Herzgruppe Anhang 2
[“The Homoeopathic Recorder 1931”]
Bromine.: Hypertrophy of the heart in young boys, from violent gymnastics
Caust.: Hypertrophy of the heart in young girls from calisthenics
Lach.: In cyanosis from patent foramen ovale
Iberis.: Irritable heart when from influenza
Agaricine.: Irritable heart from excessive tea or coffee drinking
Lach.: Irritable heart from the effects of scarlet fever
Syph.: Lancinating pains about the heart from base to apex, at night
Med.: Pain in heart from apex to base
Spig.: Pain from base of heart to clavicle or shoulder
Naja.: Heart trouble without special symptoms
Pyrog.: Consciousness of the heart, the heart feels tired
Homoeopathic Treatment of Cardiac Arrest (Ars. Carb-v. Dig.) (Farokh Master)
Cardiac arrest is defined as sudden failure of the heart resulting in inadequate cerebral circulation. Cardiac standstill is responsible for majority of the cases, the other mechanism
being ventricular fibrillation and electro mechanical dissociation.
In my experience, the most common cause of cardiac arrest is myocardial infarction, or severe pulmonary embolism, or any case of severe arrhythmia in presence of chronic
obstruction to the circulation. These are some of the very common causes that I have seen in my practice. I also came across, though rarely, a few cases of Hyperkalemia and
Hyperkalemia producing what is known as ‘cardiac arrest’.
Cardiac arrest patients should be diagnosed at a very early stage. Such patients should not be diagnosed at a very late stage. The earliest symptom is absence of pulsation in the
carotid, or absence of pulsation in the temporal artery, or absence of pulsation in the femoral artery, or when the consciousness is affected. The late stage is when you cannot
record the blood pressure, the pupils are dilated and the patient goes in severe convulsions. I am not talking about extreme cases where hospitalization or treatment in the I.C.U
is required. The milder forms can easily be treated with homoeopathy. Of course, certain precautions must be taken and nursing care should be done. The most important thing
is to put the patient in supine position on a firm surface, such as wooden board on the floor. You should try and give the patient cardiac massage, where you strike the left upper
chest forcibly with your fist and this can restart the heart, if the arrest is due to asystole. The basic C.P.R. should always be maintained, i.e. where airway is cleared, the breathing
is made effective and the circulation restored. Now let us see which homoeopathic medicines have been extremely useful to me for the above condition and I will tell you some
My first remedy of course will be
Ars.: Nervousness, anxiousness and restlessness with agonizing fear of death, this observation of the patient’s state of mind is extremely important. Restlessness is characterized
by changing the places continually and the patient has extreme fear of being left alone. Sometimes only moaning is seen in the patient. If you examine the patient systematically
from head to foot, you will observe that any cold air or draft of air coming on the head is extremely intolerable to the patient. This is very important to observe. The head may feel
slightly heavy. The scalp may be sometimes sensitive to touch. The eyes are either sunken or protruding, eyelids may look a little oedematous and the nose looks extremely pointed.
There is a very nice symptom of Ars. and that is sometimes the person feels dysponea, especially in the nose. So he may complain of difficulty in breathing and this is basically
focused around the nose.
The face may look pale, anxious, sunken, haggard or even hippocratic. The lips appear little blackish and the tongue is bluish-white, or it looks very red, but in general it is a dry
tongue. The person may grind the teeth in the unconscious state or he may bite the glass while drinking. There is also lisping. The saliva can be bloody, the throat is slightly swollen.
This is important if the patient is a little conscious and he cannot bear the smell or sight or thought of food and there is unquenchable thirst for ice cold water but it distresses the
stomach and the patient cannot digest it. This is very common. There is a sign of gastritis if Arsenic is the remedy. This is very important to know in short. The stools will be on
the loose side and there can be ascites if there is right ventricular failure. The urine will be scanty, and a lot of albumin is seen in the urine. Shortness of breath and will be unable
to lie down and he feels very comfortable sitting up. His discomfort in respiration is worse even by turning in the bed. Most of the symptoms of Arsenic are < at night, after 12 h:
There is severe palpitation with anguish. Any slightest cause will increase the palpitation. The palpitations are worse when he lies on the back. If at all there is chest pain it goes to
the neck and occipital area, but with severe anxiety and lots of fainting spells. Another very important clinical hint that I have observed in Arsenic is that the pulse is usually more
rapid in the morning. Arsenic Album is used in all affections which lasts for a long time which explains the hopelessness that takes possession of the patient. The patient always
feels that he never will be cured and that it is useless to take the medicine. There is an anxiety and fear of death < between mid night - 2 h. in the morning.
