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Herbal Remedies for Weak Hearts

author image Robyn Hughes
Robyn Hughes has been writing since 2008 about health, nutrition, fitness and botanical medicine. She is a naturopathic physician and freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science from Indiana University and a doctoral degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.
Herbal Remedies for Weak Hearts
Some herbs increase your heart's strength. Photo Credit Whitestorm/iStock/Getty Images

A weak heart is commonly associated with a condition known as heart failure. MedlinePlus states that a weak heart causes blood and fluid to back up into your lungs and fluid to accumulate in your feet, ankles and legs. You also may feel fatigue and experience shortness of breath. Herbal remedies may improve your heart's strength and ability to contract. However, use caution when taking herbs, and always ask your doctor if herbs are appropriate for your condition before using them.

Heart Failure

According to the American Heart Association, several common warning signs associated with a weak heart and heart failure include shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing that will not go away, accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues, tiredness, fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite, confusion and impaired thinking, and an elevated heart rate. Your heart tries to compensate for its lack of strength by beating more often to help deliver a sufficient amount of blood to your tissues and organs.

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Herbal Remedies

Many herbal remedies may help improve the function of your heart and the strength of your cardiovascular system. Certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," states that herbal remedies for improving cardiovascular strength and function include cordyceps, ginkgo biloba, grape-seed extract, hawthorn berries, butcher's broom, ginseng, black cohosh, digitalis and barberry. In addition to strengthening your heart, some of these herbs improve your circulation and reduce your blood pressure.

A Popular Herbal Remedy

Cordyceps is popular herbal remedy for weak hearts and heart failure. According to Balch, cordyceps is commonly used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to help slow your heart rate, increase blood supply to your arteries and heart, and reduce your blood pressure. Cordyceps, notes the University of Michigan Health System, has been used to strengthen the body after exhaustion and prolonged illness. Cordyceps is a plant that grows only in isolated regions in southwest China and Tibet, at elevations over 12,000 feet.


A weak heart can be caused by many factors. Visit a heart specialist for a full and thorough evaluation of your heart before using herbs. A qualified health care professional can provide you with numerous treatment options. Although herbs are intended to be helpful, certain remedies may not be appropriate for you, depending on the cause of your condition and what prescription medication you are taking. Ask your doctor about non-herbal dietary supplements that may help strengthen your heart.

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