Posts tagged: herbal remedies

Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections: FULL REPORT

Natural Remedies For Viral Infections
Image © herbs-info.com

You’ve heard about the 20-second hand washing and the social distancing. Now let’s open up the herbal war chest and see what else we have at our disposal… as it happens, quite a lot…

Last week I wrote to leading herbalist Stephen Jarrod Buhner, author of the groundbreaking Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging And Resistant Viral Infections, asking him if he had updated information on coronaviruses since the publication of his book in 2013.

He is slammed at the moment as you can imagine, but he kindly responded! Yes! He has written up a detailed, up to date COVID-19 herbal protocol and here it is (full text):

https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus.txt.pdf

(Addendum:) https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronaupdate.pdf

Herbalists take note! This is some of the most important, up to date and accurate herbal information you can possibly get on herbs vs. coronavirus. But this info is a bit technical for the average person. These texts are dense, scientific and contain much information that is aimed at trained herbalists who also have the skill to make the preparations from the herbs.

However there are some simple and widely available herbs and other natural remedies that can be utilized.

WELL KNOWN TINCTURES and COMMONLY AVAILABLE HERBS:

Ginger while not yet noted as specific to coronaviruses, is regarded as an excellent general herbal antiviral. Note that the ginger should be fresh, not dried or powdered. Take a thumb-sized piece, chop or slice finely, put in a cup, add boiling water, honey (raw!) and a couple of slices of organic lemon for a superb supportive drink that can be taken liberally whether unwell or not.

Ginkgo biloba – this herb upregulates ACE-2 function [1], which is a function specifically damaged by the COVID-19 virus. ACE-2 support is especially important in the elderly as this function tends to be decreased with age, part of the reason why the virus is more dangerous in the elderly. Widely available in tincture or capsule form.

Glycyrrhiza (Licorice) – increases T cell count and protects ACE-2; may reduce symptom picture and severity.

Garlic, while not specifically cited as a ‘coronavirus herb’ is a well known antiviral with much scientific study behind it. It can be considered giving “generally useful antiviral support”. It has also, perhaps importantly, been found active against viral pneumonia in vitro. Its antiviral effects have not been as heavily studied as its well-known antibacterial effects, however “studies have reported that garlic extract showed in vitro activity against influenza A and B (Fenwick and Hanley, 1985), cytomegalovirus (Meng et al., 1993 ; Nai-Lan et al., 1993), rhinovirus, HIV, herpes simplex virus 1 (Tsai et al., 1985), herpes simplex virus 2 (Weber et al., 1992), viral pneumonia, and rotavirus.” [1]. Raw is best, but crunching down whole cloves is ‘only for the hardcore’; fresh garlic chopped very finely and added to other savory foods makes it bearable.

Cordyceps – immune support, recommended by Buhner as part of the coronavirus protocol.

Rhodiola – immune support, adaptogenic.

Angelica Sinensis – immune support

Astragalus – immune support

Cinnamon and other plants high in procyanidins and lectins – supports ACE-2.

Oregano – typically in tincture form – is a web known “herbal antiviral” that is typically used for gastro-intestinal viruses such as noroviruses. Scientific research supports this use [2] and I have personally found oregano tincture highly useful against the typical “seasonal colds and flu”, however research specific to coronaviruses is lacking. However oregano essential oil has been found to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 [3] which is spiked in coronaviruses, thus indicating that it may be supportive in reducing symptom severity in COVID-19.

Panax Ginseng – this is the Korean / “red ginseng” – listed by Buhner as active against coronaviruses. [4]

Other Plants Found Active Against SARS-group Coronaviruses (according to Buhner): Scutellaria baicalensis, Artemisia annua, Cassia tora, Cibotium barometz, Dioscorea batatas, Eucalyptus spp, Gentiana scabra, Linera aggregate, Lonicera japonica Polygonum multiflorum, Taxillus chinensis, Pyrrosia lingua, and Rheum officinale. [4]

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – this “medicinal mushroom” has a long history of use in herbal medicine and significant support for use with viral infections. May be a useful supportive herb. Other fungal antivirals to consider include Chaga and Turkey Tail.

