It may be possible to treat atherosclerosis with natural remedies. These include consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, following the Mediterranean diet, getting enough physical activity, and more.

Atherosclerosis involves a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque consists of deposits of substances, including fat, cholesterol, and cellular waste. The buildup of plaque in the arteries narrows them, which may restrict blood flow to the vital organs, including the heart.

Atherosclerosis can lead to life threatening conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. Treatments are available to reduce atherosclerosis and prevent complications.

Sometimes, treatment for atherosclerosis may include medication or a procedure to unblock the arteries. However, some people may benefit from natural treatments and home remedies. As with any medical condition, it is best to talk with a doctor to determine the most suitable treatment approach.

This article examines natural treatments and home remedies for atherosclerosis. It also looks at whether a person requires medical treatments for the condition.

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A 2020 review paper suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may stabilize vulnerable atherosclerosis plaque, reducing rupture. In some instances, it may help reverse atherosclerosis.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat that must come from food. The body cannot make it. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in the function of blood vessels, the immune system, and the lungs.

Omega-3 may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, reduce triglycerides, and lower blood pressure. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids to incorporate into the diet include fatty fish such as:

  • herring
  • sardines
  • salmon

Learn more about foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, which is a common spice. According to a 2021 research article, curcumin may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering benefits.

Some evidence suggests it may regulate certain signaling molecules to reduce the development and progression of atherosclerosis.

More research into the benefits of curcumin for atherosclerosis is necessary.

Learn whether turmeric can lower cholesterol.

There is no consensus about the best dietary model to treat atherosclerosis and prevent secondary cardiovascular disease. However, nutritional habits can affect the level of plaque in the arteries.

Research from 2021 involving a randomized controlled trial found that a Mediterranean diet high in extra virgin olive oil decreased atherosclerosis progression better than a low fat diet.

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • beans and legumes
  • olive oil as the primary fat source
  • poultry, eggs, and fish in low to moderate amounts

The Mediterranean diet also focuses on fresh foods rather than highly processed foods.

Learn more about the Mediterranean diet.

Atherosclerosis is a complex condition. The buildup of plaque, structural changes within the arteries, and inflammation may all contribute to arterial blockage. Exercise may help combat some of those factors.

A 2021 research article indicates that regular moderate physical activity may have a protective effect on the arteries. Exercise stimulates the release of adrenaline, which has an anti-inflammatory effect.

The American Heart Association recommends about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly. A person’s doctor can advise on how much exercise they should aim for and what kind of exercises may be the most beneficial for them.

Learn more about exercise and how to start.

If an individual has atherosclerosis, it is important to find ways to prevent the condition from worsening to avoid serious health complications. Atherosclerosis can lead to heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. It can also cause peripheral vascular disease.

Medical treatments a doctor may recommend for atherosclerosis include medications and surgery.

Medications to treat atherosclerosis may include:

  • ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers to lower blood pressure
  • statins and other cholesterol medications to lower blood cholesterol levels
  • nitrates to dilate the coronary arteries and reduce chest pain due to angina
  • blood sugar medications for people with atherosclerosis and diabetes
  • thrombolytic medications to treat any blood clots
  • antiplatelet medications to reduce the risk of complications

A doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to treat diseases due to plaque buildup, such as an angioplasty to open narrowed arteries.

A person’s doctor can help them to create a suitable treatment plan, which may include a combination of medical treatments and home remedies.

Learn more about atherosclerosis treatments.

There are ways to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, doing the following starting in childhood and continuing throughout life can help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis:

A person’s doctor can advise on more steps they can take to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Learn more about atherosclerosis.

Here are some frequently asked questions about atherosclerosis.

How do you reverse atherosclerosis naturally?

While it is currently not possible to reverse atherosclerosis, a doctor may recommend various natural remedies to slow its progression. These can include getting regular physical activity and consuming a heart-healthy diet.

What naturally breaks up plaque in arteries?

No one thing naturally breaks up plaque. Combining diet, exercise, stress reduction, and quitting smoking may help slow down plaque buildup.

Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Over time, the plaque may narrow the arteries, restricting blood flow to the vital organs. Treating the condition is essential to prevent complications such as stroke or heart attack.

Natural treatments include consuming a heart-healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet, getting enough regular exercise, and consuming omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin.

It is best to contact a doctor for advice about treating atherosclerosis. A person’s doctor may also recommend medications to help manage the condition. Some people may require surgery.