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Heart Disease

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008

Summary

see also  angina, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, cholesterol control, poor circulation.

Overview - Heart disease, sometimes referred to as cardiovascular disease, includes a number of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels.  Conditions such as heart attacks, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, hypertensionHeart, and congenital heart disease are all subcategories of heart disease.  It is the leading cause of death of both men and women in the US as well as worldwide.  The primary causes are linked to bad habits of our modern society including over eating, lack of physical exercise, unhealthy diet, smoking, and alcohol. 

A brief description of some of the subcategories and terms associated with heart diseases follows: 

·    Angina, is a symptom and not an actual heart disease.  It is a symptom of the heart not receiving enough oxygen which in turn causes the chest pains termed angina. Go to this page for more information, angina.

·    Arrhythmia (tachycarida) refers to a number of conditions where the heart beat is irregular. Some such palpitations such as a skipped beat or an occasional strong beat are not uncommon and normal but continued or strong palpitations can be indicators of life threatening problems and should be taken seriously.

·    Arteriosclerosis, also know as hardening of the arteries, occurs when arteries become thick with deposits or loose their flexibility thus limiting the amount of blood that can be delivered.  (Atherosclerosis is a subset of arteriosclerosis and is specifically the build up of plaque (fats) in the arteries.) See also poor circulation

·    AtheriosclerosisAtherosclerosis is a subset of arteriosclerosis and is specifically the build up of plaque (fats) in the arteries. Someone with Pad has atherosclerosis causing them to experience claudication. See also poor circulation

·    Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia. Misdirected electrical signals in the heart cause the two upper chambers of the heart to contract irregularly and fast which does not produce proper blood flow.

·    Cardiomyopathy refers to problems in the heart muscle itself (myocardium). People with cardiomyopathy are often at risk of arrhythmia and/or sudden cardiac death.

·    Congenital heart disease describes those heart irregularities that were present at birth.

·    Congestive heart failure (or CHF), occurs when restricted arteries or other conditions limit the blood supply to the heart and weaken it to the point that it cannot deliver sufficient blood to the body.

·    Coronary artery spasm is a brief contraction of the muscles of an artery wall in the heart that interrupts proper blood flow to heart muscles. If they continue they may lead to angina or even a heart attack.

·    Coronary heart disease is when there is not a sufficient blood supply to the muscles of the heart.  Most commonly this comes from restrictions in the arteries.  Common symptoms are chest pains (angina pectoris) or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

·    Heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when blood flow to part of the heart is blocked such that the heart muscle is affected. This typically occurs with a blood clot blocking one of the arteries to or in the heart.

·    Hypertensive heart diseases are conditions that occur because of high blood pressure. See this page for more information, hypertension.

·    Inflammatory heart disease includes a number of conditions where heart muscles or tissue become inflamed.

·    Palpitations are a common feeling that your heart is skipping a beat or beating too fast or too hard. Most of the times they are not serious all though they can be a signal of an atrial fibrillation.

·    Pericarditis is the condition where the covering around the heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed most commonly from a viral infection and less common a bacterial or fungal infection.

·    Peripheral heart disease (PAD) is the condition caused by atherosclerosis. Someone with PAD has atherosclerosis causing them to experience claudication.

.·    Valvular heart disease (VHD) describes those maladies that affect one of the four major valves in the heart.

How Oils Can Help.  Oils and the experiences of others for some heart conditions are on separate pages on this website, they include high blood pressure, low blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Some heart conditions, including congenital and valvular irregularities, require specialized medical attention or even surgical intervention.  In these cases oils can be used to help with symptoms and to facilitate healing.  In other cases oils have been known to help the body in healing itself.  See the tab above Suggested Protocols for more information.

 

[search helps: heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, angina, chest pain, coronary artery, cardiovascular, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, artheriosclerosis, cholesterol, arrythmia, cardiac dyshythmia, arithmia, arrithmia, palpitations, proarrhythmia]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  CypressE, Helichrysum, LavenderEC, Marjoram, MelissaEC, On Guard, PeppermintEC, RosemaryEC, Ylang YlangEC

Essential oils based products: Aroma Touch Technique, Life Long Vitality supplements   

Also consider: Basil, Deep BlueC, Frankincense, Geranium, GingerC, LemonC, PrimRose, Sandalwood, ThymeC, Wild OrangeEC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Editorial note: Just as a reminder the common protocol if you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack is to 1) take two aspirin, 2) call 911, 3) call someone close by to be with you, 4) sit (don't lie down) and 5) wait for help to arrive. [if aspirin is not available Wintergreen topically over heart gives similar benefits]

Consistently use the Life Long Vitality supplements and the Aroma Touch Technique spinal treatment.

