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Heart Health

Asian Medicine doesn’t necessarily view high cholesterol as a disease. Rather, it’s symptomatic of a dysfunction of the metabolic pathway.  Specifically, it’s an accumulation of dampness and phlegm. And this accumulation is the result of weakness in certain organs. Most notably, Spleen, Stomach, and Liver.

Although in ancient times high cholesterol was not a diagnosis as it is today in western medicine, it’s possible that centuries ago, while conducting dissections or autopsies noticed a white, waxy substance in blood vessels. This natural substance found in the body is cholesterol.

Is Cholesterol Bad?

But cholesterol is not in itself an evil substance it’s made out to be. In fact, from a western perspective, it’s a precursor to several hormones. Without it, we wouldn’t have testosterone to help build lean muscle tissue and provide a healthy libido. Cholesterol also gives structure to cell membranes. Our cells would be more vulnerable to oxidation and structural damage without enough of it.

Asian Medicine doesn’t necessarily view high cholesterol as a disease, rather, it’s symptomatic of a dysfunction of the metabolic pathway.

Some natural health experts view cholesterol as a repair substance that responds to inflammation in the body. Nonetheless, an estimated 20 million people take statin drugs. Statin drugs limit the amount of cholesterol naturally produced by the liver.

Asian Medicine Root Causes of High Cholesterol

Even in ancient times, a well-known predictor of health was diet. It was common knowledge that eating a diet rich in fried and/or fatty foods (and not getting enough movement) can lead to health problems.

According to Asian Medicine theory, the root cause of excess cholesterol in the blood is dysfunction of the Spleen and Liver organ systems.
  Spleen in Asian Medicine is the primary digestive organ system. It transforms the food you eat into usable energy. But if you’re eating lots of fast food and highly-processed food, your Spleen won’t have the proper building blocks (nutrients) to produce healthy levels of Qi and blood.

Poor Diet, Not Enough Exercise = PHLEGM

The liver naturally produces cholesterol. But if someone has too much Yang energy in the liver, it could cause the liver to operate in hyperdrive, producing excess cholesterol.  This cholesterol has to go somewhere. And if diet is poor and not enough exercise breaks up the cholesterol deposits, this can potentially lead to the build-up mentioned above in the arterial walls.

Many health concerns, from a Asian Medicine perspective, can be attributed to excess internal dampness. Excess cholesterol in the blood fits this pattern. Internal dampness can produce phlegm. Not the phlegm you may automatically think of with bad colds, but internal phlegm from an excess of fatty tissue.  Internal dampness stems from blood stasis. Think of blood stasis as when your blood, instead of flowing like a free-flowing river, instead, is stagnant like a swamp.

What can be done

The good news for those looking for natural solutions to support healthy cholesterol levels can text for an appointment to go over your next step in supporting blood circulation and normal cholesterol metabolism.  

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