by erin stewart -1695

Top 10 Herbs for the Cardiovascular System

We’re covering a lot of heart-healthy herbs and essential oils this month here on the blog and in the February issue of the magazine, which revolves around herbs and essential oils for the cardiovascular system. These 10 botanicals are my absolute favorites for heart-health blends, both physical and emotional. You’ll find some of them in the heart tonic shrub recipe I shared last week as well! Let’s dig in, shall we? My top 10 herbs for heart health and the cardiovascular system are…

1. Hawthorn

I recently published a full article all about Hawthorn, its therapeutic effects and its test results, so I’ll let you read more about it there, but I will say here that Hawthorn is the primary heart health herb for good reason. It’s indicated for almost every kind of heart-related ailment, helps improve circulation, balances blood pressure, regulates cholesterol and heartbeat, and generally strengthens and tones the heart. It’s wonderful for any kind of emotional or energetic issues that are being manifested in pain or sadness carried in the chest area as well. Read more about it (and find the references for all of these statements) here.

2. Motherwort

Motherwort is a Mint family herb that contains heart-healthy flavonoids and glycosides. It can be a bit bitter, so it’s usually taken as a tincture made from the aerial parts of the plant. Motherwort helps to improve circulation and regulate the heartbeat. It works very well for people who tend toward nervousness and carry a lot of tension in the body.

Caution: Motherwort is an emmenagogue, so it should be avoided by pregnant women.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory herb that helps to prevent heart ailments and supports the body when dealing with them. It helps with improved circulation and cholesterol levels, boasts anticoagulant properties and has been shown to protect against heart disease.  Read my full profile on Turmeric here.

4. Hibiscus

I like to add Hibiscus flowers to my Hawthorn tea and they are an ingredient in my heart tonic herbal shrub recipe. They are rich in heart-protective antioxidants and have been shown in studies to balance blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels.

5. Rose

Studies show that fresh Rose flowers help us to feel calmer and more comfortable. They’re traditionally given to express love for someone and to send comfort and love to someone who is hurting because they are so deeply heart-nourishing energetically. Tinctures made from Rose can have an analgesic, anti-inflammatory effect and are especially useful when we are feeling physical pain caused by an emotional wound. Rose extracts also show potential for their ACE-inhibiting action and potential for blood pressure regulation.

Rose essential oil has been widely used in aromatherapy to help comfort and uplift the hurting heart and to bring a sense of calm when one is feeling nervous or ungrounded. The essential oil and the hydrosol have anti-inflammatory effects which indicate that, energetically, they can be used to help us let go of the things that are inflamed (causing pain) in our hearts. Rose’s antispasmodic activity further helps us to let go of the tension associated with the pain. Rose is an exemplary emotional healer for issues of the heart.

6. Garlic

Garlic helps promote healthy circulation and may help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is said to have a blood-thinning effect and has traditionally been used to help prevent heart ailments.

7. Ginger

I have a full profile on Ginger here. While typically thought of as a digestive herb, Ginger has been found to be able to reduce blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and to have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s especially efficient at keeping energy flowing and increasing circulation.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary has been found to be effective for use when dealing with heart ailments. It has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect and posses antioxidant properties that help protect the heart as well. It has been found to reduce oxidative stress and regulate cholesterol levels.

9. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a yummy, spicy herb that is commonly used to flavor food, but it can also help protect against heart diseases and has abundant anti-inflammatory constituents. It also shows promise for balancing blood pressure and cholesterol and boasts antioxidant protection.

10. Nettles

Nettles are incredibly rich in minerals that are necessary for the heart to function properly. Furthermore, it shows antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory effects combined with cholesterol regulation and a decreased risk of heart issues in certain cases. Nettles have traditionally been used to help balance blood pressure as well.

Which herbs would you add to this list?

Much love,

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Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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