If you have blocked or clogged arteries, it's likely due to a buildup of fatty-deposit plaques. You may have a cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis, as well. Certain natural supplements and herbal remedies could help in treating your blocked arteries, but you should consult your doctor before taking any natural treatment to discuss the side effects, proper dosage and potential drug interactions. Do not replace a medical treatment you are now receiving with an herbal remedy.
To help clear clogged arteries, you might take supplements such as alpha-linoleolic acid, or "ALA," omega-3 fatty acids, sitostanol or beta-sitosterol, calcium, coenzyme Q10, or cod liver oil, the Mayo Clinic says. Alternatively, you could take chromium, copper, magnesium, lutein, vitamin C, selenium, resveratrol, trimethylglycine, or "TMG," or oligomeric proanthocyanidins or "OPCs," notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Mesoglycan, l-carnitine, arginine, policosanol and inositol hexaniacinate are also supplements that are sometimes recommended for treating or preventing blocked arteries or helping to treat intermittent claudication. Many other natural supplements can also potentially help to treat or prevent arterial plaque buildup, including tocotrienols, folic acid, fish oil, chondroitin sulfate, lycopene, quercetin and certain B-complex vitamins such as B-6 and B-12, states the University of Michigan Health System. Talk with your health-care provider before taking any of these supplements to reduce or prevent arterial plaque.
Numerous herbal remedies may clear or prevent the clogging of your arteries. These include garlic, psyllium, fenugreek, guggul, green tea and horny goat weed, says the University of Michigan Health System. You could also take turmeric, ginger, ginkgo, rosemary, hemp seed, peony root, butcher's broom or bilberry for their cardiovascular-related health benefits. Artichoke, cocoa, barley and oat bran are sometimes also used to clear blocked arteries or prevent atherosclerosis, the Mayo Clinic notes. Other potentially beneficial herbs for cardiovascular health include grass pollen, astragalus, flax seed, hawthorn and sea buckthorn, adds the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Keep in mind that no widely accepted medical research supports the use of any herbal remedies for treating or preventing plaque blockages in arteries.
Cod liver, fish and flax seed oils, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, appear to help to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis by reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels can directly contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries. Fenugreek, guggul, red yeast rice and garlic can also reduce your cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Additionally, garlic may lower your blood pressure and reduce excessive clotting of your blood, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Taking tocotrienols, green tea or quercetin might protect you from damage to your arteries due to LDL or "bad cholesterol," notes the University of Michigan Health System. Selenium supplements might reduce your risks of heart disease or help to protect against subsequent heart attacks. Taking vitamins B-6 or B-12, TMG or folic acid could help to regulate your levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that may relate to risks of atherosclerosis or heart disease. Resveratrol, found in red wine might "thin" your blood and have antioxidant effects that could prevent heart disease-related death. Peony root and turmeric can also reduce excessive clotting of blood platelets, while rosemary and butcher's broom appear to stimulate blood circulation.
Because many of these natural supplements and herbs can produce similar effects as common prescription drugs for clogged arteries, your doctor might need to adjust your medication dosage. For example, turmeric taken with a blood-thinning drug like Coumadin could increase your bleeding risks, and taking garlic with antihypertensive drugs could lower your blood pressure too much. Ask your health-care provider about the dosage that's right for you and about how the natural remedy will affect the medications that you're taking.
Many herbs and natural supplements can produce side effects and potentially dangerous drug interactions, the Mayo Clinic says. For instance, taking excessive doses of fenugreek seeds can cause nausea and stomach upset, and fenugreek can also potentially stimulate uterine contractions and cause miscarriages in pregnant women, warns the University of Michigan Health System. Guggul can cause skin rashes and stomach pain, as well as adverse effects in people with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and liver disease. Taking L-carnitine supplements could lower thyroid hormone levels and interfere with thyroid medications, cautions the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Discuss these and other dangers with a doctor before taking any natural remedy to clear your arteries.
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease Prevention
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Intermittent Claudication
- University of Michigan Health System: Atherosclerosis
- Mayo Clinic: Arteriosclerosis / Atherosclerosis – Alternative Medicine
- University of Michigan Health System: Fenugreek