Herbs for the Heart
Chinese Herbs for the Heart
TCM Ideas About the Heart
Heart YANG & Heart QI
Traditional Chinese Medicine regards the pumping action of the heart and the circulatory system as the yang of the heart. The TCM heart system includes the vessels (luo) and the tributaries (JING luo). It also includes the electrical energy which triggers the heart to contract (heart qi).
Heart YIN & Heart Blood
The Heart is home to the Shen. The word Shen can mean spirit, mind, or supreme being. Sufficient heart fluids (heart yin and blood) are needed for the Shen to be comfortable in the heart. When the Shen is at home in your heart, you feel grounded and centered, and your actions are appropriate. Herb/ foods that build and maintain heart blood include longan fruit, Chinese dates, and steamed foxglove root.
Deficient heart blood or heart yin can result in Restless Shen, causing irritability, anxiety, or insomnia. Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), some kinds of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia), loss of memory or concentration, and panic disorder also arise from this condition. Two good formulae for Heart YIN deficiency are Good Sleep and Worry Free Pill (shui de an) and Emperor’s Tea Tian Huang Bu Xin Tang. They can be combined for maximum effect.
Herbs for Heart Health
- Good Heart Pills
- MAO DONG QING Pills
- Hawthorn Pills
Advice For Heart Health
Regular, Moderate Exercise
OPENS THE VESSELS AND KEEPS THEM OPEN
Regular, moderate exercise is needed to keep the vessels open and the heart well nourished. The key word here is ‘moderate’. No matter which kind of exercise you choose, do it between 2-5 days per week. No more or less. Over, or under exercise will cause injury.
Unless you are in training for an athletic competition, nose breathing only. No mouth breathing unless the nasal passages are obstructed. Mouth breathing permits over-exertion which could overtax the heart or the heart qi.
Endeavor to progress, but generally stop short of your limits. The important part is regularity. Push your limits only occasionally.
Note that the disciplines of Qi Gong and Tai Qi have also been shown to improve heart health.
Acupuncture for the Heart
Research has found acupuncture can dramatically reduce the pressure on the heart.
Specifically, Dr Holly Middlekauff (University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine) stated that acupuncture can improve the prospects of people with severe heart failure.
This is because it can reduce activity in the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates involuntary movements such as heartbeat and blood pressure. Over-activation of sympathetic nerves is common in heart failure patients. Such over activation forces the weakened heart to work harder, as the blood has to be forced through blood vessels that are constricted by the nervous activity. It also makes it more likely that the heart will develop potentially lethal rhythm patterns.
Acupuncture can definitely help in controlling heart arrhythmia. Electrical stimulation should never be used in such cases as it will worsen the condition.
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or another medical professional. We make no claim as to efficacy or safety of herbs or herbal medicine appearing on this site. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.