Table of Contents
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
I think it is well known that herbs are healthy for us. I’d be pretty shocked if you didn’t already realise this. But do you take herbs as part of your healthy diet? And if so, have you ever considered which of these wonderful natural ingredients help us improve heart health? Which are the 3 best herbs for heart health?
It’s also no secret that the number one killer for all ages and genders is heart disease. It is a growing problem, and I’m sure I don’t need to convince you of the improvement in your heart health.
My aim in this article is to provide you with all the information you need, taken from scientific journals and doctors themselves, to choose which are the 3 best herbs for heart health. Once you know this, I’m sure you’ll want to take them daily so that you can improve your overall health and lower your chances of developing heart disease.
Discover the Power of Nature: Boost Your Heart Health with Herbs
Before we get into the details of which are the 3 best herbs for heart health, we should consider why herbs are good for us and how they work.
The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and the cause and prevention of disease.
– Thomas Edison
The reason why herbs are so good for us is because they contain compounds that are healthy for the body. Many of these compounds can support our health because they give the body what it needs to function properly.
Some of these compounds in herbs include:
Some of the actions that these compounds carry out in the body include reducing inflammation, helping with your immune system, and promoting a healthy heart. Nutrition is so important for your health.
Some herbs help lower blood pressure, such as garlic and hawthorn. Others reduce inflammation, for example, turmeric and ginger. Antioxidants that help your heart include ginko biloba and green tea.
Some herbs help reduce cholesterol, especially LDL, or bad cholesterol. Herbs that do this include fenugreek and artichoke leaves. They also increase HDL, or good cholesterol.
Another factor is free radical damage, which certain herbs, which are antioxidants, can help with.
If some of these terms are confusing, then watch this and learn what some of them mean.
The 3 Best Herbs for Heart Health
Okay, the big reveal is now…
The 3 best herbs for heart health, in no particular order, are:
I have to say that I once took garlic tablets and gave myself really bad indigestion! As I mentioned elsewhere, I have recently almost cured myself of long-term acid reflux. I still have to be careful with garlic, though.
One very interesting fact I have experienced is that when I am abroad, or at home in England, I can eat garlic and not have a problem. In Turkey, the garlic is deadly for me, and I cannot eat it. I have understood that the type of garlic here is definitely different, and I suspect that the climate makes vegetables and herbs stronger.
The same goes for onions, by the way. I eat them at home in the UK, in Italy, or elsewhere, but in Turkey, I can’t touch them! Very strange.
So be careful when trying garlic if you also experience problems with acid in your stomach.
This one I have been following for more than a year, adding a small teaspoon of turmeric with black pepper to as many meals as I can. Another tip: I also often add it to the milk in my latte. I do love the taste of turmeric, though, and I know it may not be to everyone’s taste.
Turmeric should always be taken with black pepper, freshly ground if possible, and with some fat such as olive oil, yoghurt, or milk. Most meals have some fat in them anyway. The reason for this is that turmeric is absorbed in the body through fats, and black pepper has been shown in studies to increase this by up to 2000 percent!
Again, I am lucky because I love ginger. It can be added to almost anything if you just grate some over your food, and it can also be drunk as a tea. Ginger has many other benefits along with its heart health properties, so its well worth consuming!
One advantage of the 3 best herbs for heart health is that they are commonly available everywhere now, so there is no excuse for not using them!
If you are interested in protecting yourself against the effects of ageing, then read my article about reverse ageing.
The Ancient Wisdom of Herbal Medicine: Supporting Heart Health Naturally
Herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years, so it does have a long history. There must be something behind it, then. Or is it just mumbo-jumbo? In the next section, we’ll dip our toes into the science (don’t worry, we won’t get too technical!)
The best doctor gives the least medicines.
– Benjamin Franklin
Ancient herbal medicine dates back to the following ancient civilizations:
They believed in the properties of herbs to heal the body. Until recently, modern medicine tended to reject these ideas, but as research has been growing, this form of natural medicine has gained in reputation amongst medical practitioners and the public.
There are many ancient texts, such as the Ayurvedic texts of India or the Ebers Papyrus of Egypt, that provide some long-standing “evidence” that herbs are effective at healing or even curing certain health problems or diseases.
Many of the herbs we have mentioned already, such as garlic, hawthorn, and ginseng, were known for their medicinal value in ancient times.
In ancient Greece, certain Mediterranean herbs and plants were used for heart health. These included olive leaves and hibiscus. Olive leaf was said to be an antioxidant that protected the heart, and hibiscus lowered blood pressure.
In India, one herb that has recently become very popular again, aswagandha, was used to strengthen the heart and reduce stress.
This should remind us that our ancient ancestors were, in many ways, just as advanced, if not more, than we are today. The wisdom that has been passed down to us from these ancient cultures is immense.
The Science of Herbs: Understanding How They Benefit Your Heart
Does science and research prove that herbs help us with our health? Is there evidence for the 3 best herbs for heart health? Let’s find out.
Effectiveness of Garlic for Heart Health
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that garlic supplementation can help lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. Link to study.
Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry demonstrated that garlic can reduce cholesterol levels and inhibit the formation of plaque in the arteries.
Additionally, a review of several studies published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that garlic may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can further contribute to cardiovascular health. Link to research paper
Effectiveness of Hawthorn
A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Medicine analysed the results of 14 clinical trials and found that hawthorn extract can significantly improve heart function and exercise tolerance in individuals with chronic heart failure.
Hawthorn extract can reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue in patients with heart failure.
Lowering of blood pressure in patients taking Hawthorn was observed in this study. Link here.
Furthermore, a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that hawthorn extract may have a positive impact on blood pressure and lipid profiles.
Check this page at MountSinai.org for a discussion of the research on Hawthorn as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases.
Effectiveness of Turmeric
Turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, contains a compound called curcumin that has been studied for its potential cardiovascular benefits.
A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nutrition Journal investigated the effects of curcumin supplementation on markers of heart health in postmenopausal women. The study found that curcumin supplementation significantly improved endothelial function, which is a key indicator of cardiovascular health.
Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that curcumin can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are important factors in the development of heart disease. Link to the study.
Other Herbs That are Beneficial for the Heart
The list of the 3 best herbs for heart health is just an opinion. There are many great herbs out there that can also help you achieve better heart health and lessen your risk of heart disease.
Here are some of these (with links to medical sites that explain more about the medical properties of each herb):
- Hawthorn berries have been used for centuries to support heart health and improve circulation.
- Cayenne pepper can help improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
- Green tea is rich in antioxidants that can benefit heart health.
- Rosemary has been found to have potential cardiovascular benefits, including reducing blood pressure.
- Cinnamon may help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control.
- Bilberry has been shown to improve blood flow and strengthen blood vessels.
- Ginkgo biloba may improve blood flow and protect against oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system.
- Ginseng has been found to have potential cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure.
Oregano contains compounds that may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Although there is a lot of evidence from both ancient medicine and modern scientific research for the healing effects of many herbs, it is not all conclusive. However, I think we can safely say that the 3 best herbs for heart health we have mentioned on this page are all going to help you in so many ways. I know that I use herbs like turmeric every day, and I plan to investigate what else I can use on a daily basis to improve my health. I think you’d be wise to do the same!
Experienced researcher/ writer/ life coach with personal experience of dealing with a number of health issues including acid reflux and digestive issues. I help people find natural ways to improve health and nutrition.