Angina, or chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart, may result from a variety of conditions, but is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Emotional or physical stress is a common trigger, and causes a squeezing pain or pressure in the chest. In some cases, however, angina can occur when you are at rest. Conventional treatment typically includes medications that relax and widen the arteries to enhance blood flow to the heart, or ones that reduce the workload of the heart. If you are interested in adopting some natural strategies to complement standard treatments, you are in luck because there is plenty you can do to reduce symptoms of this condition and improve overall heart health.


To say diet plays a major role in keeping your heart healthy would be an understatement. It is one of the most effective natural strategies for managing angina, and its underlying causes, but one of the most difficult to apply consistently for reasons you probably already know all too well, from sheer laziness to a weak resolve to shun unhealthy foods. The most important thing you can do is eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains-boring yes, but this type of diet ensures adequate intake of nutrients vital to lowering cholesterol, keeping blood pressure in check, curbing inflammation and promoting healthy heart function. Don't worry so much about eating specific types of foods, just regularly including these general categories. If you commit to eating all different colors of fruits and vegetables, for example, you are covering all your bases no problem. Keep sugar and alcohol to a minimum, and aim for less than 1,500mg of salt daily.

Natural Supplements

Herbs and other natural substances have been used to treat myriad health problems long before pharmaceutical medications came on the scene, and can be a worthy addition to your treatment arsenal. It is important to remember two things, however. Natural does not always equal safe, and it can take a bit longer to see results compared to drugs, so be patient and diligent about taking your supplements. Speak to your doctor before using any treatments, as some may be inappropriate to use based on any medications you may be taking, or the presence of certain health conditions. Fish oil, for example, may be useful for angina and overall heart health, but may enhance the blood-thinning effects of enoxaparin and other anti-coagulants sometimes used to treat this condition. Other supplements that may treat angina in a variety of ways, from increasing blood flow to the heart to increasing exercise tolerance, include l-carnitine, coenzyme Q-10, arginine, magnesium, hawthorn, kudzu, terminaliaarjuna and suxiaojiuxin.

Stress Reduction

Because angina attacks can be triggered by stress, finding ways to relax is a cornerstone of any natural treatment strategy. Meditation has been shown to be effective in managing a variety of symptoms related to heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Some studies have found yoga to be effective in reducing symptoms of heart disease, including angina. Other relaxation techniques include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about natural health strategies; for interesting and helpful health information, she recommends connecting with Rodney Sewell on Google Plus.