A palpitation in the heart can bring great fear and anxiety to the affected individual-these are nothing but sudden irregular beatings in the heart which occur repeatedly without warning. It is common knowledge that the human heart beats quicker and stronger during times of physical or emotional stress felt by a person. However, irregular heart beatings are unique in that they can occur quite suddenly even when the person is in a state of relaxation or is lying in bed. This form of irregularity in the heart beat can arise as a result of a problem in the nervous system or a because of a psychological difficulty that the person has in dealing with mentally or physically stressful situations.
Many types of conditions which can be classified as being rather panic attacks or anxiety attacks are accompanied by heart palpitations. Symptoms such as sudden spells of dizziness, nausea and a shortness of breath, along with stabbing heart pains can come during the more severe heart palpitations. A medical professional’s opinion will be needed to diagnose the problem and suggest treatment if the condition is severe or if it keeps recurring. Irregularities in the rhythm of the heart beat can be classified as arrhythmias. For example, these situations can occur when the heart seemingly skips a beat all of a sudden. Though investigations and diagnosis becomes required if these occur regularly, such conditions are not on the whole considered serious enough to endanger the affected individual.
The stress hormone - adrenalin - is released during times of physical or mental stress and it makes the heart beat harder and faster to cope with any situation the person may find himself or herself in. This reaction of hormonal release is the famous flight or fight reaction necessary for the body when the person has hard exercise, and in other situations where the person has to face danger from different sources. However, the possibility of an underlying heart disease should be considered if heart palpitations occur even when the person makes minimal effort-this possibility also exists if the palpitations occur when the person is at rest. Such palpitations in the body of an individual already suffering from some sort of severe infection or inflammation, may be signaling an impending heart attack and all necessary precautions must be taken in such events. Heart palpitations can also be caused by other conditions such as high blood-pressure or an overactive thyroid gland which may be over secreting hormones. Pregnant women also sometimes suffer heart palpitations as a form of reaction to the extra strain on the heart during labor. However, heart palpitations are on the whole unrelated to heart diseases in anyway and heart palpitations and arrhythmias commonly occur in people who are over excited and are reacting to psychological stress or a traumatic physical event. Cigarettes, tea and coffee, are also known to cause heart palpitations especially if they are taken in excessive amounts.
Supplements and herbs
Cardiac muscles can be bolstered by herbal supplements of the hawthorn herb. Dosage of this herb can be about two tbsp. of the herbal juice of the hawthorn mixed in water, and taken thrice every day for a supplemental period lasting a few weeks. Another excellent herbal tea to be used in the treatment of heart palpitations is a preparation made using two tsp. of yarrow, steep in boiling water for fifteen minutes, this herbal tea can then be strained and should be drunk while it is warm, dosage can be 2-3 cups of the herbal tea every day of the treatment period. A quickened pulse rate can be relaxed and slowed down by the juice of the yarrow herb; this herbal juice can also be used to control the sudden thumping in the heart during a palpitation. The cardiac muscles can be relaxed by the lemon balm during palpitations. Prepare a lemon balm tincture, and mix two tsp. of it in a cup of lemon balm tea, sip this mixture slowly to calm the heart palpitations. Heart palpitations due to nervousness and anxiety can also be treated using herbs like the valerian, the hops, the white horehound and the bugleweed in different supplemental forms. Heart palpitations and cardiac muscle excitement is calmed by the white horehound. Dosages of this herbal remedy can be 10 drops of white horehound tincture mixed with water used about thrice every day during the treatment regimen. Make an herbal tea using this herb by steeping 2 tsp. of white horehound herb in 2 cups of boiling water for about three to five minutes. Once this is done, strain the herbal tea and drink it in doses of 3-5 cups every day. The essential mineral silica play a vital role in the regulation of the heart. Herbal baths can also serve as a topical treatment measure for heart palpitations, an herbal bath using the lemon balm relaxes the heart and an herbal bath using an infusion of the lavender will relax the nervous system of the patient. A herbal infusion can be prepared using 6 tbsp. of lemon balm in 4 qt. of boiling water, let this herb steep in the water for some time, and then strain it, adding it to bath water for use as a direct topical measure. Bath water can alternately be fortified using 10-20 drops of the essential oil of lemon balm. This will bring topical relief from the symptoms of heart palpitations
Here's a natural sedative to subdue the thumping. Steep two chamomile tea bags in 2 cups of just-boiled water. Steam a few shredded leaves of cabbage. Then, in a soup bowl, combine the steamed leaves with the chamomile tea. This tea-soup may not taste good, but it can help overcome those skipped heartbeats .