Note – if taking medications pls check with medical professionals before using herbs. We also advise using these herbs under the guidance of a qualified herbalist. Buhner’s full recommended regimen is listed at the link above from his website.

VITAMIN, SUPPLEMENT and OTHER IMMUNE SUPPORT PROTOCOLS:

Zinc – well known immune booster – increases T cell count (T cell inhibition is one of the mechanisms via which the coronavirus enters and severely damages the lymph organs in the lungs); zinc may reduce symptom picture and severity.

Vitamins C and D. Well known immune support nutrients.

Vitamins A and E are linked to general immune health.

Good food (organic if possible). Lots of fresh berries, citrus fruits, green and orange vegetables. Nuts and seeds.

Get plenty of rest. Stay positive, reduce stress and anxiety as these are known to weaken general immune system function.

AIR PURIFICATION / DECONTAMINATION:

Eucalyptus Essential Oil – has been found active against SARS-group Coronaviruses! If you have an essential oil diffuser, a few drops of this diffused into the air may be a highly useful addition to your antiviral arsenal; especially if you are required to receive persons into your home or other establishment. Eucalyptus EO is also a very useful antibacterial and has even been included in hospital surface cleaning agents to protect against MRSA (staph). If you are making up a hand sanitizer / surface cleaner using isopropyl alcohol, adding a few drops of Eucalyptus EO should be highly beneficial! Furthermore, steam inhalation may be useful. The typical practice is to pour boiling water into a large bowl, add a couple of drops of the essential oil and breathe the steam.

HEPA FILTRATION: – HEPA air filters are somewhat active against coronaviruses, with some caveats. You might see sales pitches saying that “HEPA Filters filter out over 99% of the coronavirus in one pass” – yeah right – but that requires some clarification because not all HEPA filters are exactly the same. The size of the coronavirus is approximately 0.06 to 0.14 microns [5] – however viruses seldom exist alone and will clump together to make a larger particle. They also “ride around” on droplets or particles larger than they are, such as a tiny water droplet or dust particle which may be 0.8 to 1 micron. A high rated face mask (N95) which filters 95% of particles of 0.3 microns therefore certainly appears somewhat helpful. HEPA-based air purifiers fare better – especially if they have a UV sterilization component, which targets airborne viruses specifically. There are different grades of HEPA filters:

HEPA H14: pass up 0.005% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H13: pass up 0.05% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H12: pass more than 0.5% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H11: pass a maximum of 5% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H10: pass more than 15% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air. [6]

Summary: Combination of HEPA with UV sterilization and activated carbon bed layer should be the most effective.

Ad: HEPA air purifiers with UV on amazon.com

IONIZERS are not advised, as they do not actually remove particles (including viruses) from the air. They merely move them onto other surfaces.

PROBIOTICS – POTENTIALLY VERY IMPORTANT!

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Our tip? Get some now. While the antiviral effects of probiotics are still not fully researched and understood, there is much encouraging scientific research to support the use of probiotics as general antivirals; a brief summary of this is below.

Science (Important): Probiotics May Lead To Increased Antiviral Response: An important 2017 scientific review reported that there is significant evidence from numerous studies that probiotics enhance immune response. Administration with the well known probiotic strains Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus exert a beneficial effect on mucosal immunity. [7] Other study has also reported that these strains have the ability to decrease viral infection. [8]

Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics have the therapeutic potential to shorten the length of common respiratory conditions. A recent meta-analysis reported that, at least in adults administered vaccinations to protect against influenza viruses, the co-administration of probiotics and prebiotics was efficacious. [9] The effect is perhaps attributed to a fine–tuning of the mucosal barrier and metabolic system.

POTENTIAL LIFE SAVER?? – Actual Human Trial Finds That Probiotics May Prevent Severe Pneumonia: A 2016 human trial (small scale, 150 patients) with Lactobacillus rhamnosus found that probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. It is theorized that probiotics potentially inhibit pneumonia by enhancing intestinal barrier function and reducing the load of pathogenic bacteria. [10] Other studies and meta-analyses have supported these findings.

Probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri has also been found effective against influenza in mice: A 2014 scientific study reported that this probiotic increased their survival rates by up to 40%: “The body weight losses were lower with the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration after the PR8 virus infection. At 5 days after the infection, the virus titer [amount of the virus present] was significantly decreased, as was the amount of produced IL-6 in the lung tissue, the number of total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was reduced by the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration. The expression of the Mx1 and Oas1a genes, critical for the viral clearance in the lung tissues was increased by the pre-treatment with [Lactobacillus gasseri]. These findings suggest that the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration is effective for the protection against influenza A virus infection by the down-regulation of viral replication through the induction of antiviral genes expression.” [11]

Now this is potentially highly relevant in the case of coronavirus also because IL-6, mentioned in the above study, is particularly upregulated by SARS-group viruses as part of the “cytokine storm” that can be potentially fatal. So while noting that this is only an animal trial, lowering IL-6 by the use of probiotics would make sense logically.

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Note: Probiotics may be contraindicated in patients with gut perforation, pls check with medical professional.

LIVER AND KIDNEY SUPPORT

In all viral infections, supporting the other organs of the body to do their work effectively is important as this may reduce the severity of illnesses. Herbs that may be valuable in this regard include pomegranate, milk thistle, cranberry.

Further Research: The field of “antiviral fungi” is one which holds much potential. Fungi represent a vast source of bioactive molecules, which could potentially be used as antivirals in the future. [12]

Standard Medical Disclaimer:

We cannot make actual medicinal recommendations for legal reasons. Please treat this information as general research information not intended to supersede or take the place of actual consultation with a qualified medical professional. By all means show your doctor or caregiver this report! We do not make actual medical claims but report on widely available scientific research.

That’s what we have covered so far; please ask questions and if you have specific inquiries about other herbs / natural remedies let us know in the comments and we will look into it!

References:

[1] Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects (2014) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/

[2] Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jam.12453

[3] Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152729/

[4] “Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections”. Buhner. (2020) https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus.txt.pdf

[5] How Small Are Coronavirus Particles? https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/can-air-purifiers-filter-out-the-coronavirus/

[6] Do HEPA filters catch viruses? (Berkeley Microbiologist answers) https://www.quora.com/Do-HEPA-filters-catch-viruses

[7] Adjuvant Probiotics and the Intestinal Microbiome: Enhancing Vaccines and Immunotherapy Outcomes (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748616/

[8] Interactions of macrophages with probiotic bacteria lead to increased antiviral response against vesicular stomatitis virus (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512614

[9] Effect of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707647/

[10] Probiotics: Prevention of Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial—PROSPECT: a pilot trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970233/

[11] Oral administration of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 is effective for preventing influenza in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982165/

[12] Antiviral Agents From Fungi: Diversity, Mechanisms and Potential Applications (2018) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02325/full

Amazing Uses And Benefits Of Ginger

Amazing Uses And Benefits Of Ginger
Uses And Benefits Of Ginger. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © AdobeStock (under license)

Ginger Video Transcript:

Ginger is a spice that needs little in the way of introduction, as it is popular worldwide. It was originally a plant that thrived in the southern parts of Asia, where it was used as both a medicine and a spice since ancient times.

Used for:
• Colds
• Antioxidant
• Anti prostate cancer action in lab tests
• Potent antimicrobial against E.Coli
• Arthritis
• Migraines and Hypertension
• Anti-inflammatory
• Anti-nausea
• Scalp tonic
• Antifungal

Perhaps the most common use of ginger root is in the creation of ginger tea, which is simply made with thinly sliced ginger in a cup and boiling water. Add honey and lemon!

When dried, it can be ground into a powder and mixed into foods.

Ginger is sometimes cultivated as a garden or landscape plant due to its colourful flowers and its overall aesthetic appeal.

Ginger is an anti­cancer food: In 2013 scientists discovered that 6­-Shogaol, a major component of ginger, induces apoptosis (cell death) in human leukemia cells both in vitro and in vivo – without side effects!
Source: https://molecular-cancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-4598-12-135

Try the classic “ACG” – Apple Carrot Ginger – for a delicious blend that you will feel nourishing your system like water nourishes the roots of a tree. You could also add beet and/or lemon juice to add further nutrition and zing!

