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12 Herbs to Curb Heart Palpitations
Although some people experience rapid heartbeats, missed heartbeats, and even irregular heartbeats, these are not signs of true heart trouble, but rather a symptom from another underlying problem such as hormone fluctuations, certain prescription drugs, anxiety or panic attacks, excessive caffeine consumption, menopause, or even an overactive thyroid gland.
If you are experiencing irregular heartbeats, be certain that you check with your doctor or cardiologist first to be sure that you do not have heart disease or any other type of heart issue. Once your doctor has given you the OK, check out this list of the top 12 herbs that are known to help calm those heart palpitations that are caused by things other than heart disease or heart malfunctions.
Many heart palpitations are caused by anxiety or panic attacks. Using lavender either in aromatherapy, herbal baths, or in diffusers can help relax both the mind and the nervous system. One study involving 20 subjects showed that using lavender oil caused a significant drop in heart rate, skin temperature, and blood pressure. Lavender appears to induce a less anxious, more relaxed state of being. In this study, less anxious states were shown to be more than just a feeling, but were actually proven by an increase in theta and beta brain wave activity when compared to those who inhaled unscented base oil.
This is a great old fashioned herb that will lower a fast pulse and control the sudden thumping of the heart. Drink two or three cups of this tea each day for continued relief, without daytime sleepiness.
3. Black Haw
It’s actually the root of this herb that will help to calm heart palpitations, as it’s a natural antispasmodic. If you can find tea, drink two or three cups per day. If you find it sold as a tincture, use about 25 drops in 8 ounces of water and drink this mixture twice per day.
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Sometimes known as lycopus, this is a very bitter tasting herb that is a relative of the mint family. Bugleweed has strong influence over the heart and lungs. Bugleweed is especially good for a rapid heartbeat that tends to come at night and interfere with sleep. Bugleweed should not be taken by those who have an under-active thyroid or by pregnant or breast feeding mothers.
Hawthorn has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb, even today it is mainly used as a cardiovascular tonic. Hawthorn extract has been shown in studies to relax the heart muscles, which will regulate heart function and slow palpitations. One study performed in America in 2002 showed that the active ingredient in hawthorn is the flavonoids, which have the ability to increase the strength of the walls of the blood vessels, improve blood flow to the heart, and help the body utilize oxygen. In both controlled and uncontrolled studies, hawthorn even shows promise in possibly being able to treat congestive heart failure.
Peppermint is another popular herbal remedy because of its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, and vasoconstriction compounds, all of which are beneficial to heart function. Studies show that peppermint relaxes the bronchial muscles, increases brain oxygen levels, and increases ventilation. Experts recommend rubbing sweet smelling peppermint oil externally several times per day to stop the pain that often comes with heart palpitations.
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7. White Horehound
When heart palpitations are triggered by nervousness or anxiety, herbs such as white horehound can be of tremendous help. White horehound is known to have diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and stimulant compounds. This herb can be found in supplement form or as a tea and has been proven to be very effective when it comes to calming the cardiac muscle excitement and stop heart palpitations.
This is perhaps the most popular remedy to stop anxiety in Europe. Best known for inducing quality sleep, it can also relax feelings of anxiety and heart palpitations. Occasionally, heart palpitations are started by a miscommunication between the heart and the brain. Valerian shocks the heart nerves, which results in the restoration of a normal heartbeat. Valerian works best for those with mild cases of irregular heartbeat.
One of the most popular herbs in America due to its well-documented cardiovascular benefits. Garlic is extremely effective when it comes to fighting heart palpitations. By controlling the cardiovascular problems that trigger palpitations, garlic can also fight clogged arteries, atherosclerosis, as well as reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
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Motherwort helps to stop irregular heartbeats by strengthening the hearts function, especially those palpitations caused by anxiety and tension. Related to the mint family, motherwort is known to strengthen the heart and can help to stop palpitations that come from nervous stress. Polish researchers found in 2012 that Motherwort has mild sedative and hypotensive compounds in studies done with clinical trials. Motherwort has powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic compounds, all of which are a powerful tonic to the circulatory system. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not take motherwort.
Passionflower is an excellent herb for stopping heart palpitations. Passionflower is perhaps best known for having relaxing compounds, which is perfect for easing mild anxiety attacks, insomnia, and depression. Heart palpitations that are due to nervous anxiety can be relieved with passionflower. This herb increases the levels of GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that produces a calming effect on the brain.
12. Gingko Biloba
Many people think of gingko as an herb for energy but gingko is a terrific heart tonic. Gingko has strong antioxidant compounds, which relax the blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Gingko also increases blood flow to the heart, helping to stop heart palpitations. Extensive research confirms that this herb is an effective measure for improving cardiac issues and perhaps even vascular disease.
Always check with your doctor before consuming herbs. Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) can be serious, even fatal, if left unattended. If you experience heart palpitations that last for more than just 2 or 3 minutes or are unrelated to fear, anxiety, or strenuous activity, see your physician as soon as possible, especially if these palpitations also come with dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or feelings of weakness. Although herbs are safe for most people, if you have a medical condition or if you are taking prescription drugs, always consult your doctor before consuming any herbs, no matter how gentle or harmless they might seem.