3 Herbs For Heart Health

February is American Heart Health month. So what better time than now to talk about heart healthy herbs.


Honestly, I think this is something we should be raising awareness for all year round, and not just the month of February, but since it’s also Valentines Day, it just makes it perfect, eh?

What’s frightening is that the CDC reports that almost ½ of all American adults have high blood pressure. That’s over 116 million adults.


And hypertension puts you at high risk for heart disease, or even stroke.


What makes it even scarier is that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the united states.

Poor heart health is costing Americans over 131 Billion per year! That’s absolutely insane!


And while there are many things you can do to improve your heart and cardiovascular health, such as getting adequate exercise, and eating a proper diet rich in colorful foods, and less of the bad ones.


There are also some really beneficial plants to help you along your way.


And, that’s what you'll discover in this article. Plus, you'll be getting my favorite heart healthy lovers cordial recipe. Not only heart health, but tongue tantalizing too!


It's true, I love celebrating love, and I love our hearts, as obviously they’re an integral part of our body systems. And, clearly without them we would not exist. So, it’s really important that we care for them, am I right?


And this issue is super important to me. I’m 43, and I’ve already had 2 of the men I dated in my earlier years, that have passed due to heart failure. And, I’m so sorry to say another person from my life just passed away last week, from heart failure. And while their heart fails, mine and all of their other loved ones break.


It’s so sad and devastating, and when you recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country, it’s clear we need to step it up a lot in regards to heart health.

Needless to say, this topic really hits close to home for me.


And, I’m frequently asked what herbs to take for various heart and cardiovascular conditions.

So, while as you read this post, PLEASE know that it is extremely important for you to work with your doctor or health care provider. I am not giving you healthcare advice. What works for one person, may not be what works for you. That being said, I am going to speak about the herbs I know to be most effective, while also being the most safe.


Be sure to read to the bottom for my super yummy heart healthy recipe.


Heart Healthy Garlic Allium sativum

So, the first herb I want to talk about today is one that most of you likely have sitting around your house right now. And, oftentimes, those are the very best herbs to go to!

And this one is also one of the more impressive herbs out there when it comes to heart and cardiovascular health, yet so few people think of it as such.


And, it's Garlic!


Did you know that Garlic can decrease your risk of heart attack or stroke?

Gut Brain Connection

One of the ways it helps to do this is by helping to clear the plaque that may build up on arterial walls.


It also increases HDL cholesterol levels, or ‘the good cholesterol” while lowering LDL cholesterol, or the stuff that leads to atherosclerosis.


Garlic increases the volume of blood in the capillaries and dilates the blood vessels, ultimately reducing blood pressure.


It’s the allicin in garlic that helps to make all of this heart healthy goodness happen.


There’s so many amazing health benefits to garlic, and it’s wonderful because it’s by far one of my favorite things to eat. I’m definitely in the club of increasing the garlic in the recipe by 10x every time!


You can definitely get the benefits from eating garlic, adding it to your soups, stews, broths, stir fries and curries.


But, to get the maximum amount of health benefits, it’s best to eat it raw.


I know I know. You may be thinking, there’s no way in heck I am going to eat raw garlic, or get anyone in my house to eat raw garlic either!


But, ya want to know my secret way of eating raw garlic and liking it?

You ferment it in honey! Super simple process, just add raw peeled garlic cloves to some honey. Allow it to sit and ferment. Then, you get to eat those big chunks of garlic and love it.


If you want that exact recipe, you can head to the Cold & Flu Busters Guide linked right here. I share that recipe and bunches of other goodies from your medicine chest in the kitchen.


Another way I love to get raw garlic in me is by eating the whole cloves that have been pickled! You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones hanging at the bottom of the pickle jar. Ya, those, they're so darn yummy to me! I should probably just pickle a bunch of my own raw garlic, sans the pickles, ya ?


Anyway, Garlic is the jam, and if you don’t think so, you may just want to stop the show, and listen to someone else, cause I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

Ok, ok, I kid, I’m a “to each their own” kinda lady.


Anyway, let’s move on to the next amazing herb for heart and cardiovascular health.


Heavenly Heart Happifying Hibiscus Hibiscus sabdariffa

She’s a beautiful one and oh so popular for so many people.


It’s Hibiscus! Yes, the lovely often bright red flower that s many love to have in their teas.

It’s also known as sour tea, because it’s well… a bit sour!

heart healthy hibiscus tea

I use it in my Hibiscus Heart Song blend, for it’s heart healthy properties and it’s delicious taste, only I balance it with other heart happifying and nerve calming herbs to make it, even tastier, minus so much bitter.

Anyway, those heart healthy properties, that’s what we’re here for, right?

Hibiscus has been showing some great promise for helping to reduce harmful cholesterol levels.

A study done in 2009 with 53 diabetic women, showed that drinking one cup of hibiscus tea per day for 1 month, lowered their LDL 

cholesterol (the bad stuff) by 8%, and raised their HDL (the good stuff) by 14.9%!

