When it comes to healing herbs and plants, turmeric tops the list for its significant health benefits. This distinctive yellow-orange root has been used for centuries in medicines, herbal drinks and foods around the globe, and is often used to treat a wide range of ailments. In recent years, scientists have been studying turmeric for its positive effects on health, and the results are promising, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health.
The primary chemical found in turmeric is called curcumin, and studies show that this polyphenol contains powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, as well as other health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. Moreover, curcumin has positive effects on insulin sensitivity, which causes a reduction in triglyceride levels in the body. Researchers believe that it may just be the anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing properties that make turmeric so effective in warding off cardiovascular disease and strengthening the heart.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology suggests that curcumin can reduce the risk of heart attacks in coronary bypass patients. During 2009 and 2011, researchers from the University of Chiang Mai in Thailand studied 121 patients who underwent non-emergency coronary bypass surgery at the University Hospital. Half of the patients were given curcumin capsules before and after the surgeries, while the other half were given a placebo. The researchers found that the patients who had taken the curcumin supplements had a 65% lowered risk of heart attacks after the operation than the placebo group, as well as significantly lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress.
Another study by the University of Tsukuba in Japan shows that curcumin may also improve vascular function and protect the heart, especially when combined with moderate exercise. Over a period of eight weeks, the scientists here monitored postmenopausal women in three different studies that measured the effects of curcumin and moderate exercise on blood flow, artery response and blood pressure.
In the first study, they divided the women into three groups: those who took curcumin supplements, those who exercised moderately and those who did nothing. When they examined the blood vessels, they found that the women who did nothing had no significant changes to their blood flow, while the curcumin and exercise groups showed an increase in vascular endothelial function. Interestingly, curcumin seemed to be just as effective as moderate exercise in improving blood flow.
In the following two studies, the researchers found that curcumin supplements also improved the performance of the arteries when reacting to changes in blood pressure, lowered aortic and brachial systolic blood pressure, and strengthened the heart against age-related degeneration of the left ventricle. They found that the women who exercised in addition to taking curcumin supplements showed the greatest improvements.
These are just a few examples of how turmeric can help improve heart health. I suggest taking turmeric in its natural form, either chopped, juiced or ground into powder, and adding it to curries, stir-fries and healthy drinks. To enhance the absorption rate, add a little black pepper to your food or drink as well. If you decide to take turmeric or curcumin in supplement form, be sure to consult with a registered health professional beforehand.
At the Holistic Healing Heart Center, Doctor Cynthia and her team of holistic primary care physicians provide one-stop shopping for all your health care needs. They provide primary care services and progressive heart disease treatment as well as integrative lifestyle programs to help you stay healthy and age gracefully.Often described as one of the best Los Angeles heart specialists, Dr. Cynthia is a holistic cardiologist and functional medicine doctor who will listen to you; ask questions about your lifestyle, environmental exposures, and genetic influences that may impact your health; and then provide thoughtful treatment recommendations, as described below.
- Preventive treatments including traditional, alternative, and naturopathic (acupuncture, homeopathy) remedies for medical conditions and heart disease.
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As an experienced and trusted holistic primary care physician, functional medicine doctor and naturopathic cardiologist, Dr. Cynthia has been providing whole person health care to the residents of Burbank, Valencia, greater Los Angeles, and Southern California communities for more than 20 years.
In 2019, she is pleased to be joined by Dr. Barbara Rush, a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist, who specializes in Chelation & iv nutritional therapy, Anti-Aging, Environmental Medicine, Fertility and Natural Hormone Balance, all using the original Functional Medicine approach. Since 2005, DR. Rush has been in clinical practice, helping people with holistic and alternative medicine. Dr. Rush combines eclectic healing arts, steeped in ancient wisdom with the best evidence-based science to achieve balanced health for her patients. She takes the time to listen to patients, treating every person as individual so they receive a customized treatment plan that works best for them. Dr. Rush has joined the Holistic Healing Heart Center and is providing the best naturopathic medicine near me.
Call 818-842-1410 today to learn how the Holistic Healing Heart Center can help you prevent disease, stay healthy, and age gracefully.