"The Gift from Paradise"

Native Africans referred to this plant medicine as “The Gift From Paradise.” Strophanthus (through its active ingredient, Ouabain) has been used successfully for centuries to support heart function and improve the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in improved heart function, increased stamina, better sleep, less anxiety and an overall sense of wellbeing. Recent studies have shown promising results in Strophanthus’ (Oaubain’s) potential role as the most effective senolytic (anti-aging) agent and a potent “anti-viral,” or more accurately, a powerful treatment to support and protect our tissues, helping them to use oxygen more efficiently. The goal of our “Strophanthus Project” is to introduce this valuable medicine, sometimes referred to as “the insulin of the heart,” to as many individuals and healthcare practitioners as possible. 

"Since my book Human Heart, Cosmic Heart made its debut in 2016, a lot has happened. One of the most exciting developments for me is the number of consultations I have had with health practitioners across the country about the use of strophanthus seed extract, which I talk about in the book.” 

With virtually no negative side effects reported from recommended use (contrary to many commonly used FDA-approved pharmaceuticals), Dr. Cowan has successfully used Strophanthus for decades with his patients, as have many other healthcare practitioners throughout the world.

Historically, the main use of Strophanthus seed extracts and its “active” ingredient, Ouabain, has been to support heart function. Over the years, we have seen many people whose functional capacity has improved as a result of taking our extracts. People have experienced less chest pain; their cardiac function as measured by the ejection fraction has improved; and their BNP levels, a marker of congestive heart failure, have normalized. We describe several of these cases in detail towards the end of this page.

Additionally, because Strophanthus seed extracts have a tonifying effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, many people using our strophanthus seed extracts report an overall sense of well-being, better sleep and less anxiety. Strophanthus seed extracts catalyze the conversion of the metabolic toxin lactic acid into the vital nutrient pyruvate. This conversion means that people using Strophanthus seed extracts have improved metabolic efficiency, a key factor in many chronic diseases.

Furthermore, after many years of use, we have received virtually no reports of any untoward effects. One can easily see why native Africans referred to this plant medicine as “The Gift from Paradise.”

In the past few years, two new uses for ouabain have come to our attention. The first use was described in an article1 that found that ouabain is the most effective senolytic agent these researchers had discovered. A senolytic agent is a substance that prevents the formation of senescent cells in the body. Senescent cells are formed when the tissue is old, poisoned or sick from any cause. In essence, a senescent cell is dying and becoming dysfunctional. Current research is focused on protecting the tissues from this death spiral, and the marker for this protection is the reduction of the formation of these senescent cells. It appears that strophanthus seed extracts are perhaps one of nature’s primary ways of staving off this senescent process.

The other use for ouabain/strophanthus seed extracts is suggested by an article2 that refers to ouabain as an “anti-viral.” As we now know, viruses have not been found to be pathogens, so what is the sense of using an “anti-viral?” The article points out that ouabain does not kill viruses; rather, it protects the tissues, helping them to use oxygen more efficiently. What one sees, then, is the tissues don’t break down into the pieces of genetic debris we mistakenly call viruses. To a researcher stuck in the old mold of thinking, this phenomenon appears to be an “anti-viral” effect. The reality is, ouabain simply protects our tissues and cells; they are more resistant to dying, and the organism remains healthier.

¹ Cardiac glycosides are broad-spectrum senolytics. Guerrero A, Herranz N, Sun B, Wagner V, Gallage S, Guiho R, Wolter K, Pombo J, Irvine EE, Innes AJ, Birch J, Glegola J, Manshaei S, Heide D, Dharmalingam G, Harbig J, Olona A, Behmoaras J, Dauch D, Uren AG, Zender L, Vernia S, Martínez-Barbera JP, Heikenwalder M, Withers DJ, Gil J. Nat Metab. 2019 Nov;1(11):1074-1088. doi: 10.1038/s42255-019-0122-z. Epub 2019 Oct 21.  

² (2)  Ouabain – A Drug for Treatment of Covid-19, Journal of Cardiology and Clinical Practice, Volume 3, issue 2, Sroka, Knut.

About Our Extracts

The three extracts we provide are made from wild-harvested strophanthus seeds obtained from the Cameroon. Two of our products are meant for therapeutic use (as a treatment for an existing condition). One of our therapeutic extracts is a powder inside capsules, and one is a liquid.

For the therapeutic liquid, use 7 to 10 drops once a day for the first week, and increase to this same dose twice a day thereafter. Again, unless guided by your practitioner, use this as the maximum dose.

The therapeutic capsules are ground with a few inert excipients, and the extract is then soaked in alcohol and filtered. The usual dose for general support as I describe above is one of the capsules opened and sprinkled in the mouth once or twice a day. Let the powder dissolve in the mouth for one minute before swallowing. Start with one capsule a day for one week and use a maximum of two capsules a day, unless otherwise told by your practitioner. 

