Coronary Heart disease or
Cardiovascular disease involve the heart and blood vessels,
(arteries, valves, heart muscles, capillaries & veins). In time,
arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough
oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This can cause angina which is a pain or
discomfort in the chest.
NOTE: Certain drugs taken by patients with heart problems can cause dangerous deficiencies of nutrients especially diuretic and cholesterol lowering medications. See the Drugs page to find out which drugs and what to do about it.
often feels like a heaviness or tightness in the chest, and this may spread
to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach as well. Some people describe a
feeling of severe tightness, while others say it’s more of a dull ache. Some
people experience shortness of breath too.
See below for natural remedies to prevent angina and protect the heart.
The terms atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis are frequently used as though they are the same condition. While both conditions are types of coronary artery disease, and may lead to the need for heart surgery, they are not the same.
Arteriosclerosis is hardening of the arteries. This condition not only thickens the wall of arteries, but also causes stiffness and a loss of elasticity. Over time, the arteries become harder and harder as they are slowly damaged by high blood pressure. Arteriosclerosis may be present in any artery of the body, but the disease is most concerning when it attacks the coronary arteries and threatens to cause a heart attack.
Raw Juice Therapy can treat arteriosclerosis. The best natural foods to juice are: beetroot, carrots, celery, cucumber, ginger, grapes and oranges.
Atherosclerosis is the most common type of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and caused by plaque building up in the vessels. Over time the plaque causes thickening of the walls of the artery. Stiffness and a loss of elasticity also result.
To clarify, a patient with arteriosclerosis (hardened arteries) may not have atherosclerosis (plaque), but a patient with atherosclerosis does have arteriosclerosis. Patients often have both conditions, which can cause a decrease in the blood flow to the heart muscle.
Long before any symptoms are clinically evident,
vascular disease begins as a malfunction of specialized cells that line the
arteries. These cells, called endothelial cells, are the key to
atherosclerosis and underlying endothelial dysfunction is the central
feature of this disease.
Not every person who suffers from atherosclerosis presents with the risk factors commonly associated with the condition, such as elevated cholesterol, but every single person with atherosclerosis has endothelial dysfunction. Aging humans are faced with an onslaught of atherogenic risk factors that, over time, contribute to endothelial dysfunction and the development of atherosclerosis.
In the antiquated view of mainstream medicine,
blood vessels have been thought of as stiff pipes that gradually become
clogged with excess cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. The solution
that physicians recommend most often is cholesterol-lowering drugs, which
target only a very small number of the numerous factors that contribute to
However, as people age, a barrage of atherogenic factors, if left unchecked,
damages the delicate endothelial cells. This damage leads to endothelial
dysfunction and ultimately allows lipids and toxins to penetrate the
endothelial layer and enter the smooth muscle cells. This results in the
initiation of an oxidative and inflammatory cascade that culminates in the
development of plaque deposits. Subsequently, these plaques begin to calcify
and, over time, become prone to rupture. If a plaque deposit ruptures, the
result is oftentimes a deadly stroke causing blood clot.
Numerous factors that directly contribute to endothelial dysfunction have been identified and aging individuals can easily assess their risk for vascular disease through blood testing. The results of these blood tests can then be used to develop targeted intervention strategies to modify levels of risk factors that do not fall within an optimal range. Atherogenic factors that all aging individuals must be aware of include:
There are many foods that can readdress the balance of cholesterol in the body. Some organs such as the brain and heart require cholesterol to function normally. Pharmaceutical companies have become rich on the assumption that reducing cholesterol levels in the blood will also reduce build-up of plaque on the artery walls. This is untrue however because the body excretes excess cholesterol as a natural function if the correct diet is being consumed. It is the plaque which attaches itself to the walls of the arteries which causes atherosclerosis (plaque build-up) and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Cholesterol is not a fat, but rather a soft, waxy, "fat-like" substance that circulates in the bloodstream. It is vital to life and is found in all cell membranes. It is necessary for the production of bile acids and steroid hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver, but is also present in all animal foods. It is abundant in organ meats, shell fish and egg yolks but is contained in smaller amounts in all meats and poultry.
If cholesterol levels were precursors to heart disease, Eskimos (who eat raw blubber as a steady diet) would have become extinct due to heart disease years ago. Yet, heart disease is virtually non-existent among these people probably due to the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids they consume from fish.
Elevated triglycerides. Triglycerides interact with LDL cholesterol to form a particularly dangerous sub-type of LDL known as small-dense LDL. Small-dense LDL particles penetrate the endothelial layer and contribute to plaque formation much more efficiently than larger, more buoyant LDL particles. Fasting triglycerides levels should be below 80 mg/dL to limit the formation of small-dense LDL particles.
LDL Cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein)
LDL cholesterol is what the body uses, together with other substances, to form a glue which instantly repairs damaged arteries in the body to prevent death from internal bleeding. Plaque is this hardened glue and is only found in arteries and not in veins. Unfortunately due to diet and excessive damage to the arteries there can be an overproduction of plaque which can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result. The liver is responsible for over 80% of the body's cholesterol levels.
Diet accounts for less than 20%. The liver not only manufactures and secretes LDL cholesterol into the blood, it also removes it. To remove LDL cholesterol from the blood, the liver relies on special proteins called LDL receptors that are normally present on the surface of liver cells. LDL receptors snatch LDL cholesterol particles from the blood and transport them inside the liver. A high number of active LDL receptors on the liver surfaces are associated with the rapid removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood and low blood LDL levels. A deficiency of LDL receptors is associated with high LDL cholesterol blood levels. But it is also crucial that the cholesterol which has been stored in the liver by the LDL receptors be regularly "flushed" to make room for “new” deposits, or the process comes to a standstill, thus causing levels to soar in the bloodstream.
