, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 395-401

Herbal medicine: Beneficial effects, side effects, and promising new research in the treatment of arrhythmias

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Abstract

Herbal medications and dietary supplements are unregulated in the United States. The use of these medications has dramatically increased over the past decade. Many of these drugs are biologically active, yet physicians are often unaware their patients are using a traditional remedy. Physicians are frequently unfamiliar with the medications being used and the intended effect, as well as the side-effect profiles that accompany them. Recently, some of the herbal mediations that are commonly used in the general population have been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of arrhythmias. Unfortunately, many more have been shown to be detrimental. In this article, the background behind herbal medication and the degree to which herbal medications are being used is reviewed. Herbal medications known to have beneficial effects in the treatment of arrhythmias, as well as those that have known detrimental effects with regard to cardiac arrhythmias, are highlighted. Finally, research that has been done in this field, focusing on those compounds that have been shown to be biologically active in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, are reviewed.