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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Herbs for Cardiovascular Health - Part 1 of 3

NOTE: This is an excerpt of an article originally published in 1998 in Dr. Leung's newsletter, "Leung's Chinese Herb News", Issue 12, page 3. The topic is cardiovascular health and we will publish the rest of the article in two more excerpts in the next few days. The information is as useful today as when it was written. -ed

There are many Chinese herbs commonly used for cardiovascular problems, such as coronary heart disease, angina, arrhythmia, hypertension, atherosclerosis, hyperlipemia, Raynaud's disease, congestive heart failure, fibrillation, etc. The more well-known ones include danshen or red sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza root/rhizome), honghua (safflower flower), kudzu root, sanqi (Panax notoginseng root), astragalus root, dangshen (Codonopsis pilosula root), Asian ginseng, Sichuan lovage (Ligusticum chuanxiong rhizome), danggui (Angelica sinensis root), chishao or red peony root (Paeonia lactiflora), jiangxiang (Dalbergia odorifera wood), shanzha or Chinese hawthorn, duzhong (Eucommia ulmoides stem bark), chrysanthemum flower, ganoderma, garlic, baizhu (Atractylodes macrocephala rhizome), schisandra berry, maidong (Ophiopogon japonicus rhizome), lycium fruit, zexie (Alisma orientale rhizome), fo-ti (raw and cured Polygonum multiflorum root tuber), purslane herb, dushen (Sophora flavescens root), huaijiao (Sophora japonica fruit), juemingzi (Senna obtusifolia or Senna tora seed), tangerine peel, rehmannia (raw anad cured Rehmannia glutinosa root tuber), puhauang or catttail pollen (Typha angustifolia or Typha orientalis), lotus leaf, huzhang (Polygonum cuspidatum root/rhizome), and fuzi (Aconitum carmichaeli prepared lateral root). All except fuzi are mostly mild medicines with little or no known side effects. Even fuzi (which has been carefully cured to drastically reduce the toxic effects of raw aconite) is quite safe when used properly.

Although some of the above herbs I have listed are for treating the more serious heart problems (e.g. astragalus, danshen, dangshen, maidong, kushen, and sanqi for coronary heart disease and arrhythmia; Sichuan lovage, danshen, honghua, chishao, and jiangxiang for angina; etc.), most are used for milder conditions that eventually may lead to more serious ones. The following two common conditions can be helped with some of these herbs and their combinations.

NOTE: To be continued in next post. -ed

These and more herbal remedies are available from the volumes of Dr. Leung’s newsletter, of the same name as this blog (Leung’s Chinese Herb News). This newsletter was published and sent to subscribers (most were industry-insiders) from 1996 to 2004. The collected works now serve as an excellent reference work, created with Dr. Leung’s frank, honest opinions and down-to-earth communication style. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit http://www.earthpower.com/. To order the newsletter containing the remedies mentioned above, visit the bookstore, click “Buy Now” on the newsletter, and select Issue # 12 from the drop down list.

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