CHOLESTEROL RELATED HERBS
ALFALFA (Medicago sativa) ... Found world wide but originally native to the Near East. It is traditionally used as a nutrient to increase vitality.
Contemporary herbalists support age old views that alfalfa alkalizes and detoxifies the body and liver; acts as a diuretic; eases inflammation; lowers cholesterol; balances hormones; and contains an antifungal agent. Good for anemia; bleeding-related disorders; bone and joint disorders; colon and digestive disorders; skin disorders; and ulcers.
It should be noted that scientific research shows no evidence that it is effective for ulcers, asthma, hay fever, or as a promoter of menstruation. However, alfalfa seeds do contain chemicals that promote menstruation.
A source for vitamin A and beneficial in reducing fevers. It is useful as a blood purifier and also contains a fluoride compound that can aid in the prevention of tooth decay.
Studies suggest that it neutralizes and moves carcinogens out of the intestines.
Animal studies indicate that the leaves reduce blood cholesterol levels and plaque on artery walls.
To use prepare medical infusions from 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
CAUTION: The seeds can cause miscarriage. Also, do not give to children under the age of 2.
Should be used in fresh, raw form to provide vitamins.
ALMOND (Prunus Amygdalus) ... Soothes irritated surfaces. Purported to help in the prevention of heart disease. Decreases cholesterol in the clear portion of blood when used as a substitute for saturated fats.
ARTICHOKE ... An astringent which oxidizes skin ... combats high cholesterol ... aids digestion. Artichoke will ... 1) Detoxify the liver ... 2) Regenerate liver cells ... 3) Stimulate the manufacture of new liver cells to replace old ones.
Stimulates bile production. Used to treat: chronic albuminuria, jaundice, dyspepsia, and postoperative anemia. Lowers blood levels of triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol.
Barberry is said to be effective for: 1. Heartburn, 2. Ulcers, 3. Stomach upset, 4. Stimulation of the appetite, 5. Treatment for liver ailments like jaundice and hepatitis. Also, used as a topical antiseptic. Exhibits some antibacterial activity, accounting for its use as an antiseptic when applied to the skin. Also, known to possess sedative qualities, and can act to stimulate the uterus.
RECIPE: 1) Cut off stem ...discard. 2) Cut off top section (including claws) ... discard. 3) Steam for 45 min. 4) Peal leaves ... eat soft bits on underside of leaves. 5) Eat the tender, edible parts working your way to the heart ... 6) Use common butter knife to scrape out hairy stuff ... discard ... eat heart. 7) Mix together olive oil, lemon juice ... use for dipping.
CAYENNE (Capsicum Annum) ... Seeds are used to make a gargle to treat sore throat and hoarseness ... reduce nausea from sea sickness ... relieves symptoms of rheumatism and inflammatory ailments.
Normalizes blood pressure and improves the entire circulatory system so veins and capillaries can regain elasticity.
Stimulates blood flow, which keeps tissues healthy by increasing the amount of oxygen they receive, and eliminating waste from them.
Cayenne is known as a cholesterol-lowering herb and can be used liberally in cooking. It reduces the stickiness of blood platelets, which tend to congregate on the sides of arteries to cause arteriosclerosis.
Small amounts when added to celery and parsley juices make a powerful heart remedy. Juice 2 cloves of garlic, 6 tablespoons of onion (raw), 1 bunch of parsley, 1 cup of celery with leaves. Then add 2 cups of tomato juice, pinches of cayenne pepper and ginger root. Water should then be added to improve the consistency.
For baldness add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper to a cup of olive oil and rub the balding area with the mixture daily.
Cayenne pepper capsules are said to work better than aspirin and other over the counter drugs as a pain reliever.
A traditional folk remedy for toothache pain is to apply a few grains or drops. Cayenne will kill pain, but its hot properties are very unpleasant to most people.
CAUTION: Be careful not to get into your eyes. If you eat too much you may develop a burning sensation in your mouth, which you can relieve by drinking a glass of milk.
CELERY SEED (Apium graveolens) ... Believed to have a calming influence. Sheds water weight, lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol. It may protect against cancer.
A study at the University of Chicago found that it decreased the blood pressure of lab animals by 12 % when they were given a daily dose (over a four-week period) and the same experiment showed a reduction in cholesterol that clogs arteries.
CAUTION: If you use it as a diuretic be advised that you may be stripping more than just water from your body. Diuretics can also deplete you of potassium that is an essential nutrient.
FENUGREEK (Trigonella foenum-gracum) ... Lowers cholesterol and can be used liberally in cooking. Found in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, it is said to impart fire and vigor.
Because of it´s soothing properties, it if sometimes taken internally for stomach problems. The taste of the seeds is akin to maple sugar and can be used as a spice when cooking. Also, has been used for bronchitis, fevers and gargled for sore throat. A poultice is prepared by pulverizing seeds for fistulas, furuncles, gouty pains, neuralgia, sciatica, sores, swollen glands, wounds, tumors, and skin irritations.
