Alternative Therapy Options for Congestive Heart Failure (Principal Proposed Natural Treatments)

Posted on 02/16/2018

Alternative Therapy Options for Congestive Heart Failure (Principal Proposed Natural Treatments)

  • Coenzyme Q10(CoQ10)
  • Hawthorn
  • Vitamin B1
  • Arginine
  • Fish Oil
  • L-Carnitine
  • Magnesium
  • Ribose
  • Tai Chi
  • Taurine
  • Transcendental Meditation
  • Yoga 

When the heart sustains an injury that weakens its pumping ability it is considered to be a complicated state called congestive heart failure (CHF). Fluid builds up in the lungs and lower extremities and the heart enlarges causing the heart to have to work harder which can cause many symptoms develop; which can include severe fatigue, difficulty breathing, and altered brain function.

Principal Proposed Natural Treatments

CHF is a serious a condition that should not only be treated with self-treatment. The supervision of a qualified healthcare professional is essential. However, with medical supervision, some of the following treatments may be quite useful. 

Hawthorn

At least nine double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, involving a total of about 750 participants have found hawthorn helpful for the treatment of mild to moderate congestive heart failure.

In one of the best of these studies, 209 people with relatively advanced congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association [NYHA] class III) were given either 900 mg or 1,800 mg of standardized hawthorn extract or matching placebo. The results after 16 weeks of therapy showed significant improvements in the hawthorn groups as compared to the placebo groups. Benefits in the high-dose hawthorn group included a reduction in subjective symptoms, as well as an increase in exercise capacity. Subjective symptoms improved to about the same extent in the lower-dose hawthorn group, but there was no improvement in exercise capacity.

For additional information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Hawthorn article. 

Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10)

People with CHF have significantly lower levels of CoQ10 in heart muscle cells than healthy people. This fact alone does not prove that CoQ10 supplements will help CHF. However, it prompted medical researchers to try using CoQ10 as a treatment for heart failure.

In a large systematic review of 7 randomized trials found some benefits with coenzyme CoQ10 supplements were identified. For example, compared to placebo, CoQ10 was associated with an improvement in the severity of heart failure symptoms in 2 of 3 trials, reduced re-hospitalization, acute pulmonary edema, cardiac asthma, and arrhythmia when compared to placebo.

For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full CoQ10 article. 

Vitamin B 1

Evidence suggests that the strong diuretics, especially loop diuretics such as Lasix (furosemide), commonly used as a treatment for CHF may interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize vitamin B 1 (thiamin).

Since the heart depends on vitamin B 1 for proper function, these finding suggests that taking a supplement may be advisable.

For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Vitamin B1 article.