The heart is an organ many may not think about, or believe that they need to, until they get up in years, around 50 or 60, or they start experiencing symptoms like high blood pressure or cholesterol. Regardless, especially with the novel coronavirus’ prevalence, in addition to other pathogens like Lyme and babesia, it’s important to know how to functionally support the heart to have a good starting point in the event you might be confronted with any of those. Circulation is actually vital for those young and old, with any range of health statuses. Optimal circulation will support youthful looking skin, proper healing of wounds with less scarring, hair thickness and growth, and your body’s vitality and ability to deploy defenses into any part of the body during an infection. Here are some things to keep in mind when supporting the heart:
B Vitamins: B vitamins are needed to regulate the heart rate and balance the minerals which are needed for maintaining proper function of the heart. You need sedating B vitamins to keep blood sugar stable and the mood relaxed. This can also reduce your need for things like alcohol or other sedatives. These Bs include choline, riboflavin, PABA, betaine, inositol and niacin. Conversely, the more stimulating B vitamins include B12 in the form of methyl- or hydroxy-cobalamin, B6, B1 or thiamin, folate, B5 or pantothene and biotin are needed to energize the body an the heart, keeping circulation pumping and activating the processes needed to feed the cells throughout the body. You might consider that you need these if you experience sluggishness, neuropathy, apathy (a lack of the B6 necessary to convert “joy” molecules like serotonin and dopamine).
Eat enough: As obvious as this should be, it might be one of the most often neglected parts of foundational health, especially for those with nearly any propensity to dabble in the health field, or that of weight loss and dieting. Calories are the important nutrient nobody talks about. They are literally the energy your body uses to survive and keep the heart pumping properly. I personally have learned how important it is for the heart specifically. When you’re not eating enough to support the metabolism (measurable by a baseline body temperature) one of the greatest modulators of the heart— the thyroid— can’t help but become weakened.
Minerals: Potassium and magnesium are essential for normalizing and slowing down the heart rate, while calcium is needed for contracting the muscle. We need a delicate and proper balance of these and other minerals such as iodine in order to keep our heart beating regularly. My favorite sources of potassium include potatoes, navy beans, winter squash, avocado, dried apricots, and leafy greens, particularly beet greens. You can also use coconut water and/ or add cream of tartar to your water in quantities of about 1/4 tsp to start with, and seeing if you need more potassium based on biofeedback. Testing is important for this because some can react very poorly to even a little too much potassium for them. Those low in potassium will experience palpitations, muscle spasm and muscle cramping, anxiety, irritability, brain fog and fatigue. Most people don’t actually get nearly enough and this goes highly unacknowledged.
Support the Lymph: The lymphatic system is twice as great in volume as the circulatory system. This is the mechanism by which the blood becomes cleaned and filtered. Therefore, when the lymph is backed up then this impacts by the blood by creating inflammatory toxic byproducts or endotoxins, leading to clotting, plaque and other things that will impair the heart’s function. To do this you can use red and lymph supporting produce and herbs like red root, manjistha, cranberry, pomegranate, hibiscus, beets, and red clover or red sage. Cleavers is another good herb for the lymph as is prickly ash. Homeopathic products or other liquids can be especially assistive in supporting the movement of stagnant areas experiencing deprivation of nutrients and an excess of waste. This is a major step to restoring the health in any situation, but quite directly in the case of the circulatory system.
Address Lyme, co- infections and other infections: Borellia, Bartonella, and Babesia microbes are infamous for disrupting the immune system, triggering inflammation and in turn disrupting the heart. Some of these microbes, particularly Babesia and Bartonella, have a tendency to consume the collagen and vital endothelial tissues throughout the body. This is why it’s important not only to kill these microbes but support the body itself with nutrition including the amino acid Arginine, found in nuts, seeds like pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, dairy, spirulina and lentils. Arginine increases blood flow and relaxes blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide. Oregano oil is a well studied essential oil with Lyme- killing properties, as are clove and eucalyptus, in addition to a wide range of others (R). Oregano is a very wide- spectrum, anti- pathogenic herb so it can be helpful for coinfections as well as viruses and other roadblocks to getting fully recovered from Lyme or other long- standing pathogen- oriented symptoms. Some may need to first widdle away at the largest microbes, parasites, which Babesia is an example of (it exists in the blood). This tends to be the most successful route according to Dr. Jay Davidson and Dr. Todd Watts (R) as well as Dr Klinghardt– all well known for addressing longstanding pathogenic infiltration.
