Beetroot for the Heart
A recent study found that dietary nitrate, a compound that dilates blood vessels to decrease blood pressure, may reduce overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system that occurs with heart disease.
The research team looked specifically at beetroot juice, a source of dietary nitrate, to explore its use as a future targeted treatment option for people with cardiovascular disease.
The study, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, is the first to study the effects of nitrate supplementation on sympathetic nerve activity.
Heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. And high blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors for the development of these conditions.
Studies have shown that beetroot can significantly lower blood pressure by up to 4–10 mmHg over a period of only a few hours.
The effect appears to be greater for systolic blood pressure, or pressure when your heart contracts, rather than diastolic blood pressure, or pressure when your heart is relaxed.
The effect may also be stronger for raw beets than cooked beets.
These blood pressure-lowering effects are likely due to the high concentration of nitrates in beets.
In your body, dietary nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.
Blood nitrate levels remain elevated for about six hours after eating dietary nitrate.
Therefore, beets only have a temporary effect on blood pressure, and regular consumption is required to experience long-term reductions in blood pressure.
A recent study showed that beetroot increased blood circulation in the brain.
To conclude – beetroots lower the blood pressure because beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, the nitric oxide levels in the blood are increased, which then dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow.
This may lead to a reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. Furthermore studies show that beetroot may enhance athletic performance, breathing capacity and that beets also can help increase the blood circulation to the brain.
Also beets are high in fibre which enhanced bowel function and keep waste materials moving the the intestines.
Is Hawthorn Good for the Heart?
Hawthorn is medicine for the heart on all levels.
Indigenous to countries across the northern hemisphere, this small thorny tree has a long-recorded history of medicinal use in both Europe and China, as well as in North America.
Poetically and significantly, Hawthorn is a member of the Rose family.
Hawthorn’s place as heart medicine was noted by Greek physician, Dioscorides, in the first Century AD.
Medical herbal research has validated this use, finding hawthorn to be effective for increasing the strength of heart contractions, increasing blood flow to the heart, decreasing blood lipids (i.e. decreasing bad cholesterol [LDL], and triglycerides) and modulating blood pressure.
A Cochrane review of trials on hawthorn for chronic or congestive heart failure found that Crataegus extract decreased fatigue and shortness of breath and improved exercise tolerance relative to placebo.
And while the traditional context is different, the Traditional Chinese Medicine use of Hawthorn for fat or rich meal digestion highlights the ability of Haw/berry antioxidants to prevent cholesterol deposits from oxidizing.
- Cardiac tonic
- Hypotensive/blood pressure normalizing
- Antioxidant (rich in bioflavonoids and proanthocyanidins – protects myocardium against oxidative damage, prevents oxidized cholesterol from accumulating in vessel walls)
Conditions treated with Hawthorn:
- Coronary artery disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Post-Heart Attacks
- Elevated blood lipids (cholesterol, triglyerides),
- Heat, inflammation, Restlessness, anxiety, AD(H)D (per Matthew Wood)
You can read about 5 additional heart benefits of hawthorn here.
Historically, hibiscus tea has been used in African countries to decrease body temperature, treat heart disease, and soothe a sore throat.
In Iran, hibiscus tea is used to treat high blood pressure.
Note that most of the benefits of hibiscus still need to be fully confirmed and more thoroughly studied before we can draw any real conclusion.
Recently studies have looked at the possible role of hibiscus in the treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in people at risk of high blood pressure and those with mildly high blood pressure.
A meta-analysis of studies published in 2015, found that drinking hibiscus tea significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure but more studies are needed to fully confirm the results.
A study from a 2014 review of a number of clinical trials, showed that consuming hibiscus tea or extract increased good cholesterol and decreased bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
But also better quality studies are still needed to investigate the impact of hibiscus consumption on cholesterol levels.
Some studies have demonstrated positive effects when examining the effects of concentrated hibiscus on managing body weight.
One report showed that hibiscus resulted in a lower body mass index (BMI), body weight, body fat, and hip-to-waist ratio.
An older study showed that hibiscus extract led to reductions in cholesterol and triglycerides in the Mexican population.
This can lead to a reduced risk of obesity.
However, it should be noted that these studies used concentrated doses, and further research is needed to fully confirm the benefits of hibiscus on the heart.
The heart health benefits associated with hibiscus tea are believed to be due to compounds called anthocyanins, the same naturally occurring chemicals that give berries their color.
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family.
The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. Lemon balm is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products.
Lemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomach, bloating, intestinal gas (flatulence), vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for mental disorders, including hysteria and melancholia.
Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness.
Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer’s disease (lemon balm is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer’s disease), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving the thyroid(Graves’ disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bites.
Some other people apply lemon balm to their skin to treat cold sores (herpes labialis).
Lemon balm works because it contains chemicals that seem to have a sedative, calming effect.
It might also reduce the growth of some viruses.
Different uses that have been proven are:
Anxiety. Some research shows that taking a specific lemon balm product (Cyracos by Naturex SA) reduces symptoms in people with anxiety disorders. Also, early research shows that taking a product containing lemon balm plus 12 other ingredients (Klosterfrau Melissengeist by Klosterfrau) reduces anxiety symptoms such as nervousness or edginess.