HDL Cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein)
An imbalance of cholesterol in the blood can be caused by liver damage where some LDL receptors are missing. This could be due to too much alcohol ingestion, toxic overload and some medications. Reducing LDL cholesterol synthetically using drugs such as statins simply masks the underlying cause which should be treated first. The liver can easily repair itself given the chance by detoxification. But to add more toxic chemicals, such as statins, is actually adding to the problem by overworking the damaged liver even more and certainly not resolving it.
Low HDL cholesterol
HDL cholesterol protects against vascular disease by transporting cholesterol from the blood vessel wall back to the liver for disposal through a process known as reverse cholesterol transport. If HDL levels are low, then reverse cholesterol transport becomes inefficient, allowing for increased accumulation of cholesterol in the vessel wall. HDL levels of at least 50-60 mg/dL are recommended for optimal vascular protection.
The oxidation of LDL results in severe vascular damage. Thousands of studies now reveal how oxidised LDL contributes to the entire atherogenic process from start to finish. Commercial blood tests are not yet available at affordable prices to measure oxidised LDL. Aging individuals should assume their endogenous antioxidant levels (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione) are being depleted and that the oxidation of their LDL is progressively worsening. Medications which deplete or block absorption of methionine, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) may also decrease the production of the amino acid glutathione. See the Medication Dangers page.
Natural sources of the precursors needed for the body to make glutathione
NOTE: All these foods must be unpasteurised, organic and eaten raw or juiced when possible.
Natural sources of alpha-lipoic acid
NOTE: One µg is one microgram.
High blood pressure is known to aggravate endothelial dysfunction and leading researchers have identified the endothelium as an “end organ” for damage caused by high blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure of 115/75 mmHg (or lower) is recommended. See High Blood Pressure below.
Inflammation is central to the endothelial dysfunction that underlies vascular disease. An effective way to measure inflammation is through a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. Studies have shown that higher levels of CRP are associated with increased risk of stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease. Stroke patients with the highest CRP levels are two to three times more likely to die or experience a new vascular event within a year than are patients with the lowest levels.
Like CRP, Lp-PLA2 is a marker of inflammation. However, Lp-PLA2 is a much more specific measure of vascular inflammation than CRP. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme secreted by inflamed vascular plaque, thus the quantity of it in circulation correlates with the amount of inflamed plaque in the blood vessels. Levels of Lp-PLA2 above 200 ng/mL are indicative of heightened levels of vascular plaque build-up.
High levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids relative to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids create an environment that fosters inflammation and contributes to vascular disease. It has been shown that lowering the omega-6:omega-3 ratio significantly decreases atherosclerotic lesion size and reduces numerous measures of inflammation. A blood omega-6:omega-3 ratio of less than 4:1 is recommended.
High circulating levels of blood glucose (and insulin) cause micro vascular damage that accelerates the atherogenic process, partly by contributing to endothelial dysfunction. It has been shown that a fasting blood glucose level of greater than 85 mg/dL significantly increases risk of cardiovascular related mortality. See Diabetes.
As people age, they lose their ability to utilise insulin to effectively drive blood glucose into energy-producing cells. As glucose levels rise in the blood, the pancreas compensates by producing more insulin. As “insulin resistance” worsens, even more insulin is secreted in attempt to restore glucose control. Excess insulin is associated with a significantly greater risk of heart disease. Fasting insulin should be below 5 mcIU/mL. See Diabetes.
High homocysteine levels damage endothelial cells and contribute to the initial pathogenesis vascular disease. Homocysteine levels are associated with risk of heart disease. To keep homocysteine-induced endothelial damage to a minimum, levels of homocysteine should be kept below 7-8 µmol/L.
When a blood clot forms, fibrinogen is converted to fibrin, which forms the structural matrix of a blood clot. Fibrinogen also facilitates platelet adherence to endothelial cells. People with high levels of fibrinogen are more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack or stroke as people with normal fibrinogen levels. This risk goes up even more in the presence of hypertension. Fibrinogen levels should be kept between 295 to 369 mg/dl.
Numerous studies link low testosterone (and excess estradiol) with increased heart attack and stroke risk. Testosterone is intimately involved in the reverse cholesterol transport process, which removes cholesterol from the arterial wall by HDL. Excess oestrogen is linked with higher C-reactive protein and a greater propensity for abnormal blood clots to form in arteries, causing a sudden heart attack or stroke. Men should keep their free testosterone in a range of 20 – 25 pg/mL and their estradiol levels between 20 – 30 pg/mL.
Nutrient deficiencies can also be a cause of heart disease. See Nutrients That Protect The Heart below.
Symptoms of clogged arteries
The arteries of the lower back are among the first areas to accumulate plaque. As such, lower back pain is a common first symptom of artery blockage. Lower back pain can occur when reduced blood flow to the back weakens the disks that cushion the vertebrae leading to painful herniated disks and pinched nerves. Individuals that suffer with chronic back pain are at an increased risk of developing clogged lumbar arteries.
Peripheral artery disease is a build-up of cholesterol and plaque that can occur in the extremities. It often results in discomfort in the feet and legs and may limit the ability to walk. If it is allowed to advance, it may result in amputation.
The pulse of the feet and the amount of blood flow to the ankle can be checked by a doctor to determine if this condition is present. People that have frequent pain or tiredness in the legs should be checked. Past or current smokers have an increased risk of the disorder, as do those with a family history cardiovascular problems.
Arteriosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the arterial walls which can block the arteries that deliver blood to the legs. When this happens, it is common to experience pain in one or both calves, a condition known as claudication.
Those that smoke are at higher risk of developing this condition. Fortunately, it is reversible. Eating more plant based foods and less animal products can reverse claudication relatively quickly. In fact, calf pain can be relieved within the matter of weeks, and not occur again throughout life if the proper changes are made.
This is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During
an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an
irregular rhythm. A heartbeat that is too fast is called
tachycardia. A heartbeat that is too slow is called bradycardia.
Hardening of the arteries to the pelvic organs may be a direct cause of sexual dysfunction and maybe also be a sign of heart disease. Therefore it is important to be tested for any blockage or hardening of the arteries even if other factors for erectile dysfunction are a possibility. The arteries supplying blood to the penis are relatively narrow compared to other arteries (1-2mm) so they become blocked by plaque far quicker and maybe be the indication that other arteries may be seriously blocked or will become so soon.. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke so the sooner this is tested for, when impotency strikes, and treated the better. See the Impotency page for more information.
Heart attack is the death of a segment of heart muscle caused by the loss of blood supply. The blood supply is usually lost because a coronary artery, one that supplies blood to the heart muscle, has a blood clot, a blockage (coronary thrombosis). Over time, a coronary artery can narrow from the build-up of various substances, including cholesterol (atherosclerosis). This condition, known as coronary artery disease, causes most heart attacks.
A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm (tightening) of a coronary artery. The spasm cuts off blood flow through the artery. Spasms can occur in coronary arteries that aren't affected by atherosclerosis. What causes a coronary artery to spasm isn't always clear. A spasm may be related to:
Symptoms of a heart attack
Some of the most common warning signs of a heart attack for both men and women are:
Other possible warning signs of a heart attack include feeling tired for no reason, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, intense anxiety or a fear of death and a general feeling of being unwell. The warning signs can vary so much from person to person that many people do not even realise they are having symptoms of a heart attack.
Heart attack recovery - the first 48 hours after a heart attack are critical.
Surviving a heart attack when alone
Heart attacks do not come with an announcement, and many people have to struggle with it on their own. If you suddenly feel that your heart beats “wrong” and that you are about to faint, you have only about 10 seconds before you lose your consciousness. What people do not know is that they can actually help themselves. To do so, the most important thing is not to panic and not to lose consciousness – start coughing, as much as you can.
Every time before you cough take a deep breath. Cough deeply and long enough, as if you were trying to cough out something from your lungs. Breathe and cough every 2 seconds, without any breaks, until medical help arrives or until your heart starts beating normally. Deep breaths allow the oxygen to enter your lungs and coughing is a sort of compression. This helps the heart and blood flow function normally and the pressure helps the heart to balance its rhythm. It is the perfect way to avoid any further damage, at least until the doctor or paramedic arrives.
Aspirin and heart attacks
If an aspirin or a baby aspirin is taken once a day, take it at night. Aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life"; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the small hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in the system. Aspirin lasts for years in the medicine chest, when it stops working, it smells like vinegar.
There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain in the left arm. One may also experience an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea, indigestion like pain and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.
NOTE: There may be NO pain in the chest during an actual heart attack.
The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, pain may wake them from a deep sleep. If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in the mouth and swallow them with some water.
Afterwards call the emergency services. (999 in the UK, 911 in the USA).
Take a seat on a chair near the front door, or if outside on a wall or bench, and wait for their arrival and ...DO NOT LIE DOWN!
Nature Cures to prevent heart attacks
Chilli pepper is known to prevent heart attacks and one quarter of a teaspoon should be taken every day as a tea or with a meal as a spice. Besides lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it also helps to dissolve blood clots in the circulatory system and cleanses the liver.
Consuming some grated ginger and a teaspoon of turmeric (which have the same effects as aspirin) with a snack in the evening can also help protect against strokes and heart attack. Turmeric goes well with cauliflower and can be sprinkled on vegetables, rice, potatoes, meat, fish or in any other dish as it does not have an overpowering taste. Alternatively make a tea with them and sip before bed. Add some freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and a teaspoon of honey if desired. The extra fluid is also heart protective at night.
NOTE: It is said that chilli pepper can also works as quickly as a soluble aspirin in an emergency when someone is suffering a heart attack. However, there is no scientific proof that this is possible and it can be dangerous to administer chilli pepper to someone who is suffering from a heart attack. Experts say its use could lead to uncontrolled bleeding if the person is taking blood thinning medications. In addition, the pain of ingesting an unaccustomed dose of hot pepper could cause adrenaline to be released, increasing heart rate while reducing blood flow to heart and brain and causing increased death of tissues.
Reperfusion injuries, which is damage to tissues from the sudden return of blood and oxygen, could also occur. Some websites actually encourage the administration of liquid cayenne extracts to heart attack victims who have lost consciousness which is very dangerous advice.
Water and heart attacks
Many people say they don't drink anything before going to bed because they'll have to get up during the night. Why do people urinate so much at night? Gravity holds water in the lower part of the body when it is upright (legs swell). When a person lies down and the lower body (legs and etc) is level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier.
Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:
Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 am and noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Sleep apnea could be to blame.
Caffeine and heart attacks
Anyone predisposed to or recovering from a heart attack should avoid caffeine laden drinks such as coffee and fizzy sports drink. One popular canned drink which purports to "give you wings" has been linked with heart attacks and strokes because it thickens the blood and rapidly increases the heart rate. This drink, popular with those that partake in extreme sports and those that wish to stay awake longer, is now banned in Norway, Denmark and Uruguay and France stopped selling it between 1996 and 2008. When combined with alcohol, it can suppress the body's normal tolerance to alcohol and lead to alcohol poisoning and when combined with ephedra, which is also a stimulant, it can also cause acute psychosis.
