Heart attack: Powerful plant shown to be effective in keeping the heart healthy

This Morning: Dr Chris discusses heart disease

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A heart attack occurs when there is a sudden loss of blood supply to the heart, while heart disease is when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently. Both can be fatal if one is not vigilant with the lifestyle they lead. There is a surprising plant which has been shown to be highly effective in keeping the heart healthy and reducing any serious health risks.  

In traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, dandelion root has long been used to treat stomach and liver conditions.

Herbalists today believe that it can aid in the treatment of many ailments, including acne, eczema, high cholesterol, heartburn, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, cancer and heart health.

Raw dandelion has high levels of vitamin A, vitamins B6 and B9, and vitamin C, making it a plant that reinforces our immune system, helps the body fight off bacteria and toxins, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalise blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice.

However, not all the animal studies have found a positive effect on blood sugar.

A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

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In one study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects of dandelion were analysed. 

The study noted: “Recent reports have indicated that excessive oxidative stress contributes to the development of atherosclerosis-linked metabolic syndrome.

“The objective of this current study was to investigate the possible hypolipidemic and antioxidative effects of dandelion root and leaf in rabbits fed with a high-cholesterol diet.

“Our results show that treatment with dandelion root and leaf positively changed plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles in cholesterol-fed rabbits.”

The study concluded that dandelion root and leaf could protect against oxidative stress linked to atherosclerosis and decrease the atherogenic index.

How to use

Fresh dandelion root: two to eight grams daily

Dandelion root powder: Three to four grams mixed with 150 millilitres of warm water

Dandelion tea infusion: One tablespoon of chopped root mixed with 150 millilitres of hot water for 20 minutes

Fresh root extract: One to two tablespoons daily

Dried dandelion extract: 0.75 to 1.0 grams daily

According to Medline Plus, other ways to help keep the heart healthy include:

  • Control your blood pressure
  • Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Limit alcohol
  • Don’t smoke
  • Manage stress
  • Manage diabetes
  • Make sure that you get enough sleep.

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