Heart problems are usually caused by poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and stress. Smoking, excess weight, and other destructive lifestyle choices affect the heart in negative ways. Often heart disease can be reversed if lifestyle is changed.
Heart problems come in many forms with varying symptoms. Arrhythmias are electrical disruptions. Palpitations occur when the heart is beating out of sequence. Abnormal fatigue, swollen ankles, and excess fluid in the lungs are signs of congestive heart failure. Shortness of breath, uncomfortable racing of the heart, dizziness, fainting, nausea, unexplained pain in the upper torso, or a vise-like pressure across the chest area can be signs of heart attack.
Poor circulation can indicate a heart problem. Massage and aromatherapy with diluted black pepper essential oil and rosemary essential oil can help improve blood flow. To keep blood flowing, exercise every day.
Smokers and others that suffer from poor circulation can develop a condition known as chilblains when exposed to cold and damp weather. The painful, itchy areas are caused by an abnormal reactions in the blood vessels. Usually they can be relieved with calendula ointment.
Herbal tonics can strengthen, repair, and tone blood vessels. Try taking garlic, hawthorn berries, heartsease, astragalus, yarrow, echinacea, ginger, cayenne, prickly ash, ginkgo biloba, barley grass, ginseng, wild cherry bark, peppermint, sage, or hops in tea or tincture form. For best results, work on reducing stress in your life.
Many foods are considered good for the heart. Fish, fresh greens, sunflower seeds, oat bran, oatmeal, green drinks, fresh pineapple, bananas, cantaloupe, apricots, papayas, mushrooms, tomatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, tofu, oysters, clams, and whole grains supply the heart with plenty of necessary vitamins and antioxidants. Small amounts of wine also provide benefits. Avoid salty foods, fatty foods, fast foods, and foods high in calories. Reduce intake of sugar, caffeine, fluoridated water, chlorinated water, and alcohol.
Heart disease in women is sometimes hormone related. Post menopausal women should consider taking hormone balancing herbs like licorice, chasteberry, dandelion, ginseng, or evening primrose. High levels of iron (iron overload) after menopause may put women at increased risk of heart disease. Get lots of exercise which helps rid the body of excess iron.
An old remedy for stopping heart palpitations is to plunge the face into cold water. This is also reported to stop panic attacks. In emergency cases of suspected heart attack, a teaspoon of cayenne powder was given by mouth to help the person survive. Ginger was used (it works like aspirin) on a daily basis to protect the heart. Modern day studies have shown that these old remedies can help bring a victim out of an attack.
* Strokes sometimes occur with heart disease. Sudden weakness, numbness, trouble talking or understanding speech, light-headedness and feelings of tingling sensations, dimness or loss of vision (perhaps in just one eye), severe headaches with unsteadiness, or a sudden fall can be symptoms of a stroke. As in cases of heart attack, treat as an emergency -- call for an ambulance. If a heart problem is suspected, do not take any new mineral supplements without the advice of a medical professional -- mineral balance plays a large part in regulating the heart. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedy.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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