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How I Stopped My Skipping Heartbeats with a Special Tea

Updated on December 23, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

My First Episode of Atrial Fibrillation

In few days I will be turning 74, and exactly 14 years ago I experienced my first, not to be the last, episode of atrial fibrillation. It was followed by temporarily skipping heartbeats even after the rate went down to almost normal.

I am going to spare you from a lengthy description of that nasty experience, with a wild guess that you wouldn't have been attracted to the title of this post without already knowing what it feels like.

Mine was diagnosed as "lone", or "idiopathic", meaning that there was nothing structurally wrong detectable in my pump---just functional. I could easily eliminate stress as the factor, having been a regular meditator for some half of the century, and pretty much into the maintenance of a solid stress management.

So, the only other possibility that I could think of had something to do with my eating habits. Sugar came pretty fast to my mind as the culprit. Namely, prior to that episode I was consuming some crazy daily amounts of Coca-Cola. With a long held suspicion about my particular tendency of not metabolizing sugar well, I could easily see my a-fib as the result of my body going into a sudden hypoglycemic mode.

So I quit sugar, and those heartbeat skips eventually stopped being a bother.

Deciding to Be My Own Doctor

Needless to say, just like the rest of the sufferers, I got busy searching online for every possible way of future preventing of another episode. And just like the rest of them I turned out a naïve hopeful placing a lot of faith in supplements like magnesium, potassium, taurine, carnitine, arginine, and alike---while making sure I was always hydrated.

By that time I was also free from coffee, alcohol, and tobacco, and I felt proud mentioning that to my doctor---only to get hit in the face with his calm and almost casual remark: "You know, many people fibrillate who never smoked, drank alcohol or coffee."

Crap! As I was seeing him weekly after giving blood to determine the next necessary dosage of the blood thinner warfarin, at one point I asked him how much longer I was going to do that routine. Then he hit me with another verdict, and just for a moment I was under an impression that he enjoyed doing it: "Well" - he said - "many people do it for the rest of their life".

Somehow I knew the answer to my next question, but I still had courage to ask: "Was there anybody in your experience who got rid of this condition?"

O.K., I'll let you guess what he said, but not without mentioning what I said---and meaning it: "Then I am going to be the first one."

He gave me a sympathetic look, and diplomatically said: "Well, maybe you will, I have been wrong before."

No More Rat Poison for My Species

I don't think I am assuming too much when I say that many of you a-fibbers got out of that first hospital stay with a crushed spirit of some cardiac cripples, suddenly scared to lift something, climb a flight of stairs, take a walk on a slightly elevated sidewalk.

They did a good job of scaring the crap out of me with those medical speculations of a possible stroke as the result of any next episode. And yes, there was no doubt in their mind that there would be those "next" ones. Many of them. One smiling nurse was even more specific, saying: "See you back in a couple weeks."

Well, that was the point at which I promised to myself to take things in my own hands. In my case that meant my first step of stopping that nonsense of weekly blood works. I even found out that my blood thinner---warfarin---was being sold by pounds as rat poison to the farmers.

Reluctantly, but I did that stress test and echo-cardiogram, which showed nothing organically wrong with my heart.

Months passed which turned into years without my a-fib returning. No wonder that devil in me started defying the medical predictions with a challenge consisting of some considerable amounts of sugar in my diet.

Bad, bad devil, and a bad, bad challenge!

Because I got myself another little episode. Not as bad as the first one, but bad enough to seriously spoil my otherwise rosy disposition. Miraculously though, I quickly got rid of it with 4 capsules of lemon balm at bedtime, which was the most recent item on my list of preventive measures. I woke up the next morning feeling victorious, with a strong resolve not to take any future vacation trip without a good supply of my lemon balm magic in the bottle.

And so I did with the next few of such trips, including the one in Las Vegas, when all in a gambling spirit I decided to pull the devil by the tail with a huge dinner and a huge serving of ice cream.

Bad, bad devil, and bad, bad gambling spirit!

Viva Las Vegas! Viva My Fighting Spirit!

It was two days before our returning home, and I felt sorry for my wife who pretty much started seeing me in a coffin, according to her worried face. As for me, I surprised myself with an incredible calm. That "higher self" in me kicked in, and I even decided not to admit myself to the hospital upon returning home, not to see any doctors, not to take any supplements.

