Get a Happy Heart with Herbs

Do you have a heavy heart or feel faint of heart? Here’s some info to “put your heart into”, that might help.
February is American Heart Month and we have a heart holiday right in the middle of it, so it’s a great time to see how herbs can help us have a happy heart. I had not cared to do much research on heart tonics, etc. until my husband got a heart attack the morning after neck surgery! He didn’t have either of the two main markers for heart problems– high blood pressure or high LDL cholesterol. The exact cause of just one clogged artery still isn’t clear, but some unhealthy lifestyle choices for many years, and more recently, stress and different medications may be part of the factors. It made me sit up and take notice. Wonder if the fact that his grandma died of heart failure and his mom had circulation problems from a young age might have been the predisposition that effected him later in life. I pay attention to my colon health and signs of too much anemia because of my parents. Also, medical history has documented death by a broken heart! It just goes to show you how interconnected the systems are in our bodies.

This article is basic, since it shares some of my findings in my quest to find herbs for “happy hearts” that are native, naturalized or can grow in the Inland NW. If you’re under the care of a cardiologist due to a heart event, be patient (and be a patient) so not to undermine or put in danger your professional’s care. BUT, if you know you have circulatory system problems (either you’re getting some symptoms or you are predisposed genetically) OR you’ve got a heavy heart due to emotional stress, there are some herbs and spices that could give you some comfort. We’re going very basic here, with herbs for food, but check out the references that follow for more in-depth research.

Here are some important benefits that the use of herbs can have on the heart, and a few herbs for them:

c system longer

(vasodilators, blood thinners) Thyme, garlic*, ginkgo, ginger, cayenne, feverfew, arnica flower, parsley, red clover, meadowsweet.

Preventing clots from forming- (anti-coagulants) Angelica root, arnica flower, anise, lovage, chamomile, fenugreek.

Lowering blood pressure-(Hypotensives) cayenne, garlic (fresh), ginger, hawthorn, motherwort.

Lowering blood pressure-(Hypotensives) cayenne, garlic* (fresh), ginger, hawthorn, motherwort, dandelion, Ju Hua

Steadying the heart beat-(mostly calming) Motherwort, heartsease, lavender, valerian, achillea (yarrow), passionflower, wood betony.

Lowering cholesterol– Garlic, oats, flax seed, Astragalus

Having an antioxidant effect-(diuretics to help eliminate) Burdock, cleavers, corn silk, dandelion leaf, gravel root, juniper, nettles, parsley, goldenrod, horsetail, juniper

*Tip for fresh garlic: to get most of it’s heart benefits, use it fresh. If you don’t want to just eat it whole, simply chop it finely or mince it and add it to your dish at the end in the pot or in your serving dish.

If you’ve got a faint, heavy or broken heart, make it happy by incorporating these herbs into your healthy lifestyle by cooking with them or include them in your tea or other drinks., exercise and be happy.

References: › Sports and Fitness




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