Blockage in the coronary arteries can keep the heart muscle from getting enough oxygen rich blood causing the chest pain known as angina. The pain may also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back and it can feel like a burning sensation, squeezing or even indigestion. Angina is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying heart condition which if not taken care of can lead to heart attack.
According to Dr. James Pantano in his book “Living with Angina” the word ‘angina’ was first used in 1768 by Dr. William Heberden to mean ‘strangling’ rather than ‘pain’. Back then, angina was not a common condition and it was not even linked to heart disease until the 19th century. It was then that doctors noticed the condition caused a prolonged illness and permanent weakening of the patient. Today angina affects more than 3 million people in the USA alone. Angina was once thought to be an old man’s disease, however, the autopsy of some Korean War soldiers proved it can start in the late teenage years.
What causes angina?
The main cause of angina according to Dr. Pantano is atherosclerosis, which as we saw in previous discussions, causes a thickening of the artery leading to blockage of the normal flow of blood to the heart. This decrease in blood flow is a problem in the beginning stages of angina only while exercising, but in more advanced cases it becomes a problem even while at rest. This process of blockage is not uniform so it is sometimes hard to locate. It can happen on the arteries that travel up the neck to the brain, or on one side of two matched arteries, causing cramping on one leg or even death of the tissue downstream the side of the blockage.
Dr. Pantano explains that it is possible to use the law of physics called ‘fluid dynamics’ to calculate the flow of liquid through a pipe and compare it to the flow of blood in the arteries. According to fluid dynamics, the flow of a liquid will not be impeded until the pipe is 70% blocked. Similarly for an artery, and only under times of stress like exercise, a 75% blockage is the starting point for the typical symptoms of angina to appear.
Dr. Pantano has observed that in most cases coronary plaque is located in the upstream part of the vessel, not the downstream and also the on the major branching points.
Udo Erasmus explains there can be another aspect to angina aside from plaque: consuming “saturated or denaturated fatty acids make our platelets sticky, increasing the risk of clot forming” This is why angina is sometimes linked to indigestion.
Your Heart 101
The heart is an amazing biological system. As the electrical organ that it is, it generates an electrical field 50 times stronger than the brain. According to Dr. Bernard Jensen in his book “Developing a new heart” the heart is built like a 2-story house with four rooms, two upstairs (Left and Right auricles) and 2 downstairs (Left and right ventricles). The heart’s work starts on the right auricle, where old blood enters depleted of oxygen and loaded with carbon dioxide waste. From there, this old blood is forced into the right ventricle below from where it is pumped into the lungs through the pulmonary artery. In the lungs, carbon dioxide is released and the blood is freshly oxygenated. This clean, oxygen rich blood passes into the pulmonary veins and enters the left auricle, then is forced down into the left ventricle below. From there it is pumped into the aorta (the main artery that feeds the whole body). From the aorta, the front and back coronary arteries deliver blood to the heart muscle itself. It is these coronary arteries that develop atherosclerosis that can lead to heart attack.
The normal heart beats 65/75 beats per minute and pumps through 60,000 miles of blood vessels one gallon of blood per minute. No man-made pump could match this efficient machine!
* How the heart beats.
Heartbeats are triggered by an electrical discharge from the sinoatrial node in the upper right heart chamber’s muscle. Around a thousandth of a volt is discharged causing the muscle heart to contract forcing the blood from the ventricle. Heart rate is regulated by the nerves in the brain. Muscular activity, emotional reactions, stress, sleep, etc can raise or lower heartbeat. The sinoatrial node initiates the heart cycle so it is called the heart’s pacemaker. It triggers an electrical impulse that travels over nerve fibers and interacts with a second node, the atrioventricular node located between the upper right and lower right chambers of the heart.
The heart does not depend on the brain or nervous system to get a heart beat because it has its own electrical power plant and starts its own electrically stimulated contractions. It even has its own brain cells.
* The names of the three coronary arteries
- The LAD (left anterior descending) coronary artery serves the front wall of the heart and the septum (the dividing wall) between the two ventricles. It is a large and important artery.
- The RCA (right coronary artery) goes down the right side of the heart, serves the right ventricle and supplies the bottom wall of the left ventricle.
- The Cx (circumflex coronary artery) runs down the left side of the left ventricle serving that area and the back wall as well.
All coronary arteries give blood to the left ventricle, the right ventricle muscle gets its blood from early branches of the RCA.
The right and left ventricles are quite different. The right ventricle receives blood from veins returning from all parts of the body and pumps it to the lungs. The right side ventricle is a low pressure system so it does not require to increase the pressure much to make it through the lungs. Therefore the right ventricle requires only a few small branches from the RCA to supply it with enough nourishment to pump. Angina almost never happens from a blocked artery to the right ventricle.
