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How to lower your cholesterol – herbal medicine

Have you ever wondered whether there’s an alternative to “statins” or lipid-lowering medications?

For some people these drugs can give you side-effects such as painful muscles, raised liver enzymes (indicating liver damage), increased blood sugar levels and neurological problems.

To avoid any side-effects you can look at managing your cholesterol naturally.

What you may not know is that your liver is responsible for producing cholesterol and this waxy substance is essential for making hormones (progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone), for keeping your cells walls flexible, for forming part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibres, for producing cortisol in response to stress and for Vitamin D synthesis (low Vitamin D levels can lead to osteoporosis).

When your liver is working well this all works wonderfully.  However, if you’ve been under stress with family or relationships issues, financial worries, moving house, death of a loved one, divorce or any big life challenges your liver has to produce more cholesterol in order to release more cortisol and if this cycle continues you can soon find yourself with raised lipid levels.

Other causative factors can be genetics (a condition known as familial hypercholesteraemia), being overweight, not exercising and not-so-wise food, alcohol and lifestyle choices.   Unfortunately there are no symptoms with high cholesterol so it’s wise to get your levels checked regularly.

Here’s a selection of some liquid herbs that I might include in a cholesterol-busting tonic:

Garlic – the number one cholesterol-lowering herb as it contains substances which literally break down plaque on blood vessel walls.   This healing herb has multiple benefits from preventing and treating the common cold to anti-cancer activity (especially colon and stomach cancer) along with lowering blood pressure.

Dandelion – this herb has the same chemical constituents as the human liver and will help protect your liver and keep it functioning well.  This superstar herb also helps eliminate any excess cholesterol.  Research has shown that dandelion can help lower your cholesterol by reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases the HDL or “good cholesterol”.

Hawthorn – studies suggest that hawthorn berries are a powerful agent for the removal of LDL cholesterol and reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver.  Hawthorn is traditionally known for improving heart function as it improves blood flow to the heart giving you more energy.  However, don’t rush off and take Hawthorn for energy, it is important that this herb is only prescribed by an experienced, professional Naturopathic Herbalist and not to be taken in conjunction with any heart medication.

Rosehips – one of the highest concentrated sources of vitamin containing antioxidants which help reduce inflammation and a 2008 study showed a significant decrease in LDLs “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides when taking vitamin c daily.

the vitamin c in rosehips is the most bioidentical, bioavailable form of vitamin c in existence” as quoted by the Medical Medium, “and is anti-inflammatory, increases your white blood cell count and boosts your immune system against viruses, bacteria, yeast, mould and other unwanted fungus”.

If you’d like to find out whether herbal medicine can help you, please contact me at tracie@thewellnesscompany.com.au as I’d love to help.

Tracie Lynn

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