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.
About the Author
Thomas Cowan, MD, has studied and written about many subjects in medicine, including nutrition, homeopathy, anthroposophical medicine, and herbal medicine. He is the author of Cancer and the New Biology of Water; Vaccines, Autoimmunity, and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illness; and Human Heart, Cosmic Heart; principal author of The Fourfold Path to Healing; and coauthor (with Sally Fallon) of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians’ Association for Anthroposophic Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. He also writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts (the Weston A. Price Foundation’s quarterly magazine), has lectured throughout the United States and Canada, and is the cofounder of two family businesses, Dr. Cowan’s Garden (drcowansgarden.com) and Human Heart, Cosmic Heart (humanheartcosmicheart.com). He has three grown children and currently resides in San Francisco with his wife, Lynda Smith.