The patient becomes restless and despite his worn-out condition he must move. He must change places in the bed. Sometimes if he can, he gets up and sits on the chair, which
he soon leaves for the bed. The patient who needs Arsenic is oppressed by the least movement and the dyspnea is exasperating between midnight and 3 h. Eyelids swollen (lower
eyelid)/Pale and waxy, localized or generalized edema.
Another very important remedy which I have found very useful is
Carb-v.: Typical is flat, usually on the fatter side, sluggish, little lazy and are usually old people, one may not see Carb-v. in young people. A very unique symptom that one may
see in such a patient who is in the hospital is that they need excessive fanning, but despite the fanning, the head remains hot. If at all there is any haemorrhage from any
organ of the body, it will be dark red oozing. There will be severe weakness, air-hunger and excessive flatulence. These are the few important concomitants that I have seen in the
patient. The level of the mind of the patient is extremely slow, there is a lot of indifference that is similar to Ph-ac.
The patient is indolent, lazy and appears slightly stupid. The face is pinched and hippocratic, the face is cold due to cold sweat and there is twitching of the upper lip. There is
slight epistaxis from the nose, the pupils do not react to light, i.e. when one throws light on the pupil with a torch the pupils will not show any reaction, there is cold sweat on the
forehead, but the head is hot and the extremities are cold.
The breath is also cold and the tongue is black, swollen and covered with white-yellow-brown mucous. There is an extremely offensive or horrible smell from the mouth.
One can see excessive saliva in Carb-v. The abdomen is heavy and full with excessive flatulence, there is a lot of albumin in the urine, but here, instead of scanty urine, sometimes
one may find little more urine and this is important. Then, one sees a typical cough which is extremely tormenting, hollow and choking type of cough and with this cough there is
easy vomiting. The voice is rough, one may also find a chyne stoke respiration, the extremities are heavy, stiff and almost feels paralyzed. The cough can be very exhausting to
the patient, it is a very hard, paroxysmal cough. Either the paroxysms consist of a few coughs or it could be a long paroxysm. The expectoration is usually bloody, which is another
There could be pulmonary edema seen on X-ray chest or there could be severe septicemia with heart failure, but the heart failures are almost always + a stage of shock, this is
very important in a Carb-v.-patient. If one examines the skin one can see that they have a tendency to develop bedsores much more easily than anybody else.
Another very important is when Carb-v. is in a comatose or unconscious condition due to cardiac asystole one can hear a typical rattling in the throat (Ant-t. has this rattling sound
in the chest).
Dig.: I would like to highlight for the treatment of cardiac arrest is Digitalis. In Digitalis patient the most important symptom to look for is slow, weak pulse and the pulse should
be little irregular. On examination, the liver has to be enlarged and when there is excessive precordial anxiety with frequent urging to urinate, these are the concomitants that one
should look at. Dig. resembles Ars. in many ways because both these remedies are extremely anxious and extremely fearful. This anxiety basically roots from their troubled
conscientious. They may complain of frontal headache but the head usually falls down whenever they are sitting or whenever they are walking. The eye and the conjunctiva appears
slightly yellowish, the pupils can be little irregular, the eyes can be bluish but the veins are distended in the eyes. The tongue could be blue, clean with nausea and vomiting, or it
could be thick, or it could be flabby. The patient usually drinks much and eats little. The liver is enlarged, painful and hard to touch. There is distension of the abdomen and one
can find early traces of jaundice in the form of high bilirubin. The breathing is a little slow, and in Digitalis, just like in Ant-t., the patient cannot expectorate. In case the patient
has to expectorate because of the severe congestion, he will only vomit. So this is also important that the patient cannot expectorate and if the patient has to expectorate he will
only vomit due to severe congestion. This causes great weakness in the chest, he cannot even bear to talk, he suffocates and he drops to sleep. He talks little bit and he drops to
sleep, he talks little bit and he drops to sleep. Such is the type of cardiac weakness one can see in the patients of Digitalis. Any least movement causes severe palpitation in various
sorts of arrhythmias in case of Digitalis. The heart will be hypertrophied or dilated, there can be cardiac dropsy and the root cause behind this cardiac problem will be either severe
grief or some depression. I repeat, the pulse will be slow, weak and irregular, the skin will be extremely cold to touch and the patient will constantly be in a state of drowsiness.
[Dr. Kulbhushan Juneja]
CAD occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the heart are hardened and narrowed due to formation of plague on the inner wall of artery which is also called atherosclerosis.
As this plague will increase in size, results in more narrowing of the vessel and eventually the blood supply to the heart will be reduced due to which the muscles of the heart will
be reduced due to which the muscles of the heart are not able to receive the amount of the oxygen needed which is present in the blood.
