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The wonder herb from paradise.  Wild harvested in Cameroon and Madagascar in Africa that can be so beneficial for almost any metabolic condition and the management and prevention of heart attacks and other cardiovascular disease.

Strophanthus Story

Strophanthus Background and Information

From my “new biology curriculum” mentor, Dr Tom Cowan & Friends

For many years, we have provided our two forms of strophanthus seed extracts to healthcare

practitioners only. After much thought, and because we now have many years of safe

and effective use under our belt, we are releasing these extracts for general use. As always,

and with any supplement or herb, please consult your most trusted healthcare provider for

guidance and support.

Historically, the main use of strophanthus seed extracts and its “active” ingredient, ouabain,

has been to support heart function. Over the years, we have seen many people whose

functional capacity has improved as a result of taking our extracts. People have experienced

less chest pain; their cardiac function as measured by the ejection fraction has improved;

and their BNP levels, a marker of congestive heart failure, have normalized. In previous blogs

and articles, I have described some of these cases in detail.

In addition, because strophanthus seed extracts have a tonifying effect on the

parasympathetic nervous system, many of our friends using our strophanthus seed extracts

report an overall sense of well-being, better sleep and less anxiety. Strophanthus seed

extracts catalyze the conversion of the metabolic toxin lactic acid into the vital nutrient

pyruvate. This conversion means that people using strophanthus seed extracts have

improved metabolic efficiency, a key factor in many chronic diseases.

Furthermore, after many years of use, we have received virtually no reports of any untoward

effects. One can easily see why native Africans referred to this plant medicine as “The Gift

from Paradise.”

In the past few years, two new uses for ouabain have come to my attention. The first use

was described in an article that found that ouabain is the most effective senolytic agent

these researchers had discovered. A senolytic agent is a substance that prevents the

formation of senescent cells in the body.  Senescent cells are formed when the tissue is old,

poisoned or sick from any cause. In essence, a senescent cell is dying and becoming

dysfunctional. Current research is focused on protecting the tissues from this death spiral,

and the marker for this protection is the reduction of the formation of these senescent

cells. It appears that strophanthus seed extracts are perhaps one of nature’s primary ways of

staving off this senescent process.

The other use for ouabain/strophanthus seed extracts is suggested by an article that refers

to ouabain as an “an9-viral.” As we now know, viruses have not been found to be pathogens,

so what is the sense of using an “anti-viral?” The article points out that ouabain does not kill

viruses; rather, it protects the tissues, helping them to use oxygen more efficiently. What one

sees, then, is the tissues don’t break down into the pieces of genetic debris we mistakenly

call viruses. To a researcher stuck in the old model of thinking, this phenomenon appears to

be an “anti-viral” effect. The reality is ouabain simply protects our tissues and cells; they are

more resistant to dying, and the organism remains healthier.

(1) Cardiac glycosides are broad-spectrum senolytics.

Guerrero A, Herranz N, Sun B, Wagner V, Gallage S, Guiho R, Wolter K, Pombo J, Irvine EE,

Innes AJ, Birch J, Glegola J, Manshaei S, Heide D, Dharmalingam G, Harbig J, Olona A,

Behmoaras J, Dauch D, Uren AG, Zender L, Vernia S, MarInez-Barbera JP, Heikenwalder M,

Withers DJ, Gil J. Nat Metab. 2019 Nov;1(11):1074-1088. doi: 10.1038/s42255-019-0122-z.

Epub 2019 Oct 21.

(2) Ouabain – A Drug for Treatment of Covid-19, Journal of Cardiology and Clinical Practice,

Volume 3, issue 2, Sroka, Knut.

The extracts we provide are made from wild-harvested strophanthus seeds obtained from

Cameroon. One is a powder inside capsules and one is a liquid.

The capsules are ground with a few inert excipients, the extract is then soaked in alcohol and

filtered. The usual dose for general support as I describe above is one of the capsules

opened and sprinkled in the mouth once or twice a day. Let the powder dissolve in the

mouth for one minute before swallowing. Start with one capsule a day for one week, and

use a maximum of two capsules a day unless otherwise told by your practitioner.

For the liquid, use seven to 10 drops once a day for the first week and increase to this same

dose twice a day thereafter. Again, unless guided by your practitioner, use this as the

maximum dose.

As always, we welcome any questions or feedback about any of our products and any effect

you are noticing on your health.

