Clogged arteries refers to a condition in which deposits of fatty plaque within an artery leading to the heart or brain restricts blood flow. Due to this, the blood carrying oxygen and nutrients cannot reach different body organs and tissues, potentially causing huge damage and preventing organs from functioning properly.
This is a serious condition that is not easily detectable. The exact cause behind clogged arteries is still unclear. However, experts believe it starts with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery.
Factors that may contribute to or worsen this problem include excessive smoking, a high-fat diet, lack of physical exercise, being overweight, having either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can also occur due to inflammation from diseases like arthritis, lupus or infections.
Clogged arteries in different parts of the body can lead to health problems like coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and even a heart attack or stroke.
Most often, clogged arteries do not cause any symptoms until the problem becomes severe. Symptoms may include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite, anxiety, nausea and sweating.
Other symptoms related to clogged arteries in different types of artery disease are leg pain, cold feet, numbness on one side of your body, inability to move an arm or a leg, and loss of vision on one side only.
As clogged arteries develop slowly and progressively, timely diagnosis is very important. Modern drugs and treatments as well as home remedies can help prevent the condition from worsening and reduce the risk of a serious cardiovascular disease.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for clogged arteries.
Garlic is one of the best remedies for clogged arteries. It helps widen blood vessels and improve blood circulation.
According to a 2007 study done at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, garlic can help relax blood vessels by up to 72 percent more than a placebo. Moreover, garlic lowers bad cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
- Add 3 chopped garlic cloves to a cup of milk and boil it. Allow it to cool and drink it daily before going to bed.
- Also, include garlic in your cooking or take garlic supplements after consulting your doctor.
Turmeric is another spice that can help treat clogged arteries and make your heart healthy and more functional. Curcumin, the main component of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent blood platelets from forming clots.
Moreover, turmeric extracts can lower the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol,to reduce buildup in the arteries. It can also relax blood vessels and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little honey to a glass of warm milk. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily.
- Take turmeric supplements. The usual recommended dosage is 400 to 600 mg 3 times daily. However, consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
- Also, include turmeric powder in your cooking.
3. Cayenne Pepper
The compound capsaicin present in cayenne pepper prevents bad cholesterol, or LDL, oxidation. This in turn reduces bad cholesterol levels in the blood, which is one of the main reasons behind clogged arteries. It also improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Add ½ to1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water. Drink it 2 times daily for a few weeks.
- You can also take cayenne supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
Lemon is high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation of the arteries. Plus, lemon helps lower blood cholesterol levels and keep arteries clear by preventing oxidative damage in the blood stream.
- Mix the juice of 1 lemon in a glass of warm water, along with a little honey and black pepper powder. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily for a few weeks.
- Alternatively, boil 1 tablespoon of lemon peels in 4 cups of water for 20 minutes. Strain and add honey. Drink 1 cup, 3 or 4 times daily for several weeks.
Ginger is another effective remedy for clogged arteries. It contains compounds like gingerols and shogaols that have cardiovascular benefits. Ginger prevents plaque buildup or lessens existing plaque by lowering total cholesterol and blocking oxidation of LDL.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily. Make the tea by adding 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, strain and add a little honey.
- Alternatively, eat a small piece of raw ginger on an empty stomach daily or take ginger capsules after consulting your doctor.
Note: Do not use ginger remedies if ginger causes gastric upset or heartburn, or you have gallbladder problems or gallstones.
6. Fenugreek Seeds
You can also use fenugreek seeds to treat clogged arteries. These seeds have saponins that can help reduce the level of the artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. Moreover, the high amount of fiber in fenugreek seeds plays a key role in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
- Soak 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, eat the soaked seeds along with the water on an empty stomach.
- Another option is to add 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to 1 cup of water. Boil it for 5 minutes, strain and add a little honey. Drink it 1 or 2 times daily.
Follow either of these remedies daily for several months.
7. Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice can also help unclog arteries as well as reduce the risk of having a heart attack. It has natural monacolins that can lower the level of LDL cholesterol.
Moreover, it has phytosterols, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, isoflavones and many trace minerals that are good for overall cardiovascular health.
- You can cook and eat red yeast rice like any other white or brown rice.
- Another option is to take red yeast rice tablets in 1,200 mg doses 2 times per day with meals. Always consult your doctor for the proper dosage and appropriateness for your condition.
Flaxseeds are one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that can help reduce blood pressure and inflammation. This in turn helps keep arteries clear of obstructions and improves overall heart health. In addition, the fiber in flaxseeds binds with LDL cholesterol and helps clear clogged arteries.
Consume 2 to 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily to help clear clogged arteries. Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in smoothies, soups and juices. You can also sprinkle ground flaxseeds in salads or baked goods.
This fruit is rich in antioxidant phytochemicals that help protect the circulatory system from damaging oxidation, which causes plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries. Moreover, pomegranate stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood that helps open arteries and regulate blood pressure.
- Eat 1 to 2 fresh pomegranates daily.
- You can also drink a glass of freshly extracted pomegranate juice once daily.
Regular physical exercise can also reduce stiff and clogged arteries. A proper exercise routine along with a healthy diet can strengthen your heart and help prevent and manage heart diseases. Exercise is also a good way to lose excess weight and maintain good health.
- Do aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, bicycling and jumping rope to strengthen your heart and improve your cardiovascular health.
- Also, include some cardiovascular exercises in your routine to improve heart health and keep arteries clear.
- Try some deep breathing as well as yoga to feel more relaxed and free from stress.
Consult your doctor about the type of exercises that you can do given your particular condition.
- Avoid eating junk foods and processed foods. Do not eat fried red meat as it can clog your arteries.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages in high amounts.
- Use meditation to reduce stress.
- Include beans and whole-grain products in your diet.
- Eat more fruits with bright colors, such as oranges, butternut squash, mangos, tomatoes, watermelon and blueberries.
- Enjoy some early morning sunlight to get vitamin D, which helps reduce arterial stiffness.
- Consume 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily to help reduce plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Drink 1 to 2 glasses of pure organic cranberry juice daily to protect your heart and improve your health.
- Cook food in extra-virgin olive oil for its positive effects on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress in the blood stream.
- Take 100 to 300 mcg of vitamin B12 per day after consulting a doctor.
- Eat at least 2 servings of cold-water fish like mackerel, tuna, trout, herring and salmon each week.
- Take omega-3 supplements after consulting your doctor.
- Limit your intake of sugar as well as any other food that will raise your blood sugar level.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily to keep the arteries free from bad cholesterol, or LDL.
- Eating a few walnuts daily also helps unclog arteries.