Home Medicinal Plants Medicinal plants for the heart and circulation

Medicinal plants for the heart and circulation

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 205 views

A well-functioning cardiovascular system is absolutely vital for the body because it ensures that all cells are supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure or cardiac insufficiency are therefore serious health risks. In the case of harmless problems such as slightly low blood pressure, the symptoms can often be alleviated with medicinal plants alone. In more serious cases, herbal medicine can at least support conventional medical treatment. Find out more about the cardiovascular system and medicinal plants that have a regulating or supporting effect on it.

From hawthorn to foxglove

When it comes to medicinal plants for the cardiovascular system, many people immediately think of hawthorn . In fact, the medicinal plant is considered a universal heart remedy that can help the circulatory pump with a wide variety of problems. But there are other medicinal plants that, thanks to their ingredients, can have a positive effect on the heart and vascular system, such as rosemary and garlic .

The best-known medicinal plants for the heart and circulation

Some of the medicinal plants for the heart and circulation are used directly in the form of tea (e.g. rosemary and hawthorn). Others are used exclusively to obtain the active ingredients, which are then used in controlled doses for medicinal purposes. A well-known example of this is the foxglove (digitalis): the cardiac glycosides isolated from it are given in certain heart diseases. These are well-known medicinal plants for the heart and circulation:

Hawthorn preparations are used for heart failure. Read more about the effect, application and possible side effects of hawthorn here!

Garlic (Allium sativum) prevents arteriosclerosis and helps against elevated blood fat levels such as cholesterol . Read more about garlic !

Rosemary can have a healing effect on circulatory and rheumatic complaints as well as digestive problems. Read more about rosemary and rosemary oil !

Birch leaves are used for urinary tract inflammation and kidney gravel, the bark for skin injuries. Learn more about the effects and uses of birch!

The cardiovascular system briefly explained

The cardiovascular system is the body’s central supply unit, consisting of the heart muscle and the network of blood vessels that runs through the body. Through regular contractions, the heart pumps blood through the vessels so that it can reach all parts of the body. The red body juice carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells and carries waste products to the excretory organs (such as the kidneys and lungs).

The pressure that the blood exerts on the vessel walls is called blood pressure. In the best case, it is 120/80 mmHg (millimetres of mercury). The first value (120) is the vascular pressure that prevails when the heart contracts (systolic blood pressure). The second value occurs when the heart muscle expands to refill with blood before the next contraction (diastolic blood pressure).

Common problems

Circulatory problems in the form of low or high blood pressure are widespread. Low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and fatigue. The circulatory and blood circulation-promoting effect of rosemary can counteract these symptoms. Lavender also has a stimulating effect on the circulation .

High blood pressure (hypertension) usually has no symptoms. However, it can have serious consequences such as stroke and heart attack through hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). Garlic preparations are considered natural blood pressure reducers. Anyone who wants to lower blood pressure naturally can also benefit from diuretic medicinal plants such as birch: by increasing the amount of urine, they reduce the amount of blood and thus the pressure in the vessels. Calming medicinal plants such as valerian , lemon balm or hops can help with high blood pressure caused by nervousness.

A weakened heart muscle (heart failure) cannot pump enough blood into the circulatory system. Typical consequences are severe tiredness, chest pain and accumulation of water in the tissue (oedema). In milder cases, the cardiac insufficiency only becomes noticeable during physical exertion (e.g. climbing stairs), in severe cases even at rest. Hawthorn can alleviate the symptoms via various mechanisms of action: Among other things, it strengthens the heart and improves blood flow to the heart muscle and the rest of the body by expanding the vessels.

To flush out the edema, patients can also use the diuretic effect of medicinal plants such as birch and nettle . In all cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using medicinal plants, especially if conventional medicine is already being used.

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