heart-health

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I haven’t posted much about this, but my cousin, Holly, is currently battling for her life. At the age of 23, three weeks after the birth of her second son, Holly suffered a heart attack. 

She has been diagnosed with Peripartum cardiomyopathy and has been in the hospital for congestive heart failure twice since then. Her father, who is a RN, left his job at the hospital to care for his daughter full time. 

Holly is currently out of the hospital, but is too weak to care for her children. Life doesn’t stop, as we all know, and things are getting tough for this family. I’m asking you guys to please help share and support this wonderful, caring family in this challenging time. 

Here is her GoFundMe page

DIY Heart Healthy Syrup

Yay! The first medicine I’ve prepared for my herbal first aid cupboard is a Heart Healthy Syrup! Here’s what I did, step by step. (Warning, Image heavy post!!)

The main medicinal ingredient in this syrup is chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum is a great overall healthy herb, it helps reduce fevers and infections and has lots of antioxidants.  It has also been known to lower blood pressure levels and increase blood flow to the heart. I’ll probably make a fever reducing syrup later on, but there are more herbs I’d like to add to that so today I focused on the heart aspect.

(**NOTE: Please do not change medication of a diagnosed illness without consulting an actual medical professional!)

Alrighty, so first you’ll need some stuff…

  • Chrysanthemum (I used dried flowers, the kind for making tea.)
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Small sauce pan
  • Small strainer
  • Something to stir with. A whisk will help later on too.
  • A funnel
  • Containers for storage (I used recycled brandy bottles.)

Step 1!

Add ¼ cup of chrysanthemum and a quart (4 cups) of cold water to your sauce pan. Its important for the water to be cold or room temp so everything infuses as it heats up together. 

Step 2!

Heat on medium temp. and bring to a simmer. Simmer liquid on med-low or low (depending on your stove) and reduce it to about ½ or a pint (2 cups.) This will take awhile so be patient. The important thing is to not heat to too high too quickly.

Step 3!

Strain your mixture into a separate container. Pour back into the pot. You don’t have to, but I added food coloring at this step to tell my syrups apart more easily.

Step 4!

Add two cups of sweetener. I used one cup of sugar and one cup of honey. You can use whatever sweetener you have, agave, sugar, honey, brown sugar, even maple syrup. Some recipes will say just use one cup of sweetener especially if you’re just going to refrigerate it, but I used more as a preservative and to make it shelf safe. Add the sugar first and whisk to dissolve, then add your honey.

Step 5!

Warm over low heat and stir well for about 30 minutes. Again this will be tedious, but slow and steady wins the race, you don’t want your sugars to burn. It will thicken and reduce to about half again.

Step 6! 

You’re almost done! Use a funnel to pour the warm syrup into empty, glass containers. Leave them on the counter to cool. After they’ve cooled, don’t forget to label and date them.

Treats high blood pressure/hypertension and heart irregularities

Directions: Take one spoonful by mouth daily, or add to warm tea.

Hope you enjoyed! I’ll add my tutorial for a stomachache syrup tonight! :)

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A Glue That Seals Heart Defects

The glue—which researchers showed is able to hold fast on live beating hearts—could be a gentler alternative to stitches.

Nearly a decade ago, Jeffrey Karp was playing around with a new, biodegradable polymer he’d made. He was a post-doctoral researcher at MIT. He ended up gluing together two pieces of glass… but later forgot about it. He ultimately developed the material for something else (as a scaffold for growing artificial organs, if you’re curious).

Read more 

Photo captions:

Image one - 

Leonardo da Vinci’s Drawings of the Heart  Digital file hosted on Wikimedia Commons

Image two - 

llustration of a Blood Vessel, Sealed with the New Surgical Glue  Image courtesy of Randal McKenzie (McKenzie Illustration)