For years, I have touted several herbs for improving heart health, so I am particularly pleased to read the results of a new study showing the benefit of using Chinese Herbal Medicine. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggests that ancient Chinese herbal formulas used primarily for cardiovascular conditions including heart disease work because they enhance the amount of nitric oxide in the inner walls of blood vessels and convert nitrite and nitrate into additional nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an odorless gas that causes your blood vessels to relax and to widen, thereby opening up your arteries. This allows better blood flow to your heart and your other important organs.
The results in this study show that Chinese herbal formulas “have profound nitric oxide bioactivity…” said Nathan S. Bryan, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an IMM assistant professor.
Herbal formulas are a significant treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also includes acupuncture, cupping, moxabustion and tui na (a Chinese therapeutic form of massage). The formulas used in the study were not named but two of the herbs contained in the formulas were identified as Dan Shen and Gua Lou. I like Dan Shen’s ability to improve the blood flow and help the heart and Gua Lou’s effectivenss in cough and chest constriction.
“TCMs have provided leads to safe medications in cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” said C. Thomas Caskey, M.D., IMM director and CEO. “The opportunity for Dr. Bryan’s work is outstanding given that cardiac disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.”
Yaoping Tang, M.D., an IMM postdoctoral fellow, was the lead author of the study. Also collaborating on the study was Harsha Garg, an IMM senior research assistant.
Tang, Y. et al., “Nitric oxide bioactivity of traditional Chinese medicines used for cardiovascular indications.” Is published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine.
Some information in this post came from The University of Texas News Release
Acupuncture may also enhance Nitric Oxide, check it out