A 2014 study showed the effectiveness of ginger supplementation in protecting against oxidative stress – an intervention that is beneficial for obese people.
Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1728869X14000045

Ginger – Background & Uses

Native to Zanzibar, ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale. [1]

Hot ginger tea has been used for centuries by practitioners of Chinese medicine as a remedy for respiratory ailments, fatigue, and poor circulation. The phytonutrients in ginger replenish nutrients in the body while the high temperature of the liquid and the gingerol activity relieve stomach discomfort, fever, and congestion. [2]

Ginger is believed to be an effective natural remedy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is considered to be effective in lowering cholesterol and reducing the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. [3] However, these claims have not been verified according to modern science.

As a digestive aid, fever-reducer, expectorant, decongestant, antioxidant, immune-booster, mild painkiller, and antibacterial agent, ginger has been considered a cure-all by practitioners of traditional and alternative medicine. [4]

Ginger – Scientific Studies

Ginger – whether fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, candied, powdered, or crystallized – has been purported to exert a long battery of therapeutic and preventive actions and has been comprehensively studied as regards its efficacy against various pathologic conditions, hence its century-long utility in the management of a number of maladies such as colds, nausea, arthritis, migraine, and hypertension. Several scientific investigations have found evidence with respect to ginger being a potent antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antinausea agent. [6]

To determine its potential to prevent certain cancers, gingerol–the active component in ginger–has been the focus of clinical trials. Researchers determined that in cases of ovarian cancer, administration of gingerol contributed to cancer-cell death. In cases of ovarian cancer, gingerol was found to reduce inflammation and boost immune function. Researchers have found that Gingerol might protect against colon cancer. [7]

Ginger as antimicrobial: In 2005, an American study compared the antimicrobial activity of garlic, carrot, turmeric, and ginger pastes against Escherichia coli O157:H7 in laboratory buffer and model food system. As revealed by the results of this study, commercial ginger paste exhibited the strongest antimicrobial activity, totally inactivating E. coli O157:H7 in the paste at 3 days at 4°C and 8°C. The commercial ginger paste also showed antimicrobial activity in buffered peptone water at 4°C for 2 weeks. [9] Moreover, the gingerols in ginger root extracts inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori CagA+ strains in vitro, as illustrated by another US study in which the methanol extract of ginger rhizome suppressed the growth of all 19 strains in vitro, the minimum inhibitory concentration range being 6.25–50 μg/mL. [8]

Ginger as anti-inflammatory, pain reliever & anti-arthritic: Ginger has long been considered as an effective anti-inflammatory agent that suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through the inhibition of both cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). [19] However, the results from the study of van Breemen, Tao, and Li (2011) reveal slightly otherwise and contend that purified 10-gingerol, 8-shogaol, and 10-shogaol suppress COX-2 – but not COX-1 – with IC50 values of 32μM, 17.5μM, and 7.5μM. [10] Ginger’s anti-inflammatory mechanism of action is very similar to that of today’s non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but ginger goes one step ahead of NSAIDs in being able to suppress leukotriene biosynthesis also by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase. [9]

The pungent constituent of ginger, 6-gingerol, possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, as proven by Young et al. (2005) in their study, and thus contributes to ginger’s anti-inflammatory action. [11] Another important anti-inflammatory mechanism of ginger is its inhibitory influence on the induction of many genes associated with the inflammatory response, such as those encoding cytokines, chemokines, and cyclooxygenase-2. [9] Ramadan, Al-Kahtani, and El-Sayed (2011) had also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory action of ginger, significantly inhibiting the incidence and severity of arthritis by decreasing the production of proinflammatory cytokines and activating the antioxidant defense system at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight. [12]

