The average human vascular system stretches over 60,000 miles. That's more than twice the Earth's circumference. Over a lifetime, the heart beats about 2.5 billion times, showcasing the incredible rhythm of life within us.
The primary role of the circulatory system is to transport essential substances, such as oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and waste products, throughout the body. It plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis by ensuring that all cells and tissues receive the necessary resources for their functions and that waste products are removed efficiently. In the following article we will give you a detailed account of the circulatory system’s anatomy and physiology, its role in detoxification, and the primary herbs traditionally used to support this system.
This blog is the outline for our upcoming free live webinar Insight into the Circulatory System: Function & Therapeutics which is taking place on Wednesday, October 18th from 1-2 pm pacific time.
Circulatory System Anatomy
The Heart: The heart is the central organ of the cardiovascular system. It's a muscular, fist-sized organ located slightly left of the center of the chest. The heart consists of four chambers: two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). It serves as the pump that propels blood throughout the body.
Aorta: The aorta is the largest artery in the body and originates from the left ventricle of the heart. It carries oxygenated blood to the rest of the body through its various branches.
Coronary Arteries: These arteries supply the heart muscle (myocardium) with oxygen and nutrients. Any blockages in these arteries can lead to heart problems.
Pulmonary Circulation: This is a separate loop of the cardiovascular system that involves the heart and lungs. It transports deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. Then, oxygenated blood returns to the left side of the heart.
Systemic Circulation: This part of the circulatory system delivers oxygenated blood to the entire body. It includes arteries, capillaries, and veins.
The Blood: Blood is a fluid connective tissue that flows through the cardiovascular system. It consists of red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), platelets, and plasma. Red blood cells carry oxygen, while white blood cells (immune cells) protect, and platelets are essential for blood clotting.
Blood Vessels: The blood vessels are a vast network that includes arteries, veins, and capillaries.
Arteries: Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to various parts of the body. The largest artery is the aorta, which branches into smaller arteries.
Veins: Veins transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart. The superior and inferior vena cava are the main veins that return blood to the heart.
Capillaries: Capillaries are tiny, thin-walled vessels that connect arteries and veins. They allow for the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products between the blood and body tissues.
Valves: Valves within the heart and major blood vessels prevent the backflow of blood. The heart has four valves: the tricuspid valve, the pulmonary valve, the mitral valve, and the aortic valve.
Pericardium: The pericardium is a double-layered sac that encloses the heart. It provides protection and helps prevent overexpansion of the heart.
Cardiac Conduction System: This system controls the rhythmic contractions of the heart. It includes the sinoatrial (SA) node, atrioventricular (AV) node, bundle of His, and Purkinje fibers.
Circulatory System Physiology
The circulatory system mimics nature. Watercourses flow through varied landscapes accumulating nutrients and minerals from mountainous soils and transporting them to the river basin. The blood gathers oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive tract and carries them to the capillary beds, where they are delivered to neighboring organs and tissues.
Here are the primary functions of the Circulatory system:
Oxygen Delivery: Akin to the river's flow, blood is saturated with life-sustaining oxygen in the lungs, serving as the bloodstream's vital cargo. From there, it embarks on its journey, distributing this precious molecule to the farthest reaches of the body's vast landscape. Just as rivers nourish ecosystems, our blood nourishes the diverse territories within us, ensuring their health and vitality.
Nutrient Delivery: The circulatory system operates similarly as it is a vital transport network within our bodies. It gathers essential nutrients like glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids during the digestive process and transports them to various parts of the body as nutrient-rich blood.
Hormone Distribution: Another vital function of the circulatory system is hormone distribution. Hormones produced by the body's endocrine glands are released into the bloodstream, serving as chemical messengers. This enables them to reach target cells throughout the body, where they play a fundamental role in regulating various physiological processes such as metabolism, glucose regulation, and the fight or flight response.
Immune Activation: Our circulatory system acts as a sentinel for the body's defense mechanisms. Immune cells - white blood cells and antibodies - travel through the bloodstream. This mobility allows them to quickly respond to foreign organisms, helping to protect our body from potential threats.
Temperature Regulation: Blood circulation is instrumental in regulating body temperature. It efficiently distributes heat from the body's core to its extremities, helping to maintain a stable internal temperature.
Blood Pressure Regulation: The circulatory system is a major contributor to maintaining healthy blood pressure which is vital for ensuring that blood flows smoothly through the vessels, providing all tissues with the oxygen and nutrients they require to function optimally.
The Circularity System’s Role in Detoxification
A capillary bed is a microscopic and intricate web of narrow blood vessels that densely permeates tissues, allowing for efficient nutrient and gas exchange. There are capillary beds throughout the entire body; this is where the blood delivers nutrients and oxygen to the organs and tissues and where metabolic waste, water, electrolytes and hormones are gathered to be removed for elimination.
These gathered metabolic waste products, including carbon dioxide and urea, are transported by the bloodstream to specialized organs like the lungs and kidneys, where they undergo the processes of elimination. Referring back to our conversation about the lymphatic system, you will recall lymphatic capillaries are also present in these capillary beds. They mop up excess fluid which maintains healthy blood pressure and scan this fluid for unwanted organisms.
This essential zone where blood and lymph meet and exchange fluids is ground zero for Doctor Morse’s teachings on cellular regeneration. Here in these densely packed capillary beds filled with interstitial fluid, cellular waste, blood and lymph is where acidosis can be detected and resolved. Only through the optimal flow and function of both the blood and lymphatic vessels can this acidic buildup be properly absorbed and removed from the body.
The kidneys, skin, respiratory and digestive tracts also need to be online in order for this waste to complete its journey out of the body. Fasting on raw fruits and vegetables and using the supportive herbs in our Ultimate Detox Kits is what Doctor Morse recommends for true cellular rejuvenation.
Increased vs. Decreased Circulation
The circulatory system plays a vital role in maintaining overall health, and its optimal functioning is essential for well-being. While we won't delve into specific medical conditions, we can discuss the differences between increased and decreased circulation, along with some common contributing factors.
Increased circulation, often referred to as hypercirculation, is a state where blood flow is higher than the body's usual requirements. Here are some key points to consider:
Heart Function: In cases of increased circulation, the heart pumps blood at a faster rate, and the blood vessels may dilate to accommodate the higher flow. This increased workload on the heart can lead to various health implications.
Contributing Factors: Chronic stress, excessive physical activity, stimulant use, or underlying medical conditions may contribute to increased circulation.
Herbal Therapeutics: Incorporating nervous system support herbs like lemon balm, skullcap, passionflower, and oat tops can support healthy nervous system function. Adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, eleuthero, and schisandra berry support a healthy stress response and are great for daily use. Our Spasm Calm and Adrenal Support formulas contain many of these supportive herbs.
Decreased circulation, on the other hand, refers to a state where blood flow is limited or compromised. It's important to remember that this is a general description and not an endorsement of any medical condition. Here are some key points:
Heart Function: In cases of decreased circulation, the heart may struggle to pump blood effectively, resulting in reduced blood flow to various body parts. This can impact overall health and vitality.
Contributing Factors: Sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, certain health conditions, and factors affecting blood vessel health can contribute to decreased circulation.
Herbal Therapeutics: Pungent herbs like cayenne, pricky ash and ginger are traditionally used as circulatory stimulants. Their hot pungency supports increased heart rate and the flow of blood to the extremities. They are often added to formulas as catalysts to better support the transport of the formula to the vital organs and tissues they support. Prickly ash is the catalyst in Blood Support & Blood Circulation, cayenne is the catalyst in our Bleeding formula.
*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.