12 things in your home that Lead to Heart Disease

These 10 Herbs Naturally Keep Your Arteries Clean

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It’s easy to take heart health for granted. Unless there’s a problem, most people don’t even think of their heart — let alone the arteries. The truth is, to reduce your risk of a stroke, heart failure, or heart attack and achieve your 100 Year Heart, you need to keep your arteries clean. Diet and lifestyle play a critical role in removing existing plaque, and herbs can complement your approach and keep those arteries free and clean.

Herbs that can help keep your arteries clean

Garlic 

Before it was used as a food, garlic was a staple medical ingredient. While it is a tasty culinary herb, it also helps keep your arteries clean. In a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, 55 patients, ages 40 to 75 were tracked for one year. The researchers asked some participants to supplement with garlic to discover how garlic could benefit heart disease. They found that those who supplemented with garlic saw an 80 percent reduction in soft plaque in the arteries.

A meta-analysis from The Journal of Nutrition looked at studies from over 50 years. These studies showed that garlic moderately to significantly regulated total cholesterol and reduced oxidized LDL levels. In fact, when taken for over two months, garlic helped regulate serum cholesterol by eight percent in many patients.

Ginger 

Did you know that ginger is a medicinal herb used in preventive cardiology? Ginger has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years to treat many conditions. Recently, the scientific community has taken notice of the positive effects it has on cardiovascular disease, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Antiplatelet effects
  • Hypotensive effects
  • Hypolipidemic effects

Ginger has medicinal properties that help reduce plaque in the arteries. An animal study looked at the possible effects of ginger on experimentally-induced hardening of the arteries in rabbits.  The results showed a decrease in the thickness of arteries in the ginger-treated group.

 Cayenne

Research presented at an American Chemical Society meeting focused on capsaicin, the compound that gives cayenne and other chili peppers heat. Researchers found that capsaicin boosts heart health in two ways.

First, it regulates cholesterol levels by reducing buildup, increasing breakdown, and excretion in the feces. Second, it blocks a gene that makes arteries contract, restricting blood flow to the heart and other organs. This allows more blood to flow through blood vessels.

Hawthorn 

In China, hawthorn has been used to treat cardiovascular disease since 659 AD. Traditionally, hawthorn berries improved high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, heart failure, and hardening of the arteries. Today, however, the flowers and leaves are used since they are believed to contain more flavonoids than the berries.

Antioxidants in hawthorn may help dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and protect blood vessels from damage. Hawthorn also contains the chemical quercetin, which reduces cholesterol. Research in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found that hawthorn extracts have anti-oxidative, serum lipid-lowering, and cardiovascular protective properties.

Hawthorn continues to gain popularity, especially for its anti-atherosclerotic effects, including:

  • Lowering abnormal cholesterol,
  • Improving artery health
  • Preventing thickening or hardening of the arteries — caused by a buildup of plaque

Reishi 

Reishi is a potent herb with antioxidant properties. It may help normalize cardiac function, support healthy cholesterol levels, and keep your arteries free of plaque. In a controlled two-week study involving 26 people, reishi mushrooms positively impacted cholesterol levels and decreased triglycerides — a harmful type of blood fat. 

Berberine   

For over 2,000 years, berberine has been an important part of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Berberine is a compound that comes from several herbal substances. Research in the journal Atherosclerosis suggests that berberine may help the heart in many ways and have a positive impact on cholesterol and triglycerides.

Recently, it has attracted a lot of interest for its use in managing cardiovascular disease. Other research suggests that berberine is one of the most promising herbs for treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Cardamom

Cardamom comes from the seeds of several different plants that belong to the ginger family. It contains phytochemicals that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have linked cardamom with improved heart health.

One animal study published in the journal Science of Food and Agriculture found that cardamom oil could help improve abnormal cholesterol levels in rats. 

Rosehip

Rosehip is a powerful herb, rich in antioxidants and loaded with ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds. Several studies suggest that rosehip fruits, seeds, and roots have anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and abnormal cholesterol-lowering effects in rodents and humans. 

A study in J Nutr Biochem set out to find if rosehip lowers cholesterol and its effect on atherosclerotic plaque formation. Researchers found that this herb can help keep arteries clean and reduce plaque buildup.

Curcumin

Curcumin, a polyphenol responsible for giving turmeric its yellow color, has been used to treat many diseases in traditional medicine. Research in the International Journal of Cardiology suggests that curcumin has:

  • Anti-carcinogenic effects
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-thrombotic effects
  • Anti-oxidant effects
  • Cardiovascular protective effects

In fact, curcumin’s anti-thrombotic, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects — plus its ability to decrease abnormal cholesterol levels naturally — may protect against atherosclerosis.

Bilberry 

These small, blue berries are often called European blueberries and are very similar to North American blueberries. According to research, bilberries are rich in vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clots and reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke.

One eight-week study found that eating a variety of berries daily, including bilberries, had a positive impact on cholesterol levels. They also experienced an improvement in platelet function and blood pressure.

Next steps

Many herbs can help treat atherosclerosis by improving abnormal cholesterol levels. If you’re looking for a natural approach to stop plaque in its tracks — and prevent future plaque buildup —  it’s time to add these beneficial herbs to your diet. Consider trying our berberine supplement or check out Optilipid, formulated with ingredients like resveratrol, silymarin, ginger, berberine, and green tea to help promote optimal LDL and HDL levels.

Eat Well · Live Well · Think Well 


Medical Review 2022: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

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We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

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