Ginger as antioxidant and anti-cancer agent: A number of studies have reported the chemopreventive and antineoplastic effects of ginger, implicating its effectiveness in diverse biological actions, including free radical scavenging, influence on antioxidant pathways, alteration of gene expressions, and induction of apoptosis which in turn decrease tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. [13] In 2012, a US study in the British Journal of Nutrition had determined that daily ginger extract consumption (at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight) inhibits the growth and progression of human prostate cancer cell line (PC-3) xenografts by 56% but spares normal rapidly dividing tissues, such as gut and bone marrow, from any growth-inhibitory and death-inductory effects. [14]

6-Gingerol induces cell death in human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells through its mediating activities on reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide and the superoxide anion and causes DNA fragmentation and inhibits Bcl-2 expression in HL-60 cells. [15] 6-Shogaol and 6-gingerol possibly possess anti-invasive properties against hepatoma cells through the regulation of MMP-9 and TIMP-1. Furthermore, 6-shogaol could further regulate urokinase-type plasminogen activity. [16]

Old Drawing Of Ginger Plant

Ginger

Other names for Ginger, past or present:

English – Gingifere
Latin – Zingiber officinale
Greek – Zingiberis
French – Gingembre
German – Ingwer
Spanish – Jenbibre
Italian – Zenzero
Chinese (Mandarin) – Jiang; Sheng jiang
Japanese – Shoga, Jinja, Myoga
Korean – Kon-gang, Geon-gang, Jinjeo, Chinjo, Saenggang
Indonesian – Aliah, Jae, Lia
Hindi – Adrak, Adrakh; Sonth, Saunth

References:

[1] Ginger. Wikipedia.

[2] Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of
Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies. 2002. Penguin Putnam NY.

[3] Peirce, Andrea. The American Pharmaceutical Association practical guide to natural medicines 1999. Stonesong Press, Inc. New York.

[4] Khalsa, Karta Purkh Singh and Michael Tierra. 2008. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism. Lotus Press: Twin Lakes, WI.

[5] Peirce, Andrea. The American Pharmaceutical Association practical guide to natural medicines 1999. Stonesong Press, Inc. New York.

[6] Bode A. M. & Zigang D. (2011). The Amazing And Mighty Ginger. In Benzie I. F. F. & Wachtel-Galor S. (Ed.), Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/

[7] Gupta S. & Ravishankar S. (2005). A comparison of the antimicrobial activity of garlic, ginger, carrot, and turmeric pastes against Escherichia coli O157:H7 in laboratory buffer and ground beef. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 2(4): 330–340. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16366855

[8] Mahady G. B., Pendland S. L., Yun G. S., Lu Z. Z., Stoia A. (2003). Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) and the gingerols inhibit the growth of Cag A+
strains of Helicobacter pylori. Anticancer Research, 23(5A): 3699–3702. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14666666

[9] Grzanna R., Lindmark L., & Frondoza C. G. (2005). Ginger – an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions. Journal of Medicinal Food, 8(2): 125–132. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117603

[10] van Breemen R. B., Tao Y., & Li W. (2011). Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors in ginger (Zingiber officinale). Fitoterapia, 82(1): 38–43. doi:
10.1016/j.fitote.2010.09.004. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20837112

[11] Young H. Y., Luo Y. L., Cheng H. Y., Hsieh W. C., Liao J. C., & Peng W. H. (2005). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of [6]-gingerol. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 96(1–2): 207–210. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15588672

[12] Ramadan G., Al-Kahtani M. A., & El-Sayed W. M. (2011). Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Curcuma longa (turmeric) versus Zingiber officinale (ginger) rhizomes in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis. Inflammation, 34(4): 291–301. doi: 10.1007/s10753-010-9278-0. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21120596

[13] Baliga M. S. et al. (2011). Update on the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its phytochemicals. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 51(6):
499–523. doi: 10.1080/10408391003698669. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21929329

[14] Karna P. et al. (2012). Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. British Journal of Nutrition, 107(4): 473–484. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003308. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21849094

[15] Wang C. C., Chen L. G., Lee L. T., & Yang L. L. (2003). Effects of 6-gingerol, an antioxidant from ginger, on inducing apoptosis in human leukemic HL-60 cells. In Vivo, 17(6): 641–645. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14758732

