Natural Home Remedies for Heart Disease
More correctly referred to as Cardiovascular Disease, which can be one of several diseases of the heart and blood vessel system.
COMMON HEART DISEASES
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart arrhythmia
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatic heart disease
Things you can change:
- Diabetes (you can avoid this and once you have it, you can manage it somewhat with diet)
- Excess weight
- High Blood Pressure
- High cholesterol
- Poor nutrition
- Use of tobacco products
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms vary depending on what type of heart disease you have. Here are some signs to watch out for but there are many more possible and of course, some symptoms could be from other conditions.
- Change in skin color
- Chest pain or pressure
- Fluttering feeling in your chest
- Pain in the back
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Pain, weakness, or a feeling of cold in your legs or arms
- Shortness of breath, active or at rest
The CDC reports that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year (or 1 in every 4 deaths).
Treatment will depend on what kind of heart disease you have but there are a number of medical interventions possible including stents, heart bypass surgery, angioplasty, pacemakers and transplants. There are numerous medications used to address underlying causes like hypertension or blood clotting.
The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research. If you look at the modifiable risk factors listed above, you may want to visit individual entries for those conditions or behaviors. The following suggestions are general in nature.
Barry Sears (research scientist/chemist) designed the Zone Diet for heart health. It is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein, and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The focus is on managing eicosanoids (hormones) throughout the day by eating your macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) in a rather precise ratio at each and every meal and snack. It’s all about biology and chemistry.
While there are certain foods that have specific qualities that are helpful to healing specific conditions, the focus is simply on whole, fresh, living foods, quality protein, healthy fats and eating them in such a way that your body has the ideal chemical reactions.
FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Bone broth
- Citrus fruits
- Coconut oil
- Green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Oatmeal, steel-cut, slow cooking for the GLA
- Omega 3-rich foods, particularly wild fish from cold waters
- Reishi mushrooms
- Soy protein is thought to decrease LDL
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID
- Decrease Omega 6 fats
- Excess salt
- Excessive saturated fats
- Food additives (i.e. nitrates)
- Grains (except oatmeal). If you must eat grains, choose whole grains and consume in moderation.
- Processed foods
- Processed sugars
- Smoking causes damage to capillaries.
- Starchy foods
- Trans fats
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
- Green tea
- White tea
HERBS AND SPICES
- Arjuna TA is an Ayurvedic herb purported to benefit the heart, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reverse hardening of the arteries.
- Fenugreek seed
- 12 Herb Tea (a commercial herb combo)
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.
- Clary sage
- Orange bergamot
- Palo Santo
- Ylang ylang
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.
- Co Q10
- Omega 3
- Plant sterols
- Red Rice yeast
- Vitamin K
Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty. Best times to drink water:
- 2 glasses after waking to activate organs
- 1 glass 30 minutes before a meal to aid digestion
- 1 glass of water before bedtime to reduce risk of heart attack
Chronic dehydration causes a drop in blood volume which causes blood to thicken, lowering blood pressure. Dehydration makes your heart work harder to pump thicker blood through constricted blood vessels. Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand to boost your heart health and strengthen your immunity. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.
Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Avoid commercial liquid vegetable oils and salad dressings which are full of free radicals that can damage capillaries.
- Avoid low-fat diets. Follow a nutrient-dense traditional diet (like the Zone Diet).
- Blood donor? A study conducted in Finland reported that men who donated blood at least once a year were 88% less likely to have a heart attack than men who didn’t donate blood.
- Check the health of your adrenal glands. When adrenal glands are exhausted, they produce fewer cardiotonics, which creates a risk of heart attack. There is a simple test you can do in the doctor’s office in which he/she takes your blood pressure while you are lying down and relaxed. Then you stand suddenly and the doctor takes the pressure reading again. It should go up. If your adrenals are weak, it often goes down and you would feel weak, shaky or a little dizzy. There are a couple of other crude tests you can do on your own. Check out Adrenal Burnout Syndrome by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, MD at www.drlwilson.com.
- Keep your blood sugar under control.
- Chinese Medicine
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help you change your lifestyle
- Massage for relaxation
- Meditation for relaxation
If you think you are having a heart attack, it has been suggested that you immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow a bit of water. Call 911 and then call a neighbor or friend who lives nearby. Just say “Heart attack; I’ve taken 2 aspirins.” Be sure to tell them who you are. Sit on a chair near the front door to wait for the medics and do not lie down.
- A wholesome, balanced diet
- Don’t smoke
- Low stress levels
- Quality sleep
- Regular exercise
It helps to know what causes a problem before we try to solve the problem. Research the Myogenic Theory of Myocardial Infarction for an interesting view of heart disease that suggests heart attacks are not caused by coronary blockages. Http://www.positivehealth.com/article/heart/stress-as-cause-of-heart-attacks-the-myogenic-theory/