Herbal Medicine & Cardiovascular Conditions
Have you considered taking herbal medicines, however not quite sure if they work or are safe?
Herbal medicine in the form of tinctures and herbal teas hold a large part in every naturopath’s toolbox. My love for herbal medicine continues to grow and grow, due to the fact that I see how well they work and the positive effects they have.
Yes, they are strong tasting and quite bluntly, can taste vile, however herbal medicines are absolutely indispensable when helping patients with their cardiovascular conditions.
In my practice, I use evidence-based herbal medicine, meaning there is scientific research and studies that show the effectiveness of these herbs in various conditions.
There are many herbs that have strong research behind them in terms of cardiovascular benefits. Many of these herbs also have multiple actions and tick multiple boxes, so to speak.
For example, we have Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). This widely researched herb has many actions which benefit the cardiovascular system as a whole. It is known as an antiarrhythmic, antioxidant, cardiotonic (i.e., increasing the strength of the heart), hypotensive (i.e., can reduce blood pressure) and a vasodilator (i.e., has the ability to relax and dilate blood vessels).
How amazing! Hawthorn is just one herb of many that have benefits for the cardiovascular system.
When talking about herbal medicines, I always find it so important to note the following: please do not self-medicate with herbs.
Yes, you can find herbal capsules and the like in many health food stores and some pharmacies. However, without the proper knowledge of how they work and what interactions they have with pharmaceutical medications, it can lead to a situation that causes damage.
Additionally, many herbs are contraindicated when a woman is either pregnant or breastfeeding and much caution should be taken during this time.
In short, always, always, always consult with a naturopath if you are considering taking any herbal medicines! We are trained to know exactly how they work, what organs and systems of the body they affect, what interactions they have with medications and importantly, what dose is right for you in your current situation.