Tag Archives: Cardiac muscle

Hawthorn

Botanical Name : Crataegus oxyacantha
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily:Amygdaloideae
Tribe: Maleae
Subtribe: Malinae
Genus: Crataegus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Common Name :Hawthorn

Vernacular names: Eng:Hawthorn,May thom,May blossom
Hindi :Vanasaangli.
Local Name :Pandaakh

 Synonyms:  May. Mayblossom. Quick. Thorn. Whitethorn. Haw. Hazels. Gazels. Halves. Hagthorn. Ladies’ Meat. Bread and Che ese Tree.
(French) L’épine noble
(German) Hagedorn

Habitat:Hawthorn is available in Europe, North Africa, Western Asia

Description:
Hawthorn is a small to midium sized deciduous tree 5 to 15mtr. tall, grows as a hedge plant in Europe but found mostly in temperate regions North America ,Western Asia, India, China and northern Africa.Its flowers are umbrella shaped and clustered white or pink,leaves are glossy green toothed and the berries are bright shiny red. The white coloured flowers are borne in flat-topped  inflorescences termed corymbs  or globular in inflorescences termed umbels and usually contains 5 petals,5 and 18 stamens and have a rancid oder. the fruits are known as pomes, although the seeds and their bony ndocarps are termed pyrenes. The calyx is present. The throns are small with sharp tipped branches that arise either from other branches or from the trunk, and are typically 1-3 cm long.Hawthorn bark or stem has hardwood ,smooth and ash-grey.
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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Berries, young stems, leaves and flowers.

Plant Constituents of Hawthorn

Contains:
___________

*Amines
*Amyddalin
*Bioflavonoids
*Coumarin (an anti-coagulant)
*Crataegin (alkaloid contained in the bark)
*Glycosides
*Tannins
*Triterpenoid saponins

Action :
_________

*anti-arrhythmic effects (heart)
*anticoagulant [an agent that prevents the formation of clots in a liquid, as in blood]
*antispasmodic [an agent that relieves or checks spasms or cramps]
*antioxidants [contributing to the oxidation of free radicals which are believed to contribute to premature aging and dementia] that help increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart

*astringent [an agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges]
*cardiac [an agent that stimulates or otherwise affects the heart]
*cardiotonic [an agent that has a tonic effect on the heart]
*diuretic [an agent that secretes or expels urine]
*hypotensive [an agent that lowers blood pressure]
*sedative [a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation]
*tonic [an agent that strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism]
*vasodilator [an agent that widens the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure]

Hawthorn is a good preventative herb for people with a family history of

*angina pectoris
*arteriosclerosis
*hardening of the arteries
*heart attacks
*high or low blood pressure
*valvular insufficiency
*inflammation of the heart muscle
*irregular pulse

Hawthorn is used for:

Blood Conditions

*inflammation of the blood vessels
*strengthens the walls of blood vessels
*varicose veins

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

*enhances poor memory by improving circulation of blood within the head and increasing the amount of oxygen to the brain, when combined with Ginkgo Biloba
*increases blood flow to the brain

Cardiovascular Conditions

*angina, a disease marked by intense chest pain
*arteriosclerosis
*cardiac curative
*enhances the strength of the heart’s contractions
*heart failure and debility
*heart muscle weakened by age
*helps prevent irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias, which can lead to heart attacks
*helps protect the heart against oxygen deprivation by inhibiting free radical formation which is beneficial in maintaining healthy heart vessels and promoting overall heart health
*improves blood supply to the heart
*improves circulation and increases tolerance for physical exertion
*increases blood flow to the heart and brain
*increases metabolism in the heart muscle
*lowers blood pressure (with extended use)
*lowers cholesterol and the amount of plaque in arteries
*myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
*nervous heart problems
*normalizes blood pressure by regulating the action of the heart, not only lowering high blood pressure but also raising blood pressure that is low
*normalizes cardiovascular functions
*normalizes heart action
*palpitations
*rapid heart beat
*reduces blood pressure and stress to the heart muscle
*relaxes and dilates the arteries
*restorative after a heart attack
*stabilizes and strengthens the heartbeat
*strengthens a heart muscle weakened by age
*supports the heart
*weak heart, combined with Rosemary and Rue

Hawthorn Berries are used for:

*congestive heart failure and circulatory disorders
*increasing coronary blood flow
*mild cardiac insufficiency

Gastrointestinal Conditions

*digestive problems, combined with Cactus grandiflorus

Genitourinary Conditions

*helps rid the body of excess salt and water thus supporting weight-loss and weight control programs
*urinary tract infections, combined with Agrimony, Thyme and Golden Rod

Respiratory Tract Conditions

*sore throat

Other Uses:

*an excellent liquor made from Hawthorn berries and brandy
*repels bees and is only pollinated by flies

Hawthorn is best-used long term as the active constituents do not produce rapid results. Benefits develop slowly having a direct effect on the heart itself, especially in cases of heart damage and heart problems associated with liver disease. It is gentle and safe for long-term use with no toxic side effects.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha)


http://www.apjtb.com/zz/2012s2/129.pdf
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hawtho09.html

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Scientists Find New Way to Fix a Broken Heart

A new way to mend damage to the heart has been found by scientists.

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The boffins have devised a method to coax heart muscle cells into re-entering the cell cycle, allowing the differentiated adult cells to divide and regenerate healthy heart tissue after a heart attack, according to studies in mice and rats by Children’s Hospital Boston reported in the July 24th issue of the journal Cell.

If the same mechanisms identified by the researchers can be shown to work in the human heart, it opens up real possibilities for new and more efficient ways to treat people with heart disease, reports The BBC.

Theoretically, it could be used to treat heart attack patients, those with heart failure and children with congenital heart defects.

