Natural Treatment of Angina

Often a symptom of coronary heart disease or another heart condition, angina occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get enough blood. Although angina is typically marked by discomfort in the chest, pain can also affect the shoulders, upper abdomen, arms, neck, jaw, or back.

Hawthorn berry bush
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Angina often feels like indigestion (especially in the case of stable angina) and may include the following symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest (typically with a sensation of squeezing, tightness, or pressure), possibly accompanied by pain the arms, neck, jaw, upper abdomen, shoulders, or back
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness


Since an increase in the severity of angina symptoms can indicate worsening heart health or the threat of a heart attack, it's important to closely monitor your condition and notify your healthcare provider of any changes. You should also seek immediate medical attention if your chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes and doesn't subside after you take angina medication.

Treatments for angina include the use of medication (such as nitrates, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors) and medical procedures (such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting). Healthcare providers also recommend making lifestyle changes (such as following a heart-healthy diet and a safe exercise program) to help control angina.

Alternative Therapies

Given the serious nature of angina, it's crucial to work with a healthcare provider in managing the condition. Traditional medical treatments based on an individual's unique needs and conditions have been shown to reduce mortality when applied appropriately. There are some alternative therapies that may supplement your prescribed treatment, but keep in mind that so far, scientific support for these therapies is lacking. Talk to your healthcare provider about using these options to help keep angina symptoms in check:

  • Hawthorn: Often used by herbalists for high blood pressure, the herb hawthorn has been found in preliminary studies to aid cardiac function in people with heart disease. 
  • L-Carnitine: Derived from the amino acid lysine, L-carnitine occurs naturally in the body and is also sold as a dietary supplement. According to alternative medicine practitioners, L-carnitine may help to decrease the swelling that causes arteries to narrow.
  • Yoga: A 2021 meta-analysis showed that yoga improved quality of life in patients with coronary heart diseases and improved cardiovascular risk factors for coronary heart diseases. Other relaxation techniques (such as meditation and tai chi) may help manage angina by lowering your stress levels.


For most people, the reduced blood flow associated with angina results from atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries). Build up that is sufficient to cause angina, is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires medical attention. There are three different types of angina:

  • Stable angina: Tends to flare up during periods of physical exertion or stress
  • Unstable angina: Doesn't follow a pattern and may signal an impending heart attack
  • Variant angina: Typically occurs during periods of rest

Stable angina is the most common form of the condition. Each type of angina requires a different type of medical treatment.

A Word From Verywell

If you're considering the use of any form of alternative medicine, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Heart Association. Angina (chest pain).

  2. Wang J, Xiong X, Feng B. Effect of crataegus usage in cardiovascular disease prevention: an evidence-based approach. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:149363. doi:10.1155/2013/149363

  3. Mingorance C, Rodríguez-rodríguez R, Justo ML, Alvarez de sotomayor M, Herrera MD. Critical update for the clinical use of L-carnitine analogs in cardiometabolic disorders. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011;7:169-76. doi:10.2147/VHRM.S14356

  4. Li J, Gao X, Hao X, et al. Yoga for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease: A systematic review and meta-analysisComplement Ther Med. 2021;57:102643. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102643

  5. Rafieian-kopaei M, Setorki M, Doudi M, Baradaran A, Nasri H. Atherosclerosis: process, indicators, risk factors and new hopes. Int J Prev Med. 2014;5(8):927-46

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Additional Reading

By Cathy Wong
Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.