High cholesterol is a condition that is not limited by race or credo. It affects 60 million Americans and many more millions around the world. Consequently, people find the topic of using herbs to lower cholesterol a highly interesting and important matter.
This article looks at 5 herbs that are known to lower cholesterol and are used in different parts of the world. These 5 are herbs that you can use regularly to achieve and maintain ideal cholesterol levels. You can take the herb by itself or use a mixture of two or more.
1. Guggulipid or Commiphora Mukul - From the Guggul tree, Guggul is an herb that became popular as Guggulipid. This is an extract of the resin from Guggul and was a highly vaunted anti-cholesterol herb since the 1980s. Guggulipid is recognized for its ability to lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. The herb contains guggulsterone which is known to eliminate cholesterol from the body. Guggul is also useful in lowering your levels of insulin, blood pressure and fasting blood sugar.
2. Cayenne pepper - Put some zest into your dishes and some power to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels using cayenne pepper. The hot, hot, hot cayenne pepper comes from Capsicum frutescens and Capsicum baccatum. The fruits of these plants are dried and pulped to produce cayenne pepper powder. Cayenne has many uses that have benefited people for thousands of years. It is a diuretic, antiseptic, analgesic and expectorant. Not only that, it also considerably lowers your cholesterol levels by helping your body process fat and quickly excrete it from the body. You can find cayenne pepper in many forms. You can purchase it in capsule form, as an ointment, oil, cream or dried powder. Aside from treating high cholesterol levels, it is also useful in dealing with toothache, chronic pain and heart disease.
3. Artichoke Leaf or Cynara scolymnus - Artichoke leaf's ability to lower cholesterol is attributed to its luteolin and cybarin content. Luteolin is responsible for lowering bad cholesterol levels in the body, while cybarin speeds up bile production in the liver and also hastens the excretion of cholesterol through the feces. Use of cybarin harks way back to the early 1950s, where doctors used medications containing cybarin to lower the cholesterol levels of their patients. A study has shown just how effective artichoke leaf is in lowering cholesterol levels. It showed that taking 1,800 mg of the herb extract for one month and a half lowered cholesterol levels by as much as 18.5%.
4. Garlic - One of garlic's many uses is its ability to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and at the same time promote the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol levels. It can lower LDL levels by as much as 15% (for those who eat one clove a day). Garlic is also able to lower your body's blood pressure and triglyceride levels. In some parts of Europe, this is an herb approved as a solution for high cholesterol.
5. Alfalfa - The alfalfa herb works two ways: first, it lowers blood cholesterol directly and second, it blocks cholesterol absorption in the gut. It is also known to attack the LDL cholesterol while increasing the HDL cholesterol level. Its saponin content is said to be responsible for its medicinal properties. The saponin binds with cholesterol keeping it from being absorbed by the body. The alfalfa sprout, which contains 55% more saponins than other plants, is very effective in reducing the levels of cholesterol in the digestive tract. You have to be careful when purchasing alfalfa extracts though because some manufacturers use alfalfa root which does not have the same saponin content as the alfalfa sprouts.
Using herbs to lower cholesterol is safe and effective. In fact, it may be safer than prescription medications. However, before you take any herbs, consult with your doctor to prevent health complications.
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