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Control cholesterol the TCM way
 

Control cholesterol the TCM way

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High cholesterol can be deadly when the waxy, fat-like substance builds up in the arteries, and partially or totally blocks blood flow to the organs. When this happens, a heart attack or stroke can occur. In Singapore, about 17.4 per cent of adults have high cholesterol, according to the 2010 National Health Survey. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the accumulation of excess cholesterol is believed to be linked to the dysfunction of organs, including the stomach, spleen and liver. This can be due to factors such as an unhealthy lifestyle, stress and diet. Good health typically depends on a good flow of blood and qi, along with a well-maintained yin-and-yang balance. Disharmony in this flow and balance can result in poor health, said TCM physician Lee Guang Jun of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic at nex and Eastpoint Mall. TOXINS, PHLEGM AND DAMPNESS In TCM, high cholesterol is thought to result from chronic mental stress or excessive emotional upheavals, which cause the liver qi to stagnate, producing “fire” that depletes yin in the liver, said Physician Lee. Consuming too much alcohol and a high-calorie diet can also damage the spleen and stomach, resulting in the build-up of toxins, phlegm and “dampness”, he added. Risk factors include a family history of high cholesterol, menopause, heavy smoking and drinking, obesity, and/or chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and a fatty liver, said Physician Lee. Chronic mental stress is also a risk factor. TCM practitioners may customise a treatment plan based on the patient’s condition and constitution. Cholesterol-lowering herbs such as hawthorn, red sage, lotus leaves, and ginkgo leaves may be prescribed, said Physician Lee. According to him, the herbs may be boiled, or simmered with hot water and drunk as a tea. However, it is advisable to consult a physician as each person’s physique and symptoms differ. Your physician may also advise you to cut down on foods that can cause phlegm and “dampness”, such as desserts, shellfish and animal fat, said Physician Lee. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Cholesterol is essential for physiological functions such as hormone and cell production, and aiding digestion. But it is not healthy when a person’s total cholesterol exceeds 240mg/dL. Or when the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) exceeds 130mg/dL, said Physician Lee. Created by Mediacorp Brand Studio Productions
 
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28 Sep 2017 - General