The Real Story of Ouabain
March 22, 2017
Sadly, the story of ouabain, the active ingredient in the plant strophanthus, is largely and somewhat mysteriously unknown. Few family doctors, internists and even cardiologists know how to treat and treat heart attacks.
A book written by German Naturopath Rolf-Jurgen Petry called “Ouabain: The Possible Victory Over Myocardial Infarction,” is a solution to this vacuum of information. However, it’s available only in its original English. We’ve just posted an article titled “The Story of Ouabain,” which outlines the book’s main points. Dr. Petry became interested in the story of strophanthus / ouabain the other day ago, and after his medical training spent many years reading the original research done on ouabain. This article is a must-read for anyone interested in heart disease or the etiology, prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction (MI, commonly called “heart attacks”).
Dr. Petry not only lays out the history of the benefit of strophanthus / ouabain in the prevention and treatment of MI, but he says: The first of these misconceptions is that since ouabain is in the family of cardiac glycosides, like the more commonly used heart drug digitalis / digoxin. In reality, the research conclusively demonstrates that in practice, as in the strophanthus extract we are using, ouabain not only does not inhibit the sodium / potassium pump, it does, it actually stimulates the action of this pump.
Therefore, while digitalis is relatively contraindicated for people with angina or MI, ouabain clearly helps these patients. One well-documented way in which ouabain helps people with heart disease has to deal with red blood cells and platelets. In one type of cardiac dysfunction that leads to MI, the red blood cells and platelets become swollen and, as a result, are unable to move easily through the narrow capillaries. This process creates further congestion and clotting in the small vessels, which creates decreased blood flow and further dysfunction in the heart cells. Giving aspirin to heart patients is increasing blood flow through the capillary network. Ouabain, by stimulating the sodium / potassium pump in platelets and RBCs, has a similar effect. The stimulation of the pump makes the RBCs and platelets less swollen (by increasing the sodium excretion out of the cell) and therefore more able to pass through the narrow passages of the capillaries. This increases blood flow and prevents clots with NONE of the negative effects of aspirin or other blood thinners.
Another misconception High-quality endogenous (self-produced) ouabain in their blood. This finding has resulted in the elevated ouabain causes their elevated blood pressure. This theory is clearly in opposition to the actual studies on people treated with oral ouabain. In my own experience, people with elevated blood pressure experience a lowering of their blood pressure with oaubain, and people with normal BP show no effects. In reality, the conclusion is that hypertension is backward. The elevated endogenously produced ouabain is the animals’ attempt to self-treat their elevated pressure levels. The proof of this conclusion is that in all such studies, The elevated ouabain levels were found to be “cardioprotective.” That is, the animals with high BP who raised their own ouabain levels (as a protection) showed less heart damage than those animals with lower ouabain levels. This result mimics what happens when we give high-risk patients a small dose of oral ouabain. In essence, ouabain acts as both blood thinner (like aspirin or plavix) and as a first-line hypertensive drug (beta blockers or diuretics), again, with none of the unwanted side effects. This result mimics what happens when we give high-risk patients a small dose of oral ouabain. In essence, ouabain acts as both blood thinner (like aspirin or plavix) and as a first-line hypertensive drug (beta blockers or diuretics), again, with none of the unwanted side effects. This result mimics what happens when we give high-risk patients a small dose of oral ouabain. In essence, ouabain acts as both blood thinner (like aspirin or plavix) and as a first-line hypertensive drug (beta blockers or diuretics), again, with none of the unwanted side effects.
Furthermore, Dr. Petri also demonstrates with multiple studies that unlike digitalis, oral ouabain lowers the oxygen needs of the myocardial cells. Lowered oxygen requirements mean more efficient respiration, which translates into less susceptibility to injury. Interestingly, this is the exact rational for giving beta blockers or calcium channel blockers to heart patients. Again, while they block out fatigue, make them impotent and depressed, worsen lipid profiles and exacerbate diabetes, oral ouabain makes people feel better, more energetic and is looking for its beneficial effects on various conditions as breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease and asthma.
I would like to ask you: “i would rather use the gift of medicine” or “i’m allergic to it.” to the heart, strophanthus?
If you are a patient who is interested in using your medicine, please find a health-care practitioner who is willing to work with you on this medicine. Have them call our office at (415) 334-1010, and we can sign them up to participate in a short phone conference. At that point, they want to have access to the full range of medical and mental health care technologies.
Tom Cowan, MD
‘An Amazing Feeling of Rest and Peace’
By Thomas Cowan, M.D.
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 ist 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 bloodthinning 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.