Heart palpitations are commonly referred as a state when your heart starts beating irregularly too fast or too slow. Normally, the heart beats 60-100 beats per minute, but if the rate drops below 60 or exceeds 100, then palpitations are said to have occurred. In this situation, you feel as if your heart is racing, pounding, or fluttering (1). The causes of irregular heartbeat might be various such as stress or tension, over-consumption of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol, a vigorous physical activity, shock, dehydration or hormonal imbalance. The throbbing of heart can be felt in neck, throat or chest. The fluttering of heart is not serious, and some natural remedies can be a good treatment for palpitations, but if they are accompanied by symptoms like fainting, difficulty in breathing or chest pain, then you should consult a doctor. Most of the times, it is seen that heart pounding is the outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle, consumption of rich, spicy food and intoxicated drinks. If you are also struggling with this disorder, then you can find treatment for heart palpitations through some natural homemade remedies.
Home Remedies for Heart Palpitations
1. Cold Water
Researchers discovered that the subjects who drank cold water before workout had a slower heart rate (2). Swallowing the water makes your esophagus press against your heart and helps restore the rhythm. In the case of increased palpitations, splashing cold water can instantly slow down the heart rate as it shocks your nervous system and regularizes the heartbeat.
- Another method is to take a quick shower with cold water to bring your heart rate to normal.
Bananas are a reservoir of potassium, which is a primary electrolyte. The heart is composed of smooth muscles and depends on potassium and other minerals to function in a healthy manner. Hypokalemia, a condition that arises due to a low level of potassium can lead to heart palpitations and disturbed heart rate (3). You should consume a banana daily for a healthy heart or include it in your daily diet in any possible manner.
A cure for heart palpitation is incorporating a physical activity in our everyday lives (4). Outdoor sports as your means of exercise are good ways to keep the heart healthy or try aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week. Warm up for 10 minutes before going for a workout. The heart becomes stronger and healthier through physical activity. Indulging in any kind of physical activity boosts the heart, but some of the exercises that are specifically nourishing for the heart are power walking, jogging, rowing, cycling, swimming, and dancing.
Note: Make sure that you don’t do an excessive workout as it can cause an abnormal heartbeat.
The mineral is responsible for smooth functioning of heart and circulation of blood. Its deficiency can cause heart palpitations (5). A diet rich in magnesium must be taken like spinach and other dark green vegetables, dry fruits like almonds and cashews, sesame and pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, peanut butter, avocados, low-fat yogurt, dark chocolate, water fish and quinoa. Magnesium is helpful in preventing serious rhythm disturbances, thus treating palpitations effectively. You can also opt for magnesium supplements to increase its intake.
Note: Take supplements under the supervision of a doctor.
5. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is rich in sodium, potassium, iron and calcium. Anaemia is one of the biggest reasons for heart palpitations (6), which is treated by blackstrap molasses. Mix 1 Tbsp of blackstrap molasses in a cup of water and drink it.
- Another option is to mix 2 tsp of blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Follow either of these methods daily for heart palpitation treatment.
6. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing helps reduce anxiety and normalize the heart rate. It relaxes the body and supplies adequate oxygen to the body. You can perform it in the following steps-
1) First, sit in a cross-legged position in a comfortable manner.
2) Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose such that the belly expands with each inhalation.
3) Now, exhale the air.
4) Repeat the process for some time until the heart rate returns to normal.
Practice this method whenever the heart starts throbbing abnormally due to panic.
- Valsalva ManeuverAlternatively, you can practice Valsalva maneuver. It is performed by closing your mouth and nose and breathing out forcefully. Initially, it will increase the heart rate eventually lowering it. This technique is employed when one experiences very fast heartbeat (7).
Note: If you are suffering from any heart disease or old in age, then do not try this method.
7. Honey and Lemon
Honey is easily digested and assimilated by our body. It works great in the treatment of palpitations (8). Mix a teaspoon of honey in water and add a dash of lemon to it. Consume the drink empty stomach in the morning.
Note: It is better to consume it before going to bed for the best results.
8. Coriander and Aniseed
The spices can help in getting relief from chest pain caused by irregular heartbeats (9). Prepare a mixture by adding 2 tsp of coriander powder and aniseed powder each. Add a teaspoon of honey or jaggery for taste to it and have it after each meal.
