21st March 2016

By Benedikt Just

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Could it be, that the best treatment for heart failure and heart attacks was already discovered 100 years ago, but nowadays even alternative medicine has forgotten about it?

For many decades now, heart-related problems have been among the top killers of human life. Worldwide, thousands of people die of heart problems every day [1]. Billions have been spent on treatments and research but the mortality rate for heart diseaseis similar to that of cancer. Overall, half of the patients die within just 4 years, the current standard medication for heart failure is just 3–4 percent more effective than a placebo, and aGerman study shows the efficiency of newly invented medications has dropped significantly over the last 30 years [2].

Could it be that a comeback of the forgotten natural remedy, Ouabain, could provide the answer?

Nowadays, anyone who is even just mildly interested in heart health knows about the importance and beneficial effects that lifestyle changes have on any disease, including heart disease. But what about all those people who, for whatever reason, cannot make such profound changes in their lives? Is the current treatment approach—with surgeries, and lots of drugs with lots of side effects—the best that heart medicine has to offer?

Ouabain, the Forgotten Heart Remedy

A long time ago, there was already agentle, effectiveplant-based remedy for the troubled human heart. But unfortunately, today only a handful of physicians outside of Germany know about Ouabain.

Africa, 1861, the Livingstone expedition:For many weeks, John Kirk, an English botanist accompanying explorer David Livingston on his expedition, had been having serious trouble with his heart. One morning, after brushing his teeth, he suddenly realized that all of a sudden, his heart problems were gone. He was puzzled. Trying to find the explanation, he discovered that his toothbrush had been in contact with Ouabain seeds he had collected from indigenous people the day before.

Ouabain can be found in the roots, stems, leaves, and seeds of the Acokanthera schimperi(pictured left) and Strophanthus gratus plants (pictured above), both of which are native to eastern Africa.

Was that accidental discovery, over 100 years ago, already the best remedy for heart patients?

A couple of years later, Ouabain was introduced in German heart medicine and was then used successfully for the treatment of heart failure for many decades.Some researchers and doctors called it the greatest breakthrough in heart medicine, “the insulin of the heart”and the Ouabain expert Ernst Edens stated in 1934, that “the time will come, in which failure to timely start Ouabain therapy will be condemned as medical malpractice.”

But in 1971, the medical establishment declared Ouabain to be ineffective, despite its demonstrated benefits.

As Dr. Knut Sroka, MD, explains in his article, Ouabain, The Wasted Opportunity:

“At the beginning of the 1970s, in a large coal mine in the Ruhr area of Germany, with 1800 miners working underground, there was an average of three deaths by heart attack per year. In emergencies it was difficult to get adequate help to the miners in the complex gallery system of the mine. In 1974, one of the company doctors decided to provide workers, who developed heart symptoms, with emergency ouabain capsules that were to be administered by trained helpers. During the next 10 years, there were only 2 deaths by heart attack instead of the around 30 deaths.. [and] in one of the cases the patient could not be given ouabain due to a serious accident that occurred at the same time in the same working zone of the mine. Ouabain made it possible to drastically cut the rate of death by heart attack in this large coal mine and almost reduced it to zero. This is exemplary!” [3]

What makes this plant remedy so special?

The activity of the heart, as well as the metabolism of the heart, is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. In heart failure we observe a disbalance in the autonomic system. The sympathetic nervous system (the part that promotes activity) is over-activated while the parasympathetic system (the part that promotes rest) is too weak.

Ouabain blocks the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and at the same time activates the parasympathetic system. But Ouabain not only balances the autonomic nervous system, it also activates endogenous protection mechanism against oxygen deficiency and, most importantly, it has been proven to be well tolerated and safe in clinical experience for many decades by thousands of doctors. [4]

In practical application this remedy shows few, rare and non-lethal side effects. Maybe the biggest advantage is that for most patients it can replace many if not all their currently used heart drugs. That means that in nearly all patients, this results in a far better quality of life than current medical treatments offer.

There is such vast historical clinical evidence about the unique effects of this remedy for heart patients that it seems tragic that current heart medicine is not open and willing to re-evaluate Ouabain [5]. But it is perhaps even more tragic that the whole alternative medicine scene has either forgotten Ouabain, or has never even heard of it.

How could a remedy that shows such remarkable benefits become neglected and forgotten?

Although some suspect a conspiracy, the answer to this question is more complex. While Berthold Kern, a German doctor, re-introduced the oral form of Ouabain in the 1950’s, he also adamantly proposed his alternative theory of the origin of heart attacks, whichproposed thatthe uncompensated build up of acid in the heart muscle isa major cause. (This theory is still ignored by our current heart medicine).This theory, along with Ouabain as its treatment, was publishedin an article series in the seventies in Germany by one of the largest, most popular magazines in a way that attacked the medical establishment and doctors very aggressively. At some point, the medical establishment decided to put an end to these theories primarily because it questioned and raised concerns about their authority.

In 1971, in the so-called Heidelberger tribunal, Berthold Kern was lectured and all his decades of research and clinical experience were, without open-minded, reasonable, deeper research, declared as unscientific and wrong. Along with declaring his theory as nonsense, the treatment with Ouabain was declared useless. Over the next decades, this event and other factors, like new drug developments and market competition, contributed to the disappearance of this unprecedented beneficial heart remedy. Today there is only a few pharmacies in Germany and one in the US who produce an on-demand tincture or capsules for heart patients.

Nowadays Ouabain is only used by a few doctors, although it could be used by many more right away. In Germany, there are more than one hundred doctors still using Ouabain with great success, but outside of Germany, there is less than ten.

Dr. Fuerstenwerth, an expert on Ouabain research, points out that despite all historical discussions about the effectiveness of Ouabain, modern research can confirm and explain the unique properties of this remedy. He is currently trying to raise funds for the clinical re-evaluation of Ouabain so that it would be widely available for all heart patients again.

Could the time have come that enough people on this planet demand alternatives to the failing and very questionable approaches in current heart medicine? Will an investor see the opportunity one day soon?Or could this even be the point in history where a non-profit organization will finance the clinical development of Ouabain and hold the patents in their hands so that the finished product will never be used in a for-profit way? Could it mean a new era of pharmaceutical companies? One where a medication is held by a non-profit whose mission it is to ensure their members never have to use this remedy, but when they have to, they know it comes with not-for-profit intentions?

The knowledge about the usage and the unique effects of Ouabain is available and any physician could start using it with their heart patients right away. All physicians who seriously evaluate the effects of Ouabain will easily see that it has fewer side effects, making other heart drugs obsolete while providing results that no other known heart medication can.

Honestly, I am a big dreamer. I dream of a world where all people support each other and share their knowledge for the good of all people, animals, plants and the whole planet, even our solar system and beyond. So, what will it take to make this dream come to fruition?

Well, I think the first step is that information that respects, supports and cares for life has to be spread. But even then it comes down to whether a person is interested in their own health or not. I am a big advocate of prevention and zero-pharmaceutical approaches, but I also strongly feel that every heart patient should be treated with the best possible option. And it seems that the most promising option has been forgotten.

What does the future holds for Ouabain?

I can write this article and produce a documentary(which will be filmed this July), but that alone doesn’t change anything. Only what you will do with this information is what will change reality. So the ball is in your field. I am really curious what you will do with it! Maybe share it with your naturopathic doctor, or another doctor that you trust?

Here are some important resources on Ouabain and the ‘new’ theory of heart attacks:

I wish all the best to you and your family and friends!

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