Likely to be more affected:
Obesity: excess weight increases the load on the heart.
Diabetes: heart problems are the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
Family History: heart disease has the tendency to run in families. Then its risky and early management should be done.
Smoking and alcohol: heavy drinking cause hypertension and smoking is also dangerous causing ischemic heart disease.
Atherosclerosis: in this fats or other waxy substances get deposited on the inner wall of the artery which narrows the passage of the blood to the heart ultimately leading to heart
attack and congestive cardiac failure.
Age factor: as the persons get older, the risk increases in the men after the age of 45 and in women's after the age of 55.
Hypercholesterolemia: high cholesterol level in blood and particularly LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) is associated with increased risk of various problems like coronary heart
disease (CHD) and stroke (heart attack).
Signs and symptoms:
The most common symptoms are:
- Chest pain and chest discomforts.
- Pain in the arm, shoulder, neck and back.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.
- In some people, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack.
- Vomiting and bradycardia
- Hypotension, narrow pulse pressure, first heart sound quiet, third heart sound audible.
What is Heart Attack (Myocardial Infraction)?
A heart attack happens due to development of a clot at the site of plaque in coronary artery, due to which supply of oxygen rich blood to the heart will cut off and the muscles of
the heart will not receive oxygen and eventually that muscle or the part of the heart will die which cause permanent damage to heart muscle.
How can it be diagnosed?
Blood test: leucocytosis is reaching a peak on first day.
ESR raised for several days.
Electrocardiogram: ECG is sensitive and a specific way of conforming the diagnosis.
Diet with certain foods:
Garlic: it prevents blood from becoming over sticky, decreases LDL cholesterol and increases the good HDL cholesterol. Eating garlic is good against atherosclerosis.
Vitamin C in garlic protects against oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Cooked garlic can benefit, but raw garlic is more potent and works faster.
Ginger: It helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and presents LDL oxidation.
Vegetables: All vegetables are good for heart, but those with lutein and carotene are best.
Spinach: It helps lowering the blood pressure and protects against heart diseases, but as they contain high amount of oxalates shouldn't be taken more than twice a day.
Tomatoes: Cooked and processed tomatoes are just as beneficial as fresh ones. Vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, and folate abundant in tomatoes and are potent protectors against
Onions: eating only half a raw onion a day raises HDL by about 25% in many people.
Fruits: also very good for keeping the heart healthy.
Apples: eating two apples daily is beneficial. lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke and maintain the healthy cholesterol level.
Red grapes: support the heart cells and helps maintain the blood vessel tone.
Fish: Eating fish at least twice a week could reduce the risk of heart disease.
Some of the very effective homoeopathic medicines in such cases are:
Cact.: Palpitation, angina pectoris, heart weakness in arteriosclerosis, low Blood Pressure.
Boerh.: Throbbing pain in the heart region, dysponea on physical exertion, headache, swelling on face and legs
Crat.: Cardiac dropsy, dysponea on least exertion, first heart sound weak, murmur
Conv.: Endocarditis, palpitation on least exertion. Cardiac dropsy, dysponea on least exertion, first heart sound weak, murmur
Dig.: Cardiac muscle failure, great weakness, coldness of skin, cardiac irritability after tobacco
Kalm.: Fluttering of heart with anxiety, slow pulse, hearts action tumultuous, rapid and visible
Stroph.: Chronic degeneration of cardiac muscle, intense palpitation,
Rauw.: Congestive headache, hypertension with atheromatous changes in blood vessels
Term.: Pulse irregular, faints and gives up hope of life, vertigo, suffocation, weakness and pain in heart
Adon. Arjuna, Aur-met. Kali-p. Kalm. Laur. Spong. Squill. Stroph. Valer. Visc.
For Hypertension: Rauw. Pass. Gins. Valer. Nat-m. Bar-m. Kali-br. Kali-p. Ign. Aven. Verat-v.
Diet: Eat less fat, Eat less sodium, Eat fewer calories, Eat more fiber,
Excerpt of speech given at the Psychosophy Conference in Copake, NY, February 2000.
How do we recognize strong heart forces in people? Look around your circle of family and friends. Can you discern, behind all hindrances, that absolutely radiant smile, like sunshine breaking through a cloud? Heart people are people you want to hang out with. They measure words, they are truthful, courageous, and stand behind their convictions. They are believers, even sometimes gullible, because they know that with the heart everything is possible.
The heart is an evolving organ. It is the seat and home of the divine, housing the intention of the gods from the first beginnings, and their intentions now and into the future.
How then can we describe this complex instrument through which change and metamorphosis can occur?