9.Snake Gourd Leaves
Snake gourd can prevent any damage to the heart (10). Grind some snake gourd leaves by adding a little amount of water. Put the prepared paste in cheesecloth and squeeze the juice from it. Store the juice in a container and drink 2-3 tbsp thrice a day.
10. Vitamin B-3
A deficiency of vitamin B3 can cause heart diseases (11). It is a water soluble vitamin that keeps the heart rate in check, helps in red blood cells formation, improves heart function and increases the flow of blood to the heart. Vitamin-enriched food includes pink salmon, pasta, brewed coffee, peanuts, and lean beef, light tuna, light meat, and Lima beans.
Note: It can cause heart disorders in many cases.
Electrolytes are ions which send or receive messages and carry out various body functions including the blood circulation and promoting a healthy heart. Imbalance in the level of electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium can cause palpitations (12). Maintain the level of electrolytes in your body by drinking electrolyte drinks. The right kind of food is the key to healthy life. A balanced diet containing important electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium must be taken. You should consume bananas, apple, milk, orange, juice, potatoes, raisins for potassium, dairy products, almonds, beans, tofu for calcium, and spices and dairy products for sodium.
Cinnamon makes heart healthy and is very effective to cure heart palpitations due to the presence of cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid (13). It also contains minerals such as manganese and potassium that are good for the heart. This spice can prevent the build up of low-density lipoproteins that are bad cholesterol or LDL and reduce the hiked blood pressure. Both of these play a great role in the treatment of heart palpitations. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of warm water and drink it daily.
- Alternatively, mix one tsp each of cinnamon powder and honey. Consume this mixture once daily for a few days.
- Or, cinnamon powder can be added to the tea that we drink daily enhancing the taste and aiding the heart.
13. Yoga and Meditation
Nowadays, it is very common for people to suffer from stress related problems. Stress gives rise to heart diseases and hypertension. If you are experiencing palpitations quite often, the reason could be stress. One should cut the stress and relax. For this, yoga can be the best path. Yoga is not just to keep the body fit but keeps our mind stable through meditative practices. It helps a lot overcome the stress (14). Take out 30 minutes from your busy lifestyle for meditating. The breathing techniques of yoga can also be highly advantageous for the sufferer.
When you cough, the pattern of your heartbeat is broken (15). Therefore, you should try coughing hard when you have an abnormal heart rate. This forceful coughing causes a pressure build-up in your chest, which in turn, induces a normal rhythm of your heartbeats.
Note: Keep in mind that it is not a preventive method. You can perform it while suffering from palpitations.
During the summer, it is, especially, very important to stay hydrated as even a small amount of dehydration can cause palpitations (16). The irregular pounding of heart can be cured by increasing the fluid intake. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
16. Fish Oil
The oil helps reduce blood cholesterol, thus keeps the heart healthy (17). You can include fish in your diet. Eating twice a month would suffice. Omega 3 fatty acids are also found in walnuts, olives, and flaxseed oil.
Note: Do not consume fish oil, if you experience heart palpitations after the intake.
17. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is used for treating heart diseases. A particular balance of this vitamin in your body is quite essential for your heart to work properly (18). Deficiency of vitamin E causes heart palpitations and other heart-related problems. It is essential to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Note: High doses of this vitamin can cause abnormal heart rates.
18. Vitamin D
Heart palpitations can also occur due to the imbalance in the level of calcium and magnesium (19) (20). Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can even lead to heart failure, heart attack, peripheral arterial disease, strokes and diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. You can either take supplements for this vitamin or consume natural resources like fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, cheese, etc.
Garlic has many health benefits. It lowers the blood pressure and cholesterol levels (21) and clears the clogged arteries. The blood clot blocks the artery and cuts off oxygen rich supply of blood damaging the heart muscle. One can have a raw garlic clove every day by tossing it with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt in a pan.
20. Vitamin C
This vitamin is a strong antioxidant that is responsible for strengthening the immune system (22). The lack of vitamin C in the body can lead to iron deficiency which gives rise to rapid heartbeat, dizziness and shortness of breath. Vitamin C makes the body absorb the nonheme iron, which includes the maximum amount of dietary iron. A minimum of 1000 mg of vitamin C should be included in an adult’s diet to attain the benefits. It lowers the risk of heart failure, improves the functioning of the heart. Vitamin C rich foods are kiwifruit, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, berries, papayas, tomatoes, peas and bell peppers.
