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The Intricacies of Cardiovascular Health

Among the various botanical formulations traditionally used in German, one particular recipe is still in use today for healthy cardiovascular function.

Combining garlic (Allium sativum), mistletoe (Viscum album) and hawthorn (Crataegus), the formulation is now even developed into coated tablets as a cardiovascular supplement. Historically, traditional Western healers have been using these ingredients to treat hypertension, a condition that now affects at least 60 million Americans and highly contribute to cardiovascular disease risk. Modern research have found that garlic, our common household herb, contains allicin and S-allyl cysteine (SAC), chemical compounds that apparently inhibit atherosclerosis and cholesterol synthesis, respectively. Meanwhile, high amount of flavonoids from plants, such as hawthorn, have been shown to reduce coronary-related mortality, and the everlasting mistletoe is not just useful for the holiday seasons, as it has been used to treat heart problems since 1881 by Dr. R. Park of Glasgow.

Other herbal ingredients with similar effects are dandelion roots (Taraxacum officinale) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Herbalists also suggest the use of valerian (Valeriana officinalis), skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata), black cohosh (Actaea racemose) and cayenne (Capsicum annuum) to work synergistically with the formulation, adding sedative and antispasmodic effects. One particular recipe, for example, combines three parts mistletoe, four parts hawthorn, two parts skullcap and one part garlic as a tincture to be used 30 drops three times a day before meals.

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