The heart receives two streams of blood, one saturated with oxygen and the other low in oxygen. In its action of contraction and expansion it creates a negative space, and through systole and diastole creates an ever moving, always renewing, positive relationship between point and periphery that embraces the whole human being.
Two Streams of Blood
Imagine two streams passing each other by, yet not influencing each other. The Gulf Stream is such an example of warm water flowing, intact, northwards through the cold waters of the Atlantic. In the heart, this duality exists so that a continuous conversation (interaction) can ensue between the blood from the body below (blue) and the blood from the lungs (red); a conversation between the self (blue) and the world (red). Then imagine the ego (yellow) inserting itself between the two streams. If ego loses itself too much in the blue, there is too much green. If the ego loses itself in the red there is too much orange. Green represents too much self, orange too much world. Ideally the ego stands, in active balanced interplay, between the two streams of blood, bridging the two worlds; the inner and the outer, with its own light-bearing capacity, radiating and receiving. In the heart and through the heart the strengthening of the ego organization takes place.
In the heart a negative space truly exists. Most amazingly, after the push of fluid out of the ventricle during systole, the relaxing heart muscle creates a suction. Demonstrate this to yourself by pressing the two palms of your hands together at a 90° angle. First squeeze out all the air, then relax your hands and you will feel the surrounding air rush into this space. This is not the action of a pump.
It is the activity of creating a vacuum so that the blood can flow to the center. For those of us who work with this movement it becomes obvious that it is not a chaotic tumbling into the space created, but an elegant, accurate, spiral formation, always three dimensional: upwards/forward, sideways/turning, backwards/outwards.
The existence of negative space (we cannot think it, because in our attempt to do so it becomes positive) can be felt. I feel it in the moment of recognition of the other person in me, experienced as a suction of the world to me. I feel it in love and joy, thankfulness and hope. The `I am nothing' becomes the `I am.' For those of us not being able to comprehend this negative space and its resolution, the world is dark and bleak. Negative space creates a possibility for blood to expand beyond the physical;
and the ego, living in the blood, can experience this largesse as a feeling of warmth.
Systole and Diastole
This brings us to another step in the evolution of the heart; i.e., its capacity to oversee the interplay between expansion and contraction. Here the heart becomes the center of the blood universe that has its periphery in the capillary system. In each cell the blood carries information from the periphery to the center where the heart-eye sees and the heart-ear hears.
This is what we need to consider spiritually when we experience the functioning heart. The lemniscate (= figure 8) flow symbolizes the three principles in nature so carefully, tenderly worked out by the divine spirits, our creating gods. It stands for the three in one: what is below, what is above, and what is rhythmic movement between the two polarities, flowing to the middle and dispersing towards the periphery, not static but ever altering, modifying and renewing. This capacity for creative renewing
and refining of our heart/blood presupposes everything that has to do with future development and, eventually, with the heart becoming the dwelling place fit for a god.
The Heart as Healer
As a physician I have met many human beings, young, old, sick and not so sick. The most rewarding aspect has always beep the unexpected turn of events, when miracles occurred. But I have also experienced when a soul attitude has prevented healing. We must accept that it is the heart that heals. No matter what the illness, chronic or acute, inflammatory or sclerotic, if heart forces can be renewed, healing can take place. So, what can we do to guide our patients in changing the attitude of the heart as a healing process?
By introducing the concept of spiritual truth, spiritual humility, spiritual obedience we can change the attitude in the will of the patient. Obedience for many of us is an untenable proposition. Voices inside of us say: "Why me?" "I will not submit!" "How do you know what is right for me?" Those are voices that attack us and prevent healing. Mind you, obedience does not mean passivity. You become obedient to the process that you yourself have chosen. When we as therapists can do this for our patients, we heal ourselves of pride and heal the other. The patient and we
are not opposing streams. We must become one and the patient must come to know that.
Goethe, in the beginning of the 19th century says, "The eye was made by the light for the light." We must become totally eye for the ego to see the world in truth. But the true eye
of the human is the heart. To be able to truly penetrate the world, the original light of the heart must again be made conscious.
The Heart: Three Perspectives - not a pump, not a ram, but a living organism...
The Heart: a hollow muscular organ that receives blood from the veins and propels it through the arteries. In humans the heart is located behind the lower part of the breastbone,
slightly to the left of center.
Structure and Function: the heart is a dual pump circulating blood through two separate systems, each consisting of an atrium and a ventricle. The heart contracts and relaxes
the walls of the atria and ventricles to circulate the blood. Blood is carried to the heart's right atrium through two large veins: the superior vena cava and the
inferior vena cava. The right atrium contracts, transferring the blood to the right ventricle, which sends it to the lungs. After the blood receives oxygen from the lungs,
it returns to the heart's left atrium. The left atrium contracts, forcing the blood into the left ventricle and then into the aorta, which passes the blood throughout the body.
