Top 10 Natural Remedies to Unclog
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Last updated September 17, 2017, originally published June 29, 2010

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by Doctors, Registered Nurses
and other Certified fitness and health professionals]

You probably never noticed it happening, but plaque built up in
your arteries over time and now there’s a real blockage.

Clogged arteries, technically called atherosclerosis or hardening
of the arteries, occurs when plaque builds up inside the walls of
your arteries, causing them to narrow. Artery plaque is made up
of cholesterol, inflammatory cells, fat and other waste materials.
When it hardens, artery plaque prevents blood circulating
efficiently and puts strain on the heart muscle, eventually
causing high blood pressure and heart disease.  

What's worse, your arteries can stiffen with age and obesity
even if you don't have plaque inside of them, 2013 research led
by Dr. Robert Weisbrod from Boston University School of
Medicine has found, although how this change occurs is not yet
clear to scientists.

Clogged arteries are stiff. Literally, if you could touch them, they
would feel stiff like a frozen pipe or hard plastic rather than
pliable like a wet noodle as they should feel when they are

You may feel perfectly healthy but this snarl-up isn’t going to
clear on its own.

Your aim is an empty freeway -- smooth, clean arteries that
enable blood to speed around your body. Surgery is an option
but there are also other natural alternatives to both reduce LDL
cholesterol and remove the existing plaque from the walls.

How Common Is Arterial Disease?

Atherosclerosis is more common than you think. A 2009 study
from the Departments of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery
at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio examined 262 heart transplant
recipients of various ages. They found that 17% of patients
under the age of 20 had atherosclerotic lesions in their arteries.
And 85% of people over the age of 50 had such lesions.

The study's conclusions are ominous: "
This study demonstrates
that coronary atherosclerosis begins at a young age and that
lesions are present in 1 of 6 teenagers

Foods That Clog Your Arteries

We have all heard that saturated fat is bad for your health. But
do you know exactly why that is true? Saturated fat, pure and
simple, is animal fat. Butter, lard. Saturated fat -- also called
cholesterol when it exists inside your body -- is a solid at room
temperature.  When saturated fat enters your body, it causes
inflammation. Literally, your artery walls become inflamed.  
Saturated fat also causes your arteries to "spasm".

Oils that are better for your health-- unsaturated fat-- are
at room temperature. These include olive oil, canola oil,
grapeseed oil. These oils do not cause inflammation inside your

But, as bad as saturated fat is for your arteries, there is a special
type of saturated fat that is even worse. The worst type of fat of
all for your arteries is saturated fat that is "oxidized".

How do you oxidize saturated fat? By frying it.

According to a landmark 2009 study from the Chinese University
in Hong Kong, eating fried, fatty food is the most effective way
clog your arteries.

In the study, hamsters were fed diets high in saturated fat --
pure cholesterol. A second group of hamsters was fed the same
high-cholesterol food only it was first exposed to heat by frying.  
Same calories, same food, only difference was that the second
group ate the food fried.

Result? The hamsters on the fried cholesterol diet had 12 to
22% more cholesterol in their arteries. As the study reported,
"oxidized cholesterol produced more artherosclerotic plaque and
worsened arterial function compared with non-oxidized

Why does frying fatty food make it so much worse for your
arteries?  Frying changes the chemistry of fatty food. When you
fry fatty foods, the cholesterol mixes with oxygen to create
particles called "oxicholesterols". These oxidized cholesterol
particles stick to the walls of your arteries better than other

Bottom line: fried meat is the worst food you can eat to clog
your arteries. Fried steak, fried chicken, fried hamburgers, fried
ham, fried fish, even fried egg yolks. They are all have animal fat
in the form of cholesterol even when they are cold and, once
you fry them,  they all contain heaps of the dangerous

So, now that you know the types of foods that
clog your
arteries, what are the types of food that can undo the damage?
What foods are best at
unclogging your arteries?

Your best defense is a diet high in fresh vegetables and fruit, low
in saturated fats and free from tobacco. Take regular exercise to
strengthen your heart. And try the following 10 natural remedies
to unclog your arteries.


The humble walnut has been shown to be a real super-power
when it comes to unclogging arteries. Quite simply, walnuts can
unclog your arteries.

A 2006 study from the University of Barcelona's Hospital Clínico
showed eating walnuts helped maintain the elasticity of the
arteries. The study provided 24 adults with two high-fat meals,
eaten one week apart. For one meal, the researchers added 40g
of walnuts and for the second, 25ml of olive oil.

Both olive oil and walnuts decreased the inflammation in the
arteries caused by eating high-fat foods but the walnuts had an
added benefit-- they helped preserve the elasticity of the arteries
which allows them to expand and contract in order to reduce
clogs and distribute blood around the body.

One of the reasons that walnuts help to unclog your arteries is
that they are the only nut rich in plant-based omega 3 fatty acids.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, which your body converts
to omega-3 fatty acid.