A preliminary study in Israel has reported that when 15-grams of fenugreek seed is mixed with water and eaten at mealtime, it lowers the high after meal blood sugar levels for non-insulin dependent diabetics.
Also reported to alleviate depression.
Has been used with excellent results to alleviate allergies, migraines, emphysema, intestinal inflammation, ulcers, and sore throats.
Fenugreek is categorized as a galactogogue which is a word that the ancient Greeks used to mean, to bring milk. Breast feeding mothers may use to stimulate production of milk.
FLAX SEED (Linum utissimum) ... The oil is a prostaglandin precursor that is rich in gamma-linolenic acid. It helps to form prostaglandins which are fatty acids that produce a wide range of effects in the body, such as protecting the lining of the stomach against ulcers and stimulating contractions during labor. Flax seed lowers cholesterol ... it contains the kind of fat (unsaturated) which does not turn on the liver´s production of cholesterol. Like fish oil, it is a protector against stroke and heart attack. In laboratory tests it reduces the risk of cancer.
Flaxseed contains more "lignans" and "alpha-linolenic acid" than any other foods. These two compounds appear to combat breast cancer, colon cancer, heart attacks, arthritis and depression. Also, flaxseed is a rich source of fiber ... a quarter of a cup of ground seeds is equivalent to one-and-a-half cups of oatmeal. Fiber helps to reduce the odds of contracting colon cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. According to the publishers of Prevention magazine, studies have shown that flaxseed lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) without decreasing the beneficial type (HDL). Flaxseed has over 75 times more lignans than any other plant foods and lignans can shrink existing breast and colon cancer tumors and prevent new ones from beginning (as per animal and test tube studies). There is increasing evidence that omega-3 fats that are contained in Flaxseed assists in preventing heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, menstrual cramps.
DOSAGE: 6-25 grams a day (1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup). CAUTION: Do not use flaxseed oil for baking ... under prolonged heat it oxidizes and should not be ingested. Also, some people are very allergic to flax.
Flax seed oil encourages the prostaglandins that dilate blood vessels and reduce platelet aggregation and cholesterol production. It also softens hard arteries, promotes healthy bones, strong nails, healthy skin and healthy teeth.
It is often used as a soothing laxative and to ease irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and diverticulitis. Also, it is a great source of fiber to combat diverticulosis and constipation. It is also heavy in potassium that lowers blood pressure.
Prepare by simmering the seeds in one cup of water or steep in cool water for 30 minutes to release mucilage. A normal dosage is one cup 2-3 times daily.
FO-TI (Polygonum Multiflorum) ... The root is an effective diuretic. Has been reported that it treats depression and improves memory ... also effective nourishment for the blood ... Fo-Ti also has anti-toxic and tranquilizing properties.
Fo-Ti is a whole body tonic that has been used to: 1. tone the liver and kidneys, 2. purify the blood, 3. alleviate insomnia, 4. increase energy, 5. treat stomach upset, 6. treat diabetes, 7. treat coronary artery disease, 8. treat high cholesterol, 9. treat backaches, 10. treat excessive sweating, 11. treat neurasthenia, 12. treat tuberculosis adenopathy, 13. treat swelling.
GARLIC ... Charak, the father of Ayurvedic medicine wrote in 3000 B.C. that "garlic helps in maintaining the fluidity of the blood, strengthens the heart, and prolongs life." It has been scientifically shown to ... 1) Prevent the cholesterol raising effect of high fat foods. 2) Prevent the rise in triglyceride levels due to sucrose rich foods. 3) Slow down the body's production of fibrin, a blood-clotting compound. 4) inhibit the clumping of blood platelets. It was used by the ancient Egyptians.
Garlic also has antibacterial properties as demonstrated in a study in 1969, which showed that it killed Salmonella and Escherichia coli bacteria.
Other tests showed that it killed all eighteen strains of the dangerous microorganism called Cryptococcus neoformans.
Another study found that topical applications on fungal lesions of the skin could be effectively cured by garlic extract.
There is abundant evidence that garlic also protects against cancer of the colon, stomach, and breast.
Sometimes used as vaginal suppositories ... many people swear that garlic capsules fight yeast infections.
A study in Japan showed that garlic trapped lead and mercury in the body and removed it.
Powdered garlic is an immune-function booster ... since 1990 there have been 129 references to the beneficial effects of garlic. One study showed that a half to one clove of garlic eaten daily will translate into a 9% decrease in cholesterol levels ... which decreases the risk of heart attack by 18%.
INGREDIENTS: Selenium, germanium, calcium, vitamin A, B1, B2, C. The two primary components are enzyme allinase which forms allicin.
MORE BENEFITS: Detoxifies the body ... purifies the blood ... strengthens blood vessels.
DOSAGE: For prevention purposes, the recommended daily intake of fresh garlic is 4 grams (approx. one clove) ... while cooking will destroy garlic's anti-microbial effects, it's benefits for the heart remain intact. Typical use of garlic oil is 1-2 teaspoons ... 0.24 to 1.2 teaspoon of powdered garlic ... 1-2 raw cloves.