Ralph Marinelli, BSME:
In my opinion, references to the heart as hydraulic ram may do more damage than good. In his mention R. Steiner only meant to convey the idea that a Dr. Karl Schmidt woke up
one day from the consensus idea that the heart is a pressure pump, and proposed the idea of the hydraulic ram. This was not to say that Schmidt understood how the blood is propelled.
R.S. said that the kernel of truth grasped by Schmidt was that momentum, not pressure, has a proximate role in the propulsion of the blood. The heart is not a pump, nor is it a
hydraulic ram. The momentum in the ram is of animate amorphous fluid. The momentum in the blood is that of a self-propelled organism, with its organic form. being the vortex.
In the hydraulic ram, the water flow is suddenly stopped to increase pressure that causes momentum, Thus, in the ram, pressure has a role in propulsion. In the heart, pressure has no
propulsive role. In the heart the forward flow of the vortexing blood is dammed (stopped); its energy transferred to increase the velocity in the vortex. In turn, the increased vortex
velocity induces a larger etheric force to further speed up (enliven and strengthen) the blood. This is by no means the complete process of blood propulsion, but it is certainly different
from the flow of water in a hydraulic ram.
We have an hydraulic ram in our lab but we show it in connection with detailed discussions of momentum, not to illustrate blood flow or heart function.
‡ Folgendes hat anthroposofische Einschlüße ‡
William Harvey and the Human Heart
[Alice Barton Wulsin]
R.S.: his second lecture in Spiritual Science and Medicine by reminding us of the attempt to observe polarities that govern the human organism: the forces of gravity vs. levity in the skeleton, and the analogous chemical reactions that are either alkaline or acid occurring in human muscle metabolism. As we look into these polarities we have to attempt the journey to an extraterrestrial realm, passing through the point where pressure holds sway and entering through our thinking activity into the ether-realms where suction prevails. Attempts to follow vector analysis or the intricate dance of extraterrestrial chemistry allow this etheric realm of light, life, and ordering activity to become active within us as we turn our thinking virtually inside out.
Next turn to the human heart in a further step along the path exploring the polarities in the human being and the awakening of an inner activity appropriate to taking such a step. In but a few sentences he presents two polar pictures of the heart: "It is regarded as a kind of pump, to send the blood into the various organs," and then, "The most important fact about the heart is that its activity is not a cause but an effect." In the course of a few sentences we are asked to hold in our minds these two pictures of the heart: first as a cause, as a pump whose effect is to move the blood by pressure to the organs; and second, as an effect, as something that receives or absorbs the blood whose movement is caused elsewhere by suction at the periphery.
In moving between these two pictures, the same kind of inner activity is demanded of us as was required to try to perceive the forces of levity in the human skeleton and the extraterrestrial dispersing forces in a muscle's acidity during movement. To make the inward journey so quickly from the heart as pump to the heart as an inner sense organ, from pressure to suction, creates within us a kind of image-vortex such as is created when we stir fluid very rapidly, then suddenly change direction. When this is done, we see the form of the heart created by this gesture in the water.
What we will attempt here, then, is to stir the sluggish water first in one direction, then in the other, then yet again in another, and hope to create in this way an image of the heart's activity and not just confusion! We will investigate what William Harvey had to say about the heart, for he was among the first physicians to present the picture of the heart as the source of movement within a circular pathway of the blood, and as such he really established a threshold in the history of physiology. Most books on Harvey either take their starting-point from his brilliant discovery or finish with his world-shaking treatise on the circulation of the blood, Exercitatio anatomica de motu Gordis et sanguinis in animalibus, published in 1628. In our age, however, we are so imbued with Harvey's picture that it is difficult to un-think his view and to try to live into whatever picture there may have been before Harvey revolutionized physiology. It is quite easy for us to see instantly a certain logic in what Harvey conceived for the first time, but how can we stir the water for a moment in the other direction to unthink the heart as a pumping mechanism?
The predominant view of the heart and blood circulation that endured from ancient times until Harvey can be grasped through the image synthesized by Galen for his view was held essentially unmodified from 200 A.D. until Harvey's discoveries in the 17th century. It is unfortunately nearly impossible to gain a clear picture of this view from the materialistically oriented histories of science available today, as the images are given thoroughly physical translations and interpretations that most likely distort their original meaning. A suggestion of this is the fact that the word pneuma -- which can mean air, breath, or spirit -- is often indifferently translated as air, possibly giving a false physical impression. In any case, let us try to recreate this pre-Harvey view of the heart and blood circulation, so that we can see what Harvey tried to cut through with his razor-sharp intellect.
