According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every six American adults have high cholesterol, which is a known cause of heart disease. With heart disease being one of the top causes of death in America, it’s important to understand how damaging high cholesterol can be and what treatment options are available. Of course there are pharmaceutical solutions, but prescriptions can be expensive and in many cases a person’s cholesterol may not be quite high enough to warrant medication. Besides diet and exercise, both of which are important to maintain healthy heart, there are several effective herbal remedies for high cholesterol.
Herbal Remedies for High Cholesterol
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic is one of the most widely known remedies for high cholesterol. Taking 900 mg (one whole clove) of garlic a day for 4 to 5 months can lower LDL or bad cholesterol, while raising HDL or good cholesterol. Garlic also helps to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Alfalfa blocks cholesterol from being absorbed in the first place. The aerial parts of this plant can bring down serum cholesterol levels. It also has the fortunate side effect of preventing plaque buildup that causes atherosclerosis. At the same time, too much of alfalfa seeds can affect the red blood cells (RBC).
Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea restricts the absorption of cholesterol and increases lipid excretion level. It hinders the enzyme that actively promotes blood vessel constriction. Beyond being helpful in lowering cholesterol, green tea also helps to fight cancer and regulate blood sugar.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Fenugreek is another miracle herb that can be used to reduce the blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The herb contains saponin and galactomannan fiber, which can bring down cholesterol and glucose absorption and increase the secretion of bile acid. The high amount of fiber makes it an effective stool softening agent.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
While there are a lot of herbs that help lower bad cholesterol, milk thistle actually aids the liver in turning LDL into HDL and helps the liver to stay healthy. It is recommended to take 300 mg of extract per day in order to get noticeable results.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
Artichoke leaf lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterol. Consuming 1500 mg a day for about 6 weeks will lower cholesterol significantly. It is a natural diuretic and helps in losing weight. The herb also improves bile flow and promotes liver function.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Great at lowering overall cholesterol, ginger is very potent and it’s tasty as well. It only takes about 5 mg or 2 teaspoons of this little root extract to start on the road to a healthier heart. Before starting a ginger regimen it is better to consult a doctor because in addition to lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and strengthening the heart, ginger is also a natural blood thinner. Ginger also plays a notable role in preventing arterial plaque deposits.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
Guggul is a very effective herb to treat the condition of high cholesterol. Taking 25 mg of the extract 3 times a day for a period of 4 to 5 months can lower LDL levels up to 35 percent and improve HDL by 20 percent. According to western researchers, guggulsterone, the chemical found in this herb is mostly responsible for reducing cholesterol in the blood. This herb successfully disintegrates the cholesterol accumulation in the body and because of this, it is also used to treat several cardiovascular issues. In several studies, guggul has even outperformed cholesterol lowering medications.