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Independent health store advice on natural ways to look after the health of your heart

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of expertise. This month we talk to Naomi Murray, co-owner of Botanica Health in Tunbridge Wells

There are so many things we don’t know about the heart. We take it for granted and probably barely give it a thought until something goes wrong. But perhaps we need to treat it with tender loving care, in thought and deed. Here are some facts about heart health:

Heartfelt emotions

The heart is the seat of emotions and in fact research shows that sorrow really can break your heart and an angry heart can burst. It has been noted that viewing a stressful football match doubles the risk of a heart attack. Spikes in heart attacks are seen after World Cup events – an experience that can cause such a strong emotional reaction leading to a potentially serious health event. We often mention the heart in conversation. These expressions pertain to feelings. We feel from the heart: “I didn’t have the heart, a heart of gold, heart goes out to, heart is in the right place, heavy heart, take heart.” What is clear is the heart is precious and needs to be treated with tender loving care.

Heart inflammation

There has been an apparent rise in pericarditis (inflammation of the protective fluid-filled sac) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, pounding heart, weakness and fatigue, low grade fever and dizziness. This should be taken seriously and medical advice sought. But there are herbs that can support healing of heart inflammation.

There are times when the heart is under pressure emotionally and physically. When this is evident there are heart supportive protocols. Herbs being one of the best. My grandmother made herself hawthorn tea for decades. Before she died at the age of 97, after a fall, she had the blood pressure of a teenager. She rarely got wound up. The herbs and a peaceful heart served her well.

Heart herbs

Hawthorn – This herb helps to protect against heart disease. Studies suggest that hawthorn increases coronary artery blood flow, improves circulation and lowers blood pressure.

Astragalus – A cardiac tonic. It has been found to alleviate chest distress, improve left-ventricular function and has therapeutic effects on sodium and water retention, thus improving renal function.

Holy basil – This herb has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischaemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. A herb for all reasons. A powerful anti-stress remedy.

Garlic – Helps to prevent cell damage, regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Other research shows that garlic may also reduce plaque build-up in the arteries.

Andrographis – Not only is this bitter herb a potent antiviral but studies show beneficial effects in different components of metabolic syndrome, including diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and obesity.

Schisandra – Not only a wonderful adaptogenic herb for those feeling debilitated by negative emotions but also a wonderful heart tonic.

Heart nutritional supports


Studies have shown that pomegranate juice improves blood flow and keeps the arteries from becoming stiff and thick. It may also slow the growth of plaque and the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.

Co-enzyme Q10

Research shows this can lower blood pressure and support general heart health. A useful supplement to take if prescribed statins as they can lower this essential nutrient which is naturally found in the body.


This mineral is essential for a healthy heart rhythm and plays a vital role in cardiovascular health.


Studies show that this mineral plays an important role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke.


Several studies show that cocoa exerts beneficial cardiovascular effects, mainly due to its polyphenols which help to keep the blood vessels healthy.

Green tea

A study of 40,530 Japanese adults revealed that those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day had a 26 per cent lower risk of death from a stroke or heart attack.

You truly are what you eat and the heart can benefit daily from herbs, plants and nutritious food to optimise the function of this precious organ.

Botanica Health

Botanica Health is located at 26 High Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8RY.

It was established in September 2011 by Naomi and Alan Murray. Naomi is a health and lifestyle advisor and Alan is a sports injury specialist. Naomi’s father is Scotland’s longest practising medical herbalist. The store specialises in herbs and minerals and has a team of therapists providing additional support to customers.

To contact the store, visit, call 01892 458289
or follow them on social media:
Instagram: @botanica_health

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