Orthostatic tachycardia (POTS)

by | Jul 25, 2008 | Columns, Healing Lyme, miscellaneous, other diagnoses

Dear Stephen,
A year ago I very suddenly developed what has been labeled as P.O.T.S (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). When I sit or stand up my heart rate increases by 20-30 bpm or more. Even at rest my heart rate can vary a great deal within minutes. It has been established by a cardiologist that it is not related directly to my heart but to the blood vessels and nervous system. I have been told this could also be caused by high pain levels and could have also developed so rapidly from a movement of metals in my body after a DMPS injection.

I am very disabled by this and find it gets worse with stress or hormonal changes. I get a great deal of head and neck pressure and have passed out upon rising. I have just started to take Japanese knotweed and have also started hawthorn. I have also been reading your book “The Secret Teaching of Plants” and am trying to concentrate on increasing heart coherence and heart/brain entrainment. I am not able to tolerate beta blockers that have been prescribed.

When an HRV test was done it showed that my parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems were flipping from high to low. I get the sense that my sympathetic nervous system is very over active. If you have any ideas for me it would be very much appreciated. I have been dealing with lyme disease and trying to build up my immune system and slowly detox. I have also been diagnosed with regional sympathetic dystrophy (RSD/CRPS), and know I have some genetic issues involving methylation pathways. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Stephen’s response:
For POTS I would suggest the following as a beginning:
1) Hawthorn 300 mg 3x daily – this will help normalize heart and vascular function.
2) Gingko 80-160 mg of a formulation standardized to 24% gingkoflavoglycosides (or thereabouts) – this will be exceptionally helpful for keeping circulation and oxygen content in the extremeties high which will, in itself, help prevent the dizziness, etc. that accompany POTS.
3) Coenzyme Q10 150 – 300 mg daily – specific for improving vascular and heart function.
4) Knotweed is good.
5) I would suggest astragalus 1000 3x daily – you can read in the Healing Lyme book for more.
6) Eleutherococcus tincture, as in the lyme book.
7) Given your conditions I would suggest you use stephania as well. I would begin with 1 drop of tincture on top of the tongue and see how you respond. If okay, I would use 5 drops 3x daily to begin with and see how you do. If okay, I would work up to 1/4 tsp paying careful attention to your responses. If you tolerate the herb well it will help with POTS and RSD considerably. But you may not respond well to it hence the slow and careful beginning. Please read the lyme book for more on the herb.
All this should be helpful for the lyme as well.
The heart work that you mention is very helpful for heart disease – the biggest challenge early on in that work is calibrating physiological states – once you have it though it is easy to enhance the process to tremendous degrees. It is very helpful.

  • Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty-three books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine including the acclaimed book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing & Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis & Its Co-infections.

    Stephen comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.

    Stephen’s work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman’s Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. Stephen lectures yearly throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth.

    He is a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

This protocol was incredible. After only a few weeks most of my symptoms were gone. After six months all my symptoms were gone… it has given me my life back.

– Amazon review by Joseph

Please note:

Stephen Buhner has retired from answering questions here, but this Q + A column on Planet Thrive is kept open so readers can access vital information in the archives, communicate with each other in the comments section, and find herbs, books + lyme adjuncts in our directory. If you want to reach Stephen, please try contacting him through his personal website at stephenharrodbuhner.com.

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