My mind got totally possessed by the resolve to let my body take care of itself. Somewhere online I once read that those episodes would quiet down on their own in a matter of a week, without our doing anything at all.

And so I didn't do anything, and my episode stopped after about a week as abruptly as it came to spoil my, and especially my wife's last days of Las Vegas adventure. But I didn't want to rely on that "spontaneous remission", although I honestly didn't know what else was there left for me to try, after even my trusted lemon balm gave up on me.

I kept searching, although this time without any of that initial frantic motivation to find the cure, or at least something to stop those irregular heartbeats. At the back of my mind I considered a plan-B solution---if everything fails to just learn living with it, like some folks learn to live with frequent migraines, or arthritic pain.

After all, I had no symptoms like shortness of breath, or lightheadedness, or pain in the chest. If it was not for that bloated stomach and that distinct tiny nervous snap at each skipped heartbeat in my stomach pit---I probably wouldn't even know that my heart was having those "hiccups"---as one cardiologist named those skips.

May It Work for You As Well!

And finally, here comes that part some of you have hoped for---to reveal a "secret magic formula" for stopping irregular heartbeats. It does exist, magic or not, but you must understand that I can't claim its medical value---for those well familiar legal considerations.

As a matter of fact, I am urging you, an a-fibber, to check with your doctor if it's suitable for you. ESPECIALLY, if you are on blood thinners and/or other prescription stuff.

Understand that every illness and condition are an individual experience, and what may have worked for me---as it definitely has---may not work for you, or may even cause trouble.

I fully empathize with each of you who have gone through possibly some decades of futile search---and I know how eager you may be to "try anything", because I did. Just be smart, O.K.--- especially if your a-fib is not diagnosed as "lone", but with some underlying heart damage.

O.K., I think I have said enough to warn you.

Now, how did I come across this tea composed of 4 ingredients. Some time ago I had my longest, although on and off, episode of heart skips---for over a month. Skilled in the art of managing my emotions, by that time I almost created a sort of a "friendly bond" with those cardiac hiccups. "Hey, here you are again! Go ahead, do your thing!" - I would be welcoming them while going about my life as if they didn't exist.

More out of curiosity than a concern, I searched online scrolling casually over "miraculous" health solutions, and my attention got stuck at this allegedly 125 years old Lebanese dude, who credited his longevity mainly to his regular tea consisting of quinoa, star anise, carob, and thyme.

I checked each of the ingredients out separately, and all of them were good for heart. Intuitively, more than out of any particular knowledge in that matter, I slightly changed the formula, kicking quinoa out, and replacing it with Ceylon cinnamon and one opened capsule of lemon balm. Ceylon cinnamon is allegedly good for stabilizing blood sugar, and lemon balm is good for stomach gas and "possibly" for vagal nerve, "possibly" causing those heartbeat skips.

Quantity wise, I used each of the ingredients in amount of about half of the dessert (smallest) spoon, with exception of carob, of which I used about five to six chips. (They come in form similar to chocolate chips). I ground up star anise in coffee grinder, and I sweetened the tea with a tea-size bag of stevia.

That mentioned month---prior to my first sipping on that cup of tea---I had that stubborn episode of heartbeat skips, which would subside during sleep, but came back right after I had my breakfast, to persist during the day.

Well, what can I say---by the time I finished that cup of tea, my skips were gone. For the rest of the evening, the next day, next week, month, and still. As if my heart was just waiting for that specific tea to settle down.

Ever since I kept drinking it every night. I like the taste, and if I am not mistaken, it's further calming my already calm mind.

I even tested it by having cakes, large meals, spicy stuff, eating late at night---and even when that food made me bloated and burp a lot, that extra gas did not produce irregular heartbeats.

Before I leave you, I must insist again that you check with your doctor before trying this tea. It is not made of any exotic stuff, as you know, all those ingredients---except for lemon balm---are regular kitchen spices, but they may still interact with medicine just the same.

If your doctor okays the use of that tea, try it. It doesn't guarantee to let you live 125 years like that Lebanon dude, but somehow I'm quite sure you'll gladly settle for losing those nasty heartbeat skips. --- Be well, all of you.