Our third and newest product is meant for prophylactic (preventive) use and can be used by anyone seeking to enjoy the overall health benefits of Strophanthus. Our prophylactic liquid (coming soon) is, to our knowledge, the world’s first spagyric tincture. This new spagyric tincture is made by master alchemist Phoenix Aurelius, using wild-crafted strophanthus seeds and alchemical principles. It contains a small amount of the active ingredient, ouabain, complemented by the other largely uncharacterized components in strophanthus seeds. This new tincture is not meant to replace our other strophanthus capsules, which are still front-line support for problems related to the heart. Rather, people taking this tincture have reported it to be milder, with a more subtle effect. Therefore, the main indications for the new tincture include stress relief, parasympathetic support, and overall help with restoring metabolic functioning, including the utilization of oxygen. The usual dose is just 1-4 drops, 2-3 times per day, depending on your individual needs and reaction.

As always, we welcome any questions or feedback about this or any of our products and any effect you are noticing on your health, or, if you are a practitioner, the health of your patients.

For more information about the beneficial effects of strophanthus on the heart, please read Dr. Cowan’s book Human Heart, Cosmic Heart or check out the articles in the News section of this website.

Strophanthus Extract

Dr. Tom Cowan

Strophanthus Extract


Strophanthus Capsules

Dr. Tom Cowan

Strophanthus Capsules


Spagyric Strophanthus Seed Extract

Human Heart Cosmic Heart

Spagyric Strophanthus Seed Extract


What is Strophanthus?

How Strophanthus Works.

Patient Stories

BACKSTORY: Feb. 7. A 68-year-old male was hospitalized with heart failure due to left ventricle damage, rigidity. After stent installed the ejection fraction was 18%. I started him 6 weeks ago on strophanthus, 3 drops bid, and then 3 weeks later increased to 6, bid.  (I also used ubiquinol, magnesium orotate, proteolytic enzymes, activated b vitamins). Checkup ECG yesterday, ejection fraction now at 47%. The technician commented in 15 years he never saw this kind of recovery. Patient feels excellent and says, “I felt my heart moving differently” shortly after starting the strophanthus. I guess so!

FROM TOM: This is a very revealing case as it shows that strophanthus can improve, in some cases dramatically, the overall heart function. Ejection fraction is a measure of the percentage of blood that exits the heart as compared to the amount that enters the heart. While one may think it would be 100 percent, in actuality, a normal ejection fraction is about 60 percent (tellingly, this is the same as the ejection fraction of a hydraulic ram, the device that Rudolf Steiner said is most like the heart). An ejection fraction of 18 percent is barely compatible with life; at 47 percent, life is fairly normal. While some of the effects may be from the stent or the other supplements, it is clear that by improving the metabolism of the heart, in particular, the removal of the lactic acid from the heart cells, strophanthus can and does improve heart function, in this case, dramatically. Interestingly, the patient felt this immediately, and his experience was confirmed by the echocardiogram.

BACKSTORY: I took my first dose of strophanthus the morning after seeing you in your office on 2/28/17. I had an amazing feeling of rest and peace in my body for the first time in many, many years. It also helps greatly with my cardiac symptoms. I have had life-long anxiety, and the medicine seems to have a calming effect as another benefit.

FROM TOM: I highlight this case to demonstrate one of the main effects of the strophanthus extract, which is to support the parasympathetic nervous system. Supporting the parasympathetic nervous system is associated with the feeling of calm and relaxation, and this translates into better cardiac function and fewer angina symptoms. As is well known in conventional cardiology, the balance of the autonomic nervous system plays a major role in overall cardiac health. That is why beta-blockers – drugs that block the sympathetic nervous system — have been first-line cardiac drugs for more than 50 years. How much better results would we get if instead of blocking the stress response (and its attendant side effects of constipation, impotence, fatigue, diabetes, to name just a few), we actually nourished our parasympathetic system – with essentially no side effects reported.

BACKSTORY: I suffered from Cardiac Cephalgia angina attacks—35 to 45 per month even though I was taking 30 mg of Isosorbide Mononitrate daily, and using 0.4 mg nitroglycerin transdermal patches. After taking strophanthus seed extract, I’m down to around five angina attacks per month.

FROM TOM: This case demonstrates the main indication for strophanthus and is fairly dramatic evidence of its effectiveness. Strophanthus combats angina and prevents heart attacks through at least three overlapping mechanisms. The first is strophanthus’ ability to convert the lactic acid that builds up in the heart tissue into pyruvate, which the heart can use as a fuel. This conversion immediately lessens the pain and improves heart function. Second, strophanthus stimulates the sodium-potassium pump, thereby helping the cell excrete sodium and become less swollen. Lessening the swelling in the red blood cells and platelets, main sites of its action, makes these cells more flexible and able to traverse the capillaries with more ease. This is similar to the blood-thinning effect of aspirin and Plavix, without the risks of bleeding or other complications. And, finally, by supporting the parasympathetic system, the autonomic nervous system imbalance that results in angina and heart attacks is curtailed. Again, this is similar to the effect of beta-blockers without any of the negative effects.

Your feedback is essential...

Collecting these stories is an exciting component to our Strophanthus Project. Please send us your feedback — good, bad or neutral — as every bit of information we can collect helps us put together the pieces of the almost forgotten strophanthus puzzle.

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