When attempting to lower cholesterol, you have a choice between natural and synthetic options. In the quest for a natural cholesterol reducer, many herbs have proven promising for those struggling to control cholesterol levels. Three herbs in particular stand out as potentially effective and are commonly used in integrative medicine. If you’re looking for herbs to lower cholesterol, read on!
Artichoke leaf extract, one of the top herbs to lower cholesterol, works by interrupting cholesterol synthesis in your body. Found naturally in artichokes, a substance called cynin can increase the production and flow of bile in the body. Between these two actions, cholesterol is excreted at a higher rate, which means it doesn’t stick around to clog your arteries. One study suggested cholesterol was lowered by more than 18% in six weeks after participants took 1,800 mg of artichoke leaf extract per day.
Red Yeast Rice
Once fermented by Monascus purpureus, or red yeast, rice is transformed into what’s commonly called red yeast rice. Used often to add a splash of color to foods, red yeast rice is often associated with red wine or Peking duck. For a millennium, China has turned to red yeast rice to alleviate a variety of physical ailments as well, such as poor circulation and gastrointestinal issues. In recent years, red yeast rice has been found to reduce blood lipid count. Unfortunately, most commercially-sold supplements contain just a tiny amount of red yeast rice, at most.
Among herbs to lower cholesterol, green tea is perhaps the most widely available. Recent studies suggest green tea is effective in reducing cholesterol levels, adding to its well-known antioxidant properties. To be effective in cholesterol reduction, green tea in excess of 80 ounces per day would be required. But, for people who already love green tea, this is hardly a challenge!
Other Herbs to Lower Cholesterol
Though formal research on effectiveness is lacking, some believe other herbs to lower cholesterol are available. Specifically, yarrow, holy basil, ginger, turmeric and rosemary have proven successful for some individuals.
Herbal vs. Traditional Options
Often, there are more potential benefits and less risk when taking herbs versus prescription medication. Though treatment decisions are up to the individual, prescription medications can lead to many serious health risks.