Cayce Health Database
COMMENTARY ON CORONARY HEART DISEASE
By Eric Mein, M. D.
[Note: The following overview comes from a Research
Bulletin on Coronary Heart Disease, Copyright © 1987 by the Edgar
Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]
Heart disease is the most important cause of mortality
and morbidity in the industrialized world today. In the United States,
a third of all deaths are from coronary heart disease, with myocardial
infarctions (heart attacks) occurring at a rate of approximately three
a minute. By the age of 60, one in five men has had a heart attack.
It is no wonder then that coronary heart disease is considered Public
Enemy #1 in regards to our health.
Edgar Cayce gave 54 readings for 40 individuals encompassing
the full range of this disease process from those he warned of the early
stages of atherosclerotic plaque formation to one man who had already
had two heart attacks. In these readings, he presented a fairly
consistent therapeutic approach. Some of his suggestions are in
keeping with the best research scientific medicine has to offer, while
other present a new perspective on the dynamics occurring and are worthy
The two major clinical manifestations of coronary
heart disease are myocardial infarction and angina pectoris. The
underlying problem in both is that the oxygen supply will not keep up
with the oxygen demand. The most common reason for this is the partial
or complete occlusion of the blood vessels with calcified, ulcerated and
fibrotic fat deposits (atherosclerotic lesions). In fact, it is
estimated that 95% of all coronary heart disease is due to these atherosclerotic
Despite intensive research, the exact cause of atherosclerosis
is still unknown! However, it is known to be the culmination of
a slow process which begins in infancy and childhood in the form of deposits
of fatty streaks. It has also been strongly linked with a number
of risk factors, the five primary ones being: 1) increased serum cholesterol
2) hypertension 3) smoking 4) diabetes and 5) a strong family history
of the disease. Other risk factors include a stressful lifestyle, inactivity,
increased serum uric acid, elevated serum homocysteine, and a disproportionate
intake of fat in the diet.
The Edgar Cayce readings propose that these "growths
...of an insidious nature" result from a combination of poor eliminations,
an unbalanced circulation, and a diet productive of an "excess of avoirdupois"
or fat in the bloodstream. The body systems given as interacting
to produce this situation included the liver, the colon, and the spine.
In each individual case, these three interacted differently to produce
the same general result.
1. LIVER: In General terms the liver's role in assimilation and
elimination of fats was recognized (the liver eliminates 95% of the cholesterol
that is removed from the body daily.) and in several cases, an engorged
or congested liver affected both of these functions. Liver dysfunction
was also stated to cause some of the problems with the colon discussed
2. COLON: The colon played a central role in the entire spectrum
of this disease process. In the early stages of plaque formation,
a colon engorgement or prolapsus was given as the cause of "toxins or
poisons" remaining in the system. These poisons would then "break
down in the very cells or ducts through which they were flowing".
The stressed colon was also seen as playing a central role in unbalancing
the circulation, leading to descriptions of a slowed circulation between
the liver and heart or to a generally increased blood pressure.
In the early stages, this effect on the circulation was seen to promote
the formation of the atherosclerotic plaques. once the plaques were formed,
the disturbed circulation played the central role in causing anginal pain
or a heart attack. The role of hypertension in plaque formation
and subsequently in stressing the heart is well known in traditional medicine
- the very new concept from the readings is the role the colon might play
in this process. An exact mechanism for this interaction was not
given in the Edgar Cayce readings reviewed for this bulletin.
3. SPINAL LESIONS: Were seen as affecting the balance between the
sympathetic nervous system and the cerebrospinal system. This in
turn would affect the flow through the sympathetic nerves to the internal
organs and to the blood vessels. In the individual with coronary
heart disease, these lesions could become involved in one of two ways.
First, lesions in the upper to mid dorsals played a direct role in the
circulatory balance between the heart, liver and lungs and could place
stress on the heart. Second, lesions in the lumbar area affected
blood flow to the colon and could contribute to colon difficulties as
discussed above in Section #2.
Two other factors played a role in the etiology of
the atherosclerotic plaque and hence, in coronary artery disease.
The first of these was diet.
Diet is now known to play a direct role in determining
our blood cholesterol levels. To quote William Castelli, M.D., medical
director of the famous Framingham Study, "Every single diet trial done
to date, all show that for each 1% decrease in cholesterol, you get a
2-3% decrease in the rate of heart attacks.1 As we will
see in the treatment section, the Cayce readings consistently recommended
a diet which is known to lower blood cholesterol.
The second factor, balance, is a bit more complicated.
A combination of factors in the body could produce "a lack of balance
in the chemical forces of the assimilating system" and affect the lacteal
ducts in the small intestine. The majority of fats, unlike proteins
and carbohydrates which go through the bloodstream to the liver, are absorbed
through the lacteal ducts into the lymph circulation before eventually
joining the blood. Cayce implied that fats at times were assimilated
incorrectly and that this could also contribute to the formation of these
"lymph pockets" (a fascinating reference to the atherosclerotic plaques
since the lymph carries the digested fat).
While the exact etiology of coronary heart disease
varied from individual to individual, the factors given by the Edgar Cayce
readings were consistently the same.