21. Vitamin B12
Irregular heartbeat also occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B12 (23). This vitamin comes under the category of an essential B complex vitamins, mainly responsible for generating energy. In the absence of vitamin B12, the body is unable to synthesize the required amount of red blood cells. The RBCs generated are large in size and faces difficulty in getting out of the bone marrow, where they are produced. Due to this, the blood is not able to carry oxygen to the heart and may result in the damaging heart. Vitamin B12 reduces homocysteine level as a rise in its level prohibits adequate amount of blood from reaching your heart and alleviates heart flutters. Vitamin B12 rich foods include salmon, trout, eggs, milk, beef liver, clams and breakfast cereals.
Note: It may interfere with other medicines. So, consult a doctor before consuming it.
Herbal Remedies to Treat Heart Palpitations
22. Indian Spikenard
Take 3 grams of Indian spikenard and add a pinch of camphor and cinnamon. Consume a teaspoon of the mixture thrice in a day for good results. Indian spikenard stimulates the heart and is a useful natural cure for palpitations (24).
23. Chamomile Tea
This healthy herb can be easily purchased from a nearby store. It offers multiple health benefits, one of them is the ability to cure heart palpitations. Chamomile tea bags can be dipped in the hot water. Consume it on a regular basis helps a lot.
Note: It is not recommended for pregnant women (25).
24. Withania Somnifera
The herb brings the heart rate to normal by relieving stress and keeping body physically fit. You can consume 3-5 gm of powdered leaves of this herb or quarter to half a tablespoon of its root powder. It will provide relief from the diseases related to the heart (26).
25. Black Haw Root Bark
Black Haw root bark calms down the heart, thus bringing the increased palpitation level to normal (27). Around Twenty-five drops of the tincture or infusion of the herb mixed with water should be consumed. It will provide you relief from the abnormal heartbeat problems.
This herbal root is effective in treating palpitations. Valerian calms the nerves and improves the sleep (28). In some cases, the irregularity in the heart rate is caused due to the lack of communication between the brain and heart. This stimulative herb calms the nerves of your heart and normalizes the heartbeat (29). It can be taken in the form of capsules, tinctures or tea. A tea made by boiling the Valerian root in the water for 10- 15 minutes can slow the racing heart.
1) Pregnant women should not consume this herb.
2) It should only be used in the mild cases of heart palpitation.
This herb is antioxidant in nature, which is helpful to protect the heart from oxidation. It keeps the blood thin and lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol (30). Boil milk with 1/2 cup of water to it. Add Arjuna herb and few strands of saffron to it. Take this twice or thrice a day. It is a good remedy for heart palpitations and the chest pain caused by it. Arjuna is extensively used for treating heart diseases.
The herb is primarily used for cardiovascular treatment (31) due to its ability to increase the oxygen utilization, strengthen the blood vessel walls and improve the blood flow. It relaxes the cardiac muscles. Hawthorn has proved to be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive heart failure. Irregular heartbeat and anxiety attacks are also cured by the herb. If you have been diagnosed with any heart problem, then you must take the herb regularly for two weeks. You can consume its supplements to aid for heart disorders.
1) Consult your doctor before taking this herb as it may interfere with other medications.
2) This herb is not suitable for pregnant women.
It is an effective remedy in soothing the heart problems triggered by stress (32). It calms the excess energy running in our hearts and nervous system. It acts instantly to give relief from the agony of palpitations. Pharmacological studies have shown its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which are an aid for the blood circulatory system. This herb with a slightly bitter taste can be consumed in the form of tea or a tincture.
Peppermint has a cooling effect on the heart as this herb can calm it down (33). It strengthens the muscles of the heart and improves the circulation of blood. A cup of peppermint tea prepared by boiling some fresh mint leaves in water for five minutes works wonder in treating occasional palpitations.
Note: Don’t consume peppermint oil if you are pregnant or suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Herbal baths with a few drops of lavender oil tend to soothe the nervous system. With the nervous system remaining calm, there are fewer chances of anxiety and getting panicked. It has significant effects on high blood pressure and hiked heart rate (34). Lavender oil is said to regulate blood pressure levels and heart rate.