© 2018 Vladimir Karas

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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Rachel---Hi, now in retrospect it was like being scared of some dark shapes at night in the room---until we turn the light on and see that nothing scary was there.

      To you and to your dear ones---Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      9 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Val. That really must have been scary episodes you had. I was a little scared when I found out I had a leaky heart aortic valve. I wonder if your tea would help that condition. I'm glad you are doing better now and found something that helps your condition.

      Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      9 months ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      Paula, we must be sisters from another mother! Thanks for the kind words.

      Val, Im working on that tea.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Doris---Now that I am thinking a little more about the definition of atrial fibrillation, a surprising realization comes to mind. Namely, I think I only had it twice in these past 14 years---the rest were only skips with close to normal heart rate.

      So I am glad I titled my article with "heartbeat skipping", not "atrial fibrillation". With atrial fibrillation heart is beating very fast and skipping constantly during that racing. I had it 14 years ago and in Las Vegas, years after---and they both only lasted for an hour or so, before switching to slow heart rate with skips now and then.

      If I had known what I know now, I would have never admitted myself to the hospital 14 years ago to go through that crazy ordeal of "standard medical procedures". My present convictions are totally wrapped around mind-body medicine, and with little help of this tea and avoiding sugar indulgence I have no health problems.

      My neighbors can't believe that I haven't seen a doctor in some dozen of years, don't use any meds, including those over the counter, never had a headache in my life.

      But yes, at that first episode I did get scared, and doctors scared me even more. Well, they needed a "customer", like any other business, right?

      Now, I am really curious about how you cured yourself. Knowing my lively interest in these metaphysical matters---you know already that I'd like to know. So, if it's not to stay a secret---use my email address if you don't want to say it here. I am really curious, Doris, and always willing to learn something new.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      9 months ago from Beautiful South

      Val, I'm so happy that you've conquered your afib. It must be a real scary condition. I'm not an afib patient, but I had MVP. Note I used the word "had" not "have". Apparently I was born with a heart defect, but my mother never told me until after my diagnosis. When puberty set in, I began to have the heart palpitations, skipped beats, and a few very scary episodes of what was referred to as "runaway heart", one on the dance floor during a meeting of our college ballroom dance club. Scared the crap out of me, and nobody understood.

      At age 45 my first ultra sound showed mitral valve prolapse (MVP) with quite a backwash, which the doctor said explained my palpitations and other problems that I would never have related to heart, like mild dyslexia and migraine triggers. Many times I couldn't lie on my left side because it would start palpitations. I also realized that certain food combinations occasionally triggered the palpitations. So I do have some idea of what you went through. Anyway, I found a cure for mine, but if I wrote it here, many people would say that I'm ready to be committed. I will say that it does involve my metaphysical world. My last ultra sound showed no MVP at all and at my age, I know I didn't outgrow it on my own.

      One of my best friends has afib and has had the electro treatments twice. She says they work for about a year, and after the last one, I don't think she is going to agree to any more. She is on warfarin.

      @ Paula: I'm so sorry that you went through the horrors of afib, and I'm really glad that you found help for yours, Girlfriend. This heart problem ain't no fun for us fun lovin' gals...and guys.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      ptosis---I've never been a chocolate-lover, that's why I didn't have to "quit" it. Only on rare occasions would I have some, the same like cocoa.

      On the other hand, carob is the part of the tea that I am having, and I am familiar with its advantages over chocolate. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ptosis profile image

      ptosis 

      9 months ago from Arizona

      FYI, theobromine in chocolate can also increase your heart rate and cause palpitations.

      I love dark chocolate and I always thought that it was the caffeine that did that, it's the theobromine. You didn't mention you quit chocolate in article but you mentioned carob which doesn't contain any caffeine or theobromine.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Lela!!..Hi, girl. Sneaking in here (excuse me Val) to tell you that it's amazing how similar our health path has been! Sure is a bitch, I know all too well. I so understand most of what you've dealt with...(I too have lower back pain & my legs just ain't what they used to be! (circulation).

      We could have one hell of a gab session. Our own taping of the Dr. Oz show.

      I'm so sorry to hear of your most recent diagnosis. Stay tough and I know you'll do all you can to fight the good fight!!

