Nearly 15 million people worldwide suffer strokes annually. A small blood clot or a microscopic tear is all it takes for a stroke to occur. Stroke can be described as a ‘brain attack’ where the brain cells die from decreased blood flow and lack of oxygen to the brain. The good news is that there are many things you can do and foods you can eat to prevent stroke. Here are the best natural remedies to prevent stroke in men and women:
1. Get your blood pressure under control
Hypertension is the number one risk factor for strokes. High blood pressure increases your risk of getting a ‘brain attack’ by nearly 2 to 4 times. Here are some remedies to bring down high blood pressure:
- Eat right –follow the DASH diet.
- Exercise more
- Take medicines to lower BP
Related content:How To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
2. Quit smoking
Smoking hardens the arteries and thickens blood. It can also increase blood pressure and your risk of developing blood clot. Nicotine in cigarettes reduces the amount of oxygen to the brain. By quitting smoking at any age, not only will you reduce your chances of getting a stroke but also cut your risk of lung disease.
3. Take Aspirin
You may have already heard this one-take an aspirin daily and prevent stroke from happening while lowering your risk of heart disease. If you are over 50, talk to your doctor about starting Aspirin therapy.
4. White willow bark
White willow contains similar compounds (salicyate) as those in Aspirin. If you are already taking Aspirin, talk to an herbalist before taking willow bark. Let us discuss a simple, all natural remedy for stroke and heart attack prevention. To make a decoction with willow bark-Add 1 tsp of powered willow bark in a glass of cold water. Cover, keep aside and let it steep for 8 hours. Strain and drink up to 3 cups a day. Willow bark is bitter and astringent so add honey or lemon for enhancing its taste.
Ginger is a powerful, anti-inflammatory herb that can prevent heart attacks and strokes by doing three things: it can lower cholesterol, help in blood pressure and weight management and also prevent blood clots which trigger most strokes. To prevent heart attacks and strokes, use ginger in cooking. Also drink ginger ale and ginger tea.
Animal studies have shown that alfalfa leaves reduce blood clots, cholesterol and plaque deposits on the artery walls. These are the main factors that cause heart attacks and strokes. Add alfalfa leaves to salads. You can also buy Alfalfa herbal extracts in the form of pills and capsules and take them according to package instructions. To make an herbal infusion: Add 1-2 tsp of dried leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for 20 minutes. Enjoy thrice a day and take advantage of its cholesterol reducing benefits. Alfalfa tastes like chamomile tea and has an herbal fragrant aroma.
No conventional medicine can match the heart healthy benefits of Garlic. Some herbs lower cholesterol, others reduce the likelihood of blood clots, still others rein in blood pressure. Garlic is the only herb that does all three things. More than a dozen studies have been conducted on this herbal stroke prevention remedy. The studies have shown that Garlic has significant cholesterol reducing properties and that its allacin content can lower total cholesterol level by nearly 12%.To reduce risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure, experts recommend eating 3-10 cloves of fresh garlic every day. In case you are not fond of its sharp pungent taste, add it to your cooking. To make a tincture, soak 1 cup cloves of crushed Garlic in 1 quart brandy. Shake the mixture daily for 2 weeks. Take up to 3 tablespoons a day.
Meadowsweet has the same salicytate compounds found in Aspirin without the adverse side effects. Unlike Aspirin, meadowsweet is gentle on the tummy.While its effects on heart attacks and strokes have not been researched, it has been studied on animals. These studies have shown that Meadowsweet can offer the same cardiovascular protection as anticoagulant and blood thinning drugs. To make an infusion, add 1-2 tsp of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water. Steep the mixture for 10 minutes. Drink up to three times a day. You can even take up to ½ to 1 tsp of its homemade tincture thrice a day.
9. Cat’s Claw
Researchers in Shanghai University discovered that Cat’s Claw reduces cholesterol and blood pressure while lowering arterial plaque deposits. This prevents blood clots that triggered heart attacks and strokes. Use Cat’s Claw only in consultation with your doctor. It could lead to major stomach upset and diarrhea.
10. Evening primrose
The GLA or Gamma Linoleic acid in Evening primrose oil can lower cholesterol significantly.In a Scottish study, 79 people with high cholesterol took 4g of Evening primrose oil daily for 3 months. The average cholesterol reduced by nearly 31% lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes in the participants by 60%.
As we age, the blood flow to the brain reduces. This reduces the food and oxygen to the brain cells, causing strokes. In Europe, doctors recommend Gingko to prevent stroke and also for recovery after strokes. It is one of the best foods to take to prevent stroke after a mini stroke. Buy a commercial preparation of Gingko and take it according to package instructions. Most doses are available in 120-240 mg and you can divide it into 3 doses per day (40-80 mg thrice day).
Talk to your doctor today about these 11 natural ways to prevent stroke from happening.