1. First, an improper diet and poor assimilation producing poisons in
2. Second, an inability through the colon and occasionally the liver
to deal with these poisons with proper eliminations.
3. Third, an unbalanced circulation produced through colon engorgement
and or spinal lesions, which contributed to these poisons forming the
atherosclerotic lesions and is in the later stages of the disease, placing
a direct burden on the heart.
Therapy varied somewhat on an individual to individual
basis, but several approaches appeared consistently in the readings on
coronary heart disease. As noted earlier, these 54 readings were
given for individuals in all stages of this disease process. Interestingly,
reflecting the reading's contention that hydrotherapy and osteopathy could
help any situation, the treatments recommended were fairly consistent
regardless of the severity of the condition. What did vary were
the specifics of application and the care with which a specific therapy
needed to be given.
The Cayce reading's approach to coronary heart disease
included the following major areas:
1. DIET (78%)
The three most commonly suggested changes in the diet
were the elimination of red meat, fried foods, and fats. It is now
clear from numerous studies that these diet changes will lower one's total
blood cholesterol and also changes the ratio of the different lipids in
the blood. The role of 5 different types of cholesterol in the bloodstream
is becoming known, with LDL (Low density lipoprotein) being recognized
as the "worst actor." In contrast, one of these five HDL (high-density
lipoprotein), is now known to bring fats back to the liver for processing
and elimination and is now considered desirable. Traditional medicine
currently considers it important to look at the total cholesterol/HDL
ratio, with a ratio of 4.5 and higher being considered dangerous.
Half of all American men and women have ratios of 4.5 and higher.
The vegetarians in the Framingham Study were found to have an average
ratio of 2.8 William Castelli, M.D., director of the Framingham Study,
cited 15 trials using coronary artery angiography which showed that if
an elevated cholesterol level is not brought down, 80% of the atherosclerotic
plaques are worse in 2-10 years. However, if the cholesterol was
brought down below 200, 80% of these lesions showed no progression over
the same time span.2 Hence, it becomes obvious that a
change in diet would be beneficial at any stage of this disease process.
The Cayce readings do state that chicken and fish
are not prohibited. In one reading, he told the individual that
the oils from these and olive oil would be beneficial for him. This
is interesting, in light of research showing fish oil can raise one's
HDL thus improving one's total cholesterol HDL ratio. In addition,
monosaturated fats, (77% of the composition of olive oil) have now been
shown to not only lower total cholesterol and LDL (the "bad actor") like
polyunsaturated fats do, but also actually increase the proportion of
Among the populations looked at in a seven country
study, Crete, Finland, the Netherlands, and the U.S. obtained 40% of their
calories from fat. The incidence of coronary heart disease and myocardial
infarction was highest among the seven nations in the latter three.
In Crete, where the fat consumed is primarily olive oil, the rate of this
disease is near zero.4
2. OSTEOPATHIC MANIPULATIONS (75%) - MASSAGE (23%)
Osteopathic manipulation and massages - These were
often recommended to help balance the sympathetic nervous system.
If the lesion corrected was in the mid-dorsals, this would impact on the
circulation between the heart, liver and lungs and on the heart directly.
Correction of lumbo-sacral lesions enhanced the circulation around and
functioning of the colon. Definitive research on these corrections
is still lacking. However, with angiography, the contraction and
relaxation of the coronary arteries has been graphically visualized.
This flux in size is mediated by the sympathetic nervous system and may
play a role in diminishing cardiac blood flow during an attack.
The Edgar Cayce readings propose that adjustments
would help balance the circulation and play a role in lowering blood pressure,
both placing less strain on the heart.
In several readings, it was plainly stated that the
manipulation or massage would help relieve the burden on the central circulation.
One individual was told the adjustments would help distribute the circulation
"below the waistline." Another person was told that massages with cocoa
butter in the evening would "help stimulate the superficial circulation."
The specific approach to a patient (manipulation vs.
massage) appeared to vary with the severity of their illness. In
one younger male, without any clinical problems, the readings advised
deep osteopathic manipulations, especially from the 9th thoracic vertebrae
up. In contrast, in another individual with angina, he was very
specific that manipulations should only be from the 9th thoracic vertebrae
and below so as not "to overstrain the heart and lung activity".
Similarly, 3 individuals were instructed to receive "osteopathic massages",
conveying the impression of a much gentler mode of therapy. Certainly,
the need for some professional judgement in deciding what type and force
of manipulations or massage would be needed and appropriate in each case.
As a general rule, however, the further along the symptoms, the more gentle
3. COLONICS (68%)
Colonic irrigation of the colon was recommended for
27 individuals in all stages of this disease process. The role of
this cleansing was to improve the eliminations and help remove "poisons"
from the bloodstream. Also, for those individuals experiencing clinical
symptoms like angina pectoris, reducing the "pressures in the colon" would
directly relieve the strain on the heart and would also lower the blood
pressure. Very little research has ever been done with colonics,
and to my knowledge, none is available to support or contradict this concept.
