Thomas Cowan, MD

Author of Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Thomas Cowan was a 20-year-old Duke grad―bright, skeptical, and already disillusioned with industrial capitalism―when he joined the Peace Corps in the mid-1970s for a two-year tour in Swaziland. There, he encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner and Weston A. Price―two men whose ideas would fascinate and challenge him for decades to come.

Both drawn to the art of healing and repelled by the way medicine was―and continues to be―practiced in the United States, Cowan returned from Swaziland, went to medical school, and established a practice in New Hampshire and, later, San Francisco. For years, as he raised his three children, suffered the setback of divorce, and struggled with a heart condition, he remained intrigued by the work of Price and Steiner and, in particular, with Steiner’s provocative claim that the heart is not a pump. Determined to practice medicine in a way that promoted healing rather than compounded ailments, Cowan dedicated himself to understanding whether Steiner’s claim could possibly be true. And if Steiner was correct, what, then, is the heart? What is its true role in the human body?

In this deeply personal, rigorous, and riveting account, Dr. Cowan offers up a daring claim: Not only was Steiner correct that the heart is not a pump, but our understanding of heart disease―with its origins in the blood vessels―is completely wrong. And this gross misunderstanding, with its attendant medications and risky surgeries, is the reason heart disease remains the most common cause of death worldwide.

In Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, Dr. Thomas Cowan presents a new way of understanding the body’s most central organ. He offers a new look at what it means to be human and how we can best care for ourselves―and one another.

Show Highlights:

In the embryo, circulation of blood comes before the heart develops.

Conventional view of the heart as a pressure propulsion model – blood moves because of squeezing of the heart.

The shape of the heart belies that it is a pump. The varying thickness of muscle layers in different parts of the heart does not match the function of each part. Heart anatomy is congruent with the heart being a suction device, not a pushing device.

At, a structural engineer explains why the heart is not a pump.

The heart is a vortex which facilitates the heavier elements of blood traveling down the central axis of a blood vessel and the lighter fluids toward the periphery of the vessel. The heart is not a boss but a facilitator.

The vortex structures the blood and creates an electromagnetic field which gives other organs a rhythm to entrain onto.

Can’t treat heart disease without a proper understanding of how the heart functions. Thrombogenic theory of heart attacks is wrong. has a picture of how a heart attack occurs. 18% of people having a heart attack have a blockage, 82% don’t. The longer people live after a heart attack, the more blockages are formed, which are a consequence of having the heart attack.

Unblocking a blockage does help the pain by stimulating more flow, but does not impact future heart attacks or mortality. Deposits in arteries does contribute some to heart attacks, but the major cause is from impacts of damage to the collateral bypass system. Smoking and diabetes, major risk factors for heart attacks, cause disease of the small blood vessels.

Heart attacks are an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system. 95% of the time a suppressed parasympathetic nervous system is a precursor to heart attacks. Increased sympathetic leads to a glycolitic shift from mitochondria to cytoplasm, from oxidative phosphorylation to fermentation, leading to a build up of lactic acid in the heart cells, which causes heart pain.

Once lactic acid build up, it acidifies the tissue and causes necrosis and paralysis of heart cells, which we call a heart attack.

Prevent heart attacks through increased collateral circulation from either exercise or EECP, burn fats as fuel instead of sugar, support the parasympathetic nervous system, and flush out lactic acid.

Ouabain, which is made in the adrenals, supports the parasympathetic nervous system and converts lactic acid into pyruvate, the main fuel source of the heart. Statins decrease the ability of the body to make ouabain.

Strophanthus is a plant whose seeds contain ouabain. Only source of strophanthus is a company in Brazil. Dr. Cowan has an agreement to be their distributor in US. To get strophanthus, a patient’s medical provider needs to call Dr. Cowan.

Dr. Cowan’s Garden Powders. Chaga and other new products now available. Are currently restocking, check website in 2-3 weeks.

Athlete’s need much more blood flow but their hearts are only 2-3% bigger. They use more muscles, which use more energy and generate more water, which gets pumped into the capillary bed of the muscles. This increases the tributary flow of the water, leading to more blood flow back to the heart. Hearts are an impedance device, a ram pump. The heart holds back incoming fluid to create a vortex. The heart speeds up to accommodate, and when the pressure differential builds up, the heart contracts. Increased flow increases the suction of the ram. Blood flow is tied into the muscle function, not into the heart.

Heart likes to be coherent, the conductor of the symphony. Heart has a beat-to-beat variability the way a conductor does. Not like a metronome with a constant rhythm. Best rhythm is 72 bpm and 18 bpm. Heart rhythm is tied into the rhythm of the seasons, the year, and the cosmos.

Nitric oxide supports the heart rhythm.

Heart calcification tests are overrated because they overrate the importance of plaque in developing heart attacks. Calcium deposits are casts to support the blood vessel and keep it from bursting. Source of the problem is weakening of the blood vessel wall. Plaque is the response. Medicine is chronically confused between cause and effect.

Vitamin C deficiency is needed to form collagen and is a player in weak blood vessels. Probably can’t get enough from food.

Favorite Vitamin E supplement is Tocomin, from red palm oil, containing all forms of tocotrienal, available at his website.

Afib is a metabolic disorder of the heart. Is due to a diet based on carbohydrates and a direct consequence of statin use.

Recommends Hannah Yoseph book “How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol And Kill You One Cell At A Time”.

CoQ10 for heart health – essential if you take statin drugs. Need to take it for life if you’ve ever taken statins.

Chaga – a great cancer medicine and good for everyone.

and more!

Visit Website

dr. thomas m.d. and the heart is not a pump, january 12, 2017

'Thomas Cowan, MD – Author of Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease – January 12, 2017' have 3 comments

  1. January 17, 2017 @ 9:24 am jane

    can anyone suggest dietary or a combo of herbal and dietary plan to control lactic acid build up if one has a tendency to not be able to clear LACTIC ACID adequately and speedily enough from the blood stream and cells etc. thank you


  2. January 18, 2017 @ 10:28 pm Alex Cameron

    If you thought Dr. Cowan recommended checking out “” like I did, it is a mistake.
    He said “” Here is the page with the heart video he referenced:


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