Staying healthy with the use of herbs

By Marianne McKim
April 26, 2001

by Marianne McKim

It’s almost time to put on the bathing suit and strut your stuff on the beach or by the pool. You want to look good, right? But, you also want to feel good. Heart disease is a problem n the United States and millions die from it. Expert’s say that powerful way to protect you from this deadly disease is exercising regularly and having a healthy diet. They also say now, that adding medicinal plants in your daily eating routine can help protect against cardiovascular problems including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. There are four herbs that Dr. Howard Morningstar suggests helping prevent these and protect yourself. The first is hawthorne, it helps strengthens the heart muscle and improves blood flow. Garlic lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and prevents blood clots. Ginkgo improves blood flow throughout the body and prevents blood clots. Guggul prevents atherosclerosis and lowers cholesterol.

Let’s take a closer look at these beneficial herbs.

The leaves, flowers, and berries of the hawthorne shrub all contain heart-healthy compounds called flavonoids. These compounds help dilate coronary blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood flow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Hawthorne also helps your heart muscle work better. It strengthens contractions and normalizes rhythms.

Garlic works in several ways to improve heart health. It’s most powerful as a tool to lower cholesterol and tri-glyceride levels. Though experts are not sure exactly how garlic works to improve your system, they believe that it lowers cholesterol by interfering with the body’s absorption of cholesterol from food. Garlic also lowers the risk of the blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes and it helps to lower blood pressure y thinning the blood.

The active compounds in ginkgo are believed to be its flavonoids and terpernoids. These compounds improve circulation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by preventing dangerous blood clots. Ginkgo also keeps blood vessels strong.

Researchers believe that guggul stimulates the liver’s ability to metabolize cholesterol, enhancing its ability to break down and eliminate the fatty substance. Guggul helps prevent atherosclerosis and may even eliminate existing atherosclerotic plaque. There are many herbs that you can take to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other kinds of heart disease, but just remember the healthiest way to prevent these things is to exercise and have a healthy diet.

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Marianne McKim

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