Atherosclerosis reversal is possible if we take a holistic approach, which means that besides taking medicines (conventional or alternative), we also have to pay attention to
our life, and make changes if necessary, on several levels, such as our diet, lifestyle, and mental wellbeing.
This page looks at some useful herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that are effective in reversing atherosclerosis. However, since atherosclerosis is a
potentially serious health problem, it is important that you discuss with your doctor about treatment options before trying out the natural remedies described below.
Atherosclerosis Reversal Using Herbs
Several herbs are effective in preventing and reversing atherosclerosis. Talk to your doctor about the use of herbal remedies as an adjunct to reverse atherosclerosis.
Herbs for atherosclerosis reversal include:
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn contains rutin and quercetin and is "the" herb for the heart. It has antioxidant properties that help protect against
the formation of plaques and may also help lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Recommended dosage is 500 to 900 mg daily.
- Garlic: Garlic has antioxidant properties. Fresh garlic and garlic supplements may lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and destroy plaque.
Recommended dosage is 300 to 500 mg of aged garlic twice a day.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin which has antioxidant properties
and can help prevent cholesterol from causing the narrowing of the arteries. Recommended dosage is 400 mg of curcumin three times a day.
- Psyllium: Psyllium is a type of fiber and it helps lower cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels. Recommended dosage is 10 to 30 g per day in
divided doses, taken 30 to 60 minutes after meals.
NOTE: If you take medicine for diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking psyllium.
- Willow: Willow bark contains salicin, the herbal precursor of aspirin. Research shows that low-dose aspirin can prevent the blood clots that harden
the arteries and that eventually trigger heart attacks. To prevent or reverse atherosclerosis, you may consider making a tea by adding a teaspoon of white willow bark to
a cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes and strain. Try drinking one cup a day or one every other day.
- Cayenne: Cayenne extract reduces cholesterol levels and improves blood circulation. Recommended dosage is 500 mg two times daily.
Atherosclerosis Reversal Using Nutritional Supplements
As always, talk with your doctor before taking any of the following supplements to make sure that they are right for you and that they do not interact with any other
medications that you may be taking.
Supplements effective for atherosclerosis reversal include:
- Coenzyme Q10: CoQ10 inhibits the formation of blood clot, lowers blood pressure, and boosts levels of antioxidants. Recommended dosage is
100 to 300 mg daily.
- Fish Oil: The fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish oil can help prevent and reverse atherosclerosis by preventing the development of plaque and
blood clots. They can also help reduce inflammation in the arteries, lower blood pressure and the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. A daily dosage
of a fish oil product that contains at least 480 mg of EPA and 360 mg of DHA is recommended.
- Policosanol: Policosanol is a mix of waxy alcohols usually derived from sugar cane and yams. According to a study in the American Heart Journal,
policosanol can lower "bad" cholesterol levels while raising the good HDL cholesterol. It may also stop blood clots from forming. Recommended dosage is 10 to 20 mg daily.
NOTE: Policosanol may increase the risk of bleeding, and should therefore not be taken if you take blood-thinning medication.
- Beta-carotene, Vitamins C and E: These antioxidant vitamins, when taken together and in the levels listed below, have been found to be effective
in defending your body against atherosclerosis. Recommended daily dosage is: Beta-carotene 10,000-25,000 IU, Vitamin C 60-250 mg, Vitamin E 60-100 IU. These nutrients should
be received together through a balanced diet rather than through individual supplementation.
- Folic Acid: This vitamin prevents atherosclerosis by helping the body break down homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to increased risk
of heart disease and stroke. Recommended dosage is 400 mcg (micrograms) daily.
What is Atherosclerosis
Causes of Atherosclerosis
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002).
Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins. (Rodale Books, 1998).
University of Maryland Medical Center (http://www.umm.edu/).
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