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  1. 1. Congestive Heart Failure Congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart failure, is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. This can result from • narrowed arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle — coronary artery disease • past heart attack, or myocardial infarction, with scar tissue that interferes with the heart muscle's normal work • high blood pressure • heart valve disease due to past rheumatic fever or other causes • Primary disease of the heart muscle itself, called cardiomyopathy. • Heart defects present at birth — congenital heart defects. • infection of the heart valves and/or heart muscle itself — endocarditis and/or myocarditis As blood flow out of the heart slows, blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the tissues. Often swelling (edema) results. Most often there's swelling in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body, too. Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing, causing shortness of breath, especially when a person is lying down. Heart failure also affects the kidneys' ability to dispose of sodium and water. The retained water increases the edema.
  2. 2. Hawthorn Botanical: Crataegus oxyacantha, Family: Rosaceae Constituents: It contains a variety of bioflavonoids that appear to be primarily responsible for the cardiac actions of the plant. Flavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), vitexin, vitexin 4'-O-rhamnoside, quercetin, and hyperoside. OPCs Therapeutics and Pharmacology: • Mild congestive heart failure - Believed to increase cardiac output and increase the flow of blood through the coronary arteries. • Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) - Thought to counteract rhythm disturbances. • High blood pressure - Believed to cause vasodilatation of peripheral blood vessels and lower blood pressure. • Heart Weakness - as caused by infectious diseases e.g. pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria. Is believed to restore and support heart function. Toxicity and side effects: Overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and dangerously lower blood pressure. Milder side effects include nausea and sedation
  3. 3. Strophanthus Botanical: Strophanthus Kombé, S.Hispidus, Family: Apocynaceae. Constituents: A glucoside, Strophanthin, an alkaloid, Inoeine, and fixed oil. Therapeutics and Pharmacology: It has an effect on the circulation, especially in cases of chronic heart weakness. The action of strophanthus, which is due to the strophanthin they contain, resembles that of foxglove leaves. It raises the blood pressure, is an efficient diuretic, and a powerful cardiac poison. It is not cumulative, and less liable than foxglove to produce gastro- intestinal irritation; hence is sometimes substituted for foxglove when this remedy has failed or disagreed. Toxicity and side effects: Nausea, vomiting, headache, disturbance of color vision.
  4. 4. Foxglove Botanical: Digitalis purpurea, D.lanata. Constituents: the most active constituents are digitoxin, digoxin, digitalin, digitalein and digitonin. Of these constituents, digitoxin is the most powerful and also an extremely poisonous drug. Digitoxin Therapeutics and Pharmacology: Foxglove is extremely useful in treating heart conditions as heart failure. The constituents of foxglove increase the activity of the heart, arterioles and other muscle tissue. An initial dose can raise blood pressure considerably but a moderate dose can slow the pulse and cause an irregular pulse to become normal. Toxicity and Side effects: Common foxglove is extremely poisonous and if used incorrectly can cause death. Symptoms of poisoning by the common foxglove include: • hallucinations • blurred vision • confusion • fainting • irregular heart beat • vomiting • nausea • stomach pain • drowsiness • Headache.
  5. 5. :Conclusion Cardioactive glycosides are used in cases of CHF and in controlling .rapid ventricular rate in atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter :Reference •The book, Natural medicine 1999. • • •