Cardiovascular disease is responsible for about 33% of all deaths in the United States. Cardiovascular related medical expenses exceeded 400 billion US dollars in 2010. These are staggering numbers. Luckily, there are an abundance of options available to improve cardiovascular health, aside from side-effect riddled pharmaceutical drugs.
The first very important point I’d like to make is critical to understand when considering what an individual, newly diagnosed with hypertension, should do: High blood pressure is not in itself an illness, but rather, a symptom of a disease process. The human body doesn’t just ratchet up blood pressure for no particular reason; the body has a very good reason for doing so. While genetics may at times play a role in susceptibility to cardiovascular illness and/or hypertension, when high blood pressure exists, there is most certainly some other disorder occuring in the body.
In some cases, the cause may be easy to discover. Being overweight and eating a poor diet are both strong precursors to cardiovascular problems. Arteriosclerosis is another causative symptom, as are all disorders that reduce oxygen delivery to the tissues of the human body (like smoking), including excess acidity in the body (which reduces the amount of oxygen cells and tissue can hold). Chronic and prolonged stress can also be a causative factor.
Other times, the cause may be ellusive (but that doesn’t mean that the cause doesn’t exist). For example, over a two year period my blood pressure started to increase from borderline hypertensive to hypertensive. I began using herbs and systemic enzymes (see below) to successfully control the hypertension as I systemically began searching for the cause. When these natural treatments stopped being as successful as they should be, I began to grow concerned.
Finally, my blood pressure really spiked, (systolic reading over 178), while at the same time, I began experiencing excrutiating abdominal pain. It turns out, for the past two years, my appendix had slowly been going bad. Finally, the appendicitus became symptomatic. As soon as the appendix was removed, my blood pressure returned to being normal. While I still use several formulas, I only use them to keep my cardiovascular system in the athletic range.
It should be obvious that attempting to treat my high blood pressure with antihypertensive drugs and manage cholesteral levels with statin medications would have been–at the very least– counter-productive. I now know that every low grade infections (and physical pain/discomfort) can directly effect blood pressure.
Whether or not an individual is able to successfully isolate– and thus successfully address– the caustive factor, once cardiovascular problems start to present, an individual would be very wise to begin to thoroughly research natural and effective ways to reverse cardiovascular illness.
While nothing beats good eating habits and moderate excercise to maintain good cardiovascular health, below are some “alternative” and natural ideas that I personally know to be highly effective at dealing with cardiovascular issues. Some of these ideas are primarily used by athletes to maintain top health. An individual can explore the use of one, or stack the therapies for maximum benefit.
Systemic Enzyme Therapy
Systemic enzyme therapy is sometimes confused with digestive enzyme therapy. Both therapies are highly effective, but for cardiovascular health, the enzymes must be protected from digestion, and delivered systemically. Systemic enzymes are best taken on an empty stomach so that they are not “used up” digesting food.
There are many decent brands of circulatory systemic enzymes. The brand I use is manufactured by AST Enzymes. It is called Serracor-NK. Systemic enzymes are most effective when taken twice daily (two evenly divided doses). Using systemic enzymes effectively results in a reduction of fibrin, inflammation, and arterial plaque. You can read about Serracor-NK by clicking here. For some people, blood pressure will begin dropping within a few short days of beginning systemic enzyme therapy.
Of interest, I also use Exclzyme for total body support, especially for soft tissue health.
L-arginine with L-citrulline
L-arginine, when combined with l-citrulline, can have a huge positive impact on cardiovascular health. This combination has been proven to increase the body’s production of nitric oxide. I strongly suggest that everyone interested in cardiovascular health purchase a few nitric oxide test strips in order to determine if the body is producing adequate amounts of nitric oxide. individuals depleted of nitric oxide should be very careful doing cardiovascular excercise, and are at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Although it is more expensive than other sources, I use L-arginine Plus. The reason? Clinical research has demonstrated the exact dosage requirements in order for the supplement to be effective (two divided doses of five grams each). Any interested individual can read more about L-arginine Plus by clicking here. Please Note: When using “complete formulas”, always check the ingredients to make sure one is not over-supplementing. For example, L-arginine Plus includes vitamin D3; therefore, D3 supplementation would be redundant and possibly detrimental to health.
Some individuals may elect to purchase other more affordable products; some companies sell L-arginine with l-citrulline in capsule form.
Herbs for Cardiovascular Health
Hawthorne Extract – The entire hawthorne plant (leaves, berries and flowers) is excellent for cardiovascular health. Hawthorne is a very safe and affordable herb, and may be used once to three times daily to support the circulatory system. Hawthorne is often combined with COQ10 (or even better, Ubiquinol) for best results. Hawthorne may also be combined with beet juice (or beet juice extract) for increased effectiveness.
Cardio VH by Empirical Labs – An extremely powerful herbal formula for cardiovascular health. Take one capsule three times daily with meals. This formula may be combined with hawthorne extract, if necessary, even though it does contain some hawthorne. This formula may be hard for some people to find to purchase, probably because it contains skull cap, a controversial herb that needs to be used only in moderation.
Cardio Pure by Tattva Herbs – An Ayurvedic formula that promotes healthy blood pressure and normal cholesterol levels. This comprehensive formula is mainly comprised of Arjuna and Rauwolfia Serpentina, but also contains Arjuna, Tribulus, Shankapushpi, Boehaarvia Diffusia, Ashwagandha, Rose Powder, Jatamansi, and Inula Racemous.
I personally still use this formula daily, along with morning use of hawthorne. My regime keeps my blood pressure in the athletic range, and my pulse in the 60′s.
Ozone therapy is probably one of the most powerful alternative therapies for cardiovascular health. While specialized IV protocols are used in some countries (such as India) for severe cardiovascular disease, a safe and effective home use method can also be used: Transdermal Ozone Therapy.
While full detox protocols involve using steam ozone saunas or tents with ozone pumped into them, individuals with severe cardiac issues may not tolerate heat well. In such a case, a small amount of steam may be used for a short period of time (just to open pores), or heat can be completely omitted, and an individual can just use a chamber with ozone pumped into it. Any chamber used must omit the head, as one does not want to breath in high concentrations of ozone. Using transdermal ozone three times weekly can have a dramatic effect on the cardiovascular system in a very short period of time, although one should seriously consider maintaining the therapy long term.
To learn more about how ozone may be used in human health, click here.
Monitoring Blood Pressure
Avoid using wrist blood pressure monitors. They are notorious for giving false readings. Instead, purchase a standard upper arm cuff blood pressure monitor. They are readily available at any pharmacy. While working on controlling blood pressure, it is wise to monitor the blood pressure three times daily.
Please note that it is very dangerous to allow one’s blood pressure to remain in a hypertensive state.
There are many other good ideas out there for cardiovascular health (adding magneiusm bicarbonate to one’s drinking water, for example). This is not a comprehensive list, simply some suggestions as a starting point for those interested in studying and improving cardiovascular and circulatory health!
Healthy cardiovascular function depends upon proper ATP energy production and conversion, as well as mitochonrial function. Individuals with chronic health concerns may also need to work on these issues.
- Consider supplementing with Ubiquinol (or COQ10), D-Ribose, Carnatine, and if necessary, a high quality NT Factor.
- Mitochondrial replication depends upon physical activity. An individual need not over-excercise, but all moderate excercise can stimulate mitochondria replication.