The signs and symptoms which most commonly cause anxiety to the individual concerned include these: pain or other sensations in the region of the heart, such as flutterings or tenderness to touch; faintness or cramps on making sudden or unusually strenuous movements; difficulty in breathing; palpitation; coughing unrelated to catarrh; blue or purple discolouration of skin and lips; undue sensitivity of the heart-beat to digestive upsets; sleeplessness; lack of concentration; nervous anxiety about the heart; finally, and probably most commonly, a lack of tone in the tissues, usually associated with a watery puffiness — oedema.

Properly understood, all these are indications of nutritional breakdown. By this we do riot mean that the sufferer is not being fed; the quantity of food may be adequate, but somewhere along the line efficiency or balance is lost. It is more usual for a failure of nutrition to be due to an excess of some low-grade or acid-forming foodstuff than to a general lack of bulk. Even more common is for there to be a serious lack of genuine, fresh foods. The effectiveness of the digestive organs in dealing with what is eaten is another vital factor. So, too, is the capacity and promptness of the transport systems within the body.

This brings us back to our starting-point, since the blood itself is by far the busiest mechanism of transport, and the heart provides its motive-power, that is, cardiac symptoms are often due to nutritional failure, for which poor circulation may be largely responsible. To break into such a pernicious cycle requires more than elementary understanding.

Every passing change in the blood-stream inevitably produces some effect upon the heart. Digestive disturbances can rapidly produce abnormalities of the blood composition, to which the heart is instantly sensitive. Add to this the close nervous links between stomach and heart, and the intertwining of cardiac and digestive disorders becomes understandable. Although we often protest that patients new to nature cure tend to become over-involved with diet (to the detriment of other, equally important, considerations), where there is cardiac disorder the digestive state is one of our first concerns.

This is not only a matter of ensuring an adequate and balanced supply of nutrients. It is essential to instruct the patient about avoidance of incompatible types of foods at any one meal; about the totally disrupting effect which overeating can have upon the effective balance of the diet; about the risks of very hot or very cold foods and drinks; about the often linked errors of excessive liquid intake and inadequate chewing.


Cardio & Blood-Сholesterol