[16] Weng C. J., Wu C. F., Huang H. W., Ho C. T., Yen G. C. (2010). Anti-invasion effects of 6-shogaol and 6-gingerol, two active components in ginger, on human hepatocarcinoma cells. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 54(11): 1618–1627. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201000108. Retrieved 4 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20521273

Main article: Kelsey Wambold. Scientific Studies report: Dan Ablir © herbshealthhappiness.com

Uses And Benefits Of Ginger
Uses And Benefits Of Ginger
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © Shutterstock (under license)

Mega List Of 30 Herbs Found Beneficial For High Blood Pressure

Mega List of 30 Herbs Found Beneficial For High Blood Pressure
Mega List Of 30 Herbs Found Beneficial For High Blood Pressure. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com Image sources – see foot of article

Hypertension (HTN), aka high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition that has been associated with a high-salt diet, emotional stress, alcohol, smoking, inactivity, and caffeine. This disease is also linked to other conditions such as congestive heart failure, stroke, aneurysm, kidney malfunction, and blindness.

Dietary and lifestyle changes and medicines may help you control your blood pressure and reduce the risk of associated health complications. Orthodox medicine prescribes medications for blood pressure control, however, some of these medicines are expensive and have been noted for side effects. However numerous alternative medicines exist; notably plants or herbs found by research to have hypotensive and antihypertensive therapeutic values.

Here is a “master list” of medicinal plants and health foods that have been scientifically studied and are reported to have hypotensive and antihypertensive effects.

1. Garlic

This herb contains an active compound called allicin which gives its characteristic odor and many of its healing benefits. Garlic’s antioxidative and antihypertensive effect has been proven by a 2008 study [1] published in the journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders that found the effectiveness of garlic in reducing BP in individuals with HTN.

2. Celery

Celery is a diuretic which enhances the excretion of sodium and chloride in the urine and may explain the herb’s effect on blood pressure. It is one of the herbs cited by an Indian study [2] that have uses related to the symptoms of hypertension.

3. Ginger

Commonly used in Asian cooking, ginger may help control blood pressure and improve blood circulation. The blood pressure-lowering effect of ginger was confirmed by Ghayur and Gilani [3] in a study that first appeared in the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. This research was done on rats. There are still few human trials for the hypotensive effect of ginger.

4. Basil

Extract of basil has been shown to have a hypertensive effect, although only briefly. It causes a fall in blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner. Its cardiovascular effect is linked to eugenol, an essential oil [4] that offers a transient reduction in arterial blood pressure.

5. Tomato

This fruit is rich in lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, which are known as effective antioxidants. A 2006 study [5] showed the correlation between a short-treatment with antioxidant-rich tomato extract and reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

6. Flaxseed

This annual herb has omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower blood pressure. Many studies had posited the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on hypertensive patients and those with high-normal blood pressure including one by Mori [6] who published his work in the journal Cellular and Molecular Biology in February 2010.

7. French Lavender

This culinary herb contains oil that can also induce relaxation and lower blood pressure. Its crude extract has been reported to reduce BP in a 2007 study [7] conducted on rats. French lavender is a culinary herb whose flowers are also used in baked goods.

8. Carrot

Carrots are high in beta-carotene and potassium, a nutrient that is shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure [8] . Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant which helps fight disease.

9. Cinnamon

Consuming this tasty herb everyday can lower blood pressure in people with diabetes, according to studies. This has been proven by a 2013 study [9] that discovered the association between consumption of cinnamon and reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with type-2 diabetes. Instead of using sugar, you add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee in the morning for a unique taste.

10. Ginkgo Biloba

This herb is rich in antioxidants, terpenoids, and flavonoids, which are not only good for your heart but are also known to lower blood pressure. The antihypertensive effect of ginkgo along with prescribed medications was posited by the University of Maryland Medical Center. [10] However, the institution advises the need of monitoring by a healthcare provider.

11. Indian Snakeroot aka. Rauwolfia Serpentina

This tropical plant has been used for years as a traditional medicine for ailments related to the heart. It contains high levels of alkaloid reserpine [11] , a powerful compound for normal heart function. Indian snakeroot leaves are useful when high blood pressure is due to anxiety or stress.

