Angina or angina pectoris is defined as an intermittent pain, pressing or constriction of the chest that is exacerbated by exercise and relieved by rest.
Before using herbal remedies for angina symptom relief and treatment, it is vital to seek out professional help and get a full diagnosis of angina.
Should you experience an increase in the severity of your symptoms at any time you must immediately seek emergency medical care.
Medicinal herbs for angina treatment have been employed for hundreds of years with success.
Today, combinations of medicinal herbs to relieve angina symptoms will almost certainly contain hawthorn.
Arteriosclerosis is usually the underlying cause of angina; so if you have been diagnosed with angina, it is important to also investigate arteriosclerosis and its treatment.
Commonly Prescribed Herbs for Angina Pectoris
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha)
Hawthorn berries are known to relieve angina pectoris and reduce blood pressure and also to treat orthostatic hypotension, where blood pressure drops abnormally upon standing.
Hawthorn works by increasing stroke volume, where the amount of blood per heart beat is increased, and lowering blood pressure and pulse rate. Hawthorn also dilates the peripheral blood vessels which improve circulation.
Coleus (Coleus forskohlii)
Like hawthorn, coleus increases stroke volume; it also reduces the risk of blood clots and lowers blood pressure by acting to relax the arterial walls. Coleus is a unique herb as it elevates cyclic amp which boosts the body’s metabolism.
Night Blooming Cereus (Selenicereus grandiflorus)
These cactus flowers, as the name suggests, bloom on sunset and decline within a day. Preparations are made of the young stems and flowers which have a fragrance similar to vanilla.
The British Herbal Pharmacopeia (BHP) gives the dose for Liquid Extract of .05-0.5ml three times daily(tds), or the tincture .1-2ml tds.
This herb is native to Jamaica and Northern America, where it was referred to as ‘pain in the heart’ by the Shoshone Indians.
Night blooming cereus should be considered where there is an irregular heartbeat and where the use of a mild diuretic will be of benefit.
Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)
This herb acts in a similar way to coleus and hawthorn, it is indicated where a diuretic action is also of benefit where the pulse is feeble and weak.
Convallaria slows and regulates the heartbeat and lowers blood pressure.
Lily of the Valley is often prescribed where there is mild heart failure associated with aging and is considered to be safer and to have fewer side effects than foxglove.
Some other natural herbs that have traditionally been used for angina treatment.
- Bilberry – (Vaccinium myrtillus)
- Dong Quai – (Angelica sinensis)
- Kudzu – (Pueraria lobata)
- Hawthorn – (Crataegus laevigata, Crataegus monogyna)
- Avocado – (Persea americana)
- Pheasant’s Eye – (Adonis vernalis)
- Red Sage – (Salvia miltiorrhiza)
Other Supplements Than Herbal for Angina Pectoris
In addition to using herbal remedies for angina pectoris symptom relief, the amino acid, L-Carnitine (one gram twice daily), is of benefit for congestive cardiac failure (CCF) and angina. Coenzyme Q-10 (15 to 100mg daily) in combination with H
hawthorn will improve oxygen utilisation and energy production, especially targeting heart muscle.
Magnesium (450-600mg daily) will relax the blood vessel walls and help to regulate blood pressure.
Medicinal herbs to relieve angina pectoris symptoms can be found in combination with these supplements to enhance their action. Long term, low doses of Vitamin E (50iu per day) and Fish Oil have also shown to ease angina symptoms.
Medicinal herbs to relieve angina symptoms are usually taken at low doses only and many herbs for angina treatment need to be monitored for their drug interactions.
These herbs must be taken under supervision from your practitioner. Remember, consult your health care professional before beginning any supplementation, and should your symptoms become more severe at any stage, seek emergency care without delay.