Herbal Support for Stroke Recovery

Stroke recovery is a lengthy and arduous process, requiring support on many levels, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy, medications, and healthy nutrition.

All these therapies aim to reduce the chance of forming new blood clots, to reduce cholesterol levels, to improve circulation, and to recover muscle strength and function.

There are many herbs that can support stroke recovery.

Below is a list of three major groups of herbs to help you to recover from a stroke and avoid a stroke in the future.

These herbs support healthy arteries, help to reduce cholesterol, and tonify the brain.  It is worthwhile to remember that stress can lead to constriction (narrowing) of arteries and thus impaired blood circulation to the brain.

Please consult a naturopathic doctor for the correct use of these herbs to avoid possible interactions with medications for stroke and other conditions you might be taking.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of helpful herbs.

  •   CURCUMIN  (Curcuma longa) improves circulation by reducing cholesterol levels, platelet stickiness, and thus blood clot formation in the arteries.  Moreover, curcumin (turmeric) is a powerful antioxidant which protects the blood vessel lining (endothelium) from oxidative damage that may lead to plaque formation.
  •   ALFALFA (Medicago sativa) helps to reduce cholesterol absorption, improves digestion, and is rich in chlorophyll, which helps to detoxify the blood.
  •   GARLIC (Allium sativa) is well known for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL) levels.  Garlic also reduces plaque formation in the arteries by decreasing blood platelet agglutination (platelet stickiness).
  •  GINGER (Zingiber officinale) improves blood circulation by thinning the blood, reducing cholesterol levels, and protecting the blood vessel lining (endothelium) from inflammation.
  •   GUGGAL (Commiphora wigthii) has been shown to greatly reduce bad cholesterol levels while boosting good cholesterol levels.  Guggal (guggul) decreases platelet stickiness and thus reduces blood clot formation.
  •   ARTICHOKE (Cynara scolymus) improves liver health and bile flow necessary for fat (cholesterol) digestion.  Artichoke also decreases bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol levels.
  •   GINKGO (Ginkgo biloba) has blood thinning properties and reduces platelet aggregation (stickiness).  Ginkgo protects from inflammation of the arterial lining (endothelium), while tonifying the arteries, making them stronger yet more elastic.  Thus, ginkgo improves blood circulation to the brain, as well as the rest of the body.
  •   BROMELAIN (Ananas comosus) helps to reduce inflammation within the arteries and platelet stickiness, helping to ward off blood clot formation.
  •   HAWTHORN (Crataegus oxycantha) helps to decrease plaque formation in the arteries.  Hawthorn is also known for promoting heart health
  •   ARJUNA (Terminalia arjuna) reduces cholesterol and improves arterial blood flow.
  •   LINDEN (Tillia europaea) improves blood flow by relaxing the blood vessel walls.  Linden is a wonderful nerve tonic, helping to relax the mind and thus deal with stress.
  •   MOTHERWORT (Leonurus cardiaca) reduces blood pressure by lowering the heart rate (and palpitations) and promoting a normal heart rhythm.  Motherwort calms the nerves, relieving anxiety and helping to deal with stress.   
  •   VALERIAN (Valeriana officinalis) calms the mind, ameliorates anxiety, promotes sleep, and lowers blood pressure.

Consider Craniosacral Therapy and Energetic Unwinding Of The Spine, Joints & Muscles to promote recovery of muscle strength and function.