First Do No Harm






“When your heart speaks, take good notes.” Anonymous






Over and over people admit that stress is killing them. Does it every end? Nope. The secret to conquering stress is not eliminating it, but learning to manage it.





















Cardiac Arrhythmia
From our book Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002

Cardiac Arrhythmia, sometimes called palpitations of the heart, is an irregular heartbeat. Normally, one cannot feel one’s heart beating, until something goes wrong. During palpitations you most certainly can feel your heart pounding, fluttering, or as some describe it, a flip-flop sensation. Beating can be irregular or steady and it might come on slowly or suddenly.

Tachycardia is a very rapid heartbeat, racing up to 240 times per minute. This can last a few seconds or a few days.

Most often, arrhythmia such as this does not indicate serious disease. There could be myriad factors causing these occasional palpitations such as decongestants, diet aids, caffeine, alcohol, strong sudden emotions or fright, and prescription medications.

In cases of stubborn arrhythmia, it can be hard to track down the cause or causes. Because of this, modern medicine in its sub-infinite wisdom has created the term paroxysmal arrhythmia meaning it comes and goes. However, since nutritional therapies can reverse arrhythmia, the cause is once again, and in most cases, malnutrition.

One major cause of arrhythmia is a damaged heart muscle. After a heart attack, many patients experience arrhythmia. One form of arrhythmia, where the heart slows considerably with longer periods between beats is handled by implanting a pacemaker. Treating the symptoms only, physicians prescribe a slew of anti-arrhythmic drugs, calcium antagonists, and beta-blockers.

We will mention here, and repeat towards the end of our work on cardiovascular care, that any patient who wants to get off the drugs prescribed by a physician must coordinate this with the physician as nutritional methods are incorporated. It is extremely dangerous to simply stop taking a drug prescribed for a heart disorder. Always keep in mind that nutritional therapies do not act as quickly as modern medicines. This is one reason why modern medicine is so attractive. You take a pill and poof, the pain is gone; works in an instant. Nutritional therapies can take a month to two months to six months to a year to two years. Let’s face it: we did not get sick overnight. It has taken a lifetime of poor nutrition to arrive at this illness. Don’t expect the cure to take overnight, unless you are taking conventional drugs. These will work overnight, but they won’t cure the problem. They treat the symptoms only. Nutritional therapies go to the cause of the problem.

Before we jump into the nutrition we need to reverse chronic arrhythmia (caused by malnutrition), let’s take a look at other factors than can cause arrhythmia.

The adrenal glands produce adrenaline during periods of shock. This increases the heart rate so that we may “fight or flee” depending on the situation. However, did you know that too much insulin in your bloodstream could also induce the adrenal glands to release adrenaline? A diet rich in carbohydrates will cause your pancreas to release insulin. In this case, a low carbohydrate diet is recommended and all wheat products eliminated. Dr West recommends to add Drenamin from Standard Process Labs (3-9/day) to the diet, and most will get better within a month though it could take up to ninety days. To order Drenamin, and any other products from Standard Process Labs, you must find a health care practitioner who handles their products, or contact Immune Systems, at 800.231.8063.

Dr West has discovered that hormonal imbalances can be the cause of arrhythmia. He especially found this in his patients who were on birth control pills. So if you suspect this to be your problem, you might want to try a three-month test without birth control pills. You can order Symplex F for women and Symplex M for men (3-6/day). These are hormone protomorphogens (the tiniest specks of life made specifically by your body for each kind of tissue and control factor) that will help to normalize your hormones.

A great heart tonic for cardiac arrhythmia and tachycardia is the Motherwort herb. It is used throughout Europe and Asia as a general heart tonic, but its reputation is best as a heart regulator. Again, this is a wonderful tonic, but not a cure. It is to be used to help stabilize your heartbeat while you incorporate dietary changes to permanently reverse heart disease.

Finally, as the Chinese tell us in their most ancient medical literature, we cannot affect the energies needed for proper health (in acupuncture) if the nerves aren’t right. Thus, they invented chiropractic. A very good adjustment in your spine can help to put an end to your arrhythmia. It might take more than one adjustment and it could take just one simple adjustment, depending on your condition.

Nutritional Therapies for Cardiac Arrhythmia

Over a period of time nutritional deficiencies will result in failure to create or conduct the electrical impulses necessary to trigger the heart to beat. We know this because of thousands of studies in malnutrition and because when proper nutrition is regained, heartbeats return to normal.

The nutrients that are missing are Vitamin C, L-carnitine, and magnesium. For treatment, some studies show Coenzyme Q10 to be helpful too, however, let’s first discuss an alternative to supplementation.

