Aug 2, 2011
This is August already and I want to continue our conversation about aging and how it can be helped with herbs. Today we will talk about Herbs for Healthy Circulation. Aging can cause degenerative changes to all cardiovascular system, including heart, arteries, veins and microcirculation.
Hawthorn was used for the treatment of heart for many years, especially in Europe. The famous German herbalist Rudolf Weiss described Hawthorn as a nurse for the geriatric heart. Hawthorn was used mostly for the treatment of chronic congestive heart failure and sometimes for treatment of angina pectoris - which is result of ischemic heart condition that can lead to heart attack. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue were significantly improved with Hawthorn. While this herb is good for the heart muscle, it will not necessarily protect against heart attack, which is more a problem with a blood supply. Scientific data suggests, that it is safe to use Hawthorn and hypotensive drugs, digoxin , there are no side effects and adverse drug reactions. Angina pectoris is a manifestation of ischemia of the heart muscle which is usually caused by diseased coronary arteries. Angina can be caused by acute reduction of coronary blood flow due to physiological or pathological vasoconstriction. The best herbs combination for treatment of angina will be combination of Astragalus, Hawthorn and Garlic or Ginger. Also will be beneficent Coleus –dilates the blood vessels and Turmeric and Ginger-they have antiplatelet properties, so they decrease possibility of blood clot formation. All these supplements made by Mediherb company located in Australia, this company works in conjunction with Standard Process which I widely use and recommend to my patients- it is whole food supplements without any hormones, chemicals and antibiotics. If you have any questions regarding this material, call our office for consultation. Hypertension- is quite common among baby boomers, it can be addressed and treated with herbs. Lifestyle issues: Aerobic exercises that use large muscle groups should be done 20-60 min a day for a minimum of 3 days a week. Weight loss is very important and encouraged, also important to reduce salt, alcohol, caffeine consumption. Increase intake of fruits and vegetables and vitamins K, C, also calcium and magnesium through your diet. Hawthorn berries work better for the heart muscle, but Hawthorn leaves more beneficent for hypertension. Coleus ( has antiplatelet properties and lowers BP) and Valerian root (peripheral and central vasodilator), Cramp bark ( relaxes smooth muscle) and Garlic ( lowers BP and has antiplatelet properties) will be beneficent for treatment of hypertension. Also, Dandelion ( has diuretic activity and useful for the support of elevated systolic pressure in the elderly), antioxidants herbs such as Turmeric, Grape seed, Pine bark. I have specific protocols to use for these conditions, if you have any questions, give us a call. Hyperlipidemia-elevated total cholesterol, LDL or triglycerides can be treated with Garlic, Globe Artichoke. Garlic contain allicin which is lowering LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides, but there is problem with Garlic supplements: enzyme alliinase will produce allicin from alliin and can be destroyed by stomach acid, so Garlic tablets should have good coating- which not always present, that is why not all Garlic supplements are potent. Globe Artichoke can help with elevated LDL, triglycerides, there are some study that demonstrated that total cholesterol and LDL were decreased from baseline by 18,5% and 22% respectively. In next newsletter I will discuss herb support for the arterial and veins conditions. Recipe of the month: Sweet Potatoes in Ginger, Cayenne, and Peanut Sauce 1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 large onion 4 cloves garlic 2”fresh ginger, grated 3 sweet potatoes, cubed 1 pound cabbage, chopped 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 can diced tomatoes ( 15 ½ ounces) 1 cup pineapple juice ½ cup smooth peanut butter 1 carrot grated 1 beet grated 1 banana sliced juice of 1 lime or lemon 2 tablespoons cilantro freshly ground black pepper Heat oil and cook onion, garlic and ginger for 2 min and add sweet potatoes and cabbage, paprika and cayenne, add tomatoes and pineapple juice. Cover and simmer for 40 min until they are soft, then stir in peanut butter and add black pepper. Toss the carrot, beets and banana in lime juice and scatter over the vegetables. Garnish with cilantro. This recipe gives you 13g of proteins, 17 g fat, 11g fiber and 355 calories per serving. Not bad! And it has Garlic and Ginger! Have a nice month. Dr. Natalie