32. Ginkgo Biloba
The herbal extract of Ginkgo biloba acts as a brain tonic and protects from cardiac disorders owing to its strong antioxidant properties (35). Ginkgo biloba has proved to relax the blood vessels and prevent platelet clotting. It also increases the blood flow during heart palpitations. This herb is effective in improving cardiac disorders and peripheral vascular diseases.
Note: Consume this herb only after consulting a medical practitioner as it can cause many side effects.
The herb with white and purple flowers helps relieve the stress by releasing a neurotransmitter GABA that calms the brain. It is perfect for easing mild anxiety attacks, insomnia, and depression. When heart palpitations occur due to nervousness, the herb soothes the brain and heart effectively.
Note: It interferes with other medications. So, it should be taken after consulting a doctor.
34. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne is a species of capsicum and is used mainly for its stimulant and antiseptic actions. This herb cleans the blood vessels and improves blood circulation. It is extremely effective and that too without any side effects. It has the ability to counteract heart attack. It strengthens the heart by balancing circulation and calming heart palpitations (37).
35. White Horehound
The herb is known to possess various properties like diuretic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory (38), stimulant, and, aromatic. White Horehound is particularly beneficial when it comes to calm the muscle excitement and stop heart palpitations. It can be taken in the form of tea, or you can consume its supplements.
Bugleweed is said to be better than other health supplements. This herb is one of the members of the mint family (39). It is beneficial for the racing heartbeat and effectively normalizes the heart rate. Also, it can treat the rapid heartbeat caused due to hyperthyroidism.
1) Bugleweed should not be taken by pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
2) People with endocrine disorders such as hypopituitarism, pituitary adenoma, hypothyroidism or hypogonadism should not take it.
37. Barley Grass Juice
Barley grass juice has many benefits and comes in the category of super food. The plant contains minerals, vitamins, amino acids (40), proteins, and enzymes in a balanced state enriching our body not only in one sphere but in all domains. It keeps the blood flowing and prevents blood clots that can cause fatal problems. A regular consumption of powdered barley grass juice can make the body healthy and immune to cardiac problems.
38. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm can be helpful in treating mild heart problems (41) and helps lower the anxiety. Lemon balm can be included in your daily diet or take supplements for it.
- Alternatively, you can steep a teaspoon of dried lemon balm in hot water for five minutes and drink it.
Note: Supplements should be taken after consulting a doctor.
Yarrow is helpful in counteracting the fast throbbing of heart. It has a number of properties including antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant, etc. (42). Yarrow can be consumed in the form of tea wherein 2 tsp of the herb is dipped in the hot water for about ten minutes and then the prepared tea can be consumed after filtration. Drink it twice or thrice a day to see the results.
40. Reishi Mushroom
The mushroom is highly beneficial for the cardiovascular system (43). It aids in the proper circulation of coronary and cerebral flow lowering the levels of blood lipids and cholesterol. The mushroom has anti-allergic effects and normalizes the blood pressure. It is also used for curing arrhythmia which is abnormal heart rhythm. You can use dried, powdered reishi mushrooms or the extract of this herb.
Note: Consult your doctor before consuming this herb.
Rosemary is found to be antibacterial, antioxidant, carminative, expectorant, nervine, diaphoretic, stimulant, astringent, and tonic. It is a reservoir of all the essential minerals required for the proper working of cardiac muscles and nerves (44), including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Equal amounts of rosemary and mint oil can be massaged into the skin to get a relief from the palpitations and the chest pain caused by it. This herb helps de-stress and give a relief from anxiety.
- Try to identify the activities that trigger heart palpitations and avoid them.
- Follow a healthy diet and try to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol level in control.
- Take three meals in a day including dinner that consists of steamed vegetables.
- Stick to a healthy workout plan.
- If you are stressed out, go for yoga and try different relaxing postures.
- A ripe guava should be taken in morning empty stomach every day as it reduces palpitations.
- Consuming grape juice on a daily basis can also help in getting relief from palpitation.
- Increase the intake of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- If you notice an irregular heartbeat sit down and relax.
- Have a sleep of at least 8 hours. A message at night with an essential oil might help in getting a sound sleep.
- Go for aerobics exercises, walking, running, playing tennis for 3-4 times a week to keep your heart healthy.
- Do not smoke.
- Reduce or stop the intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid illegal drugs and stimulants.
- Say a big no to alcoholic beverages.
- Try to keep your calm during the moments of stress or excitement as that plays a key role in causing fluttering of the heart.