With gratitude

By Thomas Cowan, M.D.

And more if you are still interested:

In 2003 the Mayo Clinic published a major review article whose intention was to
understand the risks and benefits of coronary artery bypass surgery. It came to the
following conclusions:
a) Bypass surgery can effectively relieve symptoms.
b) Bypass surgery does not prevent further heart attacks.
c) Only high-risk patients benefit from bypass surgery with regard to better
chances of survival. 1


In other words, having a bypass operation with its attendant mortality risk is
effective only at relieving symptoms in the vast majority of the patients who
undergo this procedure. There is no evidence of prevention of future heart attacks
(MI), nor of extending life. 2 3

Similar results have been found for the more common procedure of stent placement.
Instead of surgery to place new grafts in the heart, the blockages are mechanically
opened, and stents are placed in the coronary arteries to keep the vessels open.
Again, while this procedure is effective for symptom relief, it does not reduce the
likelihood of a future heart attack nor confer a longer life to the patient. 4


One would think that cardiologists and internists armed with this information
would doggedly pursue other avenues for treatment, avenues that would help
prevent heart attacks and increase functional lifespan. However, sadly, since these
results were published, the numbers of these procedures have increased rather than
decreased, reaching a peak of 4.5 million worldwide in 2016. 5 Something is seriously amiss in the halls of our modern cardiology wards.


1 Rihal CS, et al.: Indications for coronary artery bypass surgery and
percutaneous coronary intervention in chronic stable angina. Circulation
(2003), 108:2439-2445
2 European Coronary Surgery Study Group: Long-Term Results of Prospective
Randomised Study of Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in Stable Angina
Pectoris. Lancet (1982), ii:1173-1180
3 Alderman EL, et al.: Ten-Year Follow-up of Survival and Myocardial
Infarction in the Randomized Coronary Artery Surgery Study. Circulation
(1990), 82:1629-1646
4 Rihal CS, et al.: Indications for coronary artery bypass surgery and
percutaneous coronary intervention in chronic stable angina. Circulation
(2003), 108:2439-2445


One clue to understanding why bypass grafting and stent placement have not
delivered on their promised results comes from the work of Italian pathologist
Giorgio Baroldi. In his groundbreaking book The Etiopathogenesis of Coronary Heart
Disease: A Heretical Theory Based on Morphology, 6 he concluded that after doing
autopsies for 40 years on patients who died of heart attacks, only 41 percent of
these patients had a significant stenosis (plaque build-up) in the artery leading to
the area of the heart affected by the heart attack. And 50 percent of these stenoses
came AFTER the heart attack occurred, not before, as one would commonly assume.
These results suggest that approximately 80 percent of heart attacks have some
other cause than simply a “blocked” or stenosed artery. Given this information, it is
no wonder that, in the majority of cases, unblocking arteries — no matter how
thoroughly or carefully done — will never be the solution for our nation’s epidemic
of heart disease.

In my book Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, 7 I reviewed the existing literature on the
controversy about the cause of heart attacks and suggested three other causes of
heart attacks. I assert that these possible causes must be addressed if we are to have
a thorough approach to the prevention and treatment of angina, unstable angina
and heart attacks. Briefly, these three other causes are:

a. Autonomic nervous system imbalance. With the advent of heart-rate
variability testing, a sensitive and accurate way to asses the autonomic
nervous system activity, we now know that a large percentage of patients
who go on to have an MI have decreased parasympathetic activity in the
days, weeks and months leading up to the MI. Baroldi suggests that the
majority of MIs are caused by the combination of chronically low
parasympathetic activity and a temporary stressful event, which furthers this
imbalance. The important point here is that although they are similar,
decreased parasympathetic tone is not the same as excessive sympathetic
activity. Decreased parasympathetic tone is a consequence of chronic stress,
diabetes, hypertension, smoking and lack of physical activity. Increased
sympathetic activity, which conventional cardiology focuses on with its use
of beta-blockers, is more of a short-term imbalance and doesn’t have the
same predictive value in determing whether an MI will occur. Cardiology is
in need of a strategy that will support the patient’s parasympathetic nervous

5 MedMarket Diligence, LLC; “Global Dynamics of Surgical and Interventional
Cardiovascular Procedures, 2015-2022,” (Report #C500).

