Taking Aged Garlic Extract Can Boost Cardiac Health

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Everyday at the clinic we prescribe thousands of herbs. How do we prescribe so many? Through time-tested herbal formulas. Instead of issuing a patient one herb for one problem, Traditional Chinese Medicine operates in an entirely different way, by uniting a series of herbs to combat multiple problems at once. One of those herbs we frequently prescribe is aged garlic extract.

A study examining the impact of this extract published in Integrated Blood Pressure Control journal reports that in a large percentage of patients with uncontrolled hypertension, aged garlic extract was found to be effective in attenuating peripheral and central blood pressure. In addition, it showed the potential to improve arterial stiffness, inflammation, and other cardiovascular markers in patients with elevated levels.

Researchers conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving 88 general practice patients with uncontrolled hypertension. Participants were either given aged garlic extract or a placebo as a way to ascertain the impact of the herb on blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions (including cholesterol, homocysteine, platelet function, and inflammatory markers.)

The group given the aged garlic extract showed improvement in central blood pressure, central pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure, augmentation pressure, pulse-wave velocity, and arterial stiffness.

This research is not the first to champion the benefits of Chinese herbs. However, one  study from earlier this year that examined how Traditional Chinese Medicine can benefit heart health looked specifically at herbal formulas over Western herbal practices. “Of note, one should bear in mind that traditional Chinese medicine medications are usually prescribed as complex formulae, which are often further manipulated by the practitioner on a personalized basis,” said Yuxia Zhao, senior author of that study.

Western practices lean on the “one herb for one symptom” methodology of treatment. While this has its uses, the TCM approach has been time-tested for over 2000 years. Zhao’s group from Shandong University Qilu Hospital in Jinan, China, published their study highlighting the efficacy of a Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal formula when used to treat a vast array of heart diseases.

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