The curtain falls today on this series, although there is a lot more to say about the provisions of Mother Nature for a healthy heart and the blood vessels, and for a smart and sharp and healthy brain. This week I will specially salute HAWTHORN BERRIES after a brief salute of some of these healing remedies which have kept some of us going and bouncing like ping pong for decades. Vitamin E is one of them.

On the market, you would find it in two major forms (a) d-alpha tocopherol and (b) dl-alpha tocopherol. D-alpha tocopherol is the natural form, is more effective, costlier and comes in smaller dosage of about 400iu. (International Unit) Per soft gel. Dl-alpha tocopherol is a petroleum derivative, is less effective and compensates for this slack with about 1,000iu. Per soft gel on top of which it comes at rock bottom price. Vitamin E helps the body maximize the use of oxygen and to stand conditions of oxygen deficiency, especially if the diet supplies Selenium, which, like Vitamin E, is an antioxidant. Both work together like kindred souls, and a deficiency of one may mask the symptoms of a deficiency of the other. Elsewhere in back file articles of this column, it was suggested purchasers of Vitamin E note that Vitamin E comes to us naturally as tocopherols and tocotrienols. The tocopherols come in six fractions E1-E6. When the soft gel combines tocopherols and tocotrienols, it is a super bumper package.

“Many of the brands sold in Nigeria have no tocotrienols and only one or two of the tocopherol fractions. I believe the short changing will disappear when the consumer becomes more aware of what he is buying. Weren’t we short changed in the early days of CoQ10 in the Nigerian market when the prime offers were between five, 10 or 30 milligrams per gel or capsule? Today, I use brands which offer me 100mg per soft gel in a 90, 100 or 120 – gel package! It is not impossible to find 400mg gels used for cancer or HIV/AIDS therapy (see last Thursday’s column… part five of this series). Whoever travels far, our forefathers say, will find a squirrel with a hunchback! Vitamin E has become widely used in cardiology (heart medicine) today through the research and work of two Canadian doctors, Wilfrid E. Shute and Evan V. Shute. They revolutionized Cardiology with mega doses of Vitamin E in their prescriptions. Between the 1940s and the 1970s, they successfully treated about 30,000 patients with their mega dosage prescriptions. They are well honoured in medical history today for the use of “alpha” tocopherol in preventing and reversing cardiovascular disease.”

VITAMIN E

vitEA story of the storm the Shute brothers rode to bring Vitamin E alpha tocopherol to our doorsteps is told by doctoryourself: “Vitamin E alpha tocopherol works not only for the heart and the blood vessels, according to Dr. Even Shute. This book shows with evidence how large amounts of it induced ovulation in a 102 year old woman. This is good news for women who do not ovulate. There is also evidence of the healing of a cranian nerve injury of two years. This Vitamin has been described as a “fertility vitamin” because it helps women get pregnant and keep their pregnancies full-term.”

SEA BUCKTHORN OIL

I forgot in the last column to mention Sea Buckthorn Oil used by Tibetians, Mongolians, Russians and other people since about 5,000 B.C. it is now well known for its anti-aging properties which make the skin and cell youthful, and promote blood circulation and heart health. It is reported to have twelve times more Vitamin C than an orange, has Vitamin E in equivalent status to Wheat Germ Oil, three times more Vitamin A than carrots and about four times more Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) than Ginseng. SOD is a natural antioxidant enzyme which the body produces to quell the damaging fire of singlet oxygen free radicals, a major cause of early aging. Research puts Sea Buckthorn up as the only plant source of Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-7 and Omega-9 essential fatty acids. The seed and fruit oil of Sea Buckthorn are, also, rich sources of carotenoids, tocotrienols and tocopherols, antioxidants such as phenols, terpenes and glucosides plant sterols, Manganese, Copper, Iron and Selenium. Copper and Zinc, like Manganese and Iron help the body produce SOD.

Sea Buckthorn Oil has been credited with skin health, weight management, prevention of brain troubles as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, helping to cure ulcers and gastro esophageal reflux disease, battling dry eye, preventing liver damage among other benefits.

MOTHER WORT

common_motherwortWe cannot forget MOTHER WORT. It is one of the herbs the legendary Australian herbalist Marian Treben prescribes for the heart. This herb is reported in folk medicine literature to heal the “anxious mind and heart” a remedy one should not ignore in depression therapy.

