Support your cardiovascular system with these seven herbs for a healthier heart…
Humans have been using herbs for centuries to treat illness and improve health. Even before modern medicine, certain herbs were known to benefit the heart and cardiovascular system. In recent years, scientists have begun to acknowledge the power of herbs in keeping the heart healthy and strong.
The seven herbs listed below have been found to support heart health, but remember that you will still need to take good care of your heart by eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Herbs are not a “magic pill,” but they can help support a healthier heart and increase your odds of living a long and healthy life.
1. Hawthorn berry leaf and flowers can strengthen the heart and improve circulation. These berries are packed with heart-healthy compounds like flavonoids, rutin, epicatechin, vitexin, catechin, proanthocyanidins, quercetin hyperoside. These compounds help dilate blood vessels, prevent damage to blood vessels, improve blood flow, and improve heart function. And, yes, they are even considered safe to use with conventional drugs.
2. Bilberry will strengthen blood vessels and capillaries throughout the body. In Europe, bilberry is used as a part of approved treatment to improve certain heart conditions. Studies indicate that bilberries are rich in anthocyanosides, plant pigments, and vitamin C – all of which have excellent antioxidant properties.
In Europe, bilberries have been used to eliminate varicose veins and to improve blood circulation. A 2009 study on rat models showed that bilberry extracts caused a significant decrease in plaque formation and prevented the progression of heart damage.
3. Butcher’s broom tones circulatory tissues throughout the body. It is widely used in the treatment of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and other circulatory disorders. The major components of butcher’s broom are anthocyanins and ruscogenin – which exhibit significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects crucial for heart health.
4. Ginkgo leaf improves oxygenation and strengthens the cardiovascular system. The active components of ginkgo leaves are the polyphenol flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and terpene trilactones. According to many studies, ginkgo leaves help treat intermittent claudication or poor circulation in the legs. A meta-analysis of eight randomized studies showed that people taking ginkgo showed improvement in their ability to walk farther when compared to placebo. This study was published in the American Journal of Medicine (2000).
5. Pleurisy root is a heart tonic, reduces spasms and congestion. The botanical name of the herb is “Asclepias tuberosa” – it is called “pleurisy root” because of its ability to treat pleurisy effectively. It relieves inflammation in the lining of the lungs and thorax and relieves bronchial and pulmonary trouble.
Pleurisy root is rich in cardenolides, the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, kaempferol and lupeol. These compounds have antispasmodic, diuretic, and vasodilation effects throughout the body.
6. Prickly ash bark improves blood flow. It is used as traditional medicine by the Native Americans to treat intestinal cramps, nerve disorders, and inflammatory conditions. The berries have also been used to treat circulatory problems and intermittent claudication.
Prickly ash bark was originally used as an effective remedy for toothaches.
7. Shepherd’s purse leaf supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Shepherd’s purse leaves provide vitamins C, A, and K; minerals iron, calcium, sulfur, potassium, and sodium; the flavonoid rutin; and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.