Galen: The main picture of the heart is that it serves as the human hearth, the source of innate warmth that then acts to vitalize the whole body.
Breathing provides the pneuma -- air, spirit -- that provides the nourishment for this warmth, also serving to cool and refresh the heart by relieving it of burnt and sooty particles. The heart is not regarded as a muscle, since it does not beat voluntarily, and Galen saw the heart's pulsating power as having its origin within the heart itself in the heart's attraction to the air or pneuma it requires for nourishment. The activity of the heart would thus take place in this way: the heart feels an inner yearning for air or spirit, and through this powerful force of attraction it draws the blood fluid or pneuma toward it and dilates, receiving the fluid that is then driver, by the blood vessels into the heart. Galen conceived that the heart's exertion came not in expelling the blood by contracting but in attracting and dilating.
The two sides of the heart serve totally different functions according to Galen and his followers, in fact belonging to two entirely different systems of circulation, the venous and the arterial. The venous system was said to arise like a tree with its roots in the abdominal organs, particularly the liver, having its trunk in the vena cava leading to the heart, and then branching throughout the body, including to the right heart and from there the lungs. The purpose of the venous system was to draw nourishment from the intestines, distribute it to the liver, where it was imbued with the spiritus inherent in all natural substance -- natural spirit -then distributing this natural spirit or vital activity as well as nourishment to the rest of the body, passing through the right side of the heart and lungs to nourish them. Venous blood was thought to be formed out of the chyle from the digestive tract.
The arterial system had its roots in the left heart and its trunk in the aorta, branching from there to the rest of the body. Some of the venous blood from the right heart was thought to seep through the interventricular septum, separating the right and left halves of the heart, passing through minute channels or pores and entering the left ventricle drop by drop. There it encountered the vital spirit or pneuma brought to the left ventricle by the pulmonary vein. The blood was thus permeated with a higher form of spirit through the respiration connected with the outside world, and this rarefied, enspirited blood was distributed to the body by the arteries. In the arteries leading to the brain, the blood was further charged with a higher form of spirit or pneuma, the animal spirit, distributed by the nerves.
The arterial system, then, had its origin in the heart and distributed air or pneuma to the body derived from respiration in the lungs and through the skin. The venous system had its origin in the liver and distributed nourishment and lower, natural spiritus derived from the chyle. The veins were thus believed to contain a totally different kind of blood from the enspirited blood of the arteries, and there was no concept of a continual circulation of arterial to venous and venous to arterial blood. The two kinds of blood vessels were explained by the different blood they carried. The veins carried mostly blood, thick, dense, and sluggish, so that the thinner veins allowed it to move more freely. The arteries, carrying more air than blood -- air being light and thin and quick -- were thick in order to keep the air confined, preventing it from dissipating in the body.
Right up to the time of Vesalius, this picture of the heart and circulation essentially persisted, with the heart viewed as a kind of mixing chamber where spirit was created to animate the human being in a kindling of warmth. The lesser circulation to the lungs was discovered in the Middle Ages but viewed merely as a way to rid the blood of impurities and to nourish the lungs themselves. Many incoherent fragments of fluid movement were thus pictured, but there was no unified view that could adequately explain the source and ultimate destination of the blood.
So it was understood until the work of William Harvey, who was born in Kent in 1578, a contemporary of Shakespeare and Lord Francis Bacon. He attended grammar school in Canterbury and then went on to Cambridge University, studying at Gonville College, which had been reorganized by a student of Vesalius in Padua, John Caius. From there Harvey went to the famous medical university in Padua, the university of Vesalius and Fabricius, two of the greatest anatomists. Fabricius (1537-1619) was most famous for his intricate work elaborating the valves in blood veins, and one of his most diligent students in Padua was the young Englishman, Harvey. Harvey always received very high honors, and when he returned to England to practice medicine shortly after the turn of the century, he moved quickly up the professional ladder, eventually being appointed Physician Extraordinaire to King James I in 1618 and later Physician Ordinaire to his son, King Charles I. Among his patients was also Lord Bacon; Bacon's genius did not particularly impress Harvey, who said of him, "He writes philosophy like a Lord Chancellor."