Honey has proved valuable in overcoming this condition. Honey is considered to be an excellent food for the heart being easily digested and assimilated. The patient should take a glass of water, mixed with a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon, before going to bed.
If you have heart palpitations occasionally, drink peppermint tea. Have a mug every day. It seems to have a calming effect on people, especially since it is an herbal tea that does not contain caffeine.
Grapes are one of the most effective home remedies for heart palpitation. The patient should take the juice of this fruit at frequent intervals. This will relieve the condition.
Black haw root bark is antispasmodic, supplies phytosterols and helps a racing heart. Use 25 drops of tincture, or sip the infusion.
Studies in Japan and elsewhere on Reishi Mushroom have demonstrated that Reishi is beneficial to the cardiovascular system; it appears to help regulate coronary and cerebral blood flow and also seems to help reduce levels of blood lipids and in lowering elevated cholesterol. Patients with coronary heart disease and hyperlipidemia have experienced improvements in symptoms such as palpitations, dyspnea, pericardial pain, and edema (Chang & But, 1986). In one controlled study, a reishi extract showed the ability to reduce blood viscosity and plasma viscosity in hypertensive patients with hyperbpidemia, some of whom were recovering from an episode of cerebral thrombosis (Cheng et all). In another study, Reishi extracts were reported to reduce blood cholesterol and lower blood pressure (Kanmatsuse et all 1985). Reishi is said to act as a cardio-tonic and has been used to treat arrhythmia (Ding, 1987). Another key action of Reishi is found in its anti-allergic effects.
Cayenne Pepper is one of the greatest herbs on the planet. It’s health benefits are often ignored or ridiculed by the general public, like garlic, due to its culinary use and associations. It is the number one circulatory herb, being extremely effective and totally harmless. It prevents stickiness of blood platelets, considerably reducing the tendency to clot. It cleans the blood vessels making long term use or regular courses a rejuvenator of the circulation. Its action on the heart goes even further to help produce a regular heart beat. Cayenne Pepper even has the capability to abort some types of heart attack and angina. (If a blood clot is not the major cause.)
The herb for palpitations
This tree has been in use since ancient times, and for a variety of purposes, whether for dissolving gall bladder or kidney stones, or for making the executioner's block. It was only in the 19th century, however, that it gained recognition when its cardiosedative benefits were discovered. Hawthorn can slow down a racing heart, reduce or eliminate palpitations, act as a heart tonic and a vasodilator for those who have suffered a heart attack, thus improving their heart function. It also brings down high blood pressure, and calms anxiety, both in children and adults, without inducing drowsiness or memory lapses. It has the added advantage of being nontoxic.
- Mother tincture, the most common therapeutic form of hawthorn: ask your herbalist to prepare a 30ml bottle. Take 25 drops two or three times a day, for nervous or heart conditions
- Dried extracts: you can ask your herbalist to make up 20 capsules containing 200mg of dried extract for each NO.2 capsule (the size of the capsule that the herbalist will use for the ingredients). Take one capsule 2 or 3 times a day, depending on the symptoms
- Whole fresh-plant suspension: this formulation's cold stabilization process restores the full natural therapeutic effect of the plant. Obtain a 60ml bottle of hawthorn in a whole fresh-plant suspension from your herbalist. Take half a teaspoonful in a little water twice a day
- Herbal tea: one dessertspoonful of hawthorn blossoms for each cup of boiling water. Allow the blossoms to steep for ten minutes before drinking the tea
- Decoction: hawthorn branches can be used in a herbal decoction for circulatory problems