According to a 2016 study of 707 people led jointly by The
Hospital Clinic of Barcelona  and Loma Linda University of
California (the "Walnuts and  Healthy Aging Study"), eating a
handful of walnuts each day has no effect on your good
cholesterol (HDL) but it dramatically lowers the amount of bad
cholesterol (LDL) in your blood stream.


Garlic isn’t just for keeping vampires away and making your
breath a bit unsociable. Garlic can help lower blood pressure,
reduce cholesterol and prevent and remove clots.

Garlic is effective for clogged arteries because it widens blood
vessels and encourages good circulation. A 2007 study from the
University of Alabama at Birmingham found fresh garlic,
equivalent to two cloves, caused up to
72 percent more blood
vessel relaxation than a placebo. In other words, garlic improved
blood circulation by 72%. Other studies have found that
helps to lower blood pressure as well.

Breaking the cells of the garlic by crushing or chopping helps
release the beneficial nutrients; try a lemon and garlic solution
by processing three lemons and 15 cloves of garlic plus water.
Bring the mixture to the boil, simmer and pour the result
through a strainer.


Folate, a B vitamin found in dark, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits,
peppers, and watercress, is a recognized compound that helps
improve artery health. In a 2006 study published in the scientific
journal Circulation Research, researchers from The Montreal
Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre found
low folate diets increased the production of homocysteine, an
amino acid, which lowers the ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood.

Increasing your folate intake helps stop this artery clogging
process and can help reverse damage that has already been

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba can really jump start your circulation, aiding
effective blood flow and reducing "claudication" (painful legs
resulting from clogged arteries).

The herb has been shown to improve blood circulation by
dilating blood vessels and reducing blood ‘stickiness’. According
to one 1998 study by Peters H, Kieser M and Holscher U, 11
patients started treatment with ginkgo and at the end of the trial
those taking the supplement instead of a placebo experienced a
40 percent increase in pain-free walking.

Not all studies agree with this claim, however, and it's important
to know both sides of the story. A 2010 study from European
scientists led by Dr. Heidi Fransen of the National Institute for
Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the
Netherlands looked at all then-existing studies on gingko biloba
in order to assess its health claims.

Dr. Fransen's team concluded that there was no verifiable
scientific evidence that gingko improves blood circulation. On the
other hand, they also noted that there were no obvious
downside adverse effects of taking gingko.  The takeaway from
this study is that using gingko may not unclog your arteries but,
at worst, it may lighten your pocketbook if you buy the

Omega-3 Oils

Adding Omega-3 oils to your diet can help remove the blockages
in the arteries that cause serious problems for the heart.

Research in 2009 by the LSU Health Sciences Center, New
Orleans School of Medicine found that unstable carotid artery
plaques, those plaques that are liable to rupture and cause
stroke, contain more inflammation and much less Omega-3 fatty
acids than non-dangerous artery plaques.

Omega-3-rich foods include fish such as salmon and tuna.
Omega-3 can also be taken in supplement form. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the third
leading cause of death in the United States, as well as a main
cause of serious long-term disability.

Of all strokes, carotid artery atherosclerotic plaques account for
over 33% of them. Omega-3 could be of real benefit, although
further research is necessary.

Pomegranate Juice

Sipping a glass of pomegranate juice every day can help flush
out your arteries and improve blood flow.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that pomegranate juice can slow the
buildup of cholesterol which causes arteries to clog though it is
unclear whether the juice can remove clogs once they are

Pomegranate juice is very high in antioxidants, which can help
reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. A report in the April 2007 edition
of Harvard Men's Health Watch found the juicy pomegranate
decreased carotid artery thickness and improved blood flow.

Israeli researchers in 2006 found pomegranate juice had a
beneficial effect on lowering heart disease in people with
diabetes. Patients who consumed 50ml of pomegranate juice for
three months had a reduced uptake of LDL (bad) cholesterol as
well as reduced levels of other heart disease indicators.

Whole Grains and Fiber

Fiber acts like a broom in your arteries, brushing away plaque
that forms on the arterial walls.

Foods high in fiber greatly improve your heart health according
to the American Heart Association. Eat whole grains such as
barley, oats and wheat, brown rice, beans and lentils, fresh leafy
vegetables and soy foods such as tofu and soy beans.


The herb hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha) is said to stimulate
the heart and promote good circulation by relaxing blood vessels
and making the muscle beat more powerfully, therefore creating
a difficult environment for clogs to form. A group of Cochrane
Researchers looked at 14 randomized control trials that
compared the effects of hawthorn extract to placebo or
conventional therapies.

The trials studied a total of 855 people and researchers
concluded that hawthorn extract improved maximal workload of
the heart, increased exercise tolerance, reduced oxygen
consumption by the heart, and reduced shortness of breath and

Herbs and Spices That Can Unclog Your Arteries

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walnuts unclog arteries
Walnuts help to unclog your arteries.