Colic in breast-fed infants. Some research shows that giving a specific multi-ingredient product containing fennel, lemon balm, and German chamomile (ColiMil by Milte Italia SPA) to breast-fed infants with colic twice daily for a week reduces crying time. Other research shows that giving a specific multi-ingredient product containing lemon balm, German chamomile, and Lactobacillus acidophilus (ColiMil Plus by Milte Italia SPA) to infants with colic twice daily for 4 weeks reduces crying by about the same amount of time per day as giving infants the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938. Other research shows that giving infants a tea preparation containing German chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm (Calma-Bebi by Bonomelli) up to three times per day increases the number of infants for whom colic resolves.
Dementia. Some research shows that taking lemon balm by mouth daily for 4 months reduces agitation and improves symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Also, early research shows that applying a lotion containing lemon balm oils to the face and hands of people with dementia reduces agitation. However, other early research found no benefit.
Upset stomach (dyspepsia). A specific product containing lemon balm, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, caraway, licorice, clown’s mustard plant, celandine, angelica, and milk thistle (Iberogast by Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) seems to improve acid reflux (GERD), stomach pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Also, a similar product containing peppermint leaf, clown’s mustard plant, German chamomile flower, caraway, licorice root, and lemon balm (STW 5-II by Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) seems to improve stomach and intestinal symptoms in people with upset stomach.
Herpes simplex virus infections. Applying a lip balm containing an extract of lemon balm (LomaHerpan by Infectopharm) to the infected area seems to shorten healing time and reduce symptoms of recurring herpes infections if applied at the early stages of infection.
Insomnia. Taking lemon balm (Cyracos by Naturex SA) twice daily for 15 days improves sleep in people with sleep disorders. Also, taking lemon balm in combination with other ingredients seems to help improve sleep quality in people with sleeping disorders.
Stress. Early research shows that taking a single dose of lemon balm increases calmness and alertness in adults during a stress test. Other early research shows that adding lemon balm to a food or drink reduces anxiety and improves memory and alertness during mental testing. Also, lemon balm appears to reduce anxious behavior in children during dental exams. Taking lemon balm along with valerian at a low dose appears to reduce anxiety during stress tests. But taking the combination at a higher dose appears to worsen stress-induced anxiety.
Optional::(((Several studies have been done on the following uses of lemon balm but more evidence is needed to fully confirm the effectiveness these uses: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-437/lemon-balm)
Eating Apples Daily Lowers Cholesterol, Inflammation, Study Finds. Which in turn aids the heart to better fuction.
The study was presented at Experimental Biology 2011, in Washington, D.C. Experts said the study’s results were consistent with previous evidence that apples do indeed live up to the famous adage about keeping the doctor away.
Hyson recently completed a review of 80 studies, published since 2005, on the health benefits of apples, and she says that in addition to their cardiovascular benefits, there’s some evidence that apples help regulate blood sugar and control appetite, protect against cancer, and safeguard the lungs.
Experts say there are several possible explanations for how apples aid the heart. Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut and encourages the body to use, rather than store, the waxy stuff.
Furthermore apple peels are also packed with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
Licorice relieves heartburns (dyspepsia).
Research suggests that taking two specific combination products containing licorice root (Iberogast, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH; STW-5-S, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) seems to improve symptoms of heartburn.
Also, using another combination product containing licorice (STW 5-II, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) improves heartburn 40% more when compared to a placebo treatment.
Licorice is taken by mouth for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and ongoing inflammation of the lining of the stomach (chronic gastritis).
Licorice is also beneficial for the heart because the recovery of the body is faster after surgery.
Research suggests that sucking on a single lozenge containing licorice (Sualin, Hamdard Pharma, India) beginning 30 minutes before having a tube inserted through the mouth into the trachea reduces cough following surgery by about 50%.
Also, gargling with a licorice fluid before incubation reduces complications when the breathing tube is removed.
Furthermore licorice also relieves the heart by relieving stress. Over time, stress can leave the adrenal gland exhausted by constantly producing adrenaline and cortisol.
Licorice can give the adrenal gland some relief.
Licorice root extract can stimulate the adrenal gland, which promotes a healthy level of cortisol in the body.
Licorice aids the heart because the chemicals contained in licorice decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.
Linden is a tree. The dried flower, leaves, and wood are used for medicine.
Linden is taken by mouth for rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, excessive bleeding (hemorrhage), nervous tension, trouble sleeping (insomnia), excessive excitement (hysteria), problems with bladder control (incontinence), and muscle spasms.
Linden leaf is also by mouth to cause sweating and increase urine production.
In infants, linden tea is use for a calming effect, which the easing of the heart rate is a manifestation of.
Linden benefits the heart because it seems to reduce the amount of mucus produced and also relieves anxiety. But, more information/studies is/are needed.
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
Laboratory studies have shown rosemary to be rich in antioxidants, which play an important role in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicals.
Inflammation is at the root of a number of diseases and chronic conditions.
It is the underlying cause of atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries that leads to heart disease, heart attack, and strokes (if you can reduce inflammation in your body, you’ll be taking the most important step you can to protect your health, and slow the aging process).
The polyphenols and terpenes in rosemary are great weapons against inflammation because they’re naturally occurring antioxidants.
They have the power to neutralize free radicals in the blood, which shuts down the inflammatory response.
As a result, veins and arteries are less likely to become narrowed or clogged, blood circulation improves and you’ll have less pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with chronic conditions like arthritis.
Herbal Tea Remedies for the HeartSo to conclude rosemary support the heart by boosting the immune system, improving blood circulation and relieving inflammation.