Benefits of Yarrow Tea for Cholesterol Control
The benefits of yarrow have long been written in the history books, even from a mythological perspective, as it is said that Achilles himself carried the plant during battles in order to use its wound healing benefits on fallen companions. From these mystical roots, the plant’s inner medicinal uses have only further proliferated, with the plant being thought to be useful for everything from menstrual cramps to nosebleeds. While the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of the feathery leaved flora have been hailed for centuries, the plant’s reputation may be adding another healthful benefit to its repertoire. It may be one of the most effective herbs for cholesterol reduction, thanks to beneficial compounds contained inside.
Plant sterols and stanols have been shown to reduce the bad cholesterol found within the body by blocking its absorption, according to WebMD. In fact, they are one of the most effective natural ways to lower cholesterol, and the results have been proven, with test subjects regularly achieving drops of bad cholesterol numbers by ten percent or even more in many cases. The benefits of yarrow include a healthy heaping helping of these compounds, most notably campesterol. Gardenguides.com points out that this particular phytosterol that is found in yarrow can contribute to lower cholesterol levels, anti-inflammatory benefits and healthier functioning of the liver. In fact, of all of the natural ways to lower cholesterol, sterols and stanols found in plants like yarrow may be some of the most effective.
The way in which the benefits of yarrow in terms of cholesterol reduction are achieved can be described as a trick played on the digestive tract. WebMD further explains this process, and notes that plant phytosterols are very similar to the cholesterol that is found in our bodies. These identity tricksters cut in line ahead of cholesterol and take its place and therefore prevent the bad cholesterol from being absorbed by the body. This interesting exchange that takes place on a molecular level is what makes yarrow such a popular ingredient in many supplements to lower cholesterol which is a good thing, given the track record of sterols and stanols.
Historically, the benefits of yarrow have been enjoyed in various ways including eating, rubbing, extracting and cooking. Preparations of the herb are much easier these days, and one popular way with which to enjoy yarrow is in a cholesterol tea. This preparation can be particularly soothing and is a great alternative for those who do not like to take supplements or those who wish to enjoy the respiratory or anti-inflammatory benefits of the herb. To make this cholesterol tea, consider pouring boiling water over a cup with two or three leaves placed within. Let the concoction sit for a few minutes and add lemon or honey if desired and enjoy. Another method involves adding to one cup of yarrow six cups of boiling water and allowing the mixture to steep for some time. The cholesterol lowering tea should be strained before enjoying.
It is important to understand that while research has confirmed that sterols and stanols found in plants and everyday foods can reduce bad cholesterol numbers, these natural cholesterol lowering remedies are no substitute for sound medical advice, counseling and treatment. Obtaining normal cholesterol values may not be attainable with herbal remedies alone, even with the benefits of yarrow. Only a doctor can determine whether or not herbal remedies are suitable and safe for you based on your health and current medications. Sometimes, herbal remedies may interact with certain medications that are used to obtain normal cholesterol values.
It is also important to recognize that while the benefits of yarrow may in fact be valuable to help reducing high cholesterol values, they are also no substitute for healthy lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking, eating healthier, losing weight and exercising regularly are all also proven methods of reducing cholesterol. The benefits of yarrow may indeed amplify these efforts and provide an added boost to LDL lowering efforts; however, the powerful compounds the plant houses inside works best inside a healthy and proactive body.