From his careful experimental work and observation Harvey developed his view of the heart and circulation as early as 1616, the year of Shakespeare's death, but he did not actually dare to put it in writing for the public until 1628, whereupon his professional prestige suffered considerably. Nevertheless he continued to work steadily, despite many setbacks personally and professionally. The Civil War raged in England from 1639-49, and as Harvey was obviously a Royalist, his fate suffered after Charles I was beheaded. He lost all his scientific notes and papers, and after Oxford fell to the revolutionaries in 1646, when Harvey was sixty-eight, he gradually retired to a quiet practice of medicine and his exacting work in dissection. He suffered considerably from attacks of gout, dying finally in 1657 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Harvey's work had a revolutionary effect on his contemporaries, having considerable impact on the social conscience of his age. Whereas for centuries the blood and heart had been surrounded by mystery and regarded as the seat of the human soul, Harvey's view now seemed to dispel that very mystery and to reduce what had been believed to be a spiritual substance to a series of tissues with a central, rhythmically contracting muscular organ.
We all begin with this image of the heart as a mechanical pump ingrained in us. We have tried here to stir the water in the other direction to recreate the more ancient picture of the heart as a gathering and mixing chamber for the spirit, split between two entirely separate circulations, the lower venous and the more enspirited arterial circulation. Now let us quickly stop and try to stir the water again in the other direction. Harvey had many reasons for his discomfort with the materialized remnants of Galen's pictures, filled as they were with inconsistencies, gaps, and obvious errors, like that of the blood seeping across from the right to the left side of the heart. While Harvey avoided the more unapproachable questions of the origin of spirit, he tried through meticulous observation to arrive at a consistent and coherent picture of the blood's movement through the body. In doing so he also totally reversed the picture of the heart, moving from an image of reception and suction to one of expulsion and pressure. Having observed that the heart grows pale and small like a muscle in contraction, he concluded that the heart is indeed a muscle that acts by squeezing the blood out of its chambers during contraction, rather than actively receiving blood during dilation. As he wrote,
"So the opposite of the commonly received opinion seems to be true. Instead of the heart opening its ventricles and filling with blood at the moment it strikes the chest and its beat is felt on the outside, the contrary takes place so that the heart while contracting empties. Therefore the motion commonly thought the diastole of the heart is really the systole, and the significant movement of the heart is not the diastole but the systole. The heart does not act in diastole but in systole, for only when it contracts is it active."
The blood would thus fill the arteries not by their dilation, attracting the blood toward the periphery, but by the pressure from the heart's systole: "The arteries dilate because they are filled like bladders or leathern bottles; they are not filled because they expand like bellows." Harvey felt this was proven by the spurts of blood coming from a wounded artery, corresponding rhythmically to the beat of the heart.
In addition, Harvey calculated that the amount of blood expelled by the left ventricle into the aorta in one hour would be 8640 fluid ounces, or three times the weight of a heavy man in blood (2 ounces of blood per contraction x 72 contractions per minute x 60 minutes). Where, he queried, could all this blood come from? Surely not from a little blood seeping across the septum through channels no one could discover. Surely not enough new blood could be manufactured hourly from the chyle. He concluded, then, that the massive amount of blood flowing through the arteries must come from the venous system, that there must be a continuous circulation of blood in one direction, guided by the action of valves in heart and veins. The blood, he realized, must be in continuous motion, as motion is necessary to generate and preserve heat and spirit in the organism. The blood in the extremities loses its warmth and spirit, growing thick and cold, and must return to the source, the heart, to take on new heat or spirit.
"The blood is thus more disposed to move from the circumference to the center than in the opposite direction, were there even no valves to oppose its motion; whence that it may leave its source and enter more confined and colder channels, and flow against the direction to which it spontaneously inclines, the blood requires both force and impelling power. Now such is the heart and the heart alone. . ."
Harvey thus conceived the first coherent view of the blood's circulation from arterial to venous blood and back into the arteries, finally comprehending the role of the lesser circulation to the lungs in the process. He saw that the venous blood enters the heart through the right atrium, passes down into the right ventricle, and from there can exit only via the pulmonary artery to the lungs. It was a totally new picture that the entire mass of blood in the human body might be able to pass through the lungs and then back into the heart via the pulmonary vein, entering the left atrium, moving down into the left ventricle, and from there up into the aorta and to the periphery of the body.
Without having the possibility of microscopic investigation, Harvey could only surmise the transition from arterial to venous blood taking place at the capillary level. He presumed that the initial force of the heart's pumping action was also sufficient to impel the arterial blood into the venous system and then back against the flow of gravity to the heart. He thus described the circulation in the following way:
"This motion may be called circular in the way that Aristotle says air and rain follow the circular motion of the stars. The moist earth warmed by the sun gives off vapors, which, rising, are condensed to fall, again moisturizing the earth. By this means things grow. So also tempests and meteors originate by a circular approach and recession of the sun.
"Thus it happens in the body by the movement of the blood, all parts are fed and warmed by the more perfect, more spiritous, hotter, and I might say, more nutritive blood. But in these parts this blood is cooled, thickened, and loses its power, so that it returns to its source, the heart, the inner temple of the body, to recover its virtue.
