Cholesterol is a thick oily substance made in the liver and found in the blood. It is required by the body to build healthy cells and for the production of several hormones. However, higher levels of cholesterol may produce fatty deposits in the blood vessels which makes it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries.
Sometimes, these deposits may break without warning and form a clot that results in a heart attack or stroke.
Choose The Right Herbal Medicines For Cholesterol
High cholesterol is most often the result of living an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking. Sometimes it may be inherited with a family history of heart disease, or present in people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Too high cholesterol or cholesterol in the wrong places can create problems. Like fat, it does not dissolve in water. High cholesterol has no symptoms but can be detected only through a blood test.
A healthy well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and in some cases, medication can help to reduce high cholesterol.
Remedies for High Cholesterol
Natural or alternative treatments for heart disease may lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and improve heart health.
There have not been many studies to prove the efficacy of herbal supplements and natural remedies in reducing cholesterol level or lower the risk of heart failure. However, many people swear by their efficacy.
Before you attempt any treatments, it is advisable to check with your doctor if they are right for you.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has strong immunity-boosting, antibacterial, anti-stress, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is believed to prolong life and used to treat many ailments like fatigue, blood pressure, diabetes, allergies, and the common cold. Being an antioxidant, it protects cells against damage. Hence it is used to lower cholesterol levels, treat severe forms of heart disease, diabetes, and improve overall heart health.
Hawthorn (Crataegus) is a shrub or small tree related to the rose. It is particularly helpful for indigestion, diarrhea, stomach pain, to reduce anxiety and menstrual problems. Skin boils, sores and ulcers can be decreased.
Its berries, leaves, and flowers have been used in the treatment of heart disease for centuries together. The plant is known to be very helpful for milder forms of heart failure, problems with blood vessels, chest pain, and improve irregular heartbeat. It is also used in the treatment of both low blood pressure and high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, and congestive heart failure.
It does so by widening the blood vessels, increasing the amount of blood pumped out from the heart during contractions, and the transmission of nerve signals.
Hawthorn also seems to have blood pressure-lowering activity and causes the relaxation of the blood vessels related to the heart. It can reduce cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides. Less fat may get accumulated in the liver and the aorta area of the heart. Its fruit extract may reduce cholesterol by increasing the bile excretion, decreasing the formation of cholesterol, and enhance the LDLs receptors.
Flax (Linumusitatissimum) is a food cultivated in the colder regions of the world.
Flax Seeds are loaded with Nutrients, Omega-3 Fats, Lignans, and Dietary Fiber. The fiber binds to bile salts and these bile salts are excreted from the body. To replenish them, cholesterol is taken from the blood into the liver thereby lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Fish and fish oils contain large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, lake trout, herring, and sardines.
These Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating one or two pieces of fatty fish regularly may lower the chances of a heart attack. Consuming Omega-3 fatty acid supplements or eating other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like walnuts, canola oil, flax seeds, and soybeans can provide the same benefits.
Garlic (Allium sativum) may lower blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol and blood pressure but only marginally.
RED YEAST RICE
Red yeast rice (Monascuspurpureus), derived when yeast is grown on red rice, is a staple food source in Asia and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Some red yeast rice contains high concentrations of monacolin K, which is the main active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug Lovastatin. As such it is said to lower blood cholesterol levels. It can be taken orally for high cholesterol and heart disease.
Plant sterols and stanols are substances found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, cereals, nuts, legumes, and grains as well as in some processed foods like margarine, orange juice, and yogurt products. However, these foods do not contain high levels of plant sterols.
They are compounds that block the body from absorbing cholesterol and are very effective in treating high cholesterol. They do this by preventing the small intestine from absorbing cholesterol, which reduces LDL cholesterol but does not affect HDL cholesterol or triglycerides.