Did you know that the heart contains over between 60 and 65 percent neural cells, identical to those present in the brain?
This means that the nervous system and our heart are intricately connected. The nervous system is akin to a communications network, constantly processing stimuli from the environment and our bodily systems, as well as sending messages from the brain back to the body, in the form of electrical and magnetic impulses.
The heart sits in the centre of this network, adding emotional intelligence to an intricate system of feedback and regulation. It powerfully distributes blood through the vascular system, rich with biochemical molecules designed to maintain homeostasis. The heart does not stop while we live, tirelessly sustaining life.
Much more than a pump, the heart is an electrical, sensing organ which provides an interface for emotional-physiological processing and messaging. The heart is the physical centre of the circulatory system, managing over 75 trillion cells. It is also the electromagnetic centre of the body, emanating thousands of times more electricity and magnetism than the brain.3
We can then understand the connection between anxiety, high stress and high blood pressure. How worry and heartache contribute to insomnia; shock and trauma can result in atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia. Conversely we also know that being in love feels like nothing can harm us, how the joy of holding a baby or puppy clears depression and how love can move mountains. One case of a mother manually lifting a car off her child who had been run over, demonstrates this literally.
Herbalism has long addressed both the cardiovascular and nervous system together. One of the most cherished of these plant medicines is Hawthorn. While the berry is supremely nourishing to both the organ and the blood it distributes to the rest of the body, the leaves are a tonic for the vessels and help to reduce any blood stagnation.
Using this alongside Cramp Bark and Valerian is a traditional formula to help reduce high blood pressure as well as facilitate better sleep.