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Herbs and nutrients that help with poor circulation

Herbs and nutrients that help with poor circulation

What causes poor circulation?

Technically, the term “circulation” can refer to any blood flow throughout the body.  However, when most natural health practitioners use the word, they mean peripheral circulation:  the flow of blood to the hands and feet.

Circulation starts when deoxygenated, nutrient-rich blood moves from the heart to the lungs to be saturated with oxygen.  From there, the heart’s pumping pushes it through the arteries and out to capillaries all over the body. Here it delivers the oxygen and nutrients to the waiting cells. Finally, it returns back through the veins to the heart, only to start the cycle again with the next heartbeat.

Poor circulation can occur when capillaries become narrow or damaged, which constricts blood flow in that area. The first symptoms of poor peripheral circulation often include cold, numb fingers and toes.   If you frequently experience this, several natural remedies for poor circulation have been identified.

Natural remedies that may assist with healthy circulation    
Several herbs and nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on peripheral – and general – circulation. Four commonly recommended natural remedies include:

  • CoQ10 (Ubidecarenone/Ubiquinone): think of Co-enzyme Q10 - often just called CoQ10 –  as “nature’s spark plug”.  The mitochondria (powerhouses) of every cell in the body produce CoQ10 naturally, using it to create the energy that each cell needs. 

    Research
    1,2,3 suggests that CoQ10 has a beneficial effect on heart function and blood pressure levels, which, in turn, helps to improve circulation. Beyond this, CoQ10 may also support healthy blood glucose and cholesterol balance. 
  • Omega 3-rich Fish Oil: fish oil is rich in two essential Omega 3 fatty acids (EFAs) – Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). These EFAs help to maintain healthy circulation, and relax the blood vessels, leading to freer blood flow.

    Other ways in which fish oil can support circulatory system health include helping to maintain heartbeat regularity, healthy blood pressure, and cholesterol balance.  The Omega 3 EFAs also act as building blocks for vital anti-inflammatory prostaglandins: hormone-like compounds that are responsible for reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of health complaints, Ginkgo assists in regulating blood vessel elasticity and tone, thus supporting peripheral circulation.

    The herb’s circulatory benefits are a result of the unique compounds it contains: in particular ginkgolides and bilobalides as well as antioxidant flavonoids. These compounds make Ginkgo especially helpful for cold hands and feet, Raynaud’s disease, chilblains, or intermittent claudication4.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata): closely related to common garden rose bushes, Hawthorