What about alternative or natural remedies?

You may have read some encouraging claims about alternative or natural/herbal therapies; however, there is often no medical evidence that these improve heart failure. On the contrary, ingredients within some of these alternative therapies may interfere with the actions of some heart failure medicines and may have harmful effects.

Some of the more common alternative or natural remedies that may affect certain heart failure medicines include:

  • Ephedra (Ma Huang)
  • Ephedrine metabolites
  • Chinese herbs
  • Hawthorn (crataegus) products
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • Ginkgo
  • Coenzyme Q-10

It’s strongly recommended that you talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any alternative/natural/herbal remedies.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers.

heartfailurematters.org is a European Society of Cardiology website

The heartfailurematters.org website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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