Make a blend of equal parts Cypress, Helichrysum, Lavender and Marjoram and apply topically to the chest area over the heart, the bottoms of the feet (reflexology points) and the wrists at least two times a day. Supplement with oils from list below for specific needs.

Or combine 3 drops each Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang in a capsule and take one daily.

A general overview of how oils can supplement these includes:

·    Peppermint increases circulation

·    Helichrysum improves circulation and reduces blood viscosity.

·    Ylang Ylang has been used traditionally to balance heart function.

·    Marjoram helps smooth muscle tissue (heart).

·    Cypress and Wild Orange ease spasms

·    Deep Blue, Lavender and Ylang Ylang ease arrhythmia symptoms

·    Ginger, Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme improve circulation damaged by arteriosclerosis

·    Lavender, Wild Orange and Ylang Ylang settle an increased heart rate

·    Melissa, Peppermint and Ylang Ylang settle palpitations

Experiences and Testimonials of others

A submission directly to  EverythingEssential.me.  Our thanks to:

      Valerie Rutter
      valerierutter@centric.net  

Valerie - In April of 2009, I introduced the essential oils to my mom and had her start with the Dr. Mom kit and also on the LLW pack.  She has been going to the hematologist every two to three weeks to get a blood shot (procrit) since she had gone into Congestive Heart Failure in 2001.  After she had been taking the LLW and the oils daily for a month, she went back for her normal visit to the hematologist and didn’t need a shot.  She ended up not needing a shot for two months!  They gave her a shot at that two month mark and she went ahead and kept on taking the LLW and the oils daily in her water.  She has since gone five consecutive months without needing another procrit shot because her blood is working so well for her now.  I can’t wait to see if she will need a shot at the next visit!

 

Rob - Aroma Touch Technique using Heart Healthy oils

The AromaTouch Technique is a fairly new spinal treatment, but is based on experience and an understanding essential oils and how they enhance systemic benefits and aid in bringing out bodies back into balance.  When dealing with Aromatouch and the heart, keep in mind that Aromatouch is not a magic bullet that can cure or heal years of bad eating or physical habits or reverse the effects of genetic disorders of the cardiovascular system.  But proper application of the most effective CPTG essential oils can greatly aid the body during it’s natural healing process.  For someone who is suffering from heart disease, consider the benefits of the AromaTouch Technique.  

Below is a list of other essential oils options for someone dealing with cardiovascular disease.  These oils are not meant to replace the oils used in AromaTouch, which are included and combined for specific reasons and with specific oils.  But substituting certain oils for AromaTouch oils may be beneficial in dealing with certain symptomologies associated with heart disease.

Stress Reduction
   Balance
  Ylang Ylang

Immune Enhancement
   Basil (and inflammation)
   On Guard

Inflammatory Response
   Aroma Touch
   Helichrysum
   Wintergreen/Birch

Homeostasis
   Peppermint
   Lemon
   Marjoram

These oils would be applied using the same method and order of AromaTouch therapy.  Consider rotating between the above recipe and the original AromaTouch oils on a weekly or bi weekly basis, administering  AromaTouch 2-4 times weekly.

Anonymous - Now being able to recognize the very beginning of an angina attack before it peaks, I use Peppermint essential oil to alleviate the initial symptoms before it becomes necessary to go to meds. My oxygen supply seems to increase and the symptoms go away.

 

Monica - Any ideas for oils to protect hubby's heart?  He's on vacation... is coming home early... not feeling well and thinks he may have possibly had a mild heart attack.  I've made an appointment for him with the cardiologist on Friday this week, but in the meantime would appreciate any ideas.

Oh - and for the record, he didn't have any chest pain... just really tight/sore in left shoulder (front and back), neck pain, jaw tightness and pain, dizziness, sweating, and queazy tummy...  but apparently, one doesn't HAVE to have chest pain, and all of his symptoms that he DID have, were enough to warrant a referral to the heart doctor from his regular doctor.

Rob - Have him apply Peppermint over his heart, neck and shoulders at least twice daily and every time he feels discomfort.  The increased blood flow will ease pain and discomfort.  He should cup and inhale the Peppermint after applying it. Also use the AromaTouch Technique daily for a week or so.  Marjoram, Basil and Ylang Ylang are also heart healthy oils.

