The heart and its healing plants
Traditional Herbal Remedies and Modern Heart Conditions
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I explored the ethnobotanical perspective on ancient beliefs about the heart, heart-strengthening herbs, and folk remedies for cardiovascular diseases, I was fascinated by the diversity of traditional knowledge and the use of plants.
Among our ancestors as well as indigenous people still maintaining traditional diets there is little record of heart diseases in the modern sense. In the traditional worldview, the heart was considered the home of the soul and the source of love and vitality. As such, heart sickness was not seen as a result of poor nutrition, too much stress, or lack of exercise, but reflected an imbalance of the heart’s emotional and spiritual energies. Plants and folk remedies used as traditional heart medicine worked on the mental and spiritual level to help make the heart happy again.
In this book I examines traditional understandings of the heart from early European cultures and indigenous peoples of the Americas, Asia, and Africa as well as a wealth of plants used in both ancient and contemporary times to treat heart conditions and ailments. I explores the heart as an organ of perception as well as its ability to remember, citing studies about the phenomenon of complete personality changes following a transplant. I examines what makes the heart sick, including different healing paradigms used to address the causes. We also looks at how time is perceived by the heart and how the modern epidemic of heart disease can be linked to our culture’s pervasive disconnection from nature’s rhythms.
Presenting a materia medica of heart-strengthening herbs and folk remedies for cardiovascular diseases, the author offers in-depth descriptions of plants used for millennia to treat heart-related conditions as well as plants in use by modern herbalists and cardiologists. Sharing a holistic view of the heart—and heart disease—based on traditional perspectives, ethnomedical research, and herbal wisdom, this book reveals new ways to heal the heart by recognizing its integrated role in our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.