5 Chinese Herbs for Heart Health

:: by Dr. Maoshing Ni

As we age, many of us develop plaque buildup in our arteries, especially the coronary arteries, due to loss of elasticity in the blood vessels and a natural increase in cholesterol. Follow your cardiologist’s recommended protocols — and discuss using nature’s help, too, with these traditional Chinese herbs for heart health:

1. Ginseng

Ginseng reduces cholesterol and has shown positive effects on blood vessel elasticity.

2. Dong quai

Dong quai, or Chinese angelica root, is traditionally used to treat blockages and help increase blood flow.

3. Sacred pine

Sacred pine contains a potent antioxidant called picnogenol in its bark, needles and nut that helps reduce inflammation in the blood vessels, lowering the risk of plaque buildup.

4. Gingko

Gingko also increases microcapillary circulation and expands blood vessels.

5. Hawthorn berries

Hawthorn berries reduce fat and mucus accumulation, purify the blood, and improve blood flow.

These herbs are available separately or as a combined supplement from Chinese pharmacies and in some health food stores. Some of the herbs, like gingko, possess mild blood-thinning properties and may interact with blood-thinning drugs. You must talk to your medical doctor and cardiologist before you take these herbs if you are already taking prescription medications.


Dr. Maoshing Ni, popularly known as Dr. Mao, is a 38th-generation doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and an authority in anti-aging medicine. At the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, California, Dr. Mao and his associates have treated more than 25,000 women. Known on Sex and the City as “Dr. Wow,” Dr. Mao lectures internationally and has been featured on radio and television as well as on the pages of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He is the author of Second Spring: Dr. Mao’s Hundreds of Natural Secrets for Women to Revitalize and Regenerate at Any Age.

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