Green tea has a little caffeine in it but the health benefits and the weight-loss it can help to produce outweigh any ill effects from its caffeine content therefore it is a good alternative to other caffeine drinks. Two to three cups of green tea per day will do no harm and can be very beneficial especially for those that need to lose extra fat which puts added pressure on a weakened heart.
High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder than normal putting both the heart and arteries at greater risk of damage. High blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure often has no symptoms or warning signs. If it stays elevated above 120/80 mmHg over time and is uncontrolled, it can lead to increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, damage to the eyes, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis and many other medical problems.
Causes and precautions
For more information see the High Blood Pressure page.
The liver has one of the first stop jobs of sorting through the food and toxins that are ingested. It can regenerate itself if minor damage from excessive toxins occurs but eventually it will get clogged and overworked which is when food stops being digested properly and the rest of the system is affected. The following will clean it up so it can do it's job. The pancreas produces insulin and can easily become damaged by toxins and alcohol. This remedy will also serve to heal a damage pancreas.
Daily Morning Liver Cleanser
These ingredients together taken in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning will detoxify the liver and improve circulation.
Try the daily morning liver cleanser for two weeks then have the cholesterol levels checked again. If there is even a slight reduction of LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol the problem is obviously the liver so a more intense flush needs to be undertaken. See the Cleanse and Detoxify and the Raw Juice Therapy pages. It is advisable to try this method first before resorting to cholesterol lowering drugs which can have debilitating affects on the body including the liver. See Medication Dangers.
There are many natural foods that can thin the blood, improve circulation and protect the arteries, brain and heart without the side effects of blood thinning medications. The damage caused by these drugs to the liver and intestines can outweigh the beneficial effect. Natural foods also contain the vital nutrients the body requires to function properly whereas drugs can cause severe nutrient deficiencies leading to further health issues which often means that more drugs will be prescribed to rectify the problems caused.
Soluble dietary fibre, found in whole grains, psyllium husks, beans and legumes, amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, dulse, durum wheat, kamut, oats, psyllium husks, quinoa, rye and teff can help to lower LDL cholesterol. A selection of these foods should be included as part of an overall healthy balanced diet, at least once a day.
Alfalfa has been found to be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular problems as it helps reduce cholesterol levels and plaque build-up. It also has the potential to limit the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Drink alfalfa tea or juice extracted from its leaves a few times a day for a few months.
Andrographis can also help to stop the clumping of blood platelets which is the clotting process that can lead to heart attacks.
Apples pectin in the skin of apples lowers the bad cholesterol, while the minerals potassium and magnesium help to control blood pressure. Consume one apple per day.
Terminalia arjuna is an important Ayurvedic herb for heart conditions. It is considered a natural cardio-tonic and cardiac restorative. The herb strengthens the cardiac muscle, reduces arterial congestion and lowers blood pressure. A study by researchers in India found that this herb helped reduce angina attacks by 30 percent. Moreover, prolonged use of this herb did not have any adverse effects.
1. Add one-half teaspoon of arjuna tree bark powder and a little honey to a glass of warm water.
2. Drink this three times daily for a few months.
4. Continue this natural treatment for three months.
Avocado is rich in healthy fats and nutrients that protect the heart.
Brassicas contain powerful nutrients that protect and nourish the heart.
Butcher's Broom can treat varicose veins and poor circulation in the veins. Butcher's broom contains anti-inflammatory and vein-constricting properties that are believed to improve the tone and integrity of veins and shrink the swollen tissue. It can be taken in tea form. The tea has a slightly bitter taste, so a honey can be used to sweeten it. The tea can be made by steeping one teaspoon of the herb in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Butchers broom has also been shown to be effective when applied topically as an ointment or compress.NOTE: Butcher's broom should not be used by people with high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, by pregnant or nursing women or by people taking alpha blocker or antidepressant, monoamine oxidase (mao) inhibitor drugs.
Cabbage is known to aid breakage of fatty deposits, especially around the abdominal region.
Cantaloupe can reduce the plaque that sticks to arterial walls. Consume one bowl of cantaloupe each day.
Carrots are a rich source of carotene that speeds the metabolic rate of the body and hastens removal of fat deposits and waste. Must be consume with a little oil to be absorbed. Consuming two average sized carrots a day can lower bad cholesterol by 10%.
Chinese Hibiscus: Researchers from Taiwan found that an extract of hibiscus flowers had anti-atherosclerosis activity. They believe that hibiscus contains antioxidant compounds that help prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, that contributes to atherosclerosis and heart disease. An infusion prepared from this herb is also believed to help regulate high blood pressure.
Cayenne chilli pepper contains a compound called capsaicin that is beneficial for treating heart and circulatory problems. It also helps reduce the risk of irregular heart rhythms and lowers cholesterol levels. The phytochemicals present in this spice also purify the blood and enhance immunity.
2. Stir well and drink it.
3. Repeat two or three times daily for a few weeks.
4. Follow it with a cup of hibiscus tea to heal the burning sensation and promote heart health.
Cumin 1/2 teaspoon in warm water or sauces or on meals everyday - lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood
Fenugreek has antioxidant and cardio-protective benefits. It is excellent for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, thanks to its strong modulating effect on blood lipid levels. It also reduces platelet aggregation, thus decreasing the risk of abnormal blood clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes. Plus, it helps lower cholesterol, blood sugar and excess fat.
