When the heart sustains injury that weakens its pumping ability, a complicated physiological state called congestive heart failure (CHF) can develop. Fluid builds up in the lungs and lower extremities, the heart enlarges, and many symptoms develop, including severe fatigue, difficulty breathing while lying down, and altered brain function.
Medical treatment for this condition is quite effective and sophisticated, consisting of several drugs used in combination.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
Note : CHF is too serious a condition for self-treatment. The supervision of a qualified healthcare professional is essential. However, given medical supervision, some of the following treatments may be quite useful. The herb hawthorn appears to be effective for mild CHF and may be helpful for more severe CHF, as well. However, while standard drugs have been shown to help reduce hospitalizations and mortality associated with CHF, there is no similar evidence as yet for hawthorn.
Also, adding the supplement coenzyme Q 10 to standard treatment may improve results. Finally, the supplement vitamin B 1 (thiamin) may be helpful for individuals who take loop diuretics (such as furosemide) for CHF.
Like other treatments used for CHF, hawthorn improves the heart's pumping ability. However, it may offer some important advantages over certain conventional drugs used for this condition.
It is not clear whether one can safely combine hawthorn with other drugs that affect the heart.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Hawthorn article.
Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 )
10 10 10
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full CoQ 10 article.
Vitamin B 1
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Vitamin B 1 article.
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
In addition, it is important to pay attention to all the general considerations that bring health to the heart, such as those described in the article on Atherosclerosis .
Various other herbs and supplements may interact adversely with drugs used to treat congestive heart failure. For more information on these potential risks, see the individual drug article in the Drug Interactions section of this database.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -