Take Heart

by Susan A.Smith
  • Angelica (Angelica archangelica) contains at least 14 anti-arrhythmic compounds.
  • Arjuna bark (Terminalia arjuna), from an India tree growing 90 feet tall, is traditionally used in Ayurveda to reduce cholesterol levels, increase or decrease heart rate and blood pressure, hypertension, angina, endocarditis, pericarditis and edema, and to improve artery health.
  • Artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus) helps maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
  • Asgwaganda (Withania somnifera) is an ancient herb used for chronic heart and vascular disorders, particularly congestive heart failure. Increasing coagulation time, the herb lowers stress levels in the body and enhances immune system activity.
  • Bugleweed (Lycopus europaeus) increases the strength of heartbeat and reduces its rate. Bugleweed can help the weak heart where there is a buildup of water in the body.
  • Garlic (Allium sativum) lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a stimulant of peripheral circulation.
  • Gingko (Gingko biloba) improves quality and quantity of circulation to all vital tissues and organs.
  • Guggul gum (Commiphora mukul) is a resin used in Ayurvedic medicine to manage blood lipids and body fat, primarily by balancing thyroid.
  • Hawthorn berry (Crataegus oxyacanthoides) is a most excellent heart and circulatory tonic. The berry, leaf and flower strengthen the force of the heart muscle contraction and dilate the vessels of circulation.
  • Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), a fabulous relaxing nervine, its name meaning lion-hearted, is the premier herb for tachycardia. Like our mothers can, motherwort gentles a rapid heartbeat.
  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), the amazing Asian mushroom, is said by the Chinese to “mend the heart”. As a heart tonic, reishi improves blood flow to the heart and eases angina pain.

Using herbs does not have to be mysterious. Eat them, make teas and decoctions, tinctures and vinegars. Powder and put in capsules or smoothies.

We do not have to fill the hole in our center with sweets and fat and running after our lives. The Latin word for heart is cor, the root of the word courage. It takes courage to follow the teachings of our hearts, but when we do, we heal and become whole. Ask yourself this: What do I love? Then put that at the center of your life.

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