Figs are rich in potassium and fibre which helps to stabilize the blood pressure. Another remedy is to place 3 fig leaves in half a litre of bottled mineral water. Boil for 15 minutes and drink daily.
Flax seeds protect the heart, reduce blood pressure and angina symptoms.
Garlic can help to thin the blood as efficiently as aspirin without the danger of stomach bleeds or ulcers but should be avoided if blood thinners are taken.
Grapes (red) contain flavonoids, which stop bad cholesterol from oxidising and sticking to artery walls.
Hawthorn: In western herbalism, hawthorn is a well-known herb for heart conditions because it is excellent for the cardiovascular system. It helps increase blood flow to the heart and improves cardiac muscle contractions, thus leading to a stronger pumping action. It also helps increase cardiac performance and output and reduces the heart’s workload. Plus, it has an anti-arrhythmic effect that helps steady the heartbeat. This herb can be taken in supplement form by way of an extract standardised to contain about 2 to 3 percent flavonoids. The general dosage is 300 to 600 mg three times daily. Follow this natural treatment for several weeks to a few months. Note: Though this herb is safe to use, consult your doctor before taking this or any other herbal remedy.
Hemp seeds are easily digested and very rich in healthy fatty acids, essential amino acids and minerals which improve circulation and protect the heart.
Horse Chestnut is good for poor circulation in the veins or chronic venous insufficiency. It is used to relieve symptoms such as swelling and inflammation in haemorrhoids and strengthen blood vessel walls. Horse chestnut can be taken as a tea. It can also be applied externally as a compress.
NOTE: People with an allergy to the horse chestnut family, bleeding disorders, or people taking blood thinners should not take horse chestnut. Only products made from the seeds or bark of the young branches should be used. Other parts of the plant are poisonous. Although uncommon, side effects have included kidney damage, severe bleeding, bruising and liver damage.
Kiwi fruit can reduce the plaque that sticks to arterial walls. Consume one kiwi fruit each day.
Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which are vital for a healthy heart and blood vessels. Take 1000 mg per day.
Jalapeno Peppers (red) 1 or 2 per day can help to keep the arteries free of plaque build up.
Lettuce contains high levels of vitamin A and potassium protects the heart.
Maqui berry is a Chilean 'super fruit' which contains the highest amount of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural food. It also contains a high amount of compounds which boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar, blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption can also help to reduce weight dramatically.
Millet has powerful properties that can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Oats also have powerful cholesterol reduction properties and do not have to be just consumed as porridge. They can be used in many meals like omelettes, curries etc and to thicken soups and stews.
Oily fish are a rich source of healthy fatty acids which prevent artery clogging plaque from forming.
Pomegranate juice (additive free) has been proven to not only reduce build-up of plaque on the walls of the arteries but actually reduce plaque that is already there. Foods containing antioxidants that cleanse the liver, such as fruit, also readdress the balance of cholesterol in the blood.
Poppy seeds daily, high fibre, controls heart rate and blood pressure.
Red clover sprouting seeds grow in jam jar like alfalfa seeds. Cover jam jar in stocking, use elastic band to hold in place and rinse with water daily emptying water out afterwards. Ready in 4 to 5 days. Eat with salads daily, clears congestion in lungs and thins the blood.
Soya a diet that includes at least 25g of soya per day has been associated with reductions in LDL cholesterol and CVD. Soya isoflavones in particular have been shown to reduce CVD risk as they inhibit the growth of cells that form artery-clogging plaque. Soya protein is also an excellent substitute for meat. Another good source of soya protein is soya milk and yoghurt.
Spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, which help to prevent artery clogging plaque from developing. It also contains good levels of potassium and vitamin B9 (folic acid) which lowers the blood pressure.
Sunflower seeds protect the heart.
Tomatoes consumed regularly (cooked and uncooked) this antioxidant-rich food that prevents the oxidisation of LDL cholesterol and can cut the risk of arteriosclerosis by half.
Tree turmeric is a blood purifier.
Turmeric: Studies indicate that turmeric can help prevent atherosclerosis. Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin that helps maintain heart health by reducing cholesterol oxidation, plaque build-up and clot formation. Plus, it helps lower LDL and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Being a potent antioxidant, it also neutralises free radicals that contribute to aging and several chronic diseases. Use turmeric regularly in cooking. It can be added to all kinds of dishes and vegetables. It is good with brown rice and cauliflower for added heat health benefits. One teaspoon of turmeric powder can be simmered in one cup of water or milk. Drink it once or twice daily for several weeks to a few months.
Wasabi reduces blood pressure and protects the heart.
Wheatgrass has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for the reduction of high blood pressure and lowering of cholesterol. It can easily be grown as a sprout on the windowsill see the Nature Cures Micro Diet Sprout page.
Cumin, ginkgo biloba, garlic, ginger, ginseng, horse chestnut, turmeric and white willow are all powerful blood thinners. Use with caution if already taking blood thinning medications.
Pomegranate juice can help to remove plaque on the walls of the arteries. Drink at least three glasses of pure unsweetened pomegranate juice per day.
This daily tonic will help to remove plaque in blocked arteries when taken regularly every day. It also cleanses the liver and the blood.
How to make a healthy blood thinning tea
NOTE: Because this tea will have the same effect as taking blood thinning medications, caution is advised if on these medications due to the risk of excessive bleeding.
Remedies for water retention
Heart disease can cause respiratory problems like fluid on the lungs. Eating the correct foods to gain a natural diuretic and water balancing affect in the body will benefit the whole system as they also contain many other essential nutrients and no side effects. Natural food remedies which can aid as a diuretic and reduce water retention are:
Apple cider vinegar cleanses the liver, kidneys and bladder and prevent infections of this area. Take one tablespoon per day.
