Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, which is related to many cardiac and cerebral vascular diseases, especially stroke. It can therefore increase cardiovascular mortality and all-cause death. The current treatments of AF remain to be western drugs and radiofrequency ablation which are limited by the tolerance of patients, adverse side effects, and high recurrence rate, especially for the elderly. On the contrary, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with long history of use involves various treatment methods, including Chinese herbal medicines (CHMs) or bioactive ingredients, Chinese patent medicines, acupuncture, Qigong, and Tai Chi Chuan. With more and more researches reported, the active roles of TCM in AF management have been discovered. It is likely that TCM would be effective preventive means and valuable additional remedy for AF. The potential mechanisms further found by numerous experimental studies showed the distinct characteristics of TCM. Some CHMs or bioactive ingredients are atrial-selective, while others are multichannel and multifunctional.
Chinese Herbal Medicine and Atrial Fibrillation
CHM has been widely applied in the treatment of AF. Dr. Sheng believes that herbs improve coronary circulation, i.e., blood flow supplying the heart muscles.
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine approach, may help those with A-fib control their heart rates, Acupuncture involves applying small needles to specific points on the body to promote energy flow. The acupuncture point is linked with controlling heart rhythm problems.