart

In an ideal world, we would be able to eat just those things that make our hearts fit and healthy. This would typically include a lot of potassium to convert energy, high fiber levels to release energy slowly and low sodium to stop blood becoming thick. We would avoid any stimulants like caffeine or alcohol and follow the doctor’s orders of half an hour exercise each day.

Modern life can become incredibly hectic and the combination of high stress jobs and the cheapness of junk food can put an incredible strain on our cardiovascular system. This is where taking herbs for the heart comes into its own. You can access a wide range of health benefits simply by adding some specific herbs to your food or drink. For example, you could try taking some of the following herbs for the heart:

  • Garlic – Ailin, the active ingredient in garlic, has excellent cholesterol reducing properties, which will help to reduce the stress on your heart. In some studies, it has also been shown to be responsible for lowering blood pressure by making the clotting mechanism work more effectively. Either way, it is one of the best herbs for the heart and is incredibly easy to use. Most people will crush it up and add it to tomato sauces, or you can mix it into sausage or burger patties for a strong flavor. Taking it dried reduces some of the effectiveness, so you will need pills that offer at least a 600mg dose.
  • Motherwort – Motherwort has been used for centuries as a naturally occurring sedative. It also has great benefits for minor heart palpitations and high blood pressure as the properties that act as a sedative slow down your heart rate and indeed your whole metabolic process. Motherwort is most readily available in teabags, which you prepare like a normal cup of tea. It has quite a strong taste, so it is important not to let it stew for too long. Some people like to add a slice of lemon to change the taste, but do not try adding milk or sugar as this will make it unpalatable.
  • Hawthorn – Numerous studies have found strong links between taking various parts of the hawthorn plant and increased blood flow to the heart. This makes it a good alternative to treat patients with the early symptoms of angina or low blood pressure. However, you have to take large doses of hawthorn over a period of several months to have the full benefits, and while it has no side effects, it is inconvenient to take as it normally comes with a dropper. The recommended dosage is 40 drops into some water three times per day, but you can also get distilled extract to take as a medicine first thing in the morning and again in the evening.

As with any alternative medicines, you should consult your doctor before using any herbs for the heart. They may conflict with each other or with any other medication that you are taking. While most doctors will put herbs in the cannot hurt might help category, it is better to be safe than sorry and get their advice first.