I had a stroke last year and it was terrifying. I have started changing my life drastically because I never want to go through that again.
Q. Dear Terry, “I had a stroke last year and it was terrifying. I have started changing my life drastically because I never want to go through that again. I quit smoking, started exercising more regularly, made some adjustments to my diet, and I’m working on managing my stress. I’m interested in herbs or plants that may also help. What should I look for?” — Susan B., Baltimore, MD
A. Dear Susan, I highly encourage you to discuss any supplementation with your healthcare practitioner. With that being said, I think I have some recommendations that will be very helpful.
A stroke can be caused by many reasons including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and oxidative damage to blood vessels. I think using ingredients that help address all of these issues can be very useful. Two ingredients that come to mind are curcumin and grape seed extract.
Curcumin has been shown in scientific studies to protect against ischemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin makes an excellent choice for stroke prevention and recovery. Curcumin also helps with a process called neurogenesis, which is the formation of new neurons. Creating new neurons and restoring neural pathways is crucial in stroke recovery. I prefer curcumin that is clinically studied and blended with turmeric essential oil. I would take this curcumin two to three times per day.
Grape seed extract is also very important for the health and integrity of our blood vessels. Research has shown that grape seed extract can reduce high blood pressure, protect the blood vessel walls from damaging free radical activity, and prevent the dangerous oxidation of LDL cholesterol – one of the first steps on the road to a heart attack or stroke. Grape seed extract also helps the blood vessels to relax, allowing for better circulation and reduced blood pressure. I recommend a tannin-free French grape seed extract that is standardized only to provide oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that are small enough to be absorbed, with a high level of polyphenols. I would take this grape seed extract two to three times per day.
You may also want to consider adding mesoglycan. Mesoglycan has been shown in scientific studies to treat diseases of the veins and arteries. Unlike prescription drugs, mesoglycan works by strengthening and repairing weakened blood vessels. I recommend mesoglycan from a porcine (pig) source, so it is bioidentical to the same building blocks in our own bodies. I would take mesoglycan twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally