February is Heart Month: Heart Attacks and Homeopathy

Case Scenario #1

It was a morning in 2004, my mother and father woke up and were talking about what they were going to do that day. A normal morning, nothing unpleasant. My mom went downstairs to make breakfast and my dad went to print out some recipes for my mom. Dad walked into his upstairs office, turned on the computer and printer and suddenly fell on the floor. He had had a massive heart attack. My mom heard the thump and ran upstairs to find my dad on the floor by his printer. Mom called 911 and then called me. By the time the EMT’s and I got to the house it was too late.

Case Scenario #2

Recently my 85 year old aunt went to the hospital thinking that she may be having a heart attack. Her symptoms were heartburn, a rapid heart rate and generally not feeling well. My aunt spent the next 3 days in the hospital with the doctor’s checking her out by running several tests. They told her she didn’t have a heart-attack, that it was some sort of stress induced symptoms that possibly caused anxiety. The symptoms she experienced were due to anxiety.

In a follow up conversation with my aunt, I learned she had been upset the past month over the possibility of her son moving to another state (job transfer). I believe that my aunt’s concern over the potential that her son might move possibly caused her to have the heart attack like symptoms. This is a pattern I have seen over the years working with heart attack clients. They are or were in a stressful relationship for a period of time prior to their heart attack. This can be a relationship with a significant other, a child or a parent, that emotionally attacks the heart and in time causes tissue damage (pathology) to the heart. Now don’t get me wrong, there are certainly other factors that cause heart attacks (i.e. smoking, high blood pressure). And I am not saying, anyone with relationship stress will have a heart attack. What I am saying is, to recognize that stresses in life, such as relationships, can lead to a health condition. Do your best to address how the relationship is affecting you by seeking professional help, and/or exercise (i.e. walking, Qigong, yoga), meditation, homeopathy, etc. Don’t ignore the stress, it rarely goes away, on its own.

What is a Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarctions (MI)?

More than a million Americans have heart attacks each year, striking someone about every 40 seconds, according to American College of Cardiology. Heart attacks occur when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque).

Common Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms Include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure (i.e. elephant sitting on chest), tightness, pain, a squeezing, aching sensation in your chest, below breastbone or to the arms that may spread to the neck, jaw or back. These symptoms last for a few minutes, go away and come back again
  • Fullness, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Shortness of breath without moving around
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
  • Severe weakness
  • Fast or uneven heart beat

Heart Attack Symptoms Vary

Not everyone, who has had a heart attack has the same symptoms or the same severity of symptoms. Some people will have a mild pain and others have a more severe pain. And then there will be others, like my father that have no symptoms at all and the first sign may be sudden cardiac arrest. Not all heart attacks happen suddenly. Many people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance and don’t recognize them or ignore them at the beginning of a heart attack. These early warning signs can be the same symptoms my aunt was experiencing when she went to the hospital (i.e. heart burn lightheadedness, abdominal pain)..

Most people expect a heart attack to be just like they see in the movies; the man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. It is common to have recurrent chest pain or pressure (angina) triggered by exertion and relieved by rest (i.e. snow shoveling, strenuous exercise, walking up a hill).

Woman’s Heart Attack Signs

Women’s heart attack signs can be different than those of a man’s heart attack.

  • Woman can experience a heart attack without chest pressure
  • Shortness of breath without moving
  • Pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting
  • Upper back pressure, squeezing or a rope being tied around them
  • Jaw pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting

What To Do if Someone is Having a Heart Attack?

  • Call 911 and get them to a hospital right away to get a physical examination
    • You want to get quick treatment to open the blocked artery and lessen the damage. The best time to treat a heart attack is within 1 or 2 hours after symptoms begin. Waiting longer means more damage to your heart and a lower chance of survival.
  • While waiting for the EMTs to arrive give a homeopathic remedy (if use homeopathy) such as Arnica Montana 30c, 200 or a homeopathic remedy that fits the symptoms they are experiencing
    • Administer the homeopathic remedy pellets (dry) every 5 – 10 minutes, don’t worry about overdosing on them on the remedy.
    • Watch for relaxed look on their face, means it’s the correct homeopathic remedy; repeat remedy if the symptoms return.
  • Once the EMT’s have arrive, you will not be able to give any homeopathic remedies; they are in control now.

Homeopathic Remedies for a Heart Attack

Administering Homeopathic Remedies for a Heart Attack

  • Call 911 and get them to a hospital.
    • Don’t take this on yourself with homeopathy, time is of the essence; have a doctor check them out.
  • Use whatever homeopathic remedy potency you have on hand 6c, 30c, or 200c. The best remedy potencies to have on hand for heart attacks are 30c and or 200c.
  • Give doses of the homeopathic remedy pellets (dry) every 5 – 10 minutes. In a case like this don’t worry about overdosing them.
    • Don’t know which homeopathic remedy to give them for a heart attack, give them Arnica Montana 30c or 200c.
  • Watch for relaxed look on their face, this means you are giving the correct remedy. Repeat the remedy if the symptoms return.
  • You can give a homeopathic remedy until the EMT’s arrive, then they are in control of the situation.

Common Homeopathic Remedies for a Heart Attack

There are over 140 homeopathic remedies for a heart attack. The remedies listed below are the most common homeopathic remedies for a heart attack, addressing the various kinds of symptoms one would have. The italics symptoms in each homeopathic remedy is the key symptoms for selecting that remedy.

Arnica Montana – The first homeopathic remedy to think of for a heart attack. They will say “they are well when they are not.” The whole body shakes during the heart attack. They will have stitching pains in heart area. This is especially for a heart attack that comes on from over exertion (i.e. snow shoveling).

*Don’t which remedy to select for the heart attack. Give Arnica Montana while you are waiting for ambulance to come or on your way to the hospital.

Aconite Napellus – Fainting during a heart attack from a fright. They are feeling anxious and frightened during the heart attack. They feel pain in chest and will go into shock. Tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute). Tingling sensation in fingers. Pain down the left arm. Hard pulse with pain in chest. Better in open air and from rest. Worse in cold wind and at night. If Aconite fails to address the shock give Arnica Montana.

*Can give Aconite for the anxiety during a heart attack along with a homeopathic remedy that fits the heart attack symptoms.

Cactus Grandiflorus – Heart feels clutched then alternates with a releasing as if an iron band were constricting the heart (squeezing the heart), worse holding breath. Feels as if heart would fly to pieces. Palpitations worse lying on left side or walking. Shooting pains down the left arm. Difficulty in breathing, as if a weight is on chest with pain. Numbness in left arm with fluttering and palpitations. Better in open air and pressure on vertex of the head.

Latrodectus Mactans – Main homeopathic remedy for the classic heart attack symptoms. Sharp pain extending to shoulders, numbness and tingling in arms, pulse is feeble, but rapid (unable to count). Or pulse is feeble, can scarcely be felt in the paralyzed left arm. Has a fear of losing their breath. If you don’t know what to give for a heart attack and have the remedy, give Latrodectus Mactans.

Spongia Tosta – Anxiety and pain in heart area with shortness of breath; cannot lie down and sweating. Has a sharp and pressive pain in chest. Surging of the heart into the chest as if it would be forced out upward.

Spigelia Anthelmintica – Chest pain (angina) with a sticking and compressive pains. Pains as if knife was being twisted into the heart. Worse with motion and bending double. Craves cold water, which relives pains. Oppression in chest with shortness of breath (dyspnea). Audible rapid heartbeat.

Naja Tripudians – Constrictions and burnings in the chest, as if hot irons were poking in the chest. Oppressive weight on chest. Edema swelling of heart. Chest pains extending to nape of neck, left shoulder and arm with anxiety and fear of death.

Lachesis Muta – Heart is weak with a weak and irregular (intermittent) pulse. Constrictive feeling causing palpitations with anxiety. The heart feels large with cramp-like pains in pericardia region (fibroserous sac enclosing heart and origins of great blood vessels).

Aurum Metallicum – Suffocating heart attack with an oppression of chest (weight on chest). Palpitation from congestion in the chest. Pain in heart region extending down left arm to fingers, feels as if heart has stopped beating.

Oxalicum Acidum – Heart attack symptoms alternate with inability to talk (aphonia). Palpitation and shortness of breath (dyspnea). Fluttering of the heart with sore sticking pains in chest extending to back, between scapula (common heart attack symptoms). Severe pains in chest (angina pectoris) with a sharp pain in left lung, that comes on suddenly almost stopping the breath. Palpitations are worse lying down and the pulse feeble. They feel worse thinking of about their symptoms.

Tests to Diagnose a Heart Attack

  • EKG (Electrocardiogram or ECG) – Tells how much the heart muscle has been damaged and where, along with monitoring the heart rate and rhythm.
  • Blood Tests – Different levels of cardiac enzymes in the blood can indicate if the heart muscle is damaged by measuring the levels of these enzymes; along with the size of the heart attack and when it started.
  • Echocardiography – This imaging test can be used during and after a heart attack to see how the heart is pumping and what areas aren’t pumping the way they should. Along with telling whether any parts of the heart (valves, septum, etc.) have been injured in the heart attack.
  • Cardiac catheterization (Cardiac Cath) – Is sometimes done during the first hours of a heart attack if medications aren’t helping the ischemia (restriction in blood supply, causing shortage of oxygen) or symptoms. This test gives an image of the blocked artery and helps to determine the kind of treatment.

Lifestyle Changes to Help Lower Chances of Developing Heart Attack

  • Eat a clean healthy diet that consist of fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats and limit processed foods.
  • Drink water or herbal teas, instead of sweetened beverages.
  • Move more walk, Qigong, yoga, any form of physical activity at least 5 days a week with a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Quit smoking. One year after one quits smoking, cuts their risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.

I know most people I talk to feel stressed these days. It sounds simple, but putting ourselves first is not what we’ve been raised to do and it’s not easy to do. We eat quickly and poorly, sit too much and don’t get enough movement and put off dealing with the relationship stress in our lives. Over time we wear our bodies down. It is always best to try and incorporate choices that strengthen us physically, emotionally and mentally. Homeopathy is one component that can help strengthen us in acute situations as they arise as well as help us in chronic conditions. Homeopathy works to strengthen our vitality and that strength can help us make better choices.

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About the Author: Virangini Cindy

Virangini Cindy Rounsaville, C. Hom., is a homeopathic health consultant and educator who has been involved with homeopathy since the early 1980's. She has studied the field extensively with internationally known homeopath and author Dr. Robin Murphy, N.D., among others. She began teaching and consulting in 1983 and, along with her late father Louis Dion, C. Hom. began a homeopathic study group in Hunterdon County, NJ to help people learn and use homeopathy in their daily lives. Virangini Cindy works closely with medical doctors, chiropractors, and other homeopathic and holistic practitioners. She has incorporated Rasavidya Medical Astrology (different than regular astrology) into her practice as well. Having practiced QiGong since the 1980's, she uses medical QiGong poses alongside the medical astrology to help individuals with life issues and chakra balancing.