(Natural News) Earlier studies have shown that holly (Ilex) plants contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and protect the brain and liver. In a study published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, researchers found that the Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) can also protect the heart.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from Soochow University and Guizhou University in China, evaluated the cardioprotective and antioxidant effects of the Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) against cardiovascular diseases.
For the study, the research team used the extracts of the root of the Chinese holly plant for the in vitro and in vivo models. To measure the antioxidant activities of the Chinese holly root extract, they used 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free-radical scavenging and MTT assay and immunoassay. They used a mouse model of myocardial ischemia to measure the cardioprotective effects of the Chinese holly root extract in vivo.
Based on the results of the trials, the research team discovered eight compounds in the extract that exhibited free-radical scavenging activities. They also found that the Chinese holly root extract increased cell viability and prevented the death of cardiac muscle cells. In the mouse model of myocardial ischemia, the extract attenuated the changes in heart tissues caused by the condition.
Based on the findings of the study, the research team concluded that the Chinese holly root extract contains antioxidant properties and can benefit the heart. Moreover, they suggested that it could be used as a new food supplement to prevent ischemic heart disease. (Related: Reversing ischemic heart disease naturally.)
Ischemic heart disease is the term used to determine heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries. When arteries are narrowed, the heart muscle does not receive enough blood and oxygen. This condition can eventually lead to a heart attack. It is also referred to as coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease.
Other herbs that protect the heart
If the Chinese holly plant is not available to you, there are many other herbs that can help protect the heart. Here are some of them:
- Cacao (Theobroma cacao): Cacao is considered a heart tonic and mild stimulant. It also contains a flavonol called epicatechin, which improves the function of the blood vessels. Although cacao can be found in chocolate bars, which are sugary, it is best to eat raw cacao nibs or take a cacao tincture.
- Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens): Taking cayenne every day can strengthen, stimulate, and tone the heart. It can also balance blood flow and calm palpitations. You can add half-a-teaspoon of cayenne to juice and drink it. But if you think it will be too spicy for you, you can start with a tiny pinch first and increase the amount as you get used to it.
- Garlic (Allium sativum): Garlic is one of the most popular therapeutic herbs in many ancient cultures. Research has shown that consuming one clove of garlic a day prevents bad cholesterol production and increases good cholesterol levels. Some small studies have also shown that garlic can regulate blood pressure, prevent blood platelet aggregation, and improve blood flow.
- Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycanthus): Hawthorn is a heart and circulatory tonic that can improve oxygen and blood supply. It is also packed with flavonoids that can protect small capillary vessels from free-radical damage. Moreover, hawthorn regulates blood pressure and reduces cholesterol and fat deposits in the aorta and the liver. It is recommended for people with angina, arrhythmia, blood clots, and hypertension. To benefit from hawthorn, take 15 to 25 drops of the tincture thrice daily.
Read more news stories and studies on natural treatments for heart diseases by going to Heart.news.