How Herbs Complete a Holistic Approach to Heart Health

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the heart is known as the “king of all organs”, representing self awareness, the ability to connect, and the key to living a fulfilling, happy life.

The heart is the centre of the cardiovascular system – an elaborate network of veins and arteries that flow blood into every area of the body, ensuring that we are oxygenated, nourished and that our hormones and immune response can function properly.

Unfortunately, heart disease is the second leading cause of death among Canadians, with several contributing risk factors, including age, family history and lifestyle factors.

Experts agree that the best approach to protecting cardiovascular health is through preventative measures – with the Heart and Stroke Foundation stating that 8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease and stroke cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours*.

Healthy dietary choices and fitness are foundational preventative approaches you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease – but did you know that targeted, therapeutic herbs can also help to fortify heart health?

HeartBeat by St Francis Herb Farm

HeartBeat® is a blend of time-honoured herbs that help maintain and support cardiovascular health through their synergistic actions. These unique, heart-supportive herbs include:

Hawthorn

(Crataegus monogyna) – a plant often referred to as “the heart herb”, is a member of the rose family. Its benefits are derived from its flower, leaf, and bright red berries, which are all rich in protective flavonoids — potent antioxidants that can help decrease inflammation. Hawthorn has a long history in traditional medicine as a circulatory tonic that increases cardiac output (pumping out blood efficiently) by improving the heart’s muscle tone and vascular integrity.

Hawthorn is also available as a single herb- tincture.

Arjuna

(Terminalia arjuna ) – has long been revered in Ayurveda – the ancient medicinal practice of India – as a valued heart tonic. Modern researchers have identified the bark as effective in supporting the function of the heart muscle and promoting healthy lipoprotein (cholesterol) balance.

Garlic

(Allium sativum) – well known for the broad benefits of its excellent antioxidant properties, garlic has also shown cardioprotective features in supporting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Turmeric

(Curcuma longa) – traditionally used in Indian cookery and in Ayurvedic medicine for circulation and to quell inflammation. Its trademark bright golden hue comes from phenolic compounds called curcuminoids that make up 2-5% of turmeric. These curcuminoids have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory cardioprotective effects that have positive effects on cholesterol.

Reishi

(Ganoderma lucidum) –  Sixteenth-century Ming Dynasty texts say that this marvellous Chinese medicinal mushroom ‘mends the heart’, and it has been shown to exert a positive influence over healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

These powerful herbs are rounded out with linden, cayenne, motherwort, and Southern prickly ash – each bringing unique cardiovascular supportive benefits to the formula. HeartBeat® can easily be incorporated into a heart-protective lifestyle routine – it’s as simple as adding ½ teaspoon (2 ml) to a glass of water 3 times a day! (To avoid digestive upset, take with food/meal.)

Supporting the body holistically by cultivating heart-healthy lifestyle habits is the best preventative approach for preserving overall health. The basics for cardiovascular health include:

  • Building a healthy diet based on whole, fresh foods with plenty of fibre, fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of healthy fats.
  • Daily movement and regular exercise.
  • Effective stress management
  • Cultivating healthy, restorative sleep.
  • Reducing damaging, unhealthy habits.

Adding powerful herbs to your routine enhances your preventative approach – and what’s more, HeartBeat® can be taken over extended periods as a part of your daily proactive regimen.

Show your heart some love – and support your cardiovascular health for many years to come.

*Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

References available upon request.

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