Get weekly tips, recipes, and my Herbal Jumpstart e-course! Sign up for free today.
Are you interested in learning about your cardiovascular system and preventing heart disease naturally? If so, read on for great tips on natural heart health and follow the links provided to know more about specific cardiovascular conditions.
Coronary heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in modern day United States. Other cultures and time periods did not see such prevalent heart disease!
Rather than wait around to see if you’ll become a statistic, I strongly recommend that you take proactive steps to boost your heart health. It’s never too early!
Do you already have cardiovascular system problems? High cholesterol? High blood pressure? By addressing the root cause of these problems you can reverse your symptoms and lead a long and healthy life.
As a culture we like to think we know practically all there is about health, but there are rampant cultural myths about coronary heart disease and cholesterol. Many of these myths are still being repeated in conventional western medicine!
The following list contains 5 core practices to naturally support healthy cardiovascular system function.
We all know that stress is BAD. Everywhere you turn you hear that stress increases mortality and exacerbates chronic illness. It is common knowledge that people who are constantly stressed have a much higher risk of heart disease and there are many scientific studies proving this to be true.
Yet, despite the direct correlation between stress and chronic illness we live in a culture that is surrounding itself in a stressful existence. All around us are messages that we should do more, be more and go go go go.
Stress can be one of the hardest aspects of your life to change because in some sense it could require that you have to change who you are and how you act in the world.
Lowering stress in your life might mean re-prioritizing your goals. Is it more important to you that you climb to the top of your career ladder or keep up with the Jones’ or is it more important to you to have good health?
It could also mean changing how you react to the world around you by referring to deep breathing and meditation exercises rather than easily reverting to anger or worry.
Exercise and movement is another crucial aspect of natural heart health. Your heart is a muscle and, as the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it!
Regular exercise increases the strength of your heart. It oxygenates your blood and increases circulation, which then promotes more nutrients being delivered to the cells in your body.
It’s estimated that 60% of Americans don’t get enough exercise.
Is that because, as a culture, we don’t care about the myriad of benefits we get from exercise?
I think that most people have a negative relationship with movement and exercise because we simply haven’t been taught how to do it in an enjoyable way.
A balanced exercise program should contain:
- high intensity interval training
- long distance cardio
- strength training
- integrative core movement
I recommend starting with a personal trainer to help you determine the right way for you to get started with exercise. The goals being that you LOVE the movement you incorporate into your life and you feel great! Your heart will thank you!
There are several natural herbal remedies that have been used historically and are proven scientifically to improve the function of the cardiovascular system through various mechanisms.
Here are two of my favorite heart tonics:
Garlic taken regularly can optimize cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular system function. It can be added to your diet easily. As little as one to two garlic cloves (not bulbs!) taken daily have been shown to have benefits. Energetically, garlic is significantly heating and drying and is not appropriate for all people on an extended basis.
Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.)
Hawthorne has been used extensively throughout history to improve cardiovascular system function. Science has validated this use through many modern day studies. Hawthorne is balanced energetically (as opposed to being really hot or drying in nature; see garlic above) and can be taken safely by most people.
There are several key nutrients and vitamins that promote natural heart health.
Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral that supports a wide variety of metabolic processes throughout the body. Muscles (like the heart!) and the nervous system need optimal supplies of magnesium to perform regular daily functions. High blood pressure can be a symptom of magnesium deficiency.
CoEnzyme Q10 is one of important heart vitamins. Low levels of coenzyme Q10 have been associated with various forms of heart disease.
One heart vitamin I don’t recommend is calcium supplements. Taking excess calcium supplements has been linked to a significant increase in heart disease. Like most heart vitamins and minerals it is best to get calcium through the diet and not through pills.
What we eat (and what we don’t eat) has a huge impact on the health of our cardiovascular system. Decades ago it was commonly believed that eating fat and high cholesterol foods would immediately put you on the route to cardiovascular system disease.
Luckily we are learning from the follies of our past and know that healthy fats are crucial to natural heart health. Furthermore, our understanding of the role that inflammation plays in heart disease has expanded and we know a pro-inflammatory diet is the main cause of heart disease.
Traditional whole foods and especially healthy fats play a major role in preventing heart disease, while sugar, excess carbs, grains, and processed foods are the main culprits in cardiovascular system disease.
Click on the following link so you can read more about a heart healthy diet.
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.