We are advised in redrootmaintain : “Anxiety can cause one to feel as if one is powerless, many emotions flare from fear to shame. Our hearts become stressed. And regardless of the situation, there is an element of failure and loss involved. Motherwort does much more to calm the excess of energy which courses through the heart and nervous system. It is a great healer that spreads joy and calm to those who seek it. While Motherwort is often considered a herb for women, men can find benefit in using it as well for maladies of the nervous system and heart triggered by stress. The Greeks gave Motherwort to pregnant women suffering from anxiety, hence the name Mothers herbs or Motherwort.

“Afflictions of the heart and nervous system find rest with Motherwort. History tells us that it is considered to be a cardiotonic as well as nervine tonic. Maulde Greives tells us that there is no better herb for strengthening and gladdening the heart. Due to the presence of the chemical alkaloids leonurine, a mind vasodilator, Motherwort acts as anti-spasmodic to relax smooth muscles, one of those muscles being the heart. Chinese studies have also found Motherwort to decrease clotting and the level of fat in the blood. That it can, in is calming nature, slow heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat. Motherwort has a midly diuretic effect, also aiding high blood pressure. But is important to know that while motherwort can be helpful in instances of high blood pressure, it is most appropriately effective when high blood pressure is a symptom of excess stress and anxiety. The effects this plant has in the nervous system are profound. As Motherwort gladdens the heart, it relaxes the nervous system, resulting in and elevated mood, relief of nervous debility and spasm.”

Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn-berries-PosternWhen I was introduced to Hawthorn berries about 25 years ago, it took me about five years to become well acquainted with the fact that different parts of it function in different ways in the body. Hawthorn Fruits (The Berry) work in the heart, the leaves on the blood vessels, and the flowers also on the circulatory system. Thus, when you are buying Hawthorn, be exact or precise. It may be better to buy the mixed grill of flowers, fruit and leaves, which often come in tea form. From herbwisdom.com comes information about studies which suggest that Hawthorn resolves such health challenges as congestive heart failure, hypertension, atherosclerosis, angina pectoris, (chest pain), high blood cholesterol, and so on. From there studies, it is believed that antioxidants in Hawthorn are the miracle workers. So widespread is belief in Hawthorn in Early 1920s that commission E, the German government agency which studies herbs and approves them for clinical use, has endorsed it”. www.edu/../herb/hawthorn: says “Hawthorn has been used to treat heart diseases as far back as the first Century. By the early 1800s, American doctors were using it to treat circulatory disorders and respiratory illness. Traditionally, the berries were used to treat heart problems ranging from irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries and heart failure. Today, the leaves and flowers are used medically. There is even research to suggest that Hawthorn might be effective when used in the treatment of mild to moderate heart failure. Animal and laboratory studies report Hawthorn contains antioxidants, including Oligomeric procyandins (OPC), also found in grapes and Queritin. Antioxidants are substances that destroy free radicals, which are compounds in the body that damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body and grow in number as we age. Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, smoking, some medicines, and air pollution) can also increase the number of there damaging particles. Scientist believe free radicals contribute to the aging process (such as wrinkling), as well as the developing of a number of health problems, including cancers and heart disease. Antioxidants in Hawthorn may help stop some of the damages from free radicals, especially when it comes to heart disease. The website explains findings of a study which investigated effects of Hawthorn on heart failure subjects. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump blood adequately to other parts of the body.

“Both human and animals studies suggest Hawthorn increases Coronary artery blood flow, in improves circulation and lowers blood pressure” it says, adding it has also been used on the skin to treat boils and  skin sore. Hawthorn has been studied in people with heart failure. A number of studies conclude that Hawthorn significantly improved heart function. Studies also suggest that the heart can enhance a person’s ability to exercise following heart failure. Participants in studies have reported that Hawthorn Significantly improved symptoms of the disease such as shortness of breath and fatigue. One study found that Hawthorn extracts (900mg per day) taken for two months was as effective as low doses of CAPTOPRIL (a prescription heart medication) in improving symptoms of heart failure”.

“A large study found that a standardized Hawthorn supplement was effective in 95 people with heart failure. The study compared conventional method of treating heart failure (with different medications) with Hawthorn alone and in addition to the drugs. After two years, the clinical symptoms of heart failure (palpitations, breathing problems and fatigue diseased significantly improved in people taking the Hawthorn supplement. People taking Hawthorn also took less medication for their condition.”

