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

Herbal Health Information on Menopause

What I am about to say about menopause may surprise you:-

It is not an illness!

Rather look on it as a change, just like first starting your periods was a change in the way your body functioned.

I have helped so many women in my clinic get through menopause I feel it is a bit of a specialist area for me.

Having said it is not an illness, I of course know it causes many women serious distress, with many symptoms both physical and emotional.

Most common of the symptoms are hot flushes ranging from a few mild ones a day to 2-3 an hour with face redness and sweating.

Apart from the flushes, symptoms include, poor sleep, digestive problems, weight gain, depression, headaches and more.

My approach is to help people get through the menopause as easily as possible which means getting the body to accept this new way of functioning as normal and to prevent it trying to return to its youthful state which is the major cause of the symptoms.

There is a system in the body called the Endocrine system, consisting of the Thyroid, Adrenal glands and Ovaries or Testes, which are responsible for the production of most of our hormones.

It starts with the Pituitary gland situated just below the brain which controls the secretions from the Thyroid, Adrenal glands and Ovaries/Testes. These organs send messages to the pituitary gland and to each other to give a status update and messages from the pituitary control the output of the hormones produced in these organs.

When the ovaries stop ovulating (producing an egg) each month, the message to the pituitary is one of panic SEND REINFORCEMENTS I can’t manage on my own!

Unfortunately for us the area of the brain which controls the pituitary is right next to the temperature control area and any message which goes up there to stimulate the pituitary into action also stimulates the temperature control area. Hence the hot flushes. Who designed that?

It is completely wrong to try and increase the amount of oestrogen in the body in hopes of stopping the flushes. We need to get the body to accept the new lower hormone levels so that it is not sending panic messages around and about.

There is one herb I have found to help the body adjust to these new levels and that is Dong Quai. Which of course we have not seen on our herb walks as it is a Chinese herb. To help with the flushes I use the traditional herb, Sage, which we have not looked at yet, but we will visit an herb garden and have a look at soon in a video, so keep your eye on the walks section. Sage is not the be all and end all for hot flushes but does help to reduce them. There are other herbs for flushes such as Willow and Zizyphus but these need to be used under the supervision of a practitioner as they are not commonly available over the counter.

I often mix these with a liver herb such as milk thistle, to ensure the liver is metabolising hormones properly and calming herbs such as Passiflora or Motherwort.

St. John’s wort which we looked at in the shingle beach video is also excellent during menopause as a nervous system supporting herb, but remember cannot be taken if you are on any orthodox medicines.

Eat sensibly and cut out Caffeine containing drink and food (sorry, chocolate), drink plenty of water and you are going to hate me for saying this, but many many women report that alcohol sets off flushing horrendously.

Of course if you get stuck qualified Medical Herbalists are around to provide excellent support.

Linda Bostock

Medical  Herbalist

Herbal Health Information

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