By Chef K. T. Murphy
There are a lot of myths about alternative medicine and what it can or cannot help.Wading through all of the information can be time consuming and cumbersome. With serious diseases like heart disease, using complementary medicine can help treat some of the more serious complications. Of course, heart disease should always be treated by a qualified medical professional and all alternative treatments should be supported by your doctor.
Food as Medicine
Aside from genetic components, various lifestyle factors lead to the development of heart disease. Many people get heart disease because of years of obesity, smoking, and other lifestyle risk factors.
One new method of eating is showing clinical benefits for the treatment of both obesity and heart disease. The Ketogenic Diet has been studied in the treatment of obese patients with heart disease. In the study originally published in Clinical Cardiology, researchers show that obese patients who ate a ketogenic diet over 24 weeks had amazing results.
These patients had lower numbers of total cholesterol. Their HDL (good cholesterol) numbers were higher while the LDL levels decreased. The level of triglycerides in the blood also decreased. There were several other statistically significant vital improvements seen in these patients. In this study, food truly was medicine for these patients.
Herbs and Supplements
Before discussing herbs and supplements appropriate for heart disease, it is important to note that all supplementation of herbs and other substances should be discussed with your cardiologist or physician. Some herbs and supplements decrease the effectiveness of medications and can even have deadly side effects when mixed with conventional medications.
Healthline notes several herbs and supplements that are great complementary medicines for your body when battling heart disease. Here are the top performers in the war against heart disease. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a chemical used by the body to extract food for energy. The heart is constantly working and needs a consistent supply of energy. CoQ10 decreases in levels of production as you age, so supplementing it could reduce oxidative damage and increase antioxidant enzymes. Many people see a reduction in cardiovascular symptoms when supplementing with CoQ10.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduce the inflammation often associated with atherosclerosis. This fatty acid can also help lower levels of triglycerides and fatty blood components.
Green Tea has many antioxidants in it that can help benefit your health. Studies showing it providing statistically significant improvements have participants drinking 5-6 cups of green tea daily. Green tea extract is also available as a pill supplement if drinking this volume of green tea seems impossible.
Pomegranate works similarly to green tea. The powerful antioxidants can help reduce the signs of heart disease. Magnesium and Potassium are essential minerals needed for basic cellular interactions known as electrolytes. Supplementing these minerals can improve heart disease and heart function. When supplementing potassium consult your physician because too much potassium can cause kidney or liver damage.
Exercise and Stress Reduction
The best complementary medicine when treating heart disease can be exercise and stress reduction. Sometimes these two elements can be combined into one activity. Dr. Axe notes that exercise benefits are as great as medication when treating the symptoms of heart disease.
Some of the best forms of exercise that help reduce stress are Yoga and Tai Chi. When dealing with heart disease it is best to do gentile exercises that allow you to focus on clearing your mind. Meditation is also a great way to help deal with stress and reduce the symptoms of heart disease.
While heart disease is a horrible condition to deal with, there are many ways to fight this health condition. Many western doctors only prescribe western medications to help deal with this condition. Not every provider has the knowledge of complementary or alternative therapies.
Adding these complementary medicines to your physician prescribed treatment plan can help you overcome the symptoms of heart disease with greater speed. Some people who have used these therapies even report being able to quit the conventional medication therapies.