Tamalu - Having had a heart condition, I know the necessity of minerals to support heart function. I would "test" him for higher dosages of the VM of the Life Long Wellness supplement and consider Marjoram, Helichrysum and Lavender. With my heart concern I used Oregano and On Guard as antibiotics to protect my heart (the hospital would have put me on antibiotics anyway). I also had terrific results with White Fir and Birch for inflammation.  I didn't need them very often, and do not need them at all anymore (the problem repaired itself).

Julie Ann - Emily Wright, an essential oil expert, told me to use Ylang Ylang and Helichrysum on the wrists and heart area for heart problems.  I would also add Peppermint and Cypress for it.   Layer it to ramp up the frequency of the oils.   One more thing consider Marjoram, it is for muscles.  Your heart is one big muscle and Marjoram works wonderfully for restoring the rhythm.

Pat - I also have a heart blend using many oils others have mentioned that I use and feel that it really helps. I blend equal amounts of Cypress, Basil, Lavender, Helichrysum and Peppermint. I put the blend in a roller bottle and apply it to the heart area, the back of my neck and the bottoms of my feet.

 

Annie - My 88 year old mother-in-law is suffering with arrhythmias. She is also a little weak, maybe this is heart related. Does any one have experience in this area?  By the way, she will not take the vitamins but is open to using essential oils.

Pat - Rub this powerful oil blend topically on her hands, feet and heart: Cypress, Helichrysum, Marjoram, and Lavender.

Kathy - The blend of Cypress, Helichrysum, Marjoram, and Lavender sounds great.  I helped an arrhythmia my uncle had with Peppermint topically on his heart and aromatically every time he felt them come on.   Additionally, we used some heart healthy oils daily like Helichrysum, Elevation and Citrus Bliss on his chest and neck morning and night with a light massage.

Too bad your mother-in-law will not take vitamins because doTerra's supplements (LLW) are excellent for the heart.

 

Nutty - I have a friend with chronic heart disease.  She is not familiar with essential oils and is skeptical of their ability to help.  Anything I can suggest?

Rob - One thing to consider is that research has found a clear connection between heart disease and periodontal health. (see tab on Science and Research)

Even Listerine has used this research to promote the advantages of regular mouth rinsing.  Albeit with a chemicalized, food colored, alcohol laden, rinse. Still, my personal opinion is that they are onto something. I would consider a twice daily routine of oil pulling with VCO, Oregano, Lemon and switching weekly to using On Guard.  This will help both the mouth and the heart disease that can often accompany it.

Also consider Marjoram and Helichrysum oils massaged over the heart every night.   Both are considered heart healthy oils.  I would also drink at least 3 quarts of Lemon water (3-4 drops per quart) per day and apply Grapefruit oil over the liver daily.

Of course with all of this couple it with exercise and quality eating like your life depended on it (which it does).

 

Judy - What oils would you recommend for someone who has had a heart attack a short time ago. They can't afford much so if they could only one or two oils  which would you suggest for them to use?

Pat - Frankincense and Marjoram.

Rob - Peppermint and Marjoram.  Apply twice daily, 4 drops of each massaged over the heart area. The Peppermint increases oxygen flow and the Marjoram is a very heart healthy oil for the heart muscles.

Tammy – Also consider Geranium and Lavender for the possible anxiety?

 

Phil - I have a good friend that has been fighting an increased heart rate for the last few months.  The doctors have been experimenting with different prescriptions with no luck so far except some very nasty side effects.  Are there any essential oils that are supposed to decrease heart rate?

Rob - I have a friend that used use a nitro spray for an increased heart rate and angina, but now uses Ylang Ylang and Serenity to calm his rate.  Apply a few drops over the heart area and massage in, then cup and inhale. Also I have heard that for some, Peppermint can be calming to the heart.

John - Ylang Ylang, Marjoram and Frankincense would be oils that I would use.  Spinal treatment to the back or front and inhale the oils. Yes!  I forgot Serenity!  That would be good too.

 

Kathy - My aunt has had radiation, which has in turn hardened her heart valve. She has just gone through Chemo and double mastectomy this past year and is cancer free now.  But now she is worried about going though heart surgery.  Is there any oils or blends or protocols that anyone knows about that might help?

Deborah - cardiology is my expertise having been in the field for over 25 years.  Unfortunately, there are no oils nor anything holistically that can alter this type of situation.  When a person has aortic valve stenosis or mitral valve stenosis, it means that the valve flaps are no longer able to fully close.  They have become hardened, may have calcium buildup on them and/or have become stiffened.  She will probably have valvoplasty (which is a procedure that uses a balloon inserted into the valve and inflated to make the opening a little bigger) or if she may need valve replacement surgery (either a mechanical or porcine valve).  In the meantime, as well as, approaching any of these treatments, she can always benefit by any of the wonderful oils to help calm, relax, and elevate her mood.