Banana one a day to balances sodium and potassium in the blood – tablet diuretics reduce potassium levels
Beetroot nourishes kidneys, lowers blood pressure, a natural diuretic, attacks floating body fats and fatty deposits
Berries possess powerful antioxidants which cleanse the blood
Black currants are a diuretic with a high potassium level
Black Pepper corns grind onto everything, transports the nutrients to different parts of body, reduces congestion in the lungs
Blueberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the
walls of the urinary tract.
Carrots provide nourishment for the kidneys and bladder and reduce inflammation of the urethra.
Celery nourishes the kidneys and reduces blood pressure
Chives are valuable as a blood cleanser and exercise a very strong diuretic action
Cranberries nourish the kidneys and stop bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urinary tract.
Cucumbers are rich in sulphur and silicon that stimulate the kidneys into better removal of uric acid
Dandelion four cups a day with one teaspoon of honey - pour hot but not boiling water from the kettle on a teaspoon of the leaves in a cup and drink - a natural diuretic. It stimulates the removal of waste/toxins via the bile and the urine, and spares the potassium that is otherwise lost with conventional diuretics
Fig is oxidant, laxative, diuretic, digestible and a blood cleanser
Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil improves blood flow
Garlic is a natural diuretic food that aids breakage of fat
Ginger lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood
Green tea 4 cups a day, natural diuretic, aids in weight loss and contains amazing amount of nutrients
Horseradish speeds up the metabolism
Hydrangea strengthen the urinary tract and help regulate its function.
Lemon is a natural diuretic which can also regulate heart pressure and dissolve certain types of kidney stones.
Mango is detoxifying and diuretic
Melon is alkalising, mineralising, oxidant and diuretic and helps control heart rate and blood pressure offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Oats contain silica - a natural diuretic.
Onions (raw) speed up the metabolism.
Papayas are diuretic and laxative.
Parsley nourishes the kidneys, bladder and urethra and purifies the blood.
Peaches are diuretic, depurative and detoxifying.
Psyllium Husks helps to expel water and waste, stops constipation, aids digestion of nutrients.
Pumpkin diuretic properties that does not irritate the kidneys.
Pumpkin seeds good for bladder and urinary problems, increases good cholesterol, nourishes the eyes.
Rye bread, crackers, flour and flakes aids digestion, high fibre, reduces water and highly nutritional.
Strawberries are a traditional diuretic, thin the blood, improve blood flow - does not cause intestinal bleeding like aspirin.
Tea four cups a day acts as a natural diuretic
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C that aid the metabolism and release of water from the kidney to flush out waste.
Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon in warm water or sauces or on meals everyday - lowers blood pressure and purifies and thins the blood.
Uva Ursi natural diuretic - strengthens the urinary system and eliminates excess fluids.
Watercress is a natural diuretic.
Naturally diuretic herbs
CoenzymeQ10 alters the pathology of vascular diseases and has the potential for prevention of vascular disease through the inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation and by the maintenance of optimal cellular and mitochondrial function throughout the ravages of time and internal and external stresses. The attainment of higher blood levels of CoQ10 appears to enhance both the magnitude and rate of clinical improvement. Ironically, many medications used to treat heart vascular disorders and high LDL cholesterol reduce levels of coenzyme Q10.
Lycopene and carotenoids protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation which prevents heart disease. Rich sources of lycopene are: apricots, asparagus, basil, bell peppers (red), chilli peppers, citrus fruits, grapefruit (pink), guava, papaya, parsley, persimmons, red cabbage, rosehips, tomatoes, watermelon.
Nitric oxide is an important messenger molecule required for healthy cardiovascular function. Nitric oxide enables blood vessels to expand and contract with youthful elasticity and is vital to maintaining the structural integrity of the endothelium, thus protecting against vascular disease. Even when all other risk factors are controlled for, the age-related decline in endothelial nitric oxide too often causes accelerated vascular disease unless corrective measures are taken. Commercial blood tests are not yet available at affordable prices to assess nitric oxide status. Aging individuals should assume they are developing a nitric oxide deficit in their inner arterial wall (the endothelium) and include the following foods in the diet to protect themselves.
For the body to produce nitric oxide the following natural foods need to be consumed: beef, beetroot, broccoli, collard greens, spinach, nuts, pine nuts, pheasant, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, shellfish
Flavonoids, including apigenin, prevent in vitro LDL oxidation which can help to prevent atherosclerosis. Natural foods containing flavonoids are: apples, artichoke, basil, berries, black tea, celery, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, green tea, horny goat weed, mulberries, kiwi fruit, olives (in brine), onions, parsley, peppermint, potatoes, prickly pear, red wine and thyme.
Natural sources of cobalt
Natural sources of nickel in alphabetical order
NOTE: It is possible that the nickel in grains can bind with the phytic acid in these grains reducing the amount of nickel available for absorption.
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams
NOTE: One μg is one microgram.
Vitamin B15 has been shown to lower blood cholesterol, improve circulation and general oxygenation of cells and tissues, and is helpful for arteriosclerosis and hypertension. Natural foods rich in vitamin B15 are: apricot kernels, beef blood, brewer's yeast, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains.
Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: Vitamin C supplements might raise blood sugar. In older people with diabetes, vitamin C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from heart disease therefore it is wiser to choose the foods above that are rich in vitamin C rather than supplements.
