A heart attack can be the first thing a person thinks of when they have chest pain. However, there are many potential causes of pain in the chest area. No matter the cause, a person usually wants to eliminate the pain quickly.
Home remedies for heart pain are meant to treat infrequent chest pain that is due to digestive issues, such as gas, muscle strains, and anxiety.
It may not be easy to tell the difference between this benign pain and more serious conditions. When in doubt, people should always seek medical attention.
A person must receive urgent medical care when:
* Heart or chest pain feels crushing, tight, squeezing, or heavy
* A person suspects they are having a heart attack
* Shortness of breath is experienced alongside chest pain
Ten home remedies for heart pain
There are several things a person can try at home to help alleviate heart pain when it occurs and to prevent future occurrences.
The home remedies below should only be used when a person has been examined by a doctor and is certain that the chest pain is not caused by something serious, such as a heart attack.
Also, these remedies are not meant for a person with angina. People with angina should follow the treatment given to them by their doctor.
When acid reflux is to blame for the heart pain, eating a few almonds or drinking a cup of almond milk may help.
There is not much scientific evidence to support these claims around almonds. Instead, most of the evidence is anecdotal with people passing on their knowledge or experience to others.
One thing to keep in mind is that almonds are high in fat, which can cause acid reflux. If this is the case, almonds could actually make the pain worse.
However, some research indicates that almond consumption may help with the prevention of heart disease. Though almonds may not stop the immediate pain, they can have a positive impact on overall heart health.
2. Cold pack
A common cause of heart or chest pain is a muscle strain. In these cases, a person can have pain in the chest due to strain from exercise, other activities, or blunt trauma.
In any of these cases, icing the area with a cold pack is a widely accepted method to help reduce swelling and stop the pain.
3. Hot drinks
A hot drink may help to eliminate gas when a person’s pain is due to gas or bloating. The hot liquid can also help boost digestion.
Some drinks may be better than others in this respect. For example, hibiscus tea has been found to have several benefits beyond helping with bloating.
Hibiscus may also play a role in lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol. These added benefits may help prevent heart complications.
4. Baking soda
Another popular recommendation for heart pain is to add baking soda to warm or cool water. The result is an alkaline solution that can help reduce the acid in the stomach if that is causing the pain.
However, a studyTrusted Source in 2013 concluded that baking soda may be good to treat heartburn but may have adverse effects on the heart overall.
Garlic is claimed to be a remedy for chest pain, although there is no science to back this up.
People can mix a clove or two of minced garlic with a glass of warm milk. Instead of drinking the garlic, they should chew the pieces to gain the maximum benefit.
ResearchTrusted Source has shown that garlic can help to reverse heart disease and reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy meant to help with acid reflux. People claim that drinking it before or after a meal may prevent acid reflux. Though a popular theory, there is little evidence to support the claims.
Apple cider vinegar has minimal side effects, but people taking blood thinner may want to avoid its use, as it can also thin the blood.
A person may want to take aspirin if they have chest pain. A pain reliever, such as aspirin, can help alleviate the heart pain associated with less severe cases.
ResearchTrusted Source also indicates that consistent use of low-dose aspirin may help prevent heart attacks. But aspirin remains controversial due to the increased risk of bleeding.
8. Lie down
When heart pain strikes, lying down immediately with the head elevated above the body may bring some relief. A slightly upright position helps when the pain is due to reflux.
Similarly to other herbs, ginger is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. More importantly, researchTrusted Source indicates that ginger may help to ease stomach issues and prevent vomiting.
10. Turmeric milk
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate pain symptoms in the chest.
Turmeric milk combines about a teaspoon of turmeric spice with a cup of warm milk. The mixture should be drunk before bed to help alleviate pain.
For long-term use, studiesTrusted Source indicate the compounds in turmeric can help with preventing heart disease. The spice has also been shown to reduce cholesterol.
Causes of heart pain
There are many potential causes of heart pain in the chest. Some require medical attention immediately. Others are much more benign and may respond to a home remedy.
Some of the common causes of heart pain include:
* Heart attack
* Stable angina
* Unstable angina
* Acid reflux or GERD
* Muscle strain
* Injury to muscles
Heart attacks require emergency medical attention. If a person thinks they may be having a heart attack, they should see a doctor immediately.
Angina, which results from the coronary arteries being clogged or narrowed, may also require medical attention and treatment.
The main concern when chest pain occurs is a heart attack.
People should be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack and seek immediate medical attention if a heart attack is suspected.
Symptoms may include the following in addition to chest pain:
* Pain in other areas of the upper body, including neck, jaw, or arm
* Shortness of breath
* Cold sweat
Women should be aware that they are less likely to experience intense chest pain than men. They are more likely to have uncomfortable pressure or squeezing in their chest than pain. Women are also more likely to experience the other symptoms of a heart attack than a man.
When to see a doctor
A person should seek immediate medical attention at the first signs of a heart attack.
Also, a person should not use a home remedy as the first line of defense.
If the pain is new or unusual, people should seek out a medical diagnosis to ensure it is not due to something more severe than heartburn or gas.
Home remedies have a place in the effective treatment of often minor pain in the chest when the cause is known, and it is not a serious condition. On the other hand, any serious cases, such as a heart attack or angina, should be treated immediately by a medical professional.
If a person has any doubt, they should avoid using home treatments and seek medical attention as soon as possible.