Since my book Human Heart, Cosmic Heart made its debut about eight months ago, a lot has happened. One of the most exciting developments for me is the number of consultations I have had with health practitioners across the country about the use of strophanthus seed extract, which I talk about in the book.
The goal of our Strophanthus Project is to introduce this valuable medicine, sometimes referred to as “the insulin of the heart,” to as many practitioners and heart patients as possible. The hope is that not only will more people find help with their heart issues, but we can also develop a community of practitioners who are well versed in its use. I have asked practitioners who are using our strophanthus extract to write in with feedback from their patients. Hopefully, this feedback will provide the foundation for future studies on the efficacy and indications for its use. Thankfully, some of this feedback is starting to come in, which I share below, along with notes on possible explanations for the patients’ experiences.
Feb. 7. A 68-year-old male was hospitalized with heart failure due to left ventricle damage, rigidity. After stent installed the ejection fraction was 18%. I started him 6 weeks ago on strophanthus, 3 drops bid, and then 3 weeks later increased to 6, bid. (I also used ubiquinol, magnesium orotate, proteolytic enzymes, activated b vitamins). Checkup ECG yesterday, ejection fraction now at 47%. The technician commented in 15 years he never saw this kind of recovery. Patient feels excellent and says, “I felt my heart moving differently” shortly after starting the strophanthus. I guess so!
This is a very revealing case as it shows that strophanthus can improve, in some cases dramatically, the overall heart function. Ejection fraction is a measure of the percentage of blood that exits the heart as compared to the amount that enters the heart. While one may think it would be 100 percent, in actuality, a normal ejection fraction is about 60 percent (tellingly, this is the same as the ejection fraction of a hydraulic ram, the device that Rudolf Steiner said is most like the heart). An ejection fraction of 18 percent is barely compatible with life; at 47 percent, life is fairly normal. While some of the effects may be from the stent or the other supplements, it is clear that by improving the metabolism of the heart, in particular, the removal of the lactic acid from the heart cells, strophanthus can and does improve heart function, in this case, dramatically. Interestingly, the patient felt this immediately, and his experience was confirmed by the echocardiogram.
I took my first dose of strophanthus the morning after seeing you in your office on 2/28/17. I had an amazing feeling of rest and peace in my body for the first time in many, many years. It also helps greatly with my cardiac symptoms. I have had life-long anxiety, and the medicine seems to have a calming effect as another benefit.
I highlight this case to demonstrate one of the main effects of the strophanthus extract, which is to support the parasympathetic nervous system. Supporting the parasympathetic nervous system is associated with the feeling of calm and relaxation, and this translates into better cardiac function and fewer angina symptoms. As is well known in conventional cardiology, the balance of the autonomic nervous system plays a major role in overall cardiac health. That is why beta-blockers – drugs that block the sympathetic nervous system — have been first-line cardiac drugs for more than 50 years. How much better results would we get if instead of blocking the stress response (and its attendant side effects of constipation, impotence, fatigue, diabetes, to name just a few) we actually nourished our parasympathetic system – with essentially no side effects reported.
I suffered from Cardiac Cephalgia angina attacks—35 to 45 per month even though I was taking 30 mg of Isosorbide Mononitrate daily, and using 0.4 mg nitroglycerin transdermal patches. After taking strophanthus seed extract, I’m down to around five angina attacks per month.
This case demonstrates the main indication for strophanthus and is fairly dramatic evidence of its effectiveness. Strophanthus combats angina and prevents heart attacks through at least three overlapping mechanisms. The first is strophanthus’ ability to convert the lactic acid that builds up in the heart tissue into pyruvate, which the heart can use as a fuel. This conversion immediately lessens the pain and improves heart function. Second, strophanthus stimulates the sodium-potassium pump, thereby helping the cell excrete sodium and become less swollen. Lessening the swelling in the red blood cells and platelets, main sites of its action, makes these cells more flexible and able to traverse the capillaries with more ease. This is similar to the blood-thinning effect of aspirin and Plavix, without the risks of bleeding or other complications. And, finally, by supporting the parasympathetic system, the autonomic nervous system imbalance that results in angina and heart attacks is curtailed. Again, this is similar to the effect of beta-blockers without any of the negative effects.
These stories are an exciting start to our Strophanthus Project. Please send me your feedback — good, bad or neutral — as every bit of information we can collect helps us put together the pieces of the almost forgotten strophanthus puzzle.
Thomas Cowan, M.D.