The key ingredient is a growth factor known as neuregulin1 (NRG1).

Previously, it was believed that the heart was incapable of repairing itself. During prenatal development, heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) proliferate but were thought to lose that ability shortly after birth. But, recent research has indicated that the adult cells do have some ability to replace themselves at a low level.

And, the new study provides evidence that this is true – and that NRG1 can ramp up the process significantly.

The Boston team tested the ability of various molecules to spur cell division in cultured cardiomyocytes, including several factors known to drive proliferation of the cells during prenatal development. NRG1 produced the most significant effect, and it was repeated when the factor was injected into adult mice.

When administered to animals who had suffered a heart attack, it promoted regeneration of heart muscle, and improved the overall function of the organ.

Writing in the journal, they said: “We have identified the major elements of a new approach to promote myocardial regeneration.

“Many efforts and important advances have been made toward the goal of developing stem-cell based strategies to regenerate damaged tissues in the heart as well as in other organs.

“The work presented here suggests that stimulating differentiated cardiomyocytes to proliferate may be a viable alternative.”

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: “This fascinating study shows, remarkably, that a significant fraction of adult heart cells in mice can be made to replicate and help to repair damaged hearts.

“If the same mechanisms identified by the researchers can be shown to work in the human heart, it opens up real possibilities for new and more efficient ways to treat people with heart disease.”

Click to see:->

Mending Broken Heart

Can Seaweed Mend a Broken Heart?

Source: The Times Of India

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Stem Cell Therapy May End Transplants

myocardial infarction - Myokardinfarkt - scheme
Image via Wikipedia

British scientists have developed a new technique that can rebuild a severely damaged heart, and one day, might replace the need for transplantation.

Researchers at Imperial College London revealed that stem cell heart surgery can help repair damaged hearts using progenitor cells derived from patients’ own cardiac muscle.

They have discovered a way to extract, grow in the laboratory and then graft on a patient’s own muscle-building cells which then can be used to patch up the heart and increase its pumping power. Moreover, it can increase the quality of life for people who suffer a heart attack.

“This could transform the care for patients who have had heart attacks or have heart disease,” the Telegraph quoted Nicholas Boon, president of the British Cardiovascular Society as saying. “Because the cell therapy uses a patient’s own cells, it negates the risks or complications associated with other treatment options such as rejection linked to transplantation,” he said

Sources: The Times Of India

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Steps on Enlarged Heart ‘Uncovered’

Researchers in the US claim to have got new insight into the mechanisms that underlie an enlarged heart — a finding that could lead to development of new treatment for managing this common cardiac ailment.

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An enlarged heart can lead to heart failure (Image: CNRI, Science Photo Library)

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According to them, high blood pressure, heart valve disease and heart attacks can lead to a abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, called myocardial hypertrophy, which plays a role in the pathological increase in the heart size.

At the molecular level, signals driving myocardial hypertrophy, like elevated levels of catecholamine hormones, activate the Myocyte Enhancer Factor (MEF) proteins. This alters gene expression in heart muscle cells and induces an adverse developmental paradigm known as “fetal gene response”.

“Previous research has shown that the signalling pathways leading to MEF2 are altered during pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Although we know that enzymes called histone deacetylases (HDACs) control MEF2 activity, it was not clear that HDACs and MEF2 were integrated into a larger signalling unit,” lead author John D Scott said.

To further identify the molecular mechanisms associated with cardiac hypertrophy, Scott and colleagues at the University of Washington studied cardiac A-Kinase Anchoring Proteins (AKAPs), which are known to play a critical role in organising signalling complexes in response to catecholamine hormones and transmitted signals within cells.

The researchers found that AKAP-Lbc functions as a scaffolding protein that selectively directs catecholamine signals to the transcriptional machinery to potentiate the hypertrophic response, the ‘Cell Press‘ journal reported.

“Our study supports a model where AKAP-Lbc facilitates activation of protein kinase D, which in turn phosphorylates the histone deacetylase HDAC5 to promote its export from the nucleus. The reduction in nuclear HDAC5 favoured MEF2 transcription and onset of cardiac hypertrophy,” Scott said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Vitamin D Keeps Heart in Shape

The list of benefits conferred by Vitamin D has just got longer. It also keeps the heart fit as a fiddle, besides developing strong bones, healthy immune system and protection against cancer, according to new research.

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In studies on rats, Robert U Simpson and his team at the University of Michigan have reported the first concrete evidence that treatment with activated vitamin D can protect against heart failure.

Treatment with activated vitamin D prevented heart muscle cells from growing bigger – called hypertrophy – in which the heart becomes enlarged and overworked, sometimes leading to heart failure.

They also prevented heart muscle cells from the over-stimulation and increased contractions associated with the progression of heart failure.

Heart failure is a progressive, disabling condition in which the heart becomes enlarged as it is forced to work harder and harder, even for routine daily activities.

Many heart patients or those with poorly controlled high blood pressure go on to experience a form of heart failure called congestive heart failure, in which the heart’s inability to pump blood around the body causes weakness and fluid build-up in lungs and limbs.

Many people with heart failure, who tend to be older, have been found to be deficient in vitamin D.

“Heart failure will progress despite the best medications,” said Simpson. “We think vitamin D retards that progression and protects the heart.”

Simpson and colleagues have explored vitamin D’s effects on heart muscle and the cardiovascular system for more than 20 years.

Way back in 1987, when Simpson showed the link between vitamin D and heart health, the idea seemed far-fetched and research funding was scarce. Now, a number of studies worldwide attest to the vitamin D-heart health link.

The findings of the study are being published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.

You may click to see:->Heart-healthy diet

>The Heart Scan Blog

Sources: The Times Of India