NOTE: Nickel and vitamin C share a common antagonist; vitamin E. This inhibiting effect of vitamin E is not related to the antioxidative properties of vitamin C or vice versa (both are antioxidants, so in that respect they are synergistic), but they are antagonists ratio wise to one another, and to other chemical members: For instance, vitamin C increases iron uptake, which Vitamin E inhibits. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the same ratio.
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
NOTE: High doses of vitamin E supplements can greatly suppress blood coagulation and clotting thus increasing risk of excessive bleeding or haemorrhage. Also synthetic vitamin E is only 50% as absorbable as natural vitamin E and does not contain any tocotreinols, making it a very poor substitute for natural food sources of vitamin E.
Insufficient vitamin D. Vitamin D protects against vascular disease via several different mechanisms, including reducing chronic inflammatory reactions that contribute to the pathology of the disease. It has been shown that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. Maintaining a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level of 50 – 80 ng/mL can eliminate this risk. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the northern hemisphere due to lack of enough sunshine during the winter months (October to April). During this time it is wise to consume plenty of the foods listed below. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D. It is then stored in the fatty tissues of the body for between 30-60 days. During the winter months there is often not enough to last through until the sun reaches its optimal strength again in the spring leading to a deficiency.
Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium. Alcohol and some medications cause the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods if on medications or if alcohol is consumed regularly.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
Highest sources of vitamin K in micrograms per 100 grams
NOTE: 1 µg is one microgram.
Other natural sources of vitamin K are: alfalfa, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, buckwheat, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cress, dandelion leaves, green tea, kale, oregano, parsley, rye, soybean oil, spinach, turnip greens and watercress.
NOTE: Avoid almonds, cabbage and kale if suffering with thyroid problems, bladder, kidney or gallstones, joint problems or osteoporosis.
NOTE: Limit foods with Vitamin K if pregnant, breast feeding or taking blood thinning medication (such as anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs)
Some bacteria in the intestines turn lecithin - a nutrient found inavocado, beef, egg yolks, legumes, nuts, oily fish, organ meats, pork, soya and whole grains into an artery-clogging compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide.
Both lecithin and carnitine are manufactured by the human body and essential for vital processes in the body.
However, excess trimethylamine-N-oxide caused by certain bacteria in the intestines, transforming lecithin and carnitine which is derived from animal foods into this compound, can lead to blood cholesterol build-up on artery walls, causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and, if the build up ruptures and blocks an artery, results in a stroke or heart attack.
It is therefore healthier to ensure the plant nutrients required for the body to manufacture its own lecithin and carnitine are present rather than consuming animal products which contain these nutrients which feeds the trimethylamine-N-oxide producing bacteria in the intestines instead.
Natural plant foods to consume to ensure the body can produce it's own lecithin and carnitine are:
almonds, amaranth, brazil nuts, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, buckwheat, cauliflower, collard greens, flaxseed, garlic, grape seed oil, kale, mustard greens, onions, peanuts, pecans, peppers (red), pine nuts, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, rampion, rapeseed oil, sesame seeds & oil, sunflower seeds, spinach, walnuts and whole grains.
NATURE CURES DIET FOR A HEALTHY HEART
A wholesome healthy diet of the natural foods below will boost the immune system and restore the blood levels of all nutrients as well as fight off virus, fungal and bacteria infections naturally. If this diet is kept to it can fix many blood disorders and heart problems. A noticeable difference will be felt within just one week.
Visit the Cleanse and Detoxify page to try that regime first which can clear the body of toxins and infection.
Drink one litre of bottled mineral water per day to avoid chemicals additives such as fluoride and chlorine and provide more of the essential minerals the body needs. One glass should be consumed just before sleeping to help the body eliminate waste and toxins from the body and the brain.
Fish (Three times a week)
Bloater fish, carp, cod, eel, halibut, herring, hilsa fish, kipper, mackerel, octopus, pilchards, salmon, sardines, sprats, squid, swordfish, trout, tuna (fresh only) and whitebait and all other oily fish. Deep sea and bottom dwelling fish can be contaminated with mercury so it is advisable to consume these with some algae, coriander and other green leafy vegetables or sulphur-rich foods which can chelate (bind to) mercury and eliminate it from the body.
Dairy (Yoghurt and kefir milk daily and cheese two or three times a week)
Kefir milk, non-pasteurised blue cheese and yoghurt (plain with live cultures)
Fibre (at least one every day)
Amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa and teff. Consume one tablespoon of psyllium husks per day in a large glass of water or sprinkled onto meals as it has powerful properties that can support digestion and excretory processes and will work within two days to fix many colon and digestive issues.
Vegetables (a selection of at least four colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
Algae, alfalfa, artichoke, ashitaba, asparagus, aubergine, beetroot, bell peppers (all colours), broccoli, carrot, celery, chicory, collard greens, courgettes, cress, cucumber, daikon, garlic, kelp, marrow, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, seaweed and spinach, Swede, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips and watercress. Algae, such as chlorella and spirulina, contain many important nutrients and minerals often lacking in land-based crops. Take one tablespoon of one of them per day. Also consume three or four chopped garlic cloves per day. Let them and other allicin-producing plants, such as chives, leeks, onions and spring onions, stand for ten minutes to allow for the process, that produces allicin in these plants when they are damaged, to take place. Allicin has many powerful properties that benefit the health.
Legumes (Three times a week)
Black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, legumes, lentils, lima bean, mung beans, navy beans, peas, pinto bean, red kidney beans, soya beans and winged beans.
Fruit (a selection of 2 or 3 colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
Apples, apricots, avocado, bananas, berries, cherries, kiwi fruit, lemons, limes, grapefruit, grapes (black or red), mango, maqui berries, mosambi juice, orange, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranate, tangerines and watermelon. NOTE: grapefruit can interact with many medications.
Dried Fruit (as snacks or added to meals daily. Best eaten with a handful of nuts and seeds)
Apricots, dates, figs, goji berries, raisins and sultanas.
Juice (pure, additive free, unsweetened -
daily as often as possible)
Seeds (as snacks or added to meals daily)
Flaxseeds, hemp, nasturtium, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon. Hempseeds provide the correct balance of omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids and should be consumed daily. A handful of pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled on any dish or in sandwiches daily and add many important nutrients.
Nuts (as snacks or added to meals daily. Best consumed with dried fruits to obtain the correct balance of vitamin C and E)
Brazil nuts (2 per week unless excessive sweating, through exercise or fever, has taken place, then eat 2 per day, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts (5 per day).
Sprouts(see the Micro Diet Sprouting page to find out how to grow your own then add to meals and snacks daily)
Alfalfa, almond, amaranth, barley, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, chickpea, corn, hazelnut, fenugreek, flaxseeds, kamut, leek, lemon grass, lentil, lettuce, milk thistle, mizuna, mung beans, mustard, oat, onion, pea, peanut, radish, rice, rocket, rye, quinoa, sesame, spinach, spring onions, sunflower, turnip and watercress.
Common Herbs(nutritious herbs to be used as often as possible daily in meals or as teas)
Basil, cardamom, coriander, cloves, dill, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, safflower, sage, tarragon and thyme.
Medicinal Herbs (consume as teas as required)
Ash gourd, bdellium gum, borage, burdock root, black seed, common stinging nettles, dandelion, drumstick, hawthorn berries, Japanese or Chinese knotweed, jasmine and milk thistle, .
Spices (nutritious spices to be used as often as possible daily. Can be added to teas also)
Cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves (three ground), cumin, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns (all colours) and turmeric. A teaspoon of turmeric should be consumed daily due to its powerful compounds that can prevent many ailments. Sprinkle on to egg, fish and vegetable dishes or on brown rice and other grains.
Oils (cold-pressed only and used to cook with or dress vegetables and salads, especially with foods that contain fat-soluble nutrients, such as carotene, to enable absorption)
Coconut oil, flaxseed, grape seed, coconut oil, olive, rapeseed and a blend of sesame and rice bran oils. Also take one capsule of cod liver or krill oil daily, especially during the winter months between October and April in the Northern hemisphere.
Derivatives (to be consumed and used as desired on a daily basis)
Aloe vera juice, anise seed tea, apple cider vinegar, barley grass (powder or juice), bergamot tea, black strap molasses, brewer's yeast, brine pickles, chamomile tea, green tea, honey, miso, olive oil, peppermint tea, pine needle tea, tea and tofu. Barley grass is one of the rare plants to contain vitamin B12 so is a useful addition to the diet of those that limit meat intake.
At least one (and ideally many more) natural foods and derivatives should be consumed each day from each of the categories above. Pick one of the six colours of fruit and vegetables to consume daily. Yellow/orange, white, red, green, black/blue/purple and cream/brown. Nature has kindly colour coded natural food for us and each colour provides specific nutrients and minerals in the right balances which are required daily. At least one iron rich green leafy vegetable or herb should be consumed daily.
If appetite does not allow enough consumption, juice them or make teas by steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and drink immediately to gain the nutrients without the bulk. Teas can be gently reheated and honey and lemon added to make them more palatable and to add additional beneficial nutrients. See the Nature's Colour Codes page.
NOTE Non-heme iron is found in tea and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. However, tea and green leafy vegetables also contain oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme iron eat a couple of strawberries, an orange, tangerine or some mango at the same time.
To benefit from foods containing fat-soluble nutrients, such as the carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes, always eat together with oily foods like rapeseed oil, olive oil, fish, nut or other seed oils or avocado because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture of the essential vitamin A nutrient.
HEALTHY HEART ADVICE
WHAT TO AVOID WHEN
When suffering with a heart condition it is important to avoid the herbs peppermint, ephedra, ginseng, yohimbine, liquorice, feverfew and rosemary.
It is also very important to greatly reduce or eliminate entirely the following from the diet:
The following need to be avoided under the conditions mentioned
NOTE: Motherwort may be habit forming.
CAUTION: Many herbs are powerful and can react with medications. Always check before taking at the same time as any drugs.
NOTE: Some nutritional yeasts, especially brewer’s yeast, can also interact with medications. Those who are on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) medication are especially at risk. It is also best avoided by those carrying the herpes virus as it can induce a attack.
NOTE: Only eat the following fruit and vegetables if they are organic because of the risk of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides:
Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP)
Stable coronary artery disease and angina can cause disabling symptoms including shortness of breath, pressure or discomfort in the chest, exercise intolerance and fatigue. It is a safe, effective, non-invasive therapy for the symptoms of coronary artery disease and angina is now available. Enhanced external counter pulsation alleviates cardiac symptoms by enhancing coronary collateral circulation alternate pathways by which blood can reach the heart muscle.
The procedure is performed in a series of outpatient treatments, in which inflatable cuffs wrapped around the legs inflate and deflate in rhythm with the patient’s heartbeat. More than 100 published studies show that EECP can effectively relieve symptoms of heart failure, increase exercise tolerance, reduce reliance on medication and improve quality of life.
Benefits of treatment can last up to five years. This novel therapy simulates the circulatory benefits of exercise, allowing patients to overcome symptoms and resume a healthy, active lifestyle.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it. © Copyright 2010 Nature Cures. All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it.
© Copyright 2010 Nature Cures. All rights reserved.