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My current understanding of the cause of heart attacks comes from studying the work of Dr. Matthias Rath. An inadequate intake of vitamin C over a long period of time causes the arteries that flex the most to crack and leak. The arteries that flex the most are around the heart. Some of these squash with every beat of the heart. As they crack a plaque forms on the inside to repair the leak. Self repair by the body. As more and more cracking takes place more and more plaque builds up on the inside of the artery till it restricts the blood flow with a potential clotting to causing a lack of blood to the heart causing pain or a heart attack. This is the simple or non-technical explanation.

The following is a more technical explanation.

Heart attacks are caused by interruption of blood flow through the coronary arteries. The development of atheroscierotic deposits leads to narrowing of the blood vessel and to a decreased blood flow through the arteries. At this stage patients frequently experience the alarm sign of heart disease - chest pain or angina pectoris. In most cases a blood clot has formed in the neighborhood of an atheroscierotic deposit. This event leads to clogging of the coronary artery and to a complete interruption of the blood flow. As a result, millions of heart muscle cells suffocate from lack of oxygen and nutrients, and many of these cells die. In general, heart attacks lead to the irreversible damage and death of a portion of the heart muscle. The effect of a dead heart muscle portion for the functioning of the heart is comparable to the failure of one cylinder in a motor: the performance is permanently impaired.

Now what does Dr. Schulze say along this line.

Cayenne increases blood circulation and eases the pain of congested swollen veins. Veins, unlike arteries, have thinner, less muscular walls. Because of this, they easily herniate, swell, and collapse. Cayenne helps the blood move through the veins easier. It even dissolves clots, and being a very rich source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, and other vitamin C complex nutrients, it actually strengthens the walls of the veins, and has been proven to clean them and help them regain their elasticity. I have seen many diabetics, and others, with horrible circulation problems in there legs and extremities - some so far gone with gangrene they were scheduled for amputation - who recovered.

Cayenne is most effective for heart and blood circulation problems, and for angina pectoris, palpitations, and cardiac arrhythmias. It's a miracle for congestive heart failure. It is a specific for anyone who has any type of circulatory problems, such as high or low blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, triglycerides and fats, even varicose veins. With the heart, cayenne is great for prevention as well as for the treatment of disease. It relieves the pain of angina pectoris by helping get more blood to the heart muscle itself. And, if a person has a heart attack, cayenne is the surest first aid remedy. I have had almost a hundred patients actually save their lives by using a tablespoonful of cayenne pepper in a glass of warm water, or 10 dropperfuls of the tincture, and drinking it down fast. In every case, it brought the person right out of it with minimal damage, some with no damage at all.

The above are quotes from Herbal Therapy for Serious Illness Issue #1
by Sam Biser interviewing Dr. Richard Schulze.

Offered by Mike.

I found the relationship of cayenne to heart attacks very interesting. I have seen cayenne products, and habejero products that caution those with hypertension (high blood pressure) not to take them. And, of course, hypertension sometimes contributes to a heart attack. But it sounds like a dose acts very much like an aspirin in dilating the vessels and thinning the blood.

Offered by Kevin.