 

Pat - These oils are known to improve cardiovascular conditions:

·    Helichrysum improves circulation and reduces blood viscosity

·    Ylang Ylang has been used traditionally to balance heart function

·    Marjoram helps smooth muscle tissue (heart)

·    Cypress improves circulation and lymphatic drainage

·    Rosemary is also a powerful oil for heart conditions

Use these oils individually or in a blend of equal amounts and rub them on the carotidal arteries (side of neck) and the heart area. The heart reflexology points will give the best results.

Protocols folks recommend for children

 

 

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils

From Julia

Cayenne Pepper (ground or fresh) is known for its vascular healing properties, and is heart food. The problem with cayenne is you have to start out real small and slowly adjust to the heat. Start with a pinch and gradually get to 1 teaspoon. It will strengthen veins, heart, and blood.

One way to get cayenne Pepper down is in Apple Blasters (I make these when we have colds as well)

·    3 apples, juiced

·    1 Lemon, juiced

·    1 knuckle sized Ginger root, juiced

·    Cayenne to taste (my kids can do 1/4 teaspoon at a time)

You can also add a drop of Lemon essential oil, or On Guard and get away with it. Mix it well.

Another heart food is Hawthorn Berry. The syrup/herb can be picked up at a Herb store.

What Science & Research are saying

Hedieh Ghavidel - This well written and informative article on heart attack was on Press TV, Tehran on 3 December 2008.

Research shows most people wait up to two hours after the onset of heart attack symptoms before seeking medical attention, either because they are uncertain about their symptoms, think it is a false alarm or are afraid to acknowledge what is happening to them. Clot-busting medication and other treatments which can restore blood flow and save muscle are only effective in the first hour after the attack. Therefore, it is crucial to immediately seek medical care in order to prevent death. Like any other muscle in the body, in order to function, the heart needs blood flow to carry oxygen to it. When there is not enough oxygen, the muscle begins to suffer and gradually die. The buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels in the form of plaque narrows the arteries, restricting the amount of blood flowing through them. In the absence of adequate blood supply, the heart muscle begins to ache, resulting in angina. If the plaque ruptures, a small blood clot can form within the blood vessel blocking blood flow. When that part of the heart loses its blood supply completely, the muscle dies and a heart attack occurs. No one knows why some people develop heart disease and others do not. A number of clues and risk factors have been identified which can help determine high-risk individuals for heart attack such as: Those with a family history of heart disease, smokers, drug abusers, diabetics, individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides levels or high homocysteine levels, sedentary individuals and those under stress.

Drinking 10-20 cups a day can provide protection against heart attack.

Depression and heart attack are often linked; therefore, treating depression is important. An underactive thyroid may increase the risk of heart attack. Large doses of vitamin D - over 1000 units a day- can be dangerous for people with heart disease. People with high blood pressure should avoid cold weather as lower temperatures increase blood pressure, putting strain on the heart and sometimes triggering a heart attack. One third of heart attacks occur without warning and are referred to as 'silent heart attacks'. The elderly and diabetics often experience this form of heart attack. The remainder are preceded by months or even years of symptoms, most commonly angina - chest pain aggravated by stress or physical exertion and relieved by rest. Most people complain of intermittent angina, shortness of breath and unusual fatigue in the days or weeks leading up to a heart attack. A constant sensation of heartburn that persists for days and is not relieved with antacids can be a sign of impending heart attack. Heart attack symptoms commonly include: - Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. Discomfort can be described as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. - Pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, stomach - Shortness of breath - Profuse sweating - cold sweat - Nausea and/or vomiting - Light-headedness In women and the elderly, heart attack symptoms are sometimes so vague that they can be unnoticed. The only complaint may go extreme weakness or fatigue.

Eating walnuts every day may reduce the risk of heart attack.

