Heart palpitations occur from what are known as ectopic pacemakers. These are heart cells that try to act as nodes. A very basic description of how things normally work is that the sinoatrial (SA) node fires off an electrical charge that leads to contraction of the atria. This is the first sound you hear in the heartbeat. Then the electrical charge travels to the atrioventricular (AV) node causing the ventricles to contract giving the second sound in the heartbeat. Thus we hear a lub, lub.......lub, lub........ lub, lub in a normal heartbeat. When there is a decrease of blood flow or oxygen to the heart muscle cardiac irritability develops and individual cells in the heart try acting as nodes themselves. So the SA and AV nodes still fire off, but additional cells trying to act as nodes also fire off throwing the heart rhythm off. So instead of lub, lub.......lub, lub........ lub, lub you may get something like lub, lub, lub.......lub, lub, lub........ lub, lub,lub.....
There are several ways this can occur. Damage (scar tissue) in the heart muscle can cause this. But more often it is from either a decrease of blood flow from blockage or constriction or decreased blood flow from a serious decrease in blood pressure. Allergic reactions can lead to palpitations through a release of epinephrine release. This constricts the blood vessels while making the heart work harder increasing its demand for oxygen.
Natural methods of dealing with heart arrhythmias include:
*Magnesium- Magnesium works like a calcium channel blocker, which dilates blood vessels increasing blood flow to the heart. Acidified forms are the best absorbed and most effective. These include magnesium malate and magnesium citrate.
*Cactus grandiflorus (night blooming cereus)-Cactus grandiflorus is a very weak cardiac glycoside source. Cardiac glycosides slow the heart rate, increase contractile force and dilate blood vessels. Therefore cardiac glycosides are used to improve heart function, especially in cases of congestive heart failure, and to lower blood pressure.
*Lily of the valley. This is a slightly stronger cardiac glycoside source.
*Coleus forskohlii. Forskohlii has the same effects as cardiac glycosides, although it does not contain any cardiac glycosides.