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How to Calm Down a Racing Heart 

By Raisa Weisspapir 


  • Recently, I started to experience heart palpitations at night accompanied by hot flashes. Once my heart was pounding so hard that I thought I was having a heart attack. I am 47 and I know it’s never happened to me before. Various tests show that my heart is fine. My family doctor thinks that my hormones are causing the problem. What can I do?

  • From time to time I notice my heart really beating fast and hard through my chest. Is it normal to have palpitations? What causes them? How should I avoid them?


Normally we do not perceive our heartbeat. Sometimes a short spell of palpitations can be a completely normal reaction to fear, heavy exercise or excitement. Have you ever felt your heart pounding when you see someone you have a crush on? You have probably experienced at least once, skipped beats or felt like your heart is jumping out of your chest before an exam, presentation, or due to excitement when your favourite hockey team wins a game.

However, for some people, palpitations can be a sign of an underlying problem like heart disease, anemia or a thyroid condition. Over the years I have seen many patients who complain of palpitations caused by various reasons.

Here are some common causes of palpitations:

  • Peri-menopause and menopause

  • Heavy physical exercise especially in hot weather

  • Anxiety, stress and fear cause the adrenaline level to rise and create the sensation of palpitation.

  • Lack of good sleep 

  • Excessive consumption of coffee and tea (black or green)

  • Food allergy and sensitivity might cause your heart to pump harder

  • Spicy and strong flavoured food. For example, eating too much of raw garlic or onion could accelerate your heart’s rhythm

  • Cigarette smoking is a major cause of palpitations due to the stimulating effect of nicotine on the electrical conducting system within the heart. Occasional palpitations experienced by the smoking person can become more persistent as the heart begins to suffer. The tar oils and other chemicals contained in cigarette smoke have a toxic influence on the heart

  • Insufficient level of Magnesium, especially during pregnancy

  • Overfull stomach, flatulence, and constipation

  • Overactive thyroid

  • Low levels of oxygen in your blood

  • Medications such as thyroid pills, asthma drugs, beta-blockers for high blood pressure

  • Heart disease

What can I do to prevent palpitations?

The heart is a fascinating organ. It sustains our life, yet we often take it for granted because we know it beats automatically using electrical impulses. In order to prevent palpitations, it is important to consider your general state of health, the level of your stress, your reactions to the environment and life situations. If it is necessary, your health care specialist will help to make some corrections in your lifestyle and your diet to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Below are some helpful tips:

  • Decrease your stress level (learn about deep breathing and/or relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation). Smile!

  • Exercise (ask your doctor before you start exercising)

  • Avoid common stimulants like smoking, caffeine, and alcohol

Homeopathic medicine:

According to the nature of your personality, the origin of palpitations and other symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will select special treatment for each person individually. Remember, your general health has a direct repercussion on your palpitations!

Below are a few examples of homeopathic remedies that I use often in my practice, choosing individually for every patient:

  • If palpitations are so strong that the heartbeat can be visually observed through the clothing, Spigelia might be helpful.

  • If palpitations start with awakening or getting out of bed, or when climbing stairs, Phosphorus should help. This type of palpitation can also appear before a storm or during menstrual periods.

  • If you are experiencing hot flashes and night sweats that are accompanied by palpitations, Sepia might relieve your symptoms

  • If your heart races suddenly after you experience strong emotions, and if you feel a lump moving up and down your throat, Iamara could be very helpful.

I also have been successfully using homeopathic mother tinctures such as Crataegus, Leonurus, and Adonis. Some soothing medicinal plants like Passiflora, Valerian and Orange Blossom, can also be beneficial.

Palpitation diet

If you are suffering from palpitations of the heart try to follow a simple diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and fish.

New research shows that eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts help protect the heart and prevent diabetes. Magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables are excellent dietary additions for a healthy heart.

If you are sensitive to certain foods, it’s quite possible that you will be asked to eliminate them from your diet.

Interesting home remedies

  • Did you know that Grapes are one of the most effective home remedies for heart palpitation? You should take the juice of this fruit at frequent intervals. This will relieve the condition.

  • The use of guava is another effective home remedy for palpitation of the heart. You can eat ripe guava daily on an empty stomach. It is especially beneficial if this disorder is caused by nervousness and anemia.

  • A mixture of powdered anise seeds and dry coriander can also be used in the treatment of this condition.

  • Honey has proved valuable in overcoming this condition too. Honey is considered to be an excellent food for the heart as it is easily digested and assimilated. You can take a glass of water, mixed with a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon, before going to bed.

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