      Wishing you & yours a great Holiday Season!! Peace, Paula

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Lela---I didn't know that about the Parkinson's meds, but I know that a girl like you won't give up on feeling young. After all, our body is only a vehicle, and for as long as we are enjoying the scenery instead of spying on the sound of engine---it doesn't matter whether it's a brand new Rolls Royce or an old Ford.

      I should know turning 74.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      9 months ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      Yes, it has been hell for a couple years now. I will never feel 20 again, except in my head. I will always be a kid at heart, or at least young at heart. No more trips to Vegas for me though. The Parkinson's meds can turn one into a compulsive gambler! Weird, or what?

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Lela---You've been through one hell with your health---and with doctors, and reading about it can't form the picture of what the experience felt like. Well, at least something seems to be getting better---about your ability to walk.

      Be brave as you have been so far, my friend.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      9 months ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

      My aFib was devastating. But that's because it wasn't really aFib. After a year of rat poison,and not being able to breathe, I finally went to see my kidney doctor who noticed immediately that I was in congestive heart failure, as well as afib and that I was anemic from the blood thinners.

      After a week in the hospital, off the rat poison, and after a unit of blood and a ton of fluid removal (lasix). I could breathe and walk again! Amazing! The aFib stopped soon after.

      I was doing very well for months, back to exercising and losing weight, etc. Then my back went kabluey from an old back injury.

      Now after 9 months of fighting back pain, even to the point of being in a wheelchair, I can finally walk short distances again. I did physical therapy and steroid shots. They wanted to implant a spinal cord stimulator, but no thanks.

      So, now after two miserable years, I find out that I have Parkinson's Disease, and muscle and nerve tremors are bad. Some days, I can't walk, and other days, ok.

      I may try this tea anyway to see if it helps.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Val...My particular A-fib journey was long, frustrating and complex. The procedure you refer to is an EPS. This procedure is done in-hospital by a cardiologist specially trained in electrophysiology. One of the numerous things looked at is whether or not an A-fib patient is a candidate for heart ablation. As it turned out, I was not.....very lengthy explanation. However, one medication, "fleccainide" was a total blessing to me which controlled my A-fib entirely. After suffering for so long, it was an enormous relief to me.

      Dr. Stephen Zador had a flourishing practice for many years. He is now retired and I understand his son took over his practice. Dr Zador Sr. was well-known and sought after across all of the Eastern U.S. At the time I saw him, he was one of very few cardiologists in this particular field. He taught at our Universities, and wrote many a medical journal, published nationally.

      After I had a mild heart attack, several years ago, and had stent placement...I was taken off the Rx and never again suffered with A-fib (another mystery).....All I know is, I am very grateful to be rid of the curse. I hope I've answered your concerns.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      Paula---Just curious, why did you call that doctor Zador "infamous" if he helped you with you irregular heartbeats? And how did he actually help you? I know there is a surgical procedure--forgot its name-- other than some medications.

      Anyway, I am glad you liked the article. Hugs, Val

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      9 months ago from Canada

      John---It could have been about a year ago or so that I experienced it the last time. You are right, medications are not friendly stuff. I discontinued using them shortly after my very first episode 14 years ago. I remember telling my family doctor that my specialist was just a businessman and a drug pusher, while hinting at his own main interest---before I stopped all visits. It was after I confronted my specialist with the question of "what was actually wrong with my heart", and he couldn't say it, except that all tests were showing that my heart was healthy.

      That's all I wanted to know before taking things in my own hands. The rest is in the story.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Val.......I can certainly relate very closely with your story. I had been attacked by the A-fib monster, with an onset episode, some 35 years ago. I remember my onset attack very clearly. So as not to belabor my long and arduous journey, I too set about to research, understand and conquer this annoying "electrical" issue with my tender heart.

      This doctor, that specialist, tests, treatments & diagnoses.....I tried it all and did it all. Many of my A-fib episodes were fierce & frightening.

      Finally, I sought the expertise of an electrocardiologist, the infamous "Dr. Zador." For years I had it all under control. Now it's a bad dream from the past!!

      Great article and one very close to my heart (pun intended) Love, Paula

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing this Val. I am sure that a lot of prescribed drugs can make things worse or have other side effects equally as nasty. How long has it been now since your heart skipped a beat?

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