Herbs For Heart Palpitations
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Although irregular, hard, rapid heartbeats or heart palpitations are common and often harmless, chronic heart palpitations are still considered abnormal cardiovascular behaviors and can sometimes be indicators of more serious heart conditions.  Moreover, such irregular beats often occur unexpectedly even while lying in bed and may be accompanied by dizziness, fear, shortness of breath and chest pain. 
Anxiety can both be a cause and an effect of heart palpitations. Aside from this, arrhythmia, excess caffeine, certain drugs, vigorous exercises, deficiencies in the adrenal and nervous systems,  high blood pressure, pregnancy and an overactive thyroid gland  may all cause heart palpitations. Some heart palpitations are considered "normal" though they can be an indicator of a more serious condition, especially if persistent or if there are additional symptoms such as dizziness - so it's advisable to get checked out if you are concerned. Here are 10 herbs thought to be able assist with calming heart palpitations:
10 Herbs For Heart Palpitations
Although data on this fruit bearing shrub are limited, hawthorn nonetheless enjoys a long history as a medicinal herb and today, it is used primarily as a cardiovascular aid.  Herbal supplements of hawthorn have been shown to relax cardiac muscles, helpful to regulate heart palpitations.  In an American study in 2002, analyses showed hawthorn's clinical value stems from its flavonoid's ability to increase the integrity of blood vessel walls, improve coronary flow and oxygen utilization. Both uncontrolled and controlled trials further show hawthorn's promise in treatment of congestive heart failure. 
By strengthening the heart's functioning, motherwort has been found to benefit irregularities like arrhythmias and palpitations linked to tension and anxiety.  Traditionally, motherwort extracts have been used internally mainly for nervous heart conditions and Polish scientists in 2012 have associated this ability to the herb's mild hypotensive and sedative activities in clinical trials. Pharmacological studies also establish its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to aid the circulatory system. 
Like motherwort, peppermint is another herbal remedy popular for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant and vasoconstrictor characteristics which all serve to benefit the heart. Subsequently, an experiment supports these cardiovascular effects by demonstrating its benefits on exercise performance, gas analysis, blood pressure and respiratory rates among young male volunteers. It has also been shown to relax bronchial smooth muscles, increase ventilation and brain oxygen concentration  which is why experts recommend rubbing peppermint oil externally several times a day to relieve pain associated with heart palpitations. 
Since panic and anxiety attacks are often accompanied by heart palpitations, herbal baths with lavender infusion are often advised to relax the nervous system.  Likewise, an experiment involving 20 healthy volunteers revealed how lavender oil can cause significant drop in blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature which are all indications of a decrease in autonomic arousal. Less anxious states were demonstrated by an increase in beta and theta brain wave activities compared with those who inhaled just base oil. 
Aside from being a brain tonic, the potent antioxidant properties of gingko biloba have been shown to relax the blood vessels, prevent platelet clotting  and also increase the rate of peripheral and cerebral blood flow during heart palpitations. Hence, extensive researches on this herb confirm gingko biloba's effectiveness in improving cardiac disorders and peripheral vascular diseases. 
Known for its wide range of medicinal uses, passionflower is an excellent herb that can be used to treat heart palpitations. Noted for being a great relaxant, it can be used to ease mild cases of anxiety, depression and insomnia. More importantly, it is used to treat heart palpitations that are associated with nervousness. 
Research shows that passionflower contains powerful compounds that are responsible for its sedating effects. The herb works by increasing the level of GABA in the brain. GABA is actually a neurotransmitter known for its calming effects. 
Recognized as a cardiac stimulant, cayenne proves to be one of the best herbs that promote heart health. In fact, it has the ability to deal with different sorts of heart conditions which include angina pectoris, chest pain, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and of course, heart palpitations. 
When taken daily, cayenne is capable of toning and strengthening the heart, balancing circulation and of course, in calming heart palpitations.  As a stimulant, it encourages the heart to beat faster but doesn’t trigger it to have irregular heart beats or palpitations. 
Garlic is probably one of the most popular herbs in many cultures today. Research shows that some cases of heart palpitations are actually triggered by underlying cardiovascular conditions. In cases like these, garlic really makes an effective herb in combating heart palpitations. Garlic works by controlling the occurrence of cardiovascular conditions that trigger heart palpitations. Aside from reducing one’s risk for blood clotting, garlic can also be used to fight atherosclerosis and clogged arteries, as well as in reducing the level of cholesterol and blood pressure which can also cause heart palpitations. 
Valerian is considered as one of the most popular natural remedies for anxiety in Europe. Aside from its ability to induce good quality of sleep, valerian is also known for its relaxing properties that benefit people suffering from anxiety and heart palpitations. 
In some cases, heart palpitations are triggered by the abnormal communication between the heart and the brain. When used as a cardiac stimulant, valerian shocks the nerves of the heart which later results to the restoration of normal heartbeat rhythm. However, valerian should only be used in mild cases of heart palpitations. 
According to research, heart palpitations that are triggered by anxiety and nervousness can be treated by herbs like hops, bugleweed, valerian and of course, white horehound. This herb is known for its diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, aromatic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, stomachic, anti-parasitic, laxative and stimulant properties. Can be taken in different supplemental forms, white horehounds prove to be effective in calming cardiac muscle excitement as well as heart palpitations. 
Heart palpitations can normally occur every now and then (and may not necessarily be a cause for alarm), however this does not mean you cannot and should not do something about them. With herbal remedies, you CAN actively do something to promote a healthier cardiovascular system that may even address potential triggers of more serious conditions before they even happen.
Herbs For Heart Palpitations - References:
 Hawthorn: pharmacology and therapeutic uses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11887407
 Leonurus cardiaca L. (Motherwort): A Review of its Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23042598
 The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23517650
 The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017
Article researched and created by Cathy Ongking, © herbs-info.com 2013
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