"Here again it regains its natural heat and fluidity, its power and vitality, and filled with spirits, is distributed again. All this depends on the motion and beat of the heart.
"So the heart is the center of life, the sun of the microcosm, as the sun itself might be called the heart of the world."
It should be clear from this that although Harvey became convinced that the heart moved the blood to the body's periphery through pressure, he nevertheless maintained a more cosmic view of the heart as a source attracting the blood than is now held by his legion of followers.
We can imagine, I think, the awe and relief that must have dawned slowly as people gradually took in the simple coherence of this circular picture of the blood circulation. We take such a picture absolutely for granted, yet try again to think it away, and you see how difficult it is to return to a notion that has the gaps and physical inconsistencies of Galen's.
Yet once again, as Rudolf Steiner challenges us to do, let us stir the water vigorously in another direction. Is it necessary, if we accept the coherent circulation of the blood discovered by Harvey, also to arrive at the conclusion that the heart's pressure is the only dynamic means by which this circulation is active? How can we see the circulation as Harvey does, moving coherently in a circle, yet not regard the heart's beat as its impelling force? And how can we regain an understanding of the polarity of the digestion and the respiration and nerve-sense activity, perceived so clearly by Galen in his view of the venous and arterial systems, without resorting to conflicting, unjustifiable hypotheses about the structure and action of the human organism? How can we truly see the heart as an organ of effect, not of cause, of suction, not of pressure, of inwardly sensing, not of outwardly impelling? Steiner points the way as incisively as he does when bringing these two opposing pictures before us in a moment, creating in us a vortex of picturing activity: he points us to embryology, where we can see clearly the heart emerging out of activities already existing within the developing embryo. Here we are guided through the null-point from matter into spirit. Steiner develops this further in his lecture cycle, Man, Hieroglyph of the Universe:
" . . . the heart does not work like a pump driving the blood through the body, but . . . the heart is moved by the circulation, which is itself a living thing, and the circulation is in its turn conditioned by the organs. The heart, as can be followed in embryology, is really nothing more than a product of the blood circulation ... Just as the movement of the heart is the product of the life force of the circulation, so the Sun is no other than the product of the whole planetary system. The Sun is the result, not the point of departure. The living cooperation of the solar system produces in the center a hollow, which reflects as a mirror ... a hollow space of suction which annihilates everything within it. A space indeed that is less than hollow ... What shines to us in the light is the reflection of what first comes in from cosmic space -- just as the movement of the heart is, as it were, what is arrested there in the cooperation of the organs, in the blood movement ...
"By following up embryology, we find how the heart is gradually welded together or piled up, as it were, by the blood circulation, and it is not a primary form ... To illustrate the idea, let us say we have a stream of water falling over the rock. It throws up a variety of formations and then flows on. These formations are caused by the forces of equilibrium and motion at this place. Now imagine that suddenly all this were to petrify; a skin would be formed like a wall, then the rest would flow on again, and we should have an organic structure formed. We should have the current going through the structure, coming out again, and flowing on further in an altered form. You can imagine something like this in the case of the flow of blood, as it circulates through the heart."
Harvey himself was intrigued by the questions that embryology raises, devoting his quiet later years to their study. He asked, in fact, "Why does blood appear before anything else, and how does it possess the vital animal principle? How does it desire to be moved here and there, for which reason the heart seems to be provided?" His fixed thought, however, apparently prevented him from seeing that the blood, appearing before anything else in the embryo, was not simply desiring to be moved but was actually in motion already.
For us to be able to think away the material deposits of the heart and to conceive the pure inner activity that precedes it is an activity that in itself sucks us toward the etheric realm. First we look out into the world and see our whole being scattered in fragments, a single point extended in every direction to infinity. We then push our thinking inside out, as it were, and look into our own heart, where the heavens are inverted and the infinite circle of the periphery is concentrated into a single point. To explore embryology is to make this same journey continually from point to periphery, from periphery to point, and this is the method to which Steiner points us in the exploration of the mysteries of the human heart.
Cactus comp. II wa Enthält: Arnica montana e planta tota D14, Cinis e fructibus Avenae sativae cum Magnesio phosphorico (1:1) D5, Crataegus laevigata/monogyna e foliis et fructibus D2, Selenicereus grandiflorus ex herba D3.
‡ Angina pectoris
Mit typischer oder atypischer Symptomatik, mit o. ohne Zusammenhang mit koronaren Stenosen. Anregung und
Harmonisierung der Lebensorganisation im Rhythmischen System (funktionellen Herzrhythmusstörungen/-infarkt /Stenokardien/Altersherz ‡