Healing a toxic heart

Ian was a smooth-skinned, fair-haired 70-year-old with a charming smile and peaceable demeanour. He looked nowhere near his age, yet his youthful appearance belied the internal workings of his body.

For some years, Ian had been experiencing a number of disquieting signs and symptoms: shortness of breath — especially when helping to lift bags of fertiliser and potting soil in his son’s landscaping business; a tight feeling in his chest, which had been medically diagnosed as angina and for which he took medication as needed; occasional dizziness and a feeling of disorientation — especially with a change of posture from bending to standing; brief, but disconcerting, alterations in heart rhythm; bouts of tachycardia, which were relieved if he lay supine immediately; strange ocular disturbances, as if myriad water droplets were shimmering in his peripheral vision; “floaters” that looked like fly droppings following his line of sight; increasing creeping numbness in his fingers and toes, greatly exacerbated by cold or windy weather; thumping sounds in his left ear when trying to go to sleep — the more he tried to bury his ear in his pillow to try and muffle the sound, the worse it became. Most nights he was forced to sleep on his right “less comfortable” side to minimise the noise generated by his internal plumbing.

Physical examination showed a slight degree of varicosity in Ian’s left calf muscle; a colourful splash of spider veins around both ankles; a small group of tophi in the helix of his right ear; a liberal sprinkling of Campbell de Morgan spots over his abdomen, especially between the nipples; and very marked “celery” lines on every fingernail. Ian’s entire system also proved to be extremely acidic.

Heart disease remains one of the most prevalent scourges of mankind. However, the diagnostic labelling of cardiac problems often fails to identify non-mechanical sources of tissue damage.

Ian had already undergone standard blood screening and cardiology tests and, to date, the only medication he took regularly was glyceryl trinitrate. “I don’t understand how I can have so many seemingly heart-related complaints and yet everything appears normal,” he said. “I don’t have high blood pressure. I’m not diabetic. My cholesterol levels are fine. I haven’t smoked for nearly 40 years.  I’m not overweight and I exercise regularly.

“If you can shed any light on what’s going on, my wife and family would sleep a lot easier. I think my wife lives in fear of me having a heart attack or stroke. Her own mother died of a totally unsuspected, ruptured aneurysm. The possibility of a sudden cardiovascular accident haunts her life, especially as I have all the symptoms yet, apparently, none of the causes.”

In similar situations, in my experience, a recurring finding is the effect of toxic chemicals — and so it proved in this case.


Tests revealed Ian was suffering from a number of major sensitivities repeatedly found to be associated with cardiovascular anomalies:

  • arsenic
  • mercury
  • lead
  • organochlorine pesticide residues
  • organophosphate pesticide residues
  • carbamates
  • motor vehicle exhaust emissions
  • chlorine
  • fluoride
  • bromine
  • plasticisers
  • sulphur dioxide
  • carbon monoxide
  • nitrogen oxides  
  • PCBs
  • dioxins

Although people normally associate poisons with immediate, short-term signs, the insidious cumulative effect of long-term exposure should never be overlooked or underestimated.

Heart nerves are particularly susceptible to even small traces of toxins. Many environmental chemicals can produce a wide range of arrhythmias, respiratory inhibitions and circulatory symptoms, and even slowly break down all-important cardiac muscles. Air pollution is a known trigger for escalating hospital admissions for ischaemic heart disease and even infarcts. There is no doubt, in my experience, that the greater the level of noxious materials the human body is exposed to, the higher the risk of heart disease.

Addressing Ian’s acidosis was of primary importance. Kidneys and lungs link together in the overall management of varying hydrogen ion loads. Cordyceps is an excellent remedy for supporting pulmonary-renal synergy, dilating bronchioles and enhancing oxygen delivery to kidneys.

Sometimes, finding the best synergistic food-based pharmacopoeia to support cellular cleansing and tissue repair can be challenging. Beet greens and aubergine were immediately available; blackberries could only be found in the freezer cabinet, while dandelion greens drew a blank. Ian eventually found a Tasmanian farmer who encouraged wild dandelion growth in his fields and was very happy to share some seeds. As Ian was a keen vegie grower, he encouraged his own dandelion patch and found that fresh dandelion leaves mixed with homegrown endive hearts made a very refreshing and palatable salad base.

Blackberries are one of nature’s superfoods. Their unique ratio of selenium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin K and bioflavonoids places them in the forefront of foods capable of mediating the harmful effects of sulphur dioxide and solvents in motor exhaust fumes. Their special properties are, therefore, of paramount importance in preventing ischaemic heart disease and even heart attack. Ian’s summer priority was to hunt out and gorge on the better-grown, delicious-tasting blackberries.

Other important factors included red linseed oil (for omega-3, iron, copper, pyridoxine, folate and tocopherol profile; avocado (combining carnitine, zinc, pantothenic acid and vitamin A) and French beans (synergists glutamine; calcium; thiamine; rubidium).

Together with these essential dietary inclusions, Ian was advised to add the benefit of three supplements:

  • Akermanite meal. A specific source of correct-ratio calcium, magnesium, silicon and oxygen, it improves circulatory delivery to the brain’s limbic respiratory centre.
  • A balanced mineral formula, which improves antigen reception on the surface of B cells.
  • A homœopathic formula containing copper, silver and cobalt iodide to enhance immunological memory.

Ian was warned that his remedial protocols would not act as a quick cure-all. He reported a noticeable improvement after eight weeks and, by the end of 11 months, declared himself fully free of all his previous health concerns.


Karin Cutter ran a naturopathic clinic in Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia. She has recently retired. 


Karin Cutter

Karin Cutter

Karin Cutter ran a naturopathic clinic in Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia.

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