Babesia is infamous for causing tachycardia and heart palpitations. A good way to know if that could be a cause for you if you’re cleansing and start to experience these symptoms is whether or not minerals help get rid of symptoms long- term. For some people, using potassium supplementally may be able to eradicate this symptom completely. Those with Babesia, though, will find that it comes back or maintains itself as a lasting problem that is only slightly helped by mineral supplements. Of course, anxiety needs to be kept in mind when encountering symptoms like a rapid heart beat, but when it’s consistent you may need to look at Babesia as a cause for both of these symptoms (R). You can use herbs like yarrow to protect the blood and help the body against invading microbes like Babesia. Personally, in one “healing emergency” wherein I took it upon myself to hastily initiate a parasite protocol without sufficiently supporting my digestive organs, using a binder, using biofeedback to see what my body preferred, or eating enough *eyeroll* (this was early on in my health journey, but the silver lining is that it helped me learn what I know now) yarrow helped me immensely with anxiety (from toxin release– parasites carry toxins– and in turn nervous system stimulation) and tachycardia. Yarrow is also effective against a wide spectrum of damaging microbes, large and small, but is gentle and supports multiple body systems simultaneously in a more balanced way.
Support relaxation: To that point, herbs and activities to support your peace of mind and relaxation need to be done on the regular. While these can be easily dismissed as “unnecessary” or unrelated to heart issues, it’s vital to remember that everything is ultimately controlled by the brain. Magnolia bark, wood betony, kava kava, lavender, valerian, and Ashwaganda can be helpful to wind down. On a deeper level, they can be assistive in bringing enough relief to the nervous system that a willing consumer might be able to use this to their advantage in the way of coming to understand issues rather than bottling them up, being afraid and allow them to “eat away at you”, perhaps in the form of some kind of a pathogen which may be a physical representation of porous boundaries or allowing others to “suck the life out of you”.
“Good” fat: Consuming fat is vital to the protection and function of the heart. The ideal ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s will manage inflammation effectively and can vary for individuals based on things like genetics. Generally a ratio of 2:1 can be beneficial. Again, like other things mentioned here, it’s good to test and have biofeedback done to decide what is proper for your body. Saturated fat is actually a good choice for the heart due to its stability when exposed to heat. Cooking and refining polyunsaturated fats, as well as some forms of polyunsaturated (canola oil, otherwise known as naturally inedible “rapeseed” oil) can make them rancid and therefore inflammatory to the system. This can be disruptive given that all of our cells are made up of a phospholipid bi- layer, meaning they are enclosed in fat. Even worse, trans fats originate from a very unnatural process of hydrogenating oil— which is actually done to disguise the incorrectly and indiscriminately well- perceived polyunsaturated fats into something that acts more like a saturated fat in food production. These can go in and replace the fats we have in these vital locations in our bodies and become very disruptive. Issues like rashes may occur as a result (fat serves as an emollient or protectant in our outer layer of skin— the epidermis). Also, fat is important for functionally supporting the heart by way of properly feeding detoxification organs— the liver and gallbladder. Cholecystokinin is what the gallbladder needs to contract regularly and release inflammatory toxins (which are a detriment to the heart) out of the body rather than having them build up in the liver and eventually the lymph. Cholecystokinin is dependent on saturated fat detection in the small intestine. Furthermore. The bile which emulsified these fats so they can be used or released, is made of cholesterol.
Strengthen the digestive fire: Digestion is the first essential step to preventing heart distress resulting from physiological causes. You need to digest properly in order to absorb all the nutrients that are needed to make your heart pump and support it’s structure. Fresh ginger tea, made with 1-2 inches of the sliced root boiled until the water reduces to half can work wonders for digestive strength. Betaine HCl can also help acidity the stomach which most of us are in need of, especially in the event of acid reflux wherein the esophageal sphincter will not close unless the stomach is acidic enough. One way to indirectly support digestion without having to spend this extra money or time is simply eating regularly, and enough, in order to support the metabolism. When the body is fed enough on a regular basis, it will readily expend the biological resources needed to keep digesting as it knows that it will keep receiving them (rather than conserving the energy, if it believes it is in a famine- like situation).