6 Found under “Print Version” tab on

7 Available at

system while he or she implements long-term strategies to transform the
causes of parasympathetic dysfunction.



b. Microcirculation. Typical anatomical drawings of the heart suggest that all of
the blood flow to the myocardium goes through the three major coronary
arteries. Although these arteries are certainly important, it turns out that,
even from a young age, the heart is endowed with a rich supply of blood
vessels that make up the microcirculation of the heart. If you go to figure 1
in the FAQ section of the website, under the heading
“The Riddle’s Solution,” you can see a perfectly illustrated depiction of the
normal cardiac microcirculation. Again, as Baroldi points out, the normal
heart is perfectly well suited to do its own bypass in the event of a chronic
disruption of flow through one or more of the coronary arteries. This ability
is why thousands, maybe millions, of Americans are walking around with
arteries greater than 90 percent occluded, yet with no symptoms
whatsoever. The body, using its robust capillary network, has done its own
bypass, and the heart is protected. It is only in the case of chronic disease, in
particular, diabetes, with its well-known microcirculatory pathology, that
MIs start to show up. Clearly, stents and bypasses confer no benefit to those
with microcirculatory disease. Modern cardiology is clearly aware of this
issue, as this is the rationale for the use of Plavix and aspirin in cardiac
patients. Both affect the microcirculation and increase blood flow therein.
Both, of course, have their own toxicity, which limits their use and the ability
of patients to tolerate these drugs.


c. Metabolic Acidosis. This situation is perhaps the most important and most
overlooked reason that people suffer from angina, unstable angina and MIs.
The production and build-up of lactic acid in the myocardial tissues is the
final common pathway in all cases of angina, unstable angina and MI. What
happens is that, because of parasympathetic disease, coupled with micro-
circulatory problems, the heart finds itself in a stressful situation, one in
which it is forced to undergo what is called a glycolytic shift. This shift
means that the heart is unable to generate energy in the usual manner, which
is through mitochondrial-based respiration, and instead begins to ferment
sugars to obtain fuel. A similar shift is thought to underlie the cancer process
and is becoming well known as an important etiology in chronic disease.
Once this glycolytic shift happens, the cells start to build up lactic acid in the
surrounding tissues. The same process happens in your leg muscles as the
result of over-exercising. However, in contrast to leg muscles, the heart
muscle can’t relax, so the lactic acid continues to build up. It is at this point
that the familiar feeling of angina or chest pain begins to occur.

As the process continues, the lactic acid continues to accumulate,
which then causes a localized metabolic acidosis (lowered pH) to
occur. The lowered pH prevents the influx of calcium into the
myocardial cells, essentially preventing the contraction of the heart

muscle fibers. This result can be seen on the stress echo or nuclear-
perfusion tests used to diagnose heart disease in modern cardiology.
As the process continues and the lactic acid continues to accumulate,
eventually there is a necrosis of the surrounding tissue, which is what
we call a MI. Along with the destruction of the myocardial tissue, the
dyskinetic or akinetic areas of the heart create shear pressure on the
embedded arteries, which results in clots forming after the MI occurs.
This sequence of events perfectly describes the events that occur as
the MI is progressing. Modern cardiology has no tools in which to
address this central pathology of the build-up of lactic acid in the
myocardial cells.


Strophanthus: The Insulin of the Heart

An effective treatment for angina, unstable angina and heart attack
prevention must address each of these three areas to be truly
successful. Luckily, such a medicine already exists and has been both
widely used and sorely overlooked during the past century.
An African perennial vine called strophanthus makes seeds that
contain the active ingredient referred to as g-strophanthin in Europe
and ouabain in the US. Ouabain is a copy of a hormone made by our
own adrenal cortex, and it has many functions that are useful in
treating patients with heart disease. Used as the main treatment for
the prevention of MIs in Germany for many decades, ouabain has been
shown to support the parasympathetic nervous system, improve the
micro-circulation and, crucially, convert the lactic acid in the
myocardial tissue into pyruvate, which is the preferential fuel of the
heart. 8 9 With the conversion of lactic acid into a nutrient for the heart
cells, the cycle of pain and subsequent necrosis of the myocardial
tissue is broken. In the majority of cases, the patients will experience
relief from their angina as well as improvement in heart function.
During the past decade, I have treated heart patients with either g-
strophanthin capsules or, more recently, an extract of the strophanthus seed extract with positive effects on their overall sense of well-being, and, specifically, on their heart function.


