Cholesterol is a key component in the body. You already know the reasons behind the significance of this waxy substance. The liver is producing a small amount of cholesterol and circulates it through the blood. Cholesterol is playing several functions in the body. However, too much of a certain type can lead to several health issues especially bad for your cardiovascular health. Therefore, maintaining a neutral level of cholesterol is mandatory to lead a healthy life.
Lifestyle and genetics can influence cholesterol levels. These are the two reasons that cause high cholesterol. changing lifestyles can improve high cholesterol. People with familial hypercholesterolemia follow medications to improve their condition. In addition, certain herbs could help to lower cholesterol. You know the significance of certain herbs for good health. But do you know about the role of herbs in reducing high cholesterol? If you don’t, this article reviews types of herbs that can help lower cholesterol.
Significance Of Herbs In Reducing High Cholesterol
Herbs are used as supplements to reduce high cholesterol. It is a natural solution that doesn’t have many side effects compared to other treatments. However, you must consult a doctor before taking any of the supplements. These type of natural or complementary treatments aim to control your cholesterol and helps to decrease heart diseases.
They are not only good for your heart health but also lowers blood pressure and are good for your whole body. Before you try any alternative treatments, seek advice from a healthcare professional. For some people, herbs can not be effective as medicines and take time to respond against LDL cholesterol. However, for most people, herbs are one of the widely used supplements that you can use to lower cholesterol.
Let’s look at some of the herbs and their health benefits
- Flax Seed
Flax seeds contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid. The omega-3 fatty acids help to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to NCCIH, research based on flaxseed shows mixed results. People with high cholesterol and postmenopausal women use flaxseeds to reduce their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
- Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice contains an active ingredient that helps to lower high cholesterol levels. A drug called lovastatin does the purpose. Red yeast rice is traditionally used by Chinese people as a medicine for liver disease and stroke. Some red yeast rice contains monacolin k or citrinin. Both components can affect you badly. So, it’s difficult to purchase a safe and effective product.
Garlic is an essential cooking ingredient and medicine that is used for several health conditions. In short, garlic is the king among other herbs. It has several benefits. You can eat garlic either raw or cooked. You can’t see a grocery shop without this herb. it is one of the most used herbs and you can see the ingredient in various Asian-inspired dishes.
Garlic reduces blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. According to NCCIH, the various components in garlic slow the progress of atherosclerosis. Recent studies show that consuming garlic for 1 to 3 months can bring out visible changes in blood cholesterol levels.
Turmeric is widely used in middle east countries. it is one of the main ingredients in Indian cooking. The bright yellow color and the distinctive smell make turmeric unique from other herbs. A study was conducted in 2017, based on the effects of turmeric on cardiovascular disease. The results show that the active component, curcumin in turmeric helps to reduce cardiovascular diseases by improving serum lipid levels.
- Fenugreek Seeds And Leaves
Fenugreek seeds are one of the best supplements used for lowering cholesterol in people with diabetes. A 2020 meta-analysis shows the benefits of fenugreek seeds on cholesterol. however, researchers say that more studies are needed for additional information.
Ginger is a universal medicine and an active ingredient in almost everyday cooking. Just like other herbs, it has several benefits. Ginger is one of the main herbs that make the digestion process easy. It promotes good blood circulation. Most people are consuming this herb and use it as an ingredient in ginger tea. you can also add this to your curries. Ginger helps to raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body.
- Milk Thistle Or Silybum Marianum
Milk thistle has a great reputation among other herbs. It is a traditionally used herb that is used for liver diseases and healthier cholesterol levels. Silybum marianum is its botanical name. Milk thistle is effective in people with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and unhealthy liver.
- Artichoke Leaf
Recent studies found that artichoke leaf extract can prevent excessive fat produced in the body. The leaf contains a compound named cynarin. It helps to increase bile production. It gradually boosts the flow of bile and helps remove bad cholesterol in the body.
Soy-containing foods can lower your blood cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis. It is a traditionally used herb. Soy is a good source of nutrients like calcium, fiber, potassium, and polyunsaturated fats. The omega-3 fatty acids in soy help to improve HDL cholesterol by removing LDL cholesterol from the body. Soy products are widely used in the diet.
- Holy Basil
The oil in the holy basil helps to lower stress-induced cholesterol levels. Holy basil can be used as a medicine for several diseases, when it comes to cholesterol, it helps to reduce total cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, and improves heart health. Holy basil is available in different forms like powder and oil. A 2018 study showed that holy basil is effective on people who are 40 years old with metabolic disorders. However, the study also suggests that the effects were in the short term and it is still unclear if it has any lasting effect.
The aforementioned herbs are helpful for maintaining a neutral level of cholesterol. They can be used as supplements for controlling excessive cholesterol levels. However, you can not use any of these herbs without a medical suggestion. Because it can influence the medicines that a person is currently taking. It’s best to seek advice from a health practitioner before you start.