12. Olives

This herb has been widely used in traditional remedies as herbal teas and extracts in European and Mediterranean countries. It contains a compound known as oleuropein which possesses a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting properties including hypotensive effect [12] .

13. Onions

This spice is rich in quercetin which is an antioxidant flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke. Quercetin supplementation was found to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people by a 2007 study [13] by Edwards and colleagues.

14. Oregano

Carvacrol is a powerful compound that has been proven to be effective against blood pressure. Oregano is rich in this compound which was also found to reduce heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures. [14]

15. Dandelion

Found in temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America, this hardy herb has a high concentration of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and sodium. Its roots and leaves produce a substance called mannitol [15] which is used as a treatment for hypertension.

16. Parsley

Cultivated since ancient times, this diuretic herb is utilized either as a medicine or food. Parsley contains compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and glucosides. You can make a tea [16] from the herb’s seed as a treatment for high blood pressure.

17. Lemon Grass

This plant has no cholesterol and is low in calories, making it a beneficial flavoring for cooking and tea. Lemon grass is also a detoxifier that contains a compound called citral [17] which removes excess cholesterol, fats, and uric acid.

18. Cilantro aka. Coriander

Cilantro is used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. This herb has been reported to exhibit antioxidant properties. Its extracts showed diuretic effects as well, which would complement the treatment and management of hypertension. [18]

19. Tea

Tea has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertensive effects, according to several studies. One study [19] noted the hypotensive action offered by tea. Another study demonstrated green tea’s [20] ability to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

20. Saffron

The medicinal values of saffron [21] have been sought for over four millennia. Recent studies support the use of saffron for anti-hypertensive benefits. One was conducted in 2015 that showed the normalizing effect of safranal [22] , the main component of saffron oil, on blood pressure in chronic administration.

21. King Of Bitters

This plant – Andrographis paniculata – has been part of Southeast Asian traditional medicine as a treatment for colds. Its extracts were found to contain several compounds that induce dramatic hypotensive effects. [23]

22. Hibiscus

Also sometimes known as Roselle – this plant is used for hypertension, fever, and other diseases in folk medicine. Its buds, flowers, leaves, and petals have varied applications in cooking, personal care, and health. The antihypertensive effect of hibiscus was confirmed by a 2007 study. [24]

23. Black Cumin

This spice is an important kitchen item in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In addition to being effective against diabetes, black cumin also has an antihypertensive role. Thymoquinone is a bioactive component that contributes to its healing effects. [25]

24. Ginseng

Several studies confirmed the efficacy of this plant in causing [26] a significant decrease in systemic and diastolic blood pressures. Ginseng’s hypotensive effect is linked to an improvement in arterial functions.

25. Chinese Sage

This traditional Chinese herb is commonly used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Its antihypertensive effect is widely supported by recent studies including a 2011 research [27] published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

26. Chinese Goldthread

Widely used in Chinese folk medicine, this plant contains a compound called berberine which has the ability to lower blood pressure. This hypotensive action was confirmed by Affuso et. al. [28] in a 2010 study published in the World Journal of Cardiology.

27. Cardamom

This seasoning from India has been demonstrated to have antioxidant properties. A study that used powdered cardamom [29] for its participants daily saw significant reductions in their blood pressure readings.

28. Cat’s Claw

This herbal medicine is used in traditional Chinese practice to treat hypertension. One study linked the plant’s hypotensive activity to a compound called hirsutine [30] .

29. Black Plum

Researchers found out that oral administration [31] of the extract of this plant had a hypotensive effect on the blood pressure of rats. The extract reduced both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

30. Mistletoe

The aqueous extracts of this plant were studied if it could produce an antihypertensive effect without alteration in heart rate. This 2006 study [32] highlighted the therapeutic action offered by prolonged administration of the extract on cholesterol level.

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[31] Ladeji O et. al. 2005. Pytotherapy Research. Activity of aqueous extract of the bark of Vitex doniana on uterine muscle response to drugs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16220576

[32] Ben EE et. al. 2006. Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences. Increased plasma total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein levels produced by the crude extract from the leaves of Viscum album (mistletoe) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17242719

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