(NaturalNews) Previously we looked at some of the most essential vitamins and minerals for heart health. In today's concluding installment we will take a look at some other items which can help prevent and reverse heart disease, including the best herbs for the heart.
Cayenne has a wealth of cardiovascular benefits, including strengthening, stimulating and toning the heart, balancing circulation, and calming palpitations. For more information on this amazing heart healthy herb see:
Hawthorn, a favorite of famed Herbalist John Christopher, improves oxygen and blood supply and is rich in flavonoids that protect small capillary vessels from free-radical damage. Hawthorn has been used effectively for angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, blood clots, and hypertension. Best results are normally seen after a few months, but hawthorn is safe for long-term use.
Garlic inhibits bad cholesterol (LDL) production and raises the good kind (HDL). Garlic also lowers blood pressure, prevents blood platelet aggregation, and improves circulation
Pycnogenol is found to be more effective than buffered aspirin in reducing buildup of platelets in the arteries, a major risk factor in heart disease.
Cacao is a natural source of theobromine, long considered a heart tonic and mild stimulant. Cacao also contains epicatechin, a flavonol that improves the function of the blood vessels.
Cat's claw contains a variety of valuable phytochemicals that inhibit the processes involved in the formation of blood clots. It increases circulation and inhibits inappropriate clotting, helping prevent stroke and reducing the risk of heart attack.
Ginkgo has been shown in numerous studies to cause dilation and increase the blood flow in the arteries, capillaries and veins. In addition, it inhibits platelet aggregation, reduces blood clotting and helps protect our vascular walls from free-radical damage.
Ginger reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and also prevents blood clots. Similar to garlic, ginger interferes with the long sequence of events necessary for blood clots to form, helping prevent clots that can lodge in narrowed coronary arteries and set off a heart attack.
Turmeric lowers blood cholesterol levels by stimulating the production of bile. It also prevents the formation of dangerous blood clots that can lead to heart attack.
Alfalfa leaves and sprouts help reduce the blood cholesterol levels and plaque deposits on artery walls.
Alpha-lipoic acid works with other antioxidants in the body to increase their effectiveness against oxidative stress and helps keep arteries clear by preventing the LDL cholesterol from being incorporated into artery walls.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple. Bromelain may 'thin" the blood and help clear away debris from artery walls. One study demonstrated that bromelain relieves the pain of angina, which is associated with heart disease.
Essential fatty acids help prevent unnecessary blood clotting, reduce inflammation, and regulate blood pressure. They are found in black currant seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil.
Pectin is a fiber found in grapefruit, apples and other fruits and vegetables which helps lower LDL cholesterol and sweeps away fatty plaque deposits from the artery walls.
Other herbs and supplements that are beneficial for the heart include iodine, motherwort, bilberry, arjuna, fo-ti, citrin, artichoke leaf extract, guggul, cordyceps, L-Carnitine, lecithin, taurine, activated charcoal, barberry, black cohosh, butcher's broom, dandelion, rosemary, chamomile, valerian root, kelp, kola, myrrh, psyllium, passion flower, saffron, skullcap, and tarragon.
Caution: Do not use barberry or black cohosh during pregnancy. Do not use ginseng if you have high blood pressure.
In conclusion, many important foods and supplements can help prevent and heal heart disease. It should go without saying that a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, is also essential.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".