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August 10, 2011

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Lowering cholesterol with herbs and acupuncture

CHINESE consider high cholesterol to be a modern condition that comes with richer lifestyle and richer food, meaning more fat.

And as people get wealthier they tend to exercise less.

Heredity is a also factor in high cholesterol.

High cholesterol is a risk factor contributing to coronary heart diseases and stroke.

Western medicine identifies two kinds of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also called good cholesterol.

Excess of LDL and low HDL contribute to arterial blockage and can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Early symptoms are high blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, pain in the left arm, shortness of breath and numb fingers.

Traditional Chinese medicine does not describe blood lipids, but it explains disease patterns.

Liver-kidney deficiency: Results in disrupted bile production as well as problems in the liver and excretory system, causing problems with lipid digestion.

Blood stasis: Blood circulation is poor and disrupted, often linked to arthritis and heart disease.

Spleen-stomach deficiency: The digestive system is unable to process cholesterol.

Damp-phlegm in lungs and spleen: Outside damp invades the spleen/digestive system, leading to blockage and phlegm.

Acupuncture can improve circulation of blood and fluids. Herbs can lower high cholesterol, including shan zha tan (Chinese hawthorn) and hong qu (red yeast rice).

Deepwater fish, such as salmon, and apples are believed to lower LDL. In general, eating a balanced and healthy diet can lower cholesterol.


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