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General characteristics

General characteristics

Atheroma is an accumulation of fatty deposits (and inflammatory cells present due to the normal immune response) which form plaque like layers within the arterial walls themselves. It is in effect an inflammatory response to physical damage in the arterial walls. Later on, calcium deposits are laid down over the fatty plaques in an effort by the body to strengthen the walls.

These plaque deposits can eventually lead to arteriosclerosis with thickening and' hardening' of the arterial walls and the subsequent narrowing of the arteries adding the complications of poor blood flow and oxygen deprivation of affected tissues.

This disease process is extremely common and has been seen on post mortem in the arteries of very young children that have died of completely unrelated causes. It gradually increases with age and the presence of other predisposing factors such as high blood pressure, poor diet and lifestyle etc.

Herbal treatment needs to focus on thinning the blood, dilating and strengthening the arterial vessels (especially to the peripheries), strengthening the heart, and dissolving the plaques.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

See also 'arteriosclerosis' for further info.

A diet based on pure wholesome foods is essential if you have been diagnosed as have atheroma in your arteries. Fresh fruit, veg and grains with plenty of water and herb teas. There is much you can do to improve or even reverse the condition by avoiding fatty meats and all processed oils and fats, including hydrogenated fats and oils.

Eat 1 or 2 raw cloves of garlic in the evening just after your meal. Put the clove at the back of your teeth, crack it then swallow with a glass of water. Alternatively, chop and put in vegetarian capsulesavailable in our shop).

Onions have a similar effect to garlic, include raw in salads.

Eat a handful daily of hazelnuts.

Seaweeds of all kinds have a very positive effect on the heart and arteries and regulate fat and cholesterol levels. Add to soups and stews, you can remove it before eating the soup if you like.

Brown rice has a regenerative effect on the arteries. Eat several times a week with vegetables. The grain buckwheat has the same effect.

Have a morning drink of 1 or 2 freshly squeezed lemons in spring water. The citrus dissolves plaques and unhealthy accumulations, cuts through phlegm and mucous and cleanses the liver and entire system of unhealthy toxins. It also improves the skin and provides vitamin C. Its effects are cumulative and as a morning drink should be taken every day.

Avoid junk food and processed food including cans, tins, packets and ready meals due to their high sugar, salt and additive content. Keep white flour products to an absolute minimum.

Gradually increase your daily exercise  to include a half an hour walk or swim, dancing, gardening, anything that gets blood pumping and the heart beating faster.

Eat high fibre foods ( helps excrete excess cholesterol) which include all veg and fruit like apples, pears and grapes and wholegrains such as oats.

If you are seriously overweight you will need to loose weight by eating a diet rich in wholefoods and increasing exercise.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

See also 'arteriosclerosis' as many of the herbs apply here too.

Cayenne (chilli) is one of the finest circulatory stimulants available. It safely increases blood flow and strengthens the beat and force of the heart whilst balancing blood pressure and dissolving blood clots. Take a pinch daily in tea or on food to prevent and heal cardiovascular and circulatory problems.

Myrrh is a circulatory stimulant as is rosemary.

Centuary has a very good effect on the blood vesels, keping them flexible and pliant.

Dandelion root and leaves can help to prevent this condition.

Turmeric is cleansing to the blood and anti-inflammatory so use in food or add a pinch to herb teas.

Herbs to thin the blood include red clover flowers, ginkgo, meadowsweet, garlic.

To dissolve the plaque deposits use alfalfa, nettle, chickweed, kelp, mistletoe.

Sundew is a preventative.

Herbs that relax the smooth muscle and dilate the vessels thereby improving blood flow include crampbark, lime flowers, chamomile and yarrow.

Herbs that strengthen and support the heart are hawthorn berries and flowers, yarrow, motherwort, lemon balm and mistletoe.

Ginger improves blood flow and a little piece of grated raw ginger can be added to any tea daily.

Buckwheat, oatstraw and eucalyptus leaves improve the elasticity and condition of the arterial walls.

A good general formula might be yarrow, hawthorn flowers, red clover, alfalfa, ginkgo, nettle and meadowsweet as a tea. 3 heaped teaspoon of the mix in a teapot and strain off and drink throughout the day. Add a touch of grated ginger or a pinch of chilli to enhance the therapeutic effects of the formula and improve circulation.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Take a teaspoon of cider vinegar in a little water daily.

Take steps to minimise stress in you life.

Exercise daily to increase oxygen supply to the tissues. Slow sticky blood from inactivity will greatly exacerbate the condition.

Muscadine red wine has a compound in it called resveratrol which is shown to have a very protective action on the entire cardiovascular system.

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