Alternative Medicine for Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure takes place when the heart is unable to meet the demands of the body. Any form of heart disease can cause congestive heart failure. A person with CHF, in extreme cases, can have a difficult time exercising or handling normal daily living tasks. Unfortunately it is the most common cause of death in people older than the age of 65. However not everyone believes that Western medicine is the best way to treat CHF. There are effective alternative options as well.

  1. Signs and Symptoms

    • Certain symptoms when seen together can be indicative of congestive heart failure. These symptoms include fatigue, intolerance to exercise, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, cough (when walking), excessive urination at night and protein in the urine, anorexia, swelling in extremities, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and rust colored sputum.

    Causes of CHF

    • It is important to note that there are other causes to CHF outside of heart disease. If you are guilty of any of the following you are increasing your risk of developing congestive heart failure. These activities include smoking, alcoholism, pneumonia, influenza, not taking your prescription medications as directed, improper diet, being overweight, eating a diet high in fat.

    Nutritional Therapy for CHF

    • Herbal medicine and nutritional therapy can have an effective impact on improving the strength of the heart and making it work more efficient. Here are a number of dietary recommendations and the recommended dosage.
      Antioxidants--Selenium (200 mcg/day), vitamin E (400 IU/day), vitamin C (1000 mg three times each day).
      Essential Fatty Acids--iincludes fish oil, (1500 mg two times/day). This will help decrease inflammation.
      Coenzyme Q10--antioxidant helps to increase the amount of oxygen going to the tissues and muscles. 30 to 50 mg two times a day is recommended.
      Seasoning your food--Onions, garlic and ginger are excellent boosters to improved circulation. Increasing your fiber intake from vegetable and fruit sources, as well as vegetarian source of protein are recommended. You should also make sure that you are getting the potassium you need each day and decrease your salt intake.
      Magnesium--mineral that many of us are deficient in to begin with. Magnesium helps to dilate the blood vessels. Get 500 mg each day.

    Herbs

    • Herbs can be taken in a variety of forms such as in capsules, powders, teas, tinctures and glycerites. Here are a number of herbs that are beneficial for CHF treatment.
      Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha): increases blood vessel integrity; dose is 3 to 5 g. This dose is difficult to achieve in tea or tincture. Supplements or solid extract are used.
      Mistletoe (Viscum album): protects against high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, historically for exhaustion and nervousness
      Rosemary (Rosemariana officinalis): increases coronary artery blood flow, used to stimulate digestion and relieve nervous tension
      Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis): specific for cardiac insufficiency; exceeding recommended doses may lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, stupor. Use no more than 30 drops per day."

    Homeopathy

    • Homeopathy is a "non-toxic system of medicine" that professionals and lay persons use to treat a variety of illnesses and other health issues. This practice has been around for more than 200 years and can be found all over the world. It is advisable that you meet with a homeopathic professional so that a treatment plan can be designed for you individually.

    Acupuncture

    • This alternative treatment is beneficial in helping improve the strength of the cardiac system and improves circulation.

    Massage

    • Massage is beneficial for treating symptoms of CHF. This therapy will help to decrease swelling by increasing the lymphatic drainage in the body.

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