Your blood is your body’s transport system. Its main function is to carry both nutrients and oxygen, which provide raw materials and energy to the tissues of your body. The blood also carries waste away from the tissues and helps maintain body temperature, and the acid-base balance of the body. To do these things, your blood must circulate continuously.
Your heart is at the center of the circulatory system. Its steady beating pumps at least five quarts of blood through a full circuit of your body every minute. The heart consists of two pumps side by side. The pump on the right side moves blood to your lungs, where waste gases such as carbon dioxide are removed and oxygen is added. Freshly oxygenated blood returns to the pump on the left side, which moves it out into the rest of your body. Blood flows away from the heart, either to the lungs or the rest of your body, through blood vessels called arteries. These branch many times, and the branches become smaller, forming blood vessels called arterioles. These too become smaller and smaller and branch repeatedly until they are tiny vessels called capillaries. Throughout the arteries and the smaller vessels that stem from them, your blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and picks up wastes. This task is completed in the capillaries. As the blood moves on through the capillaries, the blood vessels gradually become larger, and eventually become veins. The veins carry the blood through organs such as the liver, which remove the wastes, and back to your heart. Then the cycle begins again.
Disease of any part of the body will affect the circulatory system. An organ which is damaged will cause strain on the circulation. An infection or a broken bone will need extra help to remove wastes and repair the tissue. If the circulatory system is weak, it will then cause strain on other parts of the body. Poor circulation will result in cold hands and feet, chillblains, cramps, and varicose veins. High and low blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, and palpitations put strain on the heart.
To support the circulatory system:
Food: garlic, wheat germ, alfalfa, sprouts, buckwheat, sundried olives, watercress, rice polishing
Drinks: black berry and parsley juice, black fig juice, watercress, parsley, grape juice, hawthorn berry tea
Herbs: hawthorn berries, cayenne, ginger, garlic, poke root, sassafras, burdock, chaparral, Echinacea, red clover, oatstraw
Minerals: calcium, iron, silicon, cobalt, copper, magnesium, iodine, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, nitrogen
Vitamins: B-complex, B-6 (pyridoxine), B3 (niacin), B12 (cyanocobalamin), C, E, bioflavonoids, choline, folic acid, inositol, pangamic acid
Essential oils: essential oils are easily absorbed via the skin and mucosa into the bloodstream, affecting the nature of the circulation as a whole. Oils with a warming effect not only cause a better local blood circulation, but also influence the inner organs. Some oils like hyssop tend to have a balancing or regulating effect on the circulatory system as a whole, reducing blood pressure if it is too high, or stimulating the system if it is sluggish.
Hypotensives for high blood pressure, palpitations, stress, etc: sweet marjoram, ylang ylang, lavender, lemon
Hypertensives for poor circulation, chilblains, listlessness, etc: rosemary, spike lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme
Circulatory tonics and astringents for swellings, inflammations, varicose veins, etc: cypress, yarrow, lemon
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