CAUTION: There are documented cases of unwanted interactions with the blood-thinning drug warfarin (Coumadin). Some people report allergic reactions and develop a rash when touching or eating garlic. Stomach upset has also been reported. People who have clotting problems like hemophilia should not use it. Long-term topical use is not recommended because it can irritate and possibly burn. It is not recommended for long term use for people with diabetes, acute inflammation, dehydration or insomnia or for those who are taking blood thinners.
GINSENG (Penax Quinque Folius) ... Boost stamina, relieve stress, stimulate the immune system, reduces cholesterol, protect your liver, fight cancer, help control diabetes.
Once grown only in Asia, and requiring a harsh environment, the ginseng root has played a legendary role in Oriental medicine ... especially in China. Chinese literature cites a wide range of uses for the root. It emphasizes increased vitality.
Panax ginseng is a favorite brain herb ... according to research done at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science, Panax ginseng contains compounds which increase the brain's neuro-transmitter activity.
It is a demulcent and helpful for coughs, colds and chest congestion. Reduces symptoms of fever and inflammatory illness ... can help relieve nausea and vomiting.
A male hormone associated with longevity, prostate and stomach problems.
CAUTIONS: The main risk is that you may not be getting your money´s worth. Ginseng is very costly so manufacturers dilute it. One study analyzed 54 ginseng products and found that 25 % contained no ginseng whatsoever! Buy only from reputable sources.
Penax ginseng may alter blood levels of warfarin. When taken with an anti-depressant, phenelzine ... may cause headache, tremor and episodes of mania. Siberian ginseng may boost blood levels of digoxin to unsafe concentrations.
As with all herbs do not take while pregnant without first consulting with your health provider.
OYSTER MUSHROOM (Pleurotus ostreatus) ... The Chinese indicate that it is used for joint and muscle relaxation. Traditionally it has been used to strengthen veins and relax tendons.
REISHI MUSHROOMS (Ganoderma lucidum) ... Probably the most famous of medicinal mushrooms ... it is know as ling-zhi in China and reighi in Japan. Over the past couple of decades it has been tested in human clinical studies and determined to be beneficial in treating a wide variety of disorders including neurasthenia, insomnia, rhinitis, and duodenal ulcers. It has been used for liver pain, symptoms associated with anorexia, retinal pigmentary degeneration, and progressive muscular dystrophy. Other purported uses for the reishi mushroom includes the lowering of cholesterol, prevention of blood clots, prevention of tumor growth, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome.
Reishi has shown favorable results in treating hepatitis, chronic bronchitis, coronary heart disease, allergies, and altitude sickness Today it is used primarily for aging-related conditions, cancer, and as an immune stimulant.
Referred to in China as the elixir of life. Its use was reserved for the emperor.
Dosage: tincture, 10 ml 3 times per day (for insomnia) ... (qty. 3) 1g tabs per day.
SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS (Lentinus edodes) Also called ... Japanese mushroom Prized by the Chinese for thousands of years for it´s medicinal properties. It is dark and flavorful and used for treating sexual dysfunction.
Extracts have been shown to shrink tumors, lower cholesterol of the blood, combat viruses, combat bacteria, helps to stimulate the immunity system and fights cholesterol.
CAUTION: May inhibit liver detoxification to produce increased theophylline in the blood.
YAM (DIOSCOREA VILLOSA) ... From the plant called Dioscorea villisa L ... it is also known as the Mexican Yam or Wild Yam. It contains the precursors that serve as the basis for the body's production of DHEA.
DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is produced by the adrenal glands ... it helps to reduce cholesterol and burn body fat, and may help increase muscle mass. DHEA-S is the most widely circulated hormone in the body and research indicates that high levels are associated with fewer free radicals.
DHEA is often referred to as "the youth hormone" by the scientific community and is recognized as an anti-aging substance. It is most highly concentrated at the age of 25 (approx.) and sharply decreases with age. At the age of 80, it only produces 10-20% of what was produced at age 25.
DHEA is called the "mother of hormones" because it is used by the body to manufacture many other hormones, including our sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, etc.). The body produces DHEA and then converts it on demand to other hormones.
Maintaining DHEA levels is beneficial for improving memory, preventing Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
A 12 year study published by the respected New England Journal of Medicine in 1986 (315.1519-24) showed that men who were aged 50 to 79 gained the following benefits with a 100 microgram per deciliter increase of DHEA sulfate concentration ... 1) a 48% reduction in mortality due to cardiovascular disease and a 36% reduction of mortality for all reasons. Subjects with higher levels lived longer and had a much lower risk of heart disease.
The rhizomes are the part of the plant that is used and according to one health expert it relaxes muscle spasms, promotes perspiration. It is also good for many female disorders like PMS and menopause-related symptoms.
Wild yam is typically used for bilious colic, dysmenorrhea, nausea, menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms (under debate).
Available as a tincture, teas, capsules, pills and externally as a lotion/cream. Take capsules with a large drink of water (with or without food).
CAUTION: May react with progesterone and/or estrogen.