The method for giving these colonics was fairly well
specified. First, especially with advanced disease, it was emphasized
that these should be given "professionally and scientifically" in a positive
but gentle manner. The individual giving the colonic was instructed
to watch the pulse closely and to make sure too great a strain was not
placed on the body. The colonic water itself was to be body temperature
with a level tablespoon of salt and a level teaspoon of soda added to
each gallon of water. The final rinse waters were to contain glyco-thymoline.
Colonics were to be spaced approximately every ten days apart and were
to continue as long as there was an indication of mucous in the colon.
Again, it was emphasized that these were not to place a strain on the
body, and so individuals were warned not to completely empty the colon
the first time. Instead, this was to be done gradually over several
4. REST (43%)
Rest - The recommendation to rest, both physically
and emotionally, was given 17 times by the Cayce readings to individuals
who were experiencing clinical symptoms of ischemic heart disease.
This advice is logical, as activity or excitement of any kind places a
stress on the heart, and thereby causes the heart muscle to require more
oxygen. The readings indicated that as the condition improved, activity
could be gradually increased again. He was so adamant about this,
that he told one individual to continue taking sedatives (something the
readings generally deplored) if that was necessary to help her rest. Often,
combined with the recommendation to rest, was the suggestion to spend
more time outdoors (13%). In contrast with this, for one individual
with only early pre-symptomatic disease, exercise was recommended as being
5. RADIO-ACTIVE [RADIAL] APPLIANCE (25%)
The readings recommended the use of the radio-active
appliance (also called the radial appliance and impedance device) to 10
individuals. This device, which essentially consists of a capacitor
and a resistor in parallel, was stated to use the body's own electrical
force to help equalize the circulation. It was also seen as being
helpful "to quiet and ease the body without disturbing the other portions
of the system". Some basic research done on this device has found
no currents or voltages in the wires connected to an individual.
However, preliminary findings showed that the appliance did reduce the
small electrical potential differences which exist externally between
different portions of the body. In a series of experiments done
at Duke University in the 1950's, it was observed that a drop in these
potential differences was associated with an increased sense of well-being.5
Research on how the impedance device might help balance an individuals
circulation is still needed.
6. ABDOMINAL PACKS
Five different types of abdominal packs were recommended
for seven different individuals. The purpose of these varied from
helping the liver to function properly again to assisting in cleansing
7. MEDICATION (23%)
Advice regarding medication - The Cayce readings presented
a fairly balanced perspective on the use of medication with ischemic heart
disease. Explaining that the available medications were palliative
only, he recommended one individual gradually taper their use. He
did instruct another 5 people, however, to continue their medicine to
help them through acute clinical conditions until the other suggested
therapies could be of some benefit. The specific medication suggestions
he made were in regard to the use of several forms of digitalis, which
was used at that time to help individuals with heart disease. Numerous
other drugs are now available and digitalis is no longer used in this
8. DRAW CIRCULATION TO LEGS (13%)
A variety of recommendations were made to increase
the circulation in the extremities in an attempt to help relieve the strain
on the sluggish deep circulation. Suggestions included massage,
manipulations, applying a combination of olive oil and tincture of benzoin,
and simply keeping the feet warm.
9. A number of therapies were recommended in less than 10% of the
40 cases. All of these appear to fall into the category of individualized
suggestions and probably should not be considered in the general treatment
of coronary heart disease.
In review, the therapies suggested by the Cayce Readings
appear intended to accomplish two main objectives. First, through
the use of colonics, adjustments, rest, and the radio-active [radial]
appliance, the circulation was to be balanced and the strain on the heart
to be relieved. Second, through changes in the diet and improved
eliminations, together with the improved circulation, the poisons in the
system were to be eliminated and the progression of the disease was to
Traditional medical science is beginning to examine
some drugless therapies. One study of note involved a group of patients
with angina who were placed in an intensive program of stress management
and dietary change. For twenty four days, the subjects lived in
a rural setting on a vegetarian diet, and were made to meditate and exercise
for five hours a day. The incidence of anginal attacks fell from
an average of ten a day to one; exercise capacity improved by forty-four
percent; blood cholesterol fell by twenty percent; heart muscle function
improved; and many patients had either to stop or reduce their dose of
blood pressure medicine.6
Hopefully, in the next several years, further studies
will be performed to either confirm or contradict the model of the etiology
and treatment of coronary artery disease as presented in the Edgar Cayce
1. Castelli, W.: quoted from the videotape, "The Lipid Connection
in Antihypertensive Therapy" from Sandoz Pharmaceutical.
3. Mattson, F.H.: Monounsaturated fatty acids as cholesterol-lowering
agents. Perspective in Lipid Disorder, 5:1, p. 17, 1987.
4. Keys, A. (ed.): Coronary Heart Disease in Seven Countries.
American Heart Association. Monograph No. 29, 1970.
5. Cited from Cayce, E.E.: Two electrical appliances described
in the Edgar Cayce readings (pamphlet), Oct. 1965.
6. Ornish, D., et al: Effects of Stress-Management Training
and Dietary changes in treating ischemic heart disease. JAMA,
Jan. 7, 1983, p. 54
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health