by Dr. Jagdev Singh11-Sep-2013

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What is Palpitation?
Palpitation is a medical term given to the abnormality in heartbeat of humans ranging from unnoticeable skipped beats or an accelerated heart beat rate to very frequent changes accompanied by dizziness and difficulty in breathing. Palpitations are quite commonly experienced by many individuals and so palpitations without any heart related medical history is considered normal, however, sometimes these palpitations could be the symptoms of heart diseases, due to that some organs in the body might not be functioning properly.

What are the reasons behind palpitation?
Feeling or sensation of your heart pounding or racing is very common and is normally due to a variety of reasons related to an individual’s emotional and mental condition. Anxiety, panic, excessive physical exercise, fear etc. are well known agents of palpitation.

  • Stress, anxiety, panic , fear
  • Caffeine and nicotine use
  • Consumption of cocaine
  • Diet pills
  • Excessive physical exercise
  • Fever , anaemia, jaundice

However, some palpitations are due to an abnormal functioning of the heart such as:

  • History of heart disease
  • Abnormal heart valve, like mitral valve prolapsed
  • Potassium level in the blood
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Low blood oxygen level
  • Blood loss
  • In worst case, Organ failure

What are the symptoms of Palpitation?
More often than not, people experiencing palpitations are not aware of its consequences and take the abnormal heart rhythm very lightly. But having just seen how hazardous palpitation could be, any prolonged sign of palpitation should not be neglected.

The symptoms given below should be given immediate attention or medical assistance:-

  • Lose of alertness (consciousness)
  • Blackouts or near blackouts, they are usually underlying effect of major heart problems.
  • Frequent and unbearable chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unusual sweating of the body.
  • Dizziness or light headedness
  • Very frequent extra heartbeats (more than 6 per minute or in groups of 3 or more).
  • You are prone to heart diseases i.e. have high cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetes related issues.

How to cure palpitations?

For those who are not suffering from any heart related disease, the following measures must prove adequate

  1. Reduce the intake of caffeine and nicotine to reduce heart palpitations.
  2. Learn to control emotions such as stress, fear and anxiety. This will help you manage palpitations better, when they occur.
  3. Do breathing and deep relaxation exercises.
  4. Regularly practice yoga, meditation as they improve the functioning of your heart.
  5. Avoid smoking and cocaine use.

However, those who are prone to heart problems should adopt a more medical approach to palpitations. ECG and other tests should be done to verify the health of your heart and if any abnormalities are found then some of the natural herbs have proved to be highly effective in its cure.

Herbs for Heart Palipation:-
Motherwort scientifically known as ‘Leonurus cardiaca’ was natively found in central Asia but now is grown all over the world. According to world’s leading physicians, one of motherwort's primary uses is to strengthen the heart. It can be used for palpitations resulting from nervousness breakdown and stress. Motherwort is also helpful to those suffering from sleep disorders due to emotional or physical ailments of the heart. The herb has a slightly bitter taste so it may be ingested as tincture, tea or liquid extract. However, it is advisable to not take the herb during pregnancy.

Hawthorne scientifically called Crataegus, is a flowering shrub belonging to the rose family. Hawthorne is historically used for its benefits in a wide range of heart and circulatory diseases.. Clinical studies have verified hawthorne's efficiency especially in treating congestive heart failure, arteriosclerosis, irregular heartbeat and anxiety making it a an effective herb for palpitations.

Bugleweed, also known as Lycopus, belongs to the mint family and has a bit of bitter taste. Bugleweed influences the operations in lungs and heart. It is highly beneficial for abnormalities in heartbeat, especially when it coincides with sleeping disorders. Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use bugleweed.

Passionflower scientifically known as ‘Passiflora incarnata’ is found in Europe and southeast region of America. Due to its ancient use in treating anxiety and its related diseases, many have recommended passionflower for heart palpitations especially when it is accompanied by restlessness, exhaustion and nervousness. Passionflower should be used under the guidance of a medicine expert as it may have side effects when taken alongside other medications.

Fish Oils
Fish Oils have found to reduce the frequency of heart palpitations. Fish oils along with omega-3 fatty acids have been clinically tested for heart related problems, especially irregular heart beat and palipation.

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