- Ginkgo biloba has been shown to enhance stroke recovery and has been given for preventing a subsequent heart attack
- Chinese green tea has excellent antioxidant properties. Drinking 10 to 20 cups a day can provide protection against heart disease and many other illnesses
- Hawthorn berries is an excellent herbal tonic for the heart. Hawthorn helps to reduce high blood pressure and prevent hardening of the arteries and also effective in the early stages of congestive heart failure and minor arrhythmias
- Alfalfa leaves are rich in minerals and nutrients including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene, which is useful against heart disease
- Wild cherry slows heart action and has been used in heart disease characterized by frequent, irregular, or feeble pulse
- Chickweed helps to dissolve plaque build up in blood vessels
- Turmeric (curcumin), hawthorn, and grape seed extract are recommended for atherosclerosis
- Rosemary leaf possesses smooth muscle stimulant activity and calms irritated nerves
- Garlic, onion, and ginger offers significant protection against heart disease and strokes
- Cayenne (capsicum) possesses excellent antioxidant compounds and reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Coleus forskohlii lowers blood pressure and improves cardiovascular function. Caution: Coleus forskohlii preparations should be used with caution by patients on prescription medications, especially antiasthmatics and antihypertensives, because C. forskohlii could potentiate the effects of these drugs
- Saffron reduces cholesterol levels and strengthens heart muscle
- A mixture of hawthorn and motherwort may be an effective preventive and/or treatment for atherosclerosis
- Valerian root has hypotensive and tranquilizing properties.
- Kelp has hypotensive proerties
- Yarrow relaxes peripheral blood vessels and improves blood flow
- Other herbs that have positive cardiovascular effects include angelica, bilberry, broom, oat straw, black cohosh, lily-of-the-valley, linden, evening primrose, fenugreek seed, gotu kola, plantain, apple pectin, rosemary tea, and panax ginseng. Caution: Large doses of black cohosh can cause poisoning. Do not use broom if you have acute kidney disease. Do not use gotu kola during pregnancy or if you have an over active thyroid
- Follow the heart healthy diet guidelines
- Eat foods high in potassium
- Increase your intake of purple grape juice to 7-10 milliliters per kilogram body weight/day. Drinking purple grape juice may delay the oxidation of LDL cholesterol among people with coronary heart disease.
- Garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, and chives have cardio-protective benefits.
- Rice-bran oil, which contains a potent antioxidant, helps reduce blood cholesterol
- Some types of fish contain unique polyunsaturated fats called Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids seem to make blood platelets less likely to clot, thus decreasing risk of artery blockage and heart attacks. Fish with high amounts of Omega-3 include salmon, albacore, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring and rainbow trout.
- Do not drink more than 2 glasses of red wine daily.
- Studies report that eating 12 prunes each day can help lower your cholesterol in just 4 weeks
A well balanced diet is a more natural source of nutrients and it is best to get as much as possible from food. If you are not eating a varied mixture of the main food groups or foods high in a certain nutrient needed for your health situation then make up the remaining through vitamin and mineral supplementation.
- High-potency multiple vitamin/mineral supplementation
- Vitamin E: 400-800 IU. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that improves circulation and thins the blood, reducing the risk of clots. Caution: If you are taking anticoagulants, you should not take vitamin E supplements
- Selenium: 50-300 micrograms. Deficiency has been linked in heart disease.
- Folic acid: 400 micrograms.
- Vitamin B12: 500 micrograms
- Chromium: 100 micrograms three times daily
- Vitamin C: 500 milligrams two times a day
- Flaxseed oil: 1 tablespoon a day
- Coenzyme Q10: 30-60 milligrams three times daily
- L-carnitine: 500 milligrams three times a day have been shown to improve angina (chest pain) and cardiac function with people with congestive heart failure
- Magnesium: 250 milligrams three times a day. Caution: If you have heart or kidney problems, you should always check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements
- Beta-carotene: 10,000 milligrams. Caution: Do not take if you are pregnant. Note: Recent studies have cast doubt on the benefits of getting beta-carotene through supplementation. The best way to take beta-carotene into your body is through foods high in beta-carotene, such as carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, papaya, mangoes, and sweet potatoes.
- Grape seed extract, 150-300 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 100 milligrams
- If cholesterol is high: niacin- 500 milligrams three times daily of the “no flush” variety
In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs