Botanical influences on cardiovascular disease.Altern Med Rev. 1998 Dec; 3(6):422-31.AM
Several botanicals, including Crataegus oxycantha, Terminalia arjuna, Inula racemosa, and Astragalus membranaceus, have been found to have therapeutic benefit for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Crataegus oxycantha has been used traditionally as a cardiac tonic and current uses include treatment for angina, hypertension, arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure. Animal studies have also indicated that Crataegus extracts may also have potential use as anti-ischemic and lipid-lowering agents. The bark of the Terminalia arjuna tree has a long history of use as a cardiac tonic as well, and has been indicated in the treatment of coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypercholesterolemia and for relief of anginal pain. Additionally, it has been found to have antibacterial and antimutagenic properties. Inula racemosa, also known as Pushkarmoola, is another traditional Ayurvedic botanical that has potential cardioprotective benefit. In human trials, a combination of Inula racemosa and Commiphora mukul was shown to be superior to nitroglycerin in reducing the chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese herb, is often used as a "Qi tonifier" and has been studied for its therapeutic benefit in treatment of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and relief of anginal pain. Clinical studies have indicated that its in vitro antioxidant activity is the mechanism by which it affords its cardioprotective benefit.