High Cholesterol – Phytotherapeutic Treatments
The heart is one of the vital organs of our body. For it to function within normal parameters, several conditions must be fulfilled. One of these conditions is that the blood vessels to be in optimal condition without any changes of the lumen. These changes may be genetic, as aneurysms or acquired as a result of other medical conditions or due to a lifestyle and/or unhealthy eating: atheroma plaque, necrosis, weakening of the valves (especially when it comes to leg veins which provides venous return).
One of the main causes of damaging the quality of our blood vessels is the deposition of cholesterol in the form of atherosclerotic plaques. Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver, with a role in cell membrane formation, and certain hormones. When performing analysis, we measure the total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, total lipids and triglycerides.
HDL represents the cholesterol which is transported to various organs to the liver where it will then be sent to the body. HDL can gather the cholesterol deposited on artery eliminating 1 and reducing the formation of plaque buildup.
The triglycerides are fatty substances that are also obtained from the body of the food ingested fats and their high levels may also result diseases such as diabetes mellitus and myocardial infarction.
There are phytotherapeutic treatments that can help hypercholesterolemia and/or hypertriglyceridemia, which can be administered in various dosage forms, from a simple tea, to tablets / capsules or tinctures / extracts. The main herbs contained in most products are: olive, artichoke, dandelion, celandine green tea, omega fatty acids, and dietary fiber.
The leaves of olive (Olea europaea) contain iridoids, triterpenes and flavonoids, substances that lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL), having an important role in protecting blood vessel walls. It is therefore recommended in the treatment of coronary artery disease, hypertension and atherosclerosis.
The leaves of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus), sterol-rich compounds have properties to stimulate the liver function, for lowering the cholesterol, hepato-protective, choleretic, carminative and antiemetic. But the administration is not recommended in cases of biliary obstruction or severe hepatic impairment.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a plant with choleretic-cholagogue known qualities. It is recommended hepatobiliary disorders, in detoxification treatment and is very rich in potassium; it is useful for patients suffering from high blood pressure, heart failure or arrhythmias. Action on lipid metabolism is achieved by depurative properties and laxative, helping to remove from the body of the metabolic waste and cholesterol. It is not recommended in biliary and peptic ulcer (stimulates gastric secretions).
Celandine (Chelidonium majus) is another herb known for its choleretic-cholagogue action recommended in the liver disease, and even in cirrhosis. In addition, celandine has a strong bactericidal action. It increases the secretion of pancreatic lipase and amylase responsible for the digestion of fats, thus helping to lower the cholesterol and lipids. Not recommended in jaundice acute phase.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains the beneficial substance, such as theine, tannins, amino acids, proteins, calcium, iron, fluoride, and essential oils. It is especially recommended for its diuretic and depurative properties, favoring fat burning and helping to lower the cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Fatty acids Omega 3, 6, 9 are essential, our body cannot produce them, found in various species of fish, and seeds and nuts. Helps maintaining a normal level of blood cholesterol and contribute to strengthen the blood vessel walls. Has also the role to “thin” the blood, similar to acetylsalicylic acid.
Fibers found in raw, unprocessed vegetables and fruits, in cereals and bread, also have an important role in maintaining normal cholesterol. The mechanism by which this is achieved is quite simple; fibers binding to cholesterol and with it are being removed from the body.