Cardiac arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Arrhythmias differ from palpitations because palpitations are generally mild and are often self-correcting. Arrhythmia’s rarely self-correct but can be treated. It is a condition that causes the heart muscle to beat too slow or too fast. A fast heartbeat is called tachycardia and a slow heartbeat is called bradycardia.
Arrhythmias are also categorized by the portion of the heart they affect. Atrial arrhythmia’s are in the upper chambers and cause the blood to ‘pool’ in the chambers. Ventricular arrhythmia’s occur in the lower chambers of the heart and cause them to quiver instead of executing a complete contraction. Both can be extremely serious and ventricular arrhythmias are an underlying cause of numerous heart attacks.
It should be noted before using an herbal remedy you should get the advice of your physician. Many physicians today are beginning to see the benefits of herbal treatments and many are returning to school to acquire their N.D. license or becoming a Naturopath Doctor. You should not stop taking any medications prescribed to you by your doctor. At some point in the future, after a regimen of herbal treatments, your doctor may decide that you no longer need medication.
Many herbs work as calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers are one of the main prescription drugs that doctors prescribe for heart conditions so be sure to check with your doctor before you consume massive amounts of these natural foods to make sure you aren’t getting too much.
Angelica, celery and garlic contain calcium channel blockers and anti-arrhythmia agents as well. You can make a tasty juice using these ingredients along with carrots, fennel, and parsnips. Celery also contains magnesium and potassium that help with arrhythmias and also with blood pressure and cholesterol.
Cinchona is the plant compound for quinine, an age-old treatment for malaria. It has also been shown to help with atrial fibrillation.
Hawthorn has been shown to strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and reduces the heart’s need for oxygen. When the heart is working properly it takes less effort to circulate blood. Herbalists recommend that you take a standardize form of hawthorn instead of raw hawthorn. This herb may or may not increase arrhythmias. For this reason, your doctor should monitor you when taking this herb.
Canola oil is used widely in Australia for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, not to mention it’s a healthy way to prepare foods.
Ginkgo has been used for many years by the Chinese as a heart tonic. It helps improve blood flow to all parts of the body. It has been used widely as a memory agent and this stems from increased blood flow and oxygen reaching the brain. If it can work for blood flow to the brain it can help with blood flow to the heart, since blood is pumped from this muscle to the brain and all other parts of the body. Caution should be taken when using ginkgo as it has been shown to increase arrhythmias in rare cases.
Other herbs that I found worth mentioning are horehound, reishi, and valerian. Use of these herbs date back for centuries.
Use caution if you take valerian root, as it is best known as a sleep aid. You might wish to only take it in the evenings before bed.
The best treatment for any heart condition is to take an over-all approach by eating low fat foods, getting plenty of exercise, drink plenty of water, stop smoking, and avoid or manage stress. All of these things should be used in conjunction with the others. A whole body approach is always the best way to improve or prevent any condition.