Wow! Those are some mighty impressive results for sipping a tasty cuppa tea, ya?

But wait, there’s more!


Not only can hibiscus improve cholesterol health with a simple cuppa tea, it can also help lower blood pressure!


If these aren’t incentives to drink some tasty hibiscus tea, I don’t know what is!


Though, I must admit, I’m honestly not the hugest fan of the sour taste of hibiscus. But, I love it when it’s mixed with lemon balm, and lemon verbena, and a bit of the super tasty circulatory stimulant, cinnamon, like in my Hibiscus Heart Song blend.


Yes, I’m biased, but it’s just a darn good tea!


Hawthorn Crataegus spp.

Another heart healthy herb, that’s probably on the top of my list, and also in my Hibiscus Heart Song, is Hawthorn!

I have a major love affair with this beautiful tree, and the medicine it creates!

It’s one of the best herbs out there for toning the heart muscle, and cardiovascular system. It’s the first herbs I think of using when it comes to almost anything related to heart health, minus low blood pressure. It’s 

generally regarded as safe, though if you are dealing with heart health conditions, it is VERY important that you work with your doctor.


It promotes dilated coronary arteries, which are the guys that bring oxygen rich blood back to the heart. It’s also shown to increase the strength of the muscle contractions as the heart pumps, while also decreasing blood pressure, and ultimately protecting against heart failure.

It’s also been shown to help with irregular heart beat, and so much more.


I do want to iterate again, that your heart health is incredibly important! And while these plants are amazing and powerful, so so important for you to work with your physician when dealing with any heart condition!


Ok, I know I say that a bunch, but I truly mean it!


And back to the hawthorn note, one of the other things I love about it, is that it also opens the heart to giving and receiving of love, and can help someone who’s dealing with a grieving heart.

It’s truly a beautiful shrubbery, and quite abundant too!

Ok, so we’ve covered a few of my favorite herbs to go to when it comes to improving heart and cardiovascular health!

Heart Healthy Cordial Recipe

Now, let’s chat about one of my favorite heart health recipes, shall we?


This a tasty recipe I love to make around Valentines day. I refer to it as a lovers cordial, and it’s so darn tasty and heart healthy too!


It will even help get the blood pumping to those super important places that you want blood flowing to when you’re with your lover, if ya know what I mean


hawthorn hibiscus cinnamon tincture jar

Ingredients:


2 parts hawthorn berries

1.5 partshawthorn leaf and flower

1.5 parts damiana leaf

1 part blueberries

1 part cinnamon chips, sticks, or powder

½ part rose buds and/or petals

A bit of honey or maple syrup for a touch of sweetness (As if you aren’t sweet enough just for making this for someone)

Brandy, or apple cider vinegar if you’d like to go alcohol free


Directions:

Get a clean glass jar

Fill it about ½ to ¾ full with the herbs & the honey

Pour your brandy over the top, until the jar is almost full

Cap it & label it (always put your ingredients, and the proportions if you’d like to make it again)

Shake it with lots of love every day!

Let the cordial sit for 2-6 weeks.

Strain it when you’re done

Place it in another clean jar or bottle, decorate it if you wish

Share it with someone you love!


I hope you try it out!

If you do, leave me a comment or message. Let me know what you think, and enjoy the heck outta this drink!


These are just a few of the herbs I’m so grateful to have in my medicine cabinet at the ready as I need them.

Hibiscus Heart Song Hawthorn Cinnamon Heart Healthy Tea

Love these herbs and want to get some in your belly? You can find them, with an array of other amazing herbs for a happy healthy hear & Soul in our Hibiscus Heart Song Blend

If you love learning about herbs, and how they can benefit your health? Check out my podcast at The Herbalist’s Path, and download my Cold & Flu Buster’s In Your Kitchen Cabinet guide complete with recipes from the medicines you didn't know you had!


About the Author: Melissa Mutterspaugh

Mel

Melissa lives in Oregon, in the foothills of Mount Hood.  She's a clinical herbalist, environmental educator, mother, wilderness therapist, lover, nemophilist, music loving maniac, and the founder of Mountain Mel's Essential Goods, and podcast host at The Herbalist's Path.  She is passionate about inspiring others to take better care of our planet, through taking better care of themselves, naturally!

 


We love the mission and sustainable herbs available through Oshala Farms & Mountain Rose Herbs and receive a small commission when you purchase through our affiliate links. 

*Always remember to contact your healthcare provider when considering the use of botanical medicine as a possible treatment option and the medical considerations. While the information in this article is absolutely relevant, herbs work differently for each person and each condition.

**I am a trained herbalist and not a licensed or registered healthcare practitioner. I cannot diagnose health conditions, nor prescribe medicines legally; I am not a medical doctor. However, I will recommend or suggest medicinal herbs for various health complaints, as I do believe in the safety and efficacy of botanical medicine.

 

***The information I’ve provided is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing.

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