Herbal Health Information on Palpitations

An awareness of the heartbeat or a feeling of extra irregular heartbeats.


If there is no underlying cause then it may be caused by anxiety or diet both of which are easily remedied with herbal medicine.

Firstly, cut out all Caffeine. Caffeine increases heart rate and puts stress on the heart and nervous system, it absolutely has to go.

Caffeine is in:-




Coca cola

Many Boost drinks

If you have a high Caffeine intake you will need to come off it slowly as it is addictive and withdrawal from it causes quite severe headaches, so reduce by one cup a day every two days until you can come off it completely. Substitute it with water or if you can’t face that Rooibos or caffeine free teas such as peppermint.

Next learn to breathe properly.

It is important that each breath you take in fills the lungs properly and then each breath out gets rid of all the carbon dioxide produced during metabolism.

Either get a Yoga video which will teach you to focus on your breathing and teach you relaxation techniques or do this simple exercise.

Lie on the bed flat on your back if you can. If you can’t then whatever position you are comfortable in. Close your eyes and breathe normally.

Count how long it takes you to breathe in and how long to breathe out. Do this for about a minute.

Put both your hands, palm down on to your belly. Just concentrate on breathing normally. As you are breathing, your abdomen should be rising and falling gently because it is your abdominal muscles which are pulling the diaphragm down as you breathe in and relaxing as you breathe out. By putting your palms flat on your abdomen you can check whether you are using your abdominal muscles properly by watching your hands rise and fall. You can do this little exercise two or three times a day for about five minutes a time, but do not at any time force your breathing, this is just making you aware that you are breathing normally.


Herbs for palpitations brought on by anxiety fall in to two categories:-

Calming herbs

Passion flower is a gently calming herb which also supports the heart muscle.

Motherwort is calming, relaxing and also calms heart palpitations. I find it works well for women (hence the name I guess).

Valerian, (and see in Pevensey Castle video)this is a strong relaxant and calming herb but does not affect the way the brain functions so does not leave you with a woolly head. Smells like smelly feet though!!!!

Chamomile(see shingle beach video) is the most gentle of the calming herbs and the most pleasant tasting if drunk as a tea.

Lime flower is sedative, calms, supports the nervous system and has anti anxiety properties, also pleasant drunk as a tea.

Nervous system supporting and repairing herbs,

Oats are the best nerve restorative, as well as being a brain and heart tonic, I would never leave this out of a mix for panic attacks.

Vervain, is an excellent nervous system supporting and repairing herb with alterative (bringing back to normal) properties.

Scullcap, I have to admit to using this herb ALOT. It has just the best nervous system repairing and supporting properties as well as having the ability to calm the brain down and stop it going into the mad “loop” thinking mode.

St. John’s wort is (see shingle beach video) traditionally used as a nervous system repairing herb with antidepressant properties.

Unexplained palpitations respond well to treatment with herbal medicine so if you would like to visit me in the clinic for help, please see the clinic details which you will find by clicking on the Clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

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