Heal the gut: When we have leaky gut, as a result of poor digestion and how it can irritate the inner membranes of our digestive tract, food can seep into the blood stream through the Peyer’s patch that lines the intestines and connects it to the lymph. This allows for an allergic reaction because the body comes to attack these seemingly foreign invading particles in the bloodstream and subsequent inflammation. Inflammation, at least excessively so, is the root of all disease including heart disease. Keeping the digestive system moving alone regularly is the best way to keep prolonged putrification from happening to avoid abnormal bacterial and fungal growth. Again, this is where it is important to support the digestive system and ensure that you’re getting enough food, so the body doesn’t feel like it has to conserve but rather can let go of the food and expend the energy necessary to contract the relevant muscles for digestion. Pathogens also need to be kept in check, which supporting the metabolism will help (think higher temperature, less pathogens— hence the function of a fever) but it may be necessary to address them separately as well.
Support the Liver: The liver is needed to filter out the waste products that could otherwise become inflammatory and impair the ability of minerals and other nutrients to reach and feed the heart. The liver is also needed to properly process fats so they don’t wind up congesting the lymph but instead get excreted or assimilated properly and used for hormones, cell membranes, smoothing the skin, and powering and building the brain. There are fat soluble vitamins the liver needs to process and be running effectively in order to absorb like Vitamin D and especially vitamins K and E with regard to heart health but also Vitamin A which is needed for immunity as well as the health of the endothelial membranes.
Detox heavy metals and other toxins: Heavy metals and chemicals like roundup, those leeched from plastics, pesticides or drugs, residues of which are all showing up in the drinking water. All of these can interfere with the body’s natural circulation, detoxification and other critical regulatory, livelihood maintaining capabilities. First off, it’s very important to filter your water with something like at least a pitcher from Aquagear or Seychelles.com, which can greatly reduce amounts of fluoride in the water by above 90%, as well as parasites and other issues that can be problematic and also cause issues for the heart. One way fluoride can disruptive the heart is by displacing iodine that is needed for iodine, which controls the rhythm of the heart. Being a halogen that’s higher up on the periodic table, fluoride can easily get absorbed into the thyroid and other areas like the pineal gland. Chlorine has this same property and is widely used in drinking water. Medical doctors tend not to consider this as a possible reason for cardiovascular problems, as most in the medical field see niches as working in isolation as opposed to the overall anatomy and physiology of the body which is deeply interrelated. Root causes tend to be neglected.
Balance the Immune System: An overactive immune system can lead to excessive inflammation and there for reparatory cholesterol and with it, if minerals are imbalanced, the most detrimental part– the calcium on the top of the plaque which breaks off, causing heart attacks. This in fact is the most dangerous part of plaquing. Aside from that, the damage can come from an excessively active immune system, erring on the side of TH1 dominance (R). It’s important to balance the TH1 and TH2 sides of the immune system in order to supply an optimal response to any invader that may come your way, be it pathogenic, or allergenic.
Oxygenate the blood and improve circulation: Oxygen is needed for proper circulation, blood pressure, and heart function as its deprivation leads to more accumulated toxins, and eventually, cell death. This can result from inadequate nutrition, and a lack of movement, and tends to go hand in hand with having a lack of lust for life. Methods of supporting circulation include herbs like Butcher’s broom, prickly ash, gotu kola, gingko biloba, bilberry, cayenne, and hawthorne; phytonutrients like rutin (found in buckwheat, which protects and strengthens capillaries), and chlorophyll (looks exactly like hemoglobin but with Mg in the middle instead of iron– so essentially, plant blood). Niacin (in the nicotinic acid form) can benefit oxygenation by stimulating circulation and dilating blood vessels, but needs to be taken at low doses of about 25 mg to start with and needs to be taken in equal quantity to trimethyl glycine to avoid throwing of your balance of methyl groups– some people do well with it but since having some issues with low methylation, I’ve personally avoided it). Nitric Oxide is known for having this blood vessel dilating effect as well, which beets are known for. Some specific exercises are engineered specifically for doing this, too (contraindications need to be examined before trying, this may not be safe for everyone, of course). I also like a product called Oxygen Elements for this purpose as well. When my dad used to have issues with his lungs due mild pneumonia issues, he could take some and notice a difference immediately. Hyperbaric oxygen can also be highly effective.