Prevention is always better than curing. As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We acknowledge that vitamin C, because of the toxic world we live in, must be supplemented today. In a cleaner world with fewer poisons in our water, food, and air, 500 mg of vitamin C is probably all that is needed per day, and perhaps even less, 300mg or 200mg. The RDA, which most nutritionists laugh at, are set so ridiculously low as to make sure that everyone in the America stays on the edge of disease. As for magnesium, yes, we can get this from our diet.

One cup of brown rice has 265mg of magnesium. Spinach is high, as are all leafy green veggies; pinto beans and black beans (95mg and 121mg per cup) are high also. Meats, nuts, whole grains and wheat bran, legumes, nuts, bananas, apricots, dry mustard, curry powder all contain enough magnesium to obviate the need for supplementation. We’ve discussed already the role of magnesium in cardiovascular care, and its importance cannot be overemphasized: it aids in absorption of potassium which will prevent cardiac arrhythmia in addition to dilating (expanding) blood vessels and preventing platelets from clumping and forming clots (thrombosis). In prevention, we can get enough magnesium in our diet to live long and healthy lives. For an existing disorder, we might have to supplement.

As for L-carnitine, you’re not going to get much from your diet if you are a vegetarian. There is no RDA for carnitine, but there should be. It is found in Dr Schulze’s superfoods (also available through, but one of the best ways to get enough carnitine and coenzyme Q10 is through, believe it or not, exercise. Nowhere in this publication will you ever hear us tell you that you need a tough, physical workout like Tae Bo, or any other aerobic exercise, mainly because aerobic exercise has never proven itself to be better for your heart than yoga (or the more subtler forms of exercise such as Tai Chi and Qigong) or even meditation. For a healthy heart, any exercise is better than none. Your heart muscle is never “out of shape” (compared to our other muscles, that is). It can be undernourished, and after a heart attack parts of it can be damaged with cardiac myopathy (wasting of the tissues, and in some cases, dead tissues), but if it is not damaged, your heart is hardly ever out of shape. Making it beat 200 times a minute as opposed to 70 times per minute is not going to make it that much stronger. Feeding it the proper nutrition, sending it healing energy in yoga, qigong, tai chi, or meditation, or loving your work and finding happiness and joy in your life will make it as strong as it’s ever going to be.

We will, however, recommend aerobic exercise for your well being. People who work out feel better than people who don’t work out. Personally, I find aerobics and jogging boring and time consuming. Even that “runner’s high” doesn’t do it for me. But give me a rousing tennis match in which I can compete, and laugh at some of the crummy shots I make or nearly make, or at that tennis ball we’re never going to find cuz I hit it so far, then panting at the side of the court, pouring water over my head while lapping some up and having a great partner to laugh with; now that, to me, is the best exercise in the world. Laughing and exercising and having a good partner to compete against. Whether handball, racquetball or tennis, these to me are just plain fun. We will always inspire you to find an exercise you like, one that stimulates you to perform, and one that makes you happy. Just get off your duff and do something you like.

It is during your exercise period in which your body will create all the L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 you need for prevention of cardiac arrhythmia. Note that the amounts fabricated by your body are not therapeutic amounts, but rather they are your daily requirements. For therapeutic amounts you will have to supplement.

Dr West states: “For cases of arrhythmias with high blood pressure, I use the product Cardio-Plus from Standard Process Labs at a dose of two to five, taken three times daily with food. If your blood pressure is naturally low (without drugs), you must think about possible adrenal weakness and a deficiency of B vitamins. In this case, the product Vasculin would be more appropriate at the same dose as Cardio-Plus. In either case, Drenamin may also be needed at a dose of one to three, three times daily with food. Use these products, combined with proper mineral nutrition and the correct diet and exercise, and you will be on your way to treating the cause of your health problems.”

To reverse cardiac arrhythmia, most certainly exercise: walk. This is the best exercise for people with heart trouble. Walk.

We’ve discovered many sources claiming that Hawthorne Berry extract is a wonderful heart treatment. The berry is rich in certain flavonoids that help to dilate coronary and peripheral blood vessels and reduce the frequency and severity of angina attacks. It also seems to regularize blood pressure. We also found that the berry is an abundant source of certain chemicals called proanthocyanidins, which have antispasmodic effects. Thus the hawthorne berry might be an effective treatment for irregular heartbeat and arterial spasms, including Raynaud’s Syndrome. A standardized hawthorne berry extract should contain approximately 2% vitexin-2”-rhamnoside, which is normally extracted through a dry, hydroalcoholic process. Treatment with the hawthorne berry can be a good palliative (something that eliminates the symptoms) until your nutritional therapies kick in.

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