Our bodies are miraculous creations in a constant state of functioning, fluctuation, change, and repair much the same way a city functions. Consider what energy it takes to keep a city thriving 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month and 12 months a year.
To get momentarily biblical- within the constructs of specific religions, the human body has been equated to kingdoms and temples. If the body is a kingdom, the cardiovascular system would make up its roads, rivers, and passageways.
The Cardiovascular system is the transportation system of the body. The sole focus of the cardiovascular system is to circulate the body’s blood supply by pumping oxygen rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body and vice versa. Both the heart and circulatory system make up the cardiovascular system.
The body contains many vessels consisting of networks of arteries, arterioles, veins, and capillaries. These vessels are responsible for many functions throughout the body such as protecting it from pathogens, regulating its temperature (thermoregulation), and balancing fluid levels.
According to the Texas Heart Institute (n.d.), if the blood vessels in your body were laid end to end they would represent the sum of 60,000 miles. That’s the equivalent of two trips around the earth!
With heart disease being the number one killer in America, it makes sense to take care of your cardiovascular system. There are many practices that we can do to ensure our hearts are functioning properly such as exercising daily, eating a heart healthy diet, and supplementing with herbs. Herbs are a great way to support the heart and circulatory system because they are cardioprotective and help to increase blood flow. They also provide powerful antioxidant support.
Some herbs to consider are Crataegus oxyacantha (hawthorn), Terminalia arjuna, and curcumin.
Hawthorn- used as a heart tonic. This herb is used to treat both hypo and hypertension and is very high in antioxidants. It also contains quercetin and vitamin c making it great for supporting the treatment of allergies and hay fever.
Arjuna- is a powerful cardio protectant. It aids the heart by increasing the transportation of nutrient rich blood flow. Arjuna also acts as a protectant and strengthens vessels within the circulatory system.
Curcumin- extremely potent antioxidant capacity. This spice is scientifically proven to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Curcumin is also shown to strengthen endothelial cells which line blood vessels.
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Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 6(10), 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6100092
Dwivedi, S., & Chopra, D. (2014). Revisiting Terminalia arjuna - An Ancient Cardiovascular Drug. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 4(4), 224–231. https://doi.org/10.4103/2225-4110.139103
Stansbury, Jill; Saunders, Paul; etc. (2012). The Use of Convallaria and Crataegus in the Treatment of Cardiac Dysfunction. Journal of Restorative Medicine, Volume 1, Number 1, 1 September 2012, pp. 107-111(5). Retrieved from https://restorativemedicine.org/journal/the-use-of-convallaria-and-crataegus-in-the-treatment-of-cardiac-dysfunction/#:~:text=Convallaria%20has%20been%20used%20for%20the%20treatment%20of,is%20therefore%20beneficial%20for%20the%20treatment%20of%20hypertension.
Bautch, V. L., & Caron, K. M. (2015). Blood and lymphatic vessel formation. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology, 7(3), a008268. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a008268
Texas Heart Institute. (n.d.). Anatomy of the Heart and Cardiovascular System. Retrieved from https://www.texasheart.org/heart-health/heart-information-center/topics/anatomy-of-the-heart-and-cardiovascular-system/