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Herbal Ideas for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Herbal Ideas for Heart Disease and Diabetes
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Heart disease and diabetes are closely related, so some basic health building tips are in order. In the long run, the best way to end up healthy is to stay healthy. That means start now.

The main thing that people in other cultures with traditional healing systems do differently than we do is the daily, lifelong use of slow acting, stamina enhancing tonic medicines. If you want to keep your blood sugar stable for life, that’s the way to go. Some examples? Ginseng, Chinese he shou wu, Ashwaganda

There are many mild, safe herbs that benefit blood sugar and aid diabetes prevention. The bulbs of onion and garlic balance blood sugar and help by regulating blood pressure, cholesterol, and platelet aggregation. Use these liberally.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains the powerful antioxidants catechin and epicatechin, compounds belonging to the flavanol category, that have been shown to aid in diabetes. This tea, typically served in Asian – style restaurants, can be consumed daily as a beverage, or is available in a decaffeinated extract as a dietary supplement.

Bitter herbs, long a general favorite of European herbalists, are widely respected around the world, including among Asian practitioners, for blood sugar control. Examples of bitters are dandelion and turmeric.

Since diet is the one factor we have the most control of for the longest time, food can be a great benefit for preventing blood sugar problems later on. The blueberry family (blueberry, huckleberry, bilberry, cranberry) looks very good in this regard.

Okra is an Ayurvedic remedy for balancing blood sugar. Many American patients who have tried this food have success with the juice of okra pods added to their diet. Okra is delicious as a steamed vegetable, also. Dandelion greens have been quite successful for many diabetics. Fresh dandelion greens are delicious in a salad.

Prickly pear cactus (nopal in Spanish) is used as food in Mexico. The pads are diced and prepared in a salad or as a taco. This cactus has a very good history of use as a hypoglycemic. The cactus flesh, which some people find slimy, can also be juiced.

Foods which have been helpful for balancing blood sugar include cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, bay leaf, cashew, celery, cayenne, ginger, coriander seed, lettuce, cabbage, turnip, papaya fruit, cranberry, Jerusalem artichoke, millet, oats, barley, and buckwheat.

To keep your heart healthy, I like the famed Ayurvedic heart herb, Arjuna. Just drink it regularly as a beverage tea. Ayurvedic physicians use this medicine in a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions- it is a cardiac “tonic.” Among the diseases for which it is prescribed in India are cardiac failure, hypertension, angina, endocarditis, pericarditis and edema. Or, use hawthorn berry from Europe, which has similar properties.

Arjuna includes a variety of polyphenols, which probably account for much of its activity. Arjuna seems to primarily improve cardiac muscle function and pumping activity of the heart.

Use fruits and vegetables with red, blue and purple colors. They contain the polyphenols that help keep the vasculature strong and supple. Think of grapes, raspberries, blueberies and cherries.

A serving of artichoke provides almost 11 percent of the Daily Value for folate, which helps prevent increased homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine may increase heart disease risk. Scientists say that if people took in more folate, between 13,500 and 50,000 annual deaths from coronary artery disease could be prevented. A serving of artichoke hearts contains more than 12 percent of your Daily Value of magnesium, which lowers blood clotting risk and helps lower blood pressure.

Finally, as a way to keep you blood pressure even, Linden flower tea is delicious and safe.

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