One of the medical buzz word these days is cholesterol. Your doctor tells you you need to lower your numbers. Well just what does it all mean. Just what is cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fat like substance that circulates in the blood stream. It is produced by the body for building cell membranes and sex hormones. Cholesterol aids in our digestion process.
Eighty percent of cholesterol is manufactured by the body for necessary functions. Only twenty percent comes from the diet. So even a vegetarian can have high cholesterol.
Cholesterol travels throughout your bloodstream in lipoproteins. LDL or Low Density Lipoproteins delivers cholesterol to your body. HDL or high density lipoproteins are the "good" guys because they sweep the bloodstream clean of any excess cholesterol. Too much LDL is bad for your body, and having the HDL is good.
So, what is a good cholesterol number for you.
Total cholesterol should be less than 200 for best heart health. Between 200-239 is borderline high and 240 and over means you are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
Your LDL or Low-density lipoprotein levels should be less than 130. Form 130 to 159 is borderline high. At 160 or more your chance of heart disease rises.
Your HDL or high-density lipoprotein should be 60 or higher to reduce the chance for heart disease and stroke. Less than 60 improves your chances for heart disease.
Now that all the medical terminology is out of the way let us discuss herbal remedies to help lower that cholesterol. There are many ways to add herbs to your diet. You can drink them in a tea, or use them in your cooking. You can take them in capsule form. Anyway you take them, you will benefit from the medicinal properties of the herb.
I personally lowered my cholesterol over 25% by using just herbs, and diet.
*Turmeric (Curcuma longa)- Great spice from India that improves the action of the liver. It can help ease stomach pains. It has powerful antioxidant properties. Use in soups, add to chicken or fish. You can also take turmeric in capsules.
*Garlic (Allium sativum)- Originally from Asia, garlic is now grown worldwide. Garlic lowers blood pressure and is loaded with vitamins and minerals.Use in cooking everyday. Fresh is best or in powdered form. Be sure to use garlic powder and not garlic salt. You could also take garlic capsules.
*Olive Leaf (Olea eruopaea) - Olive leaf of course comes from the same tree we get olives for olive oil. It grows wild in the Mediterranean regions. Olive leaf can be used as a tea. Steep for 20 minutes and drink. Olive oil can also help in lowering cholesterol if used in cooking.
*Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) - One of my personal favorite teas. It is a shrub native to South Africa, and has lots of vitamins and minerals. It makes a delicious tea that has been traditionally used to sooth digestion, stomach cramps and colic. Besides helping to lower cholesterol, Rooibos helps to control your appetite, thus can be beneficial in a weight loss program.
Some other herbs that can be beneficial in helping to lower your cholesterol are Fenugreek, Green Tea, Red Yeast Rice, as well as Vitamin C, Carnitine, and grape seed extract.
This is not meant to treat or to cure any illness. Please consult with your health care provider for what will work best for you.