Since the book was published, we have started a program to make strophanthus
extract available to all heart patients who wish to use it. We ask each patient to find a health-care practitioner who will order the medicine from us and supervise its us. By doing this, we hope to develop a network of practitioners who are well versed in its use. The results from practitioners are beginning to come in, some of which are showing remarkable benefit. Below are some of those cases (either written by the practitioner or the patient him or herself).


8 Ouabain – The Insulin of the Heart, found under “News” on the website
9 The Story of Ouabain, found under “News” on the website


If you are interested in learning more about the use of strophanthus
for heart disease, please contact our office at (415) 334-1010 to
schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation on the use of
strophanthus and how to order it.


Case Studies

1. From a physician in Kentucky: Bruce, a 60-year- old male, suffers from atrial
fibrillation and severe heart failure. Left ventricular hypertrophy and
cardiomyopathy had developed from substantial untreated hypertension. His heart
ejection fraction fell to <20%. His main measure of heart failure — BNP — rose to
3000. I had treated him with every supplement that I could contemplate, including
ones that normally are very helpful for the heart from L-carnitine, 400mg ubiquinol,
d-ribose, Cordyceps, Hawthorn, and other anabolic botanicals — literally 40
supplements due to his severe situation, along with natural blood thinners. Despite
these he was on Lasix 40mg daily; an ARB produced a highly annoying persistent
cough and had to be stopped. 

With the aggressive supplementation, he did improve. However, BNP was still 1316,
Bilirubin - 5.3, Alkaline Phosphatase 248, C-reactive protein 29, and d-dimer 2.8;
these had all proven to be indicators of his heart failure in the previous two years.
But he still was very limited as to physical activity. 

Then I read Dr. Cowan’s report about strophanthus. Out of desperation — all
options had been exhausted — it was ordered. Over three weeks he titrated up to 10
drops twice a day. BNP dropped to 1244, CRP to 23.2, Bili to 3.5, Alk phase to 219,
and d-dimer to 1.73. He was told to continue to titrate up on the strophanthus until
reaching 15 drops twice a day. 

We didn’t hear from Bruce for many months afterwards, but heard indirectly that he
was doing better. When he did come in six months after the previous visit, he
reported only minor physical limitations. His BNP had dropped to 492, CRP to 12.6,
Bili to 1.9, Alk phos to 181 and d-dimer to 0.67. His blood pressure that typically

was 100 diastolic, and as high as 178 systolic, was essentially normal for the first
time at 132/80. 

He reports no side effects from strophanthus (though he does note the taste and
smell). After having blood drawn almost monthly for two years with constant
adjustment in his regimen, and hobbled from physical activity, Bruce now has his
life back with optimism about the future. Strophanthus has proved miraculous in
Bruce's improvement at a time when he had nearly lost hope. 


2. My father had his first heart attack at age 45 and a second one at age 60 while
undergoing bypass surgery.  He died on the table. So, I have been careful to watch
my diet and lifestyle.
About a year ago, I began having left-sided chest and arm pain — only at night, in
bed.  A recent ECG had a “dip” that the doctor stated may be a sign of having had a heart attack at some point.
I didn’t want to overreact.  I also didn’t want to go down the same path as my father. 
I wasn’t going to go “traditional” on this one!  (My naturopathic doctor) suggested I start taking strophanthus drops twice a day. After two months of using it, my chest pain is completely gone!  Additionally, I have a very strong sense of peace in my physical body. Not sure how to describe it.
3. 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.
4. I’ve been diagnosed with a-fib in November last year. After the diagnosis the
additional symptoms were tingling in hands and feet and chest pain and pressure on
continuous basis. Everything else was healthy with my heart.
Luckily Dr. Cowan is my doctor. He prescribed strophanthus with vitamin
E and beet juice. This is the month of June. My a-fib symptoms are almost gone.
Tingling is slowly going away, and chest pain and pressure are gradually

5. I had two CT chest scans. The one in October of 2016 had a calcium score of 40.
I started the strophanthus in November 2016. The second CT scan in May 2017 had
a calcium score of 12.

6. From a Chinese-medicine physician in Colorado: On Feb 7, 68-year- old male
was hospitalized with heart failure due to left ventricle damage, rigidity. After stent

installed, the ejection fraction was 18 percent. I started him six weeks ago on
strophanthus 3 drops bid, and then three 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 percent.  The technician
commented that 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!


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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