New research has uncovered the scientific basis of ancient Chinese herbal formulas that have been shown to improve cardiovascular health.
Based on their work, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston believe the formulas help prevent heart disease by producing large amounts of nitric oxide, which is known for its artery-widening properties that facilitate blood flow and circulation.
The compound also lowers pressure and reduces the formation of artery-clogging plaque that may cause blood clots, the scientists explain.
Dr. Nathan S. Bryan, the study’s senior author and assistant professor in the university’s Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, explains that "[these herbal formulas] have profound nitric oxide bioactivity primarily through the enhancement of nitric oxide in the inner walls of blood vessels, but also through their ability to convert nitrite and nitrate into nitric oxide."
Herbal medicines, along with massages and acupuncture, have formed the basis of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, contributing to the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.