Low density lipoprotein, commonly abbreviated as LDL cholesterol is considered as a bad type of cholesterol in stark contrast to HDL cholesterol that works in the favour of the heart health.
LDL frequently contributes to the formation and deposition of plaque along the walls of the arteries. This works as a grave risk factor that many a time, advances towards full-blown development of cardiovascular diseases. According to the American Heart Association, risk for heart related problems escalates when low density lipoprotein goes beyond 100 milligrams per deciliter and the total cholesterol level spikes above 200 mg/dL.
Besides lifestyle and dietary modifications, there exist a vast variety of herbs that can be used as alternative therapies for regulating the level of both, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Highly Effective Herbs For Cholesterol
Curcumin Controls Cholesterol
The chief ingredient of Turmeric is curcumin, which works as a potent source of antioxidants that help in rectifying health problems, either related to the gastrointestinal system or low levels of energy. Another health perk offered by curcumin is that it inhibits the assimilation of cholesterol in the intestines. Instead, cholesterol gets converted into bile acids, and curcumin makes way for the elimination of the same (bile acids) from the body. Even researchers claim that this compound found in the culinary herb has a positive effect on the raised level of cholesterol (only when taken in the correct dose).
Remember, the dose of curcumin must not go beyond 45 mg in a day (can be taken in three equally divided doses). Regular use for up to eight weeks is believed to be associated with an appreciable drop in the LDL level by at least 7 times. Those with active gallstones, liver or blood clotting disorders, must entirely avoid the use of turmeric supplements.
One of the best herbal ways of clearing your body off low density lipoprotein (LDL) is through the use of flax seeds. Also known as Flax meal, brown seeded flax or golden flax, both, the seeds as well as the oil extract can aid in treating several conditions involving the gastrointestinal tract, such as diarrhea, constipation or ulcerative colitis. Other than that, flax seed helps in lowering the level of bad cholesterol as it is both, a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fiber.
This, in turn, markedly curbs the risk of suffering from many coronary artery conditions. In order to extract maximum health advantages of flax seed, try to have ground flax rather than whole. This is because ground flax seed undergoes better and quicker digestion.
One of the easiest ways of incorporating more of flax seed to the diet plan is by adding a teaspoon of powdered flax seed to cereals or yoghurt. It’s consumption is generally safe for a majority of people. Some of the mild side effects include gas formation, bloating and nausea. Diabetics or patients with bleeding disorders must be extremely cautious while using this herb.
Hawthorn Berry And Cholesterol
It has been verified that hawthorn berry, commonly called Thorn apple or mayblossom is a superb herb of choice for people with heart related problems. Not only does hawthorn calms the brain, it works well in lowering LDL cholesterol.
The abundance of specific bioflavonoids exhibit strong antioxidant properties and aid in improving the elasticity of blood carrying vessels, resulting in improved blood circulation. It, thus, cuts down the cholesterol level and regulates the blood pressure, too. There are a number of forms in which this herb is available for use, such as herbal extract or standardized tincture or capsules.
This culinary herb has many properties that may help in enhancing the level of health, one of them being heart health. The presence of high amounts of folic acid and other antioxidants bring about reduction in the level of bad cholesterol. You can either chew the fresh herb two or three times in a day, add it to meals or have a few cups of refreshing parsley infused tea.
Garlic is renowned for its anti-clotting ability and it assists in dissolving the cholesterol rich atheromatous plaques from the arterial walls. Doing so, the level of bad cholesterol drops within the normal range (primarily due to inhibition of an enzyme called HMG-CoA which boosts the synthesis of cholesterol).
Not just that, it’s increased consumption is also linked with an increment in the level of ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL). There are a number of different ways in which garlic can be taken, from raw, powdered, oil to capsule or tablet form. Daily dose of 900 mg (powdered garlic) is recommended by the Univeristy of Maryland Medical Center. Garlic extract may lead to halitosis, heartburn along with nausea and vomiting.
According to Mayo Clinic, there is another herb that exerts cholesterol lowering effects (total cholesterol and LDL) by the name of Psyllium. Psyllium is known for rich soluble fiber content because of which it is a common constituent in commercially available laxatives.
In recent years, it has been observed that the use of this herb can lower cholesterol by facilitating the conversion of the latter into bile acids. These bile acids are quickly excreted by the action of psyllium. It’s use may take up to 2 months for noticeable improvement. For best results, have plenty of water and take this herb in doses of 5-10 grams per day.
Gugulipid, commonly called Guggul is derived from the sticky, resinous extract of Mukul myrrh tree. Presence of bioactive constituents of E and Z guggulsterone enables Guggul to reduce the elevated levels of cholesterol. Mostly used in India, this herb has recently gained acceptance in other countries for lowering not just LDL cholesterol, but also triglycerides.
Artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus) belongs to the daisy family and has been put to use for many gastrointestinal conditions. It has come to notice that Artichoke may also have the additional ability of lowering the level of cholesterol.
The two main compounds that enable artichoke to do so are Cybarin and chlorogenic acid. A daily dose of 1800 mg is considered effective. This herb is contraindicated in individuals with bile duct obstruction.
The leaves and flowers of Sea buckthorn serve many medicinal purposes, including treatment of raised blood pressure, skin rashes and lowering of bad cholesterol. The high content of plant sterols found in sea buckthorn may be linked with this role. Sufficient information has not been collected in regard to the use of this herb in pregnancy and breast feeding. Therefore, it is best to be avoided during such times.
Caution: Please use Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.