When it comes to Angina Pectoris (chest pain), it is thought that this challenge, too, may yield to Hawthorn.

This is a condition in which less blood flows to the heart. A study which involved 60 people with Angina, subjects were given either 18mg/day of Hawthorn Berry leave flower extract or placebo over three weeks. Hawthorn user’s experience “improved blood flow to the heart, and were also able to exercise for longer periods of time without suffering from chest pain.” One study found Hawthorn effective in some type 2 diabetes hypertensive who were taking prescribed medicines. They were given 1,200mg Hawthorn extract or placebo daily for 16 weeks. Hawthorn users reported lower blood pressure in comparison to the placebo group.

Naturalheatlh360 reports: “A 2016 randomized control trial revealed that Hawthorn supplementation decreased the diastolic blood pressure (the lower number of BP reading) in Type 2 diabetic patients, thereby decreasing the risk of heart diseases significantly. Flavonoids compounds in Hawthorn were also found to regulate the effects of ACE (Angiotensin converting Enzymes). ACE influences the blood pressure by contracting blood vessels which narrows the pathway of blood, increasing blood pressure. Hawthorn antioxidant flavonoids naturally regulate the ACE effect, thereby demonstrating better heart and kidney health in patients at risk.

Many animal studies that investigated the cholesterol-reducing effect of Hawthorn showed a significant decrease in blood cholesterol, including the LDL (bad cholesterol). One study reported that supplementation caused a 23 percent reduction in Total cholesterol, 22 percent in Triglycerides and also activated cholesterol clearance through bile. In fact, a recent scientific review of the double blind control studies on Hawthorn parallels the result of the aforementioned studies. The review found that they exert significant beneficial effects as an adjuvant treatment for patients with chronic heart failure. The review stated:

“There is a significant in symptom control and beneficial physiological  outcome from Hawthorn extracts.”

Blessedherbs tells us about specific uses of the fruit, leaves and flowers: “Hawthorn berries are typically used to treat cardiac insufficiencies of the heart. The flowers and leaves would be more commonly used for normalizing blood circulation, helping to have stronger arteries for better blood flow to the heart. Nutritionally, the berries are more beneficial for those with dysfunctional cardiac weaknesses that already exist and help to normalize higher quality heart function. “The flowers and leaves can benefit circulatory to the heart and those that have weaknesses there with poor dietary control of fats and sugars. Combining the berries, flowers and leaves to supply a full spectrum of constituents is the best preventive approach for an overall healthy heart and cardiovascular toxic in support of holistic health.”

My guess is that, now, we have a better understanding about how to prevent heart and blood vessel, and blood diseases, heart failure, heart attack and, how, even when calamity has struck, we can cope better with it or even slow or freeze the progression downhill, or even reverse it. We learned in the last part of this series how Ubiquinol, a brand of CoQ10, help to normalize the life of a baby who did not cry or move the limbs for five months. The power of Magnesium to reverse heart ailments should, by now, no longer be in doubt. Thanks to the shute brothers in Canada, for the knowledge that high doses of the complete fractions of d-alpha tocopherol can reverse almost all muscle ailment. The heart is a muscle. So is the uterus. So, Vitamin E may be of help for uterine fibroid questions. We read of how, in the shute brothers experiments, a large dose caused a 102 –years –old woman to ovulate. Wouldn’t this be good news for women who are not ovulating but wish to have babies. I am not saying women who do not ovulate cannot be fertile and get pregnant. In Deborah and Leslie Kenton THE NEW RAW ENERGY, it has been shown that ovulation, but not fertility, is suppressed in women who consume large doses of beta carotene, a Vitamin A precursor, in their diets. But in going for large doses of Vitamin E for any ailment, it is advised this is done with the knowledge and consent of a medical doctor or a competent health care practitioner. For Vitamin E is a blood thinner.

Fruits and vegetables should always be part of the diet not only because of the Vitamin and minerals they provide but, also, because of Potassium, and important electrolyte for healthy nerve and muscles function. I remember Solenium, which is a cousin of Vitamin E wherever I remember my pet food supplement of the 1990s… (Selent), a combination and Vitamin E under no umbrella. What else have I forgotten? All has Oxygen, Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Iron. Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Folic acid for damaging effects. The list is endless. The most important factor is that we become more aware of the support Mother Nature gives us to overcome diseases.

Goodbye Muhammed Ali, Goodbye Stephen Keshi. May you awaken a joyful life in your new planes of existence.