Nevertheless, women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. How to react: If you think you may be having a heart attack DO NOT WASTE ANY TIME IN SEEKING MEDICAL ASSISTANCE as any delay can result in greater damage to the heart. Stop what you are doing, sit down, stay calm and assess the situation. Inform someone about what is happening. If discomfort and sweating does not go away, IMMEDIATELY call for emergency help. Do not drive to the hospital yourself as there is always danger of suffering another attack. If you have nitroglycerine pills, take one every five minutes, up to three pills in total. Take an aspirin and chew it as it may help prevent a blood clot. CPR coughing -- vigorous coughing -- may help you remain conscious long enough to call for help. Preventative measures against heart attack: Antioxidant-rich foods (especially red onions), almonds, sesame seeds and grains, and omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart attack. Eating approximately seven walnuts a day may reduce the risk of heart attack by 8 - 10 percent. High fiber diets, especially whole grain breakfast cereals along with foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12 (leafy green vegetables and fruits) and folic acid (beans, asparagus, and spinach), reduce the risk of heart attack. Green tea has good antioxidant properties. Drinking 10-20 cups a day can provide protection against heart attack. Ginkgo biloba and Ginger root strengthen the heart and are helpful for chest pain. Rosemary and primRose can help manage angina. To relieve stress and help relaxation, add a few drops of Lavender, Sandalwood orYlang Ylang essential oil to a tissue and inhale the aroma throughout the day.

Ginkgo biloba strengthens the heart and is good for chest pain.

Do not eat too much red meat, fat, salt, sugars or white flour. Eliminate fried foods, coffee, black tea, colas and alcohol from your diet. Do not smoke and avoid second hand smoke. Exercise more. Chest pain is ALWAYS an emergency condition as aside from heart attack it may be caused by a blood clot in the lung or an aortic dissection or tear. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek medical attention even when one is unsure that the symptoms are heart-disease related.

 

Perio.org (American Academy of Periodontology) lists 16 recent studies on the connection between an unhealthy mouth and heart disease.  The most recent is included for quick reference.

 

Healthy Gums and a Healthy Heart: The Perio-Cardio Connection

Clinical recommendations encourage cardiologists to examine the mouth and periodontists to ask questions about heart health.

CHICAGO - June 1, 2009 - Cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States, is a major public health issue contributing to 2,400 deaths each day. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum tissues that support the teeth affects nearly 75 percent of Americans and is the major cause of adult tooth loss. And while the prevalence rates of these disease states seems grim, research suggests that managing one disease may reduce the risk for the other.

A consensus paper on the relationship between heart disease and gum disease was published concurrently in the online versions of two leading publications, the American Journal of Cardiology (AJC), a publication circulated to 30,000 cardiologists, and the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), the official publication of the American Academy or Periodontology (AAP). Developed in concert by cardiologists, the physicians specialized in treating diseases of the heart, and periodontists, the dentists with advanced training in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, the paper contains clinical recommendations for both medical and dental professionals to use in managing patients living with, or who are at risk for, either disease. As a result of the paper, cardiologists may now examine a patient’s mouth, and periodontists may begin asking questions about heart health and family history of heart disease.

The clinical recommendations were developed at a meeting held earlier this year of top opinion-leaders in both cardiology and periodontology. In addition to the clinical recommendations, the consensus paper summarizes the scientific evidence that links periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and explains the underlying biologic and inflammatory mechanisms that may be the basis for the connection.

According to Kenneth Kornman, DDS, PhD, Editor of the Journal of Periodontology and a co-author of the consensus report, the cooperation between the cardiology and periodontal communities is an important first step in helping patients reduce their risk of these associated diseases. “Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal disease may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Since several studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, we felt it was important to develop clinical recommendations for our respective specialties. Therefore, you will now see cardiologists and periodontists joining forces to help our patients.”

For patients, this may mean receiving some unconventional advice from their periodontist or cardiologist. The clinical recommendations outlined in the consensus paper advise that periodontists not only inform their patients of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with periodontal disease, but also assess their risk for future cardiovascular disease and guide them to be evaluated for the major risk factors. The paper also recommends that physicians managing patients with cardiovascular disease evaluate the mouth for the basic signs of periodontal disease such as significant tooth loss, visual signs of oral inflammation, and receding gums.

While additional research will help identify the precise relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, recent emphasis has been placed on the role of inflammation - the body’s reaction to fight off infection, guard against injury or shield against irritation. While inflammation initially intends to have a protective effect, untreated chronic inflammation can lead to dysfunction of the affected tissues, and therefore to more severe health complications.

“Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are inflammatory diseases, and inflammation is the common mechanism that connects them,” says Dr. David Cochran, DDS, PhD, President of the AAP and Chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “The clinical recommendations included in the consensus paper will help periodontists and cardiologists control the inflammatory burden in the body as a result of gum disease or heart disease, thereby helping to reduce further disease progression, and ultimately to improve our patients’ overall health. That is our common goal.”

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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.