Broken Heart Syndrome: A Typical Case

J Holist Nurs. 2015 Dec;33(4):345-50. doi: 10.1177/0898010115569883. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


This case describes a combination external treatment for "Broken Heart Syndrome" that includes a lavender footbath, massage using moor extract, and oxalis ointment to the abdomen applied by an Anthroposophic nurse for a specific personality type. Lavender footbaths have been used since ancient times for relaxation and calming, while moor extract has been used medicinally in Europe since the middle ages for warmth and environmental protection. Rhythmical massage using moor extract and oxalis ointment poultice to the abdomen are part of the tradition of Anthroposophic nursing when managing stress induced by emotional and physical trauma. An elderly lady with specific characteristics diagnosed as Broken Heart Syndrome received one treatment a week for 4 weeks given by an Anthroposophic nurse at an integrative medical center. Between treatments, education was given to enable self-treatment in the home. The nursing treatments, each using lavender footbaths, moor extract massage, and oxalis ointment poultice to the abdomen, proved very effect, and no negative effects were reported. External applications need to be considered by nurses caring for specific personality types with Broken Heart Syndrome.

Keywords: botanicals/herbals; integrative; older adults; stress and coping.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthroposophy
  • Anxiety Disorders / nursing
  • Female
  • Holistic Health*
  • Holistic Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Massage / methods
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy / drug therapy
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy / nursing*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil