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12 Holistic Approaches for You and Your Doctor to Discuss

Cardiovascular Disease

The following is a partial listing of alternative treatments that may be used in addition to, or in place of medication or surgery. Dosages have purposely been left out to avoid patients treating themselves. Herbals can be very potent and it is extremely important you confer with your doctor before deciding what and how much to take. Please note that all supplements are not created equal. The sources I have mentioned here are from all over the world and of excellent quality. Your doctor can pursue the referenced footnotes to decide on a dosage if needed.

 


Tissue (Cell) Salts can be used at any stage of any illness. There are 12 cell salts that the body cannot do without.  Mostly all disease is a result of a deficiency of one or more of these tissue salts.  Below is a list of all 12. 

  • Calcium group:  Calc Flor, Calc Phos, Calc Sulph

  • Sodium group:   Nat Mur, Nat Phos, Nat Sulph

  • Kali (potassium) group:   Kali Mur, Kali Phos, Kali Sulph,

  • Magnesium group:   Mag Phos

  • Ferrum (Iron) Phos

  • Silica or Silicea

For a better explanation of this topic see, What Causes Illness?


Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) was studied at Hahnemann Hospital in the 1940s and is now used in Europe, Russia and America. It kills existing viruses usually within 24 to 48 hours--some of the antibiotic resistant strains may take two or three treatments. When used with photo-oxidation it can bathe the heart and internal organs in oxygen with virtually no side effects thus strengthening the entire immune system and allowing the body to heal itself. For more information on this life-saving treatment that has literally saved hundreds from near death, read Into the Light by William Campbell Douglass, MD. [Second Opinion Publishing 800-728-2288]


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and germanium increase the amount of oxygen available to the cells. This has the obvious benefit of feeding cells properly so that they can heal and become stronger. Carnitine, an amino acid, improves the strength of the heart muscle. A deficiency of carnitine or CoQ10 in the heart is like trying to run a car without a fuel pump. There may be plenty of fuel but no way to get it to the engine.

CoQ10 should be taken in softgel form for proper absorption. CoQsol by Softgel Technologies is an excellent source. The dry form of a nutrient can only be absorbed by water-soluble cells. Because CoQsol is suspended in an oil, it can be absorbed by both water and fat soluble cells. CoQsol can be gotten from Optio Health Products (800) 678-4692 or Mountain Home Nutritionals (800) 888-1415.

Mountain Home Nutritionals also has a food-based multi-vitamin called Daily Advantage and a specially-formulated supplement for the heart and circulatory system called Heart Advantage that uses the softgel form and is designed to work in conjunction with Daily Advantage.

If a more tailored approach is needed, Standard Process Labs (800) 231-8063 is another source for natural food-based vitamins. They have a variety of photomorphogen and specifically tailored vitamin products. Cardio-Plus*, Cataplex B and Cataplex G are three.

A protomorphogen (PMG) is also known as a glandular or tissue extract. These are nutritional products that include certain portions of glands like thyroid, prostate or heart. Modern blood tests and radio-tagging have been used to test the effectiveness of PMGs. We are now able to see the PMG travel directly to its affiliated gland.  protomorphogens

Although they can work quite well, how they work remains a mystery. There are several theories all of which are really unimportant. What is important is that PMGs be produced in a strictly uncompromising manner. They cannot be treated with heat. They must be vacuum dehydrated to remove liquid. In many cases they must be mixed with specific nutrients that enhance their activity in the body. In other instances they must be developed in a fashion that removes the hormone from the product. There are many inferior glandular products on the market. One company this writer would trust is Standard Process Labs (800) 231-8063.


Rogenic by Enzymatic Therapy provides essential vitamins and minerals for the heart and vascular system along with some special herbal extracts, including: magnesium aspartate and hawthorn extract used widely by European physicians. Stress indirectly causes the body to excrete magnesium, resulting in a magnesium deficiency in the heart muscle. [Medical Hypotheses, vol. 6, no.1, 1980]


Coleus Forskohlii is another herb which may be useful in mild to moderate cases. It contains a diterpene molecule known as forskolin which is a powerful activator of adenylate cyclase in various tissues, resulting in elevations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) -- one of the key regulators of cellular function. In the heart, an elevation of cAMP leads to an increased force of contraction. This may be useful in congestive heart failure and various cardio-myopathies. [Murray MT: The Healing Power of Herbs. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA, 1991]

The effectiveness of coleus root is dependent upon the level of forskolin. Because the forskolin content of the plant is typically 0.2-0.3%, standardized extracts that have a concentrated forskolin content work best. Enzymatic Therapy's Coleus Extract contains 18% forskolin or 9 milligrams for each 50-milligram capsule. The only other standardized coleus extract marketed in the US that the writer knows of provides only 1-milligram of forskolin per capsule.


Ginseng increases the conversion of L-arginine to nitric oxide. Using the latest technology, researchers discovered that the small muscles that line blood vessels relaxed when exposed to small puffs of nitric oxide gas (NO). This can help the heart in two ways: First, it improves blood flow to the muscle in times of low oxygen. Second, the Chinese have found that NO is a potent antioxidant that combats free radical injury to the heart muscle. [Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 96;23(8):728-31.]

Hong Kong researchers have found that ginseng acts much like the very popular calcium blocker drugs used to treat high blood pressure without any of the harmful side effects commonly associated with these drugs. [Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 95;22Sup1:S297-9.]

In addition to significantly increasing the number and activity of white blood cells, ginseng also reduces the stickiness of blood platelets, which allows for increased blood flow and lowers the chances of blood clots. [J Ethnopharm 95;49(3):157-62.]

The active components in the plant can differ depending on the time of year the plant is harvested, the soil it is grown in, storage methods, processing and numerous other factors. Although most ginseng varieties will increase energy levels and stamina, research on the therapeutic applications of the plant have been done primarily with Siberian and Korean or Panax ginseng. Each contains its own unique and beneficial compounds.

Many multinutrient formulas are starting to include ginseng, but usually just the Siberian type. Daily Advantage mentioned above has both types. Natures Way, (800) 962-8873 offers standardized preparations of both. As in any food, some people may have a problem digesting ginseng and may experience bloating, dry mouth, indigestion or insomnia -- or it simply won't work. This can be addressed in two ways: by taking it with digestive enzymes and by improving the bacterial flora in the lower bowel. [Planta Med 96;62(5):453-7] [Planta Med 97;63(5):436-40.]


Odorless garlic (Kyolic) on a daily basis will help regulate blood pressure and thin the blood by assisting fat metabolism. It also preserves the elasticity of blood vessels and delays the stiffening of arteries, which up until now was considered an inevitable consequence of aging. [Cir 97;96(8):2649-55.]

In another new study, Russian doctors found that taking garlic kept Cholesterol deposits from accumulating in walls of blood vessels. [Lipids 97;32(10):1055-62.]

A soon to be published study from Pennsylvania State University compares the therapeutic effects of raw vs. cooked garlic. They found that cooked garlic had no therapeutic effect unless it was allowed to sit out awhile after peeling.

Apparently, when garlic is peeled an enzyme called allinase begins a series of chemical reactions that create anticancer effects. Because heating inactivates the enzyme, enough time must be allowed for these reactions to take place--the researchers used 15 minutes. This is yet another illustration of the importance of knowing the source of your vitamin supplier. Many vitamins, especially synthetic, are processed with heat which causes them to be little more than useless.

Most garlic oil capsules are 99% vegetable oil with just a touch of garlic. Wakunaga of America has an aged garlic supplement called SGP or Pro Formula 1000 that is available in larger health flood stores or through the mail from Mountain Home Nutritionals (800) 888-1415.


Gum Guggul, used by Ayurvedic physicians in India for more than 2500 years, has shown remarkable results in lowering cholesterol. In one study, total blood cholesterol was reduced by as much as 27%. (Since heart attack risk drops by 2% for every 1% drop in total cholesterol, this means Gum Guggul all by itself could potentially cut heart attack risk in half.)

Gum Guggul has also been shown to bring down levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol while raising the good HDL cholesterol. Plus, it reduces blood triglycerides - the fatty substances that contribute to plaque creation and to heart attack risk. In other words, it reduces plaque already present in arteries.


Calcium also lowers bad cholesterol levels and strengthens the cardiac muscle but is difficult to absorb unless chelated. Many people have trouble absorbing calcium or are allergic to it resulting in calcium deposits. Allergies are sometimes the root of the cause of various diseases. There is a simple muscle testing procedure that is very helpful in detecting allergies of this kind. It is practiced by NAET practitioners.

There is a specific acupuncture treatment called NAET that can actually rid the body of allergies. This is especially helpful when the body is allergic to a vital nutrient such as calcium. However, practitioners are hard to find. Read Say Good-bye to Illness by Dr. Devi Nambutripad to learn more. Visit the NAET web site on the internet for a list of qualified acupuncturist in your area. NAET has helped this writer immensely.

Volumes of information are available on how acupuncture can be extremely beneficial in helping the body rebalance and remove energy blockages. This valuable treatment should not be ignored.


Ginkgo triggers numerous actions within the body that can protect nerve tissue from damage, particularly following seizures and stroke. Over 40 clinical trials have shown that the herb can be beneficial even after a stroke has occurred. In France, many doctors are now using ginkgo prior to heart surgery to prevent the severe free radical damage that occurs from reperfusion.

They have found that patients given 320 milligrams of ginkgo biloba extract for five days before and eight days after surgery experience less heart damage, less leakage, and better recovery than untreated patients. [Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 97;(2):121-31.]


Hibiscus Tea has been found to be an effective method of lowering high blood pressure but is not a permanent cure. In a 15 day study, hypertension patients were given hibiscus tea or regular tea one hour before having their blood pressure taken three times a day, the subjects taking the hibiscus tea had an average 11.7% drop in systolic blood pressure and a 10.7% drop in diastolic blood pressure from the initial readings. (J Ethnopharmacol 99;65(3):231-6)

Although hibiscus tea seems to drop blood pressure rather quickly, and may work temporarily to drop a blood pressure reading for a physical examination, in some individuals it doesn't seem to stay down for an extended period of time. When the study group participants stopped the tea for a period of three days, their blood pressure began to creep upwards again. Their systolic pressure was elevated by 7.9% and the diastolic pressure rose by 5.6% from their post-treatment lows.


Liquorice Root was found to raise blood pressure in three different studies totaling 64 healthy volunteers from 20-43 years old. The first study evaluated a dosage of 200 g of sweet liquorice daily for two weeks. The second group took 100 g for four weeks. The third study evaluated 50 g for four weeks. It was noted that the higher the dosage of liquorice, the higher the rise in blood pressure. The maximal effect of liquorice occurred after only 2 weeks of supplementation.

In the first study, the rise in systolic blood pressure of 14.4 mmHg was significant as was the 9.3 mmHg rise in diastolic pressure. Plasma potassium decreased by 0.36 mmo1/1 but heart rate did not change. The second group had a rise in systolic pressure of 5.4 mmHg and 2.8 mmHg increase in diastolic pressure while potassium decreased by a mean value of 0.24. The third group had only a 3.1 mmHg rise in systolic after two weeks and a decrease of 1.9 above baseline after 4 weeks.

These studies concluded that "since liquorice raises blood pressure in a linear dose-response relationship, even doses as low as 50 g (which contain 75 mg of glycyrrhetinic acid) daily for 2 weeks might result in a significant rise in blood pressure."

Liquorice is a natural substance which has a metabolic effect of inhibiting the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. It can be effectively used for "adrenal exhaustion" under the guidance of a qualified health care provider. Some of the symptoms of adrenal exhaustion are a history of chronic fatigue, sugar cravings, blood sugar swings, allergy, waking up after a couple of hours sleep, and a diet that often is full of refined carbohydrates and carbonated beverages.


Antibiotics for heart disease proven not effective

In 2002 several headlines stated that heart disease and atherosclerosis were the result of infections caused by pathogens like Chlamydia pneumoniae. This caused antibiotics to be touted as a major breakthrough that could help eliminate our number one killer. German researchers disagree.

A randomized, double blind study was conducted throughout Germany involving 872 heart-attack patients from 68 different medical centers. Half of the group was given antibiotics along with their regular treatment and the other half received a placebo. The one year survival rate for those on the antibiotics was 93.5% compared to 94% on the placebo. There was no significant difference in survival rates between the two groups, and there was also no difference in complications or the need for additional surgeries. This study was presented at the 24th Annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, Berlin, Germany.

 

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