The left side of the heart is a powerhouse. It must raise the pressure of outgoing blood higher than the blood pressure in the body so it needs to generate pressure that is five to ten times higher than that of the right ventricle. For this to be possible the muscle on the left side is four times thicker than the right ventricle and needs the entire blood supply of the three coronary arteries to supply its demands for fuel. All angina happens in the left ventricle.
The bad news
The slow progressive decrease in blood flow through an artery with buildup produces ischemia, which is what happens when the heart is deprived of oxygen long enough that extra branches grow from close arteries. These new arteries are known as collaterals and can keep tissue alive, but are unsufficient to do the job, especially under times of increased demand. All the arteries in the body are subject to this process.
Angina is usually not painful. It sometimes happens in the chest, jaw, arms, elbow or wrist with no muscular or bone basis. Angina can radiate into the left arm in some cases, upward and outwards. Around 50% of patients feel it in the left arm, 40% in both arms and 10% only have right arm discomfort. It can happen in both chest and arms. It sometimes radiates from the central chest up to the base of the throat and may continue into the jaw, or it can only be on the jaw making the diagnosis very tricky. The trickiest of all occurs in the upper back which can be mistaken for arthritis pain and can make it even harder to diagnose.
Angina is more likely to occur with exertion as the demand for blood increases. Some light exercise might be tolerated as long as it is not done after eating, when digestion is also requiring a draw of blood from the heart to the intestines. According to Udo Erasmus in his book “Fats that heal, Fats that kill” a meal high in fats makes blood thicker and less capable of supplying oxygen.
The amount of blood needed by the heart muscle is determined by how much that side must contract, the greater the contraction, the more blood is required to provide the energy needed for the next heartbeat.
The traditional medical approach for patients with angina is nitroglycerin. It is known to relax the muscles of the arteries causing them to dilate. This is thought to ease the work the heart must do and enable it to get more blood, relieving the symptoms of angina. However, with some people the effectiveness wears off as their condition worsens. Nitroglycerin is quickly absorbed through the skin into the body. This can be a convenience but it can also be a disadvantage since the active ingredients that enable it to pass so easily into the body also degrade or evaporate easily, reducing the effectiveness of the drug. It must also be stored in a small, glass, airtight container and kept cool to stay effective.
Also, people who are on high blood pressure medications should be specially careful, especially with beta-blockers because they can lower the blood pressure to an unsafe level. If the patient is also taking nitroglycerin, his/her blood pressure can drop so quickly that the brain does not get enough blood for a few moments, causing them to collapse. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for someone who is elderly or driving a car.
Another disadvantage of taking this drug, although not so dangerous is headaches.
More than 2 million Americans either have had a heart attack or have angina. Two-thirds of all patients die of the complications and over 200,000 Americans go into coronary artery bypass surgery each year.
The good news
In his book “Left for dead” Mr. Quinn tells the story of how he took control of his own health even after the doctors had given up on him. In his remarkable testimony he details how he had a heart attack with a near death experience, an angiogram, a double coronary by pass, heart failure and an incredible recovery thanks to an herb he discovered by chance which kept him alive despite all the odds. He considers himself an expert on heart disease not because he has a degree in medicine but because he has heart disease. He had severely blocked arteries which doctors said required surgery, after which, his energy, vitality and general health declined rapidly. He would faint often, get dizzy and suddenly lose his energy until one day he had a frightening blind spell that convinced him that despite the doctor’s reassurances, he was dying. That is when he decided to use cayenne to save his heart… and his health took an incredible turn. He wants to share his knowledge with us so that anybody out there who might be going through the same ‘heartache’ can have confidence in their recovery, even after being left for dead.
It all started during his six month check up, and his doctor’s words “What do you expect?…they took your heart out of your chest, stopped it, cut it and sewed on it, you cannot expect it to run right” after which he dropped Mr. Quinn. This caused a firm determination in Mr. Quinn: “I’ll do it myself…I’ll figure it out and take charge because I have to”. He did not know what to do but he remembered one of his dad’s friends who had told him about how cayenne would help him. So he went to the General Store and bought some Cayenne Red Pepper, he filled some capsules himself and took three. The following day he woke up with incredible energy, which he thought was very unusual for him but then he remembered the cayenne he had taken the day before, he ran to his kitchen and took three more capsules. He continued to get better and decided to use this new life to study herbs so he could help other people like him. He learned what thousands of years of human experience already knew: “there are safe ways to clean arteries, strengthen your heart and prevent heart attack”. He studied the work of Dr. John Christopher who on many occasions stopped a heart attack in progress by giving the patient cayenne in warm water.
What follows is a brief summary of his research on many of the herbs he used himself everyday to get his heart healthy again.
Cayenne, the miracle worker
Cayenne has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Columbus discovered cayenne along the Cayenne River off the North Coast of South America. The ship’s doctor found it had remarkable healing and desinfecting properties and stopped bleeding instantly. It was also effective against scurvy because of its vitamin C content. Modern researchers have confirmed this medicinal power of cayenne when they found it to be faster than antibiotics in healing surgical wounds. Dr. Christopher tells of a village in Mexico where they eat great amounts of cayenne and villagers were known for their long healthy lives.
Mr. Quinn studied herbs for many years and found out they work best when combined. Herbs synergize when blended, he said, each herb becoming up to 10 times more powerful, complementing one another and making each stronger and more effective. Cayenne is the universal companion herb so it makes every other herb work better. It works best with its facilitator, ginger. Cayenne and garlic also synergize to regulate blood pressure and clean out the arteries. Cayenne and hawthorn synergize to strengthen the heart and give you stamina. Cayenne intensifies the beneficial effects of other herbs by ensuring speedy and thorough distribution of the herbs’ active components to the important functional centers of the body such as those responsible for metabolism, data transmission, cellular respiration and neural hormonal activity.
The key to heart attack prevention is healthy, clean arteries and other circulatory channels. Cayenne and garlic work together cleaning your arteries, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attack. The arteries have 3 layers, the middle layer is a muscle, it opens and closes depending on stress, and other factors. If there is an obstruction in a coronary artery, a blood clot can shut off the flow causing a heart attack. Cayenne, garlic and ginger can lower the blood protein known as fibrin that causes clotting. This is done by stimulating the fibrinolytic system (which lasts up to 30 minutes after ingestion of the herbs), which prevents blood clots from forming and dissolves the clots that had already formed. Dissolving the clot opens the artery and stimulates the heart, stopping a heart attack. It does this without raising heart beat or blood pressure. By doing this cayenne allows the body to get the circulation it needs without straining the heart. Improved circulation is the key to better health in many ways: digestion, elimination, energy, sex, attitude, complexion, respiration, sleep, ambition, stamina, eyesight, ulcers and headaches. Cayenne improves circulation all over the body.
Hardening of the arteries is caused by deposits that build up in the inside wall of the artery and prevent it from opening and closing. Garlic can penetrate these hardened deposits softening them so they can be washed away by the soapy vitamin A in cayenne.
Cayenne also heals the sores on your artery walls. Since there are thousands of miles of arteries, veins, capillaries and arterials, all of which must be kept clean, this makes cayenne of key important for the health of our arteries. Surgery, on the contrary, only targets a tiny part of this system.
When we eat cayenne, nerve endings secrete Substance P, which alerts the brain to pain. In response to this, other nerve cells secrete endorphins, the body’s pain killers, which act like morphine to stop the pain and convey a sense of well being.
Cayenne detoxifies the liver and other organs. This can cause some reaction for up to three days which is a sign that your organs are detoxifying poisons.
Cayenne is one of the most effective stimulants for every system and cell of the body, digestive system and the circulatory system. It regulates blood pressure, strengthens the pulse, feeds the heart, lowers cholesterol, thins the blood, cleanses the circulatory system, heals ulcers, stops hemorrhaging, speeds healing of wounds, rebuilds damaged tissue, eases congestion, aids digestion, regulates elimination, relieves arthritis and rheumatism, prevents the spread of infection and numbs pain. It has been evaluated around the world for its uses as a stimulant, astringent, antispasmodic, circulatory tonic, antidepressant and antibacterial. Also, it acts as a diaphoretic to induce sweating, a rubefacient to increase circulation at the skin’s surface. It aids digestion and soothes intestinal ailments by stimulating the stomach to produce mucous.
In the circulatory system, cayenne helps the arteries, veins and capillaries regain the elasticity of youth by feeding the cell structure. Cayenne helps equalize circulation by regulating the flow of blood from the head to the feet. Cayenne strengthens the pulse by increasing the power, not the frequency. Generally, cayenne boosts overall health of the entire cardiovascular system. Cayenne gets the blood moving, boots energy and eases stress, helps concentration and is anti-fatigue. By increasing the circulation of the blood to peripheral tissues through the body, cayenne helps deliver needed nutrients to inflamed and infected areas. Studies show that nutrients in food ingested with cayenne are assimilated faster and more easily.
Vitamins, minerals and other compounds in herbs work together. Cayenne helps circulation by opening the arteries and cleansing the circulatory system. It accomplishes this with five different types of capsaicin and vitamin A, that washes away plaque and cholesterol, heals lesions and ulcers and restores arterial flexibility. Cayenne contains many other nutrients essential for health of the circulatory system including alpha-tocopherols, vitamin C and minerals. Cayenne is also high in minerals including sulphur, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. Thus, it is good for diabetes, arthritis, pancreatic and throat disorders.
Cayenne together with a high protein intake can lower cholesterol by excreting it from the body and preventing its absorption in the body.
Added to garlic, cayenne speeds its antibiotic action, so much that is like taking liquin penicillin. Together they can lower blood pressure. Added to ginger, cayenne helps clean out the bronchial tubes.
Garlic was first recognized for its antibacterial properties in a study by Louis Pasteur in 1858. Since that time, the antibacterial action of garlic has proven effective against forms of staph, strep, salmonella, etc. Garlic is so effective as an antibiotic that one milligram of allicin (its major component) is about equal to 15 standard units of penicillin. Garlic was able to exterminate 72 separate infectious agents. It is also antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic. It works both internally and externally on infections. It benefits the immune, digestive, respiratory, urinary and circulatory systems. Traditionally garlic has been used for the treatment of colds, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis, earache, sore throat, headache, stomach ache, cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera worms, ulcers, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, hypertension, snakebite, gout, skin diseases and rheumatism. Modern medicine and science have validated all of these properties.
By the end of the 19th century doctors in Europe and America used garlic to treat tuberculosis and during WWI garlic was used to fight typhus and dysentery and disinfect battle wounds. It has been used successfully to treat cryptococcal meningitis, and influenza viruses. Garlic can target infections anywhere in the body because its oils are readily and transported through the body, it is absorbed so easily that garlic oil or juice applied to the soles of the feet will pass through the body to the lungs so fast it can be detected on the breath within seconds of exposure. Garlic is very effective against problems in the urinary tract, digestive system and the circulatory system. It stimulates the cleansing and purging action of the kidneys. It aids digestion by inciting the production of bile.
Respiratory ailments such as asthma respond to garlic because it is both a decongestant and an expectorant, keeping mucus moving normally through the lungs. It can be used for colds, flu and fevers. An oil can be made with garlic and dropped into the ear to treat an earache and rubbed directly on sprains and minor skin disorders.
Garlic lowers cholesterol, blood lipids and blood pressure by expanding vessel walls increasing blood flow, and helps prevent blockage by inhibiting the tendency of the blood cells to stick together and form clots. It also kills cancer cells.
Garlic contains high levels of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine and trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, tin, potassium, selenium, aluminum, sulfur and germanium.
Ginger has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese medicine for digestive disorders, nausea, fever, coughing, diarrhea, rheumatism, and lumbago. Studies show it can prevent motion sickness, it thins the blood, lowers cholesterol and forestalls the flu. It is effective in the treatment of digestive and circulatory disorders. The volatile oils in ginger also stimulate the circulatory and respiratory systems, lower cholesterol, deter blood clots and purify the blood. Ginger boots metabolism by increasing the function of the circulatory and respiratory system aiding the body’s recovery from the negative effects of stress and fatigue. Ginger relieves pain, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the heart.
Hawthorn is another remarkable herb. The benefits of hawthorn came to the attention of the American medical establishment by the end of the 1800’s. Doctors lauded the plant’s effectiveness and lack of side effects. Hawthorn they said was more effective than digitalis and strophanthin for handling chronic cardiac illness.
Mr. Quinn would take hawthorn everyday to prevent angina, which he said worked better than nitroglycerine. Hawthorn improves coronary circulation by dilating the coronary arteries to bring more oxygen directly to the heart muscle and reducing the chances of heart attack or angina. Simply put, Hawthorn helps keep the heart healthy enough to head off a heart attack. For patients who have already suffered a heart attack studies show Hawthorn speeds recovery, lowers blood pressure strengthens the heart and forestalls any onset of coronary disease. After a heart attack the capillaries are broken and the heart muscle is deprived of blood and atrophies or dies. Hawthorn studies show it re-opens damaged capillaries and restores circulation to resuscitate damaged muscle, so the heart can recover. No other herb in the plant kingdom provides the nourishing and regeneration of hawthorn both before or after a heart attack.
Used in conjunction with a healthy diet and stress management, hawthorn is the perfect preventive prescription for people who have a family history of heart disease. Considered a safe and effective long term treatment for the gradual loss of heart function that comes with age. It increases the ability of the heart to function smoothly, hawthorn imparts a gentle but persistent toning action.
Hawthorn is used by European doctors to treat and prevent angina, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, correct cardiac insufficiency and restore lost heart function.
Hawthorn prevents the hardening of the arteries, treats atherosclerosis and cools inflammation of the heart muscle. Used regularly, hawthorn strengthens the heart muscle and the nerves to the heart. Hawthorne is not habit forming, accumulative or toxic.
Last but not least, hawthorn is lauded as a gentle sedative to calm the nerves and ease insomnia.
To sum up, we have seen how angina can be a debilitating and progressive condition that can lead to more serious problems. The good news is that there are wonderful herbs that can actually took care of the progression of this condition. The Heart and Body Extract contains all the herbs we have mentioned before plus many others that work together to reverse many heart conditions.