The following article gives information about the heart and some information regarding natural heart strengtheners.
Heart research is being carried out continually and many natural health boosters and benefits are being discovered. It is well known that garlic helps to promote a healthy heart. Well this is just the start.
As part of our regular newsletter there will be examples of successful alternative heart helpers.
A healthy heart and avoiding heart disease
The average heart beats about 72 times a minute and pumps about 13,640 litres (3,600 gallons) of blood a day, which is an almost unbelievable amount. During exercise, the pumping action automatically increases significantly, in response to the tissue's demand for increased oxygen. A strong healthy heart is important to everyone, regardless of age or sex. (More info about the heart and blood circulation).
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers and every year billions are spent on the treatment and prevention of heart disease. Anyone suspecting or feeling heart problems must see a qualified physician immediately, as well as undertaking a change to a more healthy lifestyle. As with all illness prevention is better than cure. Following a healthy life style will lessen any chance of heart disease.
Exercise, keeping weight in a healthy range, not smoking and effective stress management are good preventive therapies. If you are taking drugs for heart problems, seek professional advice before taking any herbal medicine.
One of the most well know heart diseases is Atherosclerosis. It is a degenerative disease of the arteries characterised by patchy thickening of the inner lining of the arterial walls, caused by deposits of fatty material. This eventually hardens and partially blocks the artery, causing the formation of a blood clot behind it. Generally this condition worsens with age, and is most dangerous when the arteries supplying blood to the heart and brain are affected.
Other conditions include: Angina (known medically as angina pectoris) is chest pain caused by a narrowing of the arteries, with the result that the blood supply to the heart muscle is not enough to meet its demands for oxygen and nutrients.
Palpitations refer to fast or irregular heartbeat. Quite common and usually harmless, palpitations are often brought on by physical exertion or fright. Frequent or prolonged palpitations, however may be an indication of heart disease, particularly if accompanied by dizziness, fainting, or chest pain.
The best herb to help handle any heart or circulatory problem is cayenne. Also know as Capsicum, the botanical name being Capsicum frutescens. Cayenne is the species of capsicum that is used medicinally for its stimulant and antiseptic actions, as well as its digestive properties.
Internally, cayenne stimulates the heart, regulating the blood flow and strengthening the arteries and capillaries. If you want to get your blood flowing, and your face red with blood take cayenne tincture. It will not only get the blood pumped around your body, but it will strengthen your heart and clear your arteries. Cayenne can also be used externally for poor circulation and on unbroken chilblains, Cayenne is a wonderful herb.
For a healthy heart eat plenty of Garlic. Garlic has long been known to help prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. It also helps to reduce high blood pressure. Modern research has shown that regular intake of garlic lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, and reduces blood clotting in blood vessels, making it particularly useful for coronary/artery disease. Garlic can be taken in food or for higher strength in the form of a tincture.
Hawthorn has a well-established and well-deserved reputation as a heart tonic. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered its blossom a symbol of joy and hope, and made it into wedding bouquet. Today it is particularly valued for its strengthening and normalising effect on the heart.
In medical studies and research work, the berries lowered blood pressure by helping to dilate clogged and hardened arteries. It also increases the hearts ability to cope with a loss of oxygen, which is what happens when clogged coronary arteries reduce the heart's blood supply.
The flowers help to strengthen weak or ageing hearts. Hawthorn also eases the painful chest-constriction characteristic of angina, and can help to regularise an erratic heartbeat. While hawthorn obviously won't help every kind of heart problem, it can be of therapeutic value for some. Hawthorn can be taken as a tincture: one tsp in a little water daily, or as a tea made from flowering tops or a decoction of the berries.
In various studies, ginger has been shown to be almost as effective as aspirin and garlic in preventing the blood clots that trigger heart attack.
Ginkgo Biloba improves blood flow through the heart and brain by opening (dilating) the arteries. As mentioned above, stress can play a part with high blood pressure and some heart conditions. Valepotriates, the active ingredients of valerian root, have been shown to calm the central nervous system acting as a natural sedative. A natural stress reliever. This has beneficial effects for the heart, as well as calming the heart, it helps with palpitations. It has also shown to help lower blood pressure.
Rosemary is one of the richer herbal sources of antioxidants, which is why it works so well as a food preservative. Its antioxidants help prevent the fats in meat from turning rancid. The same principle applies to your heart. It is also as circulatory stimulant and dilates the blood vessels.
Lemon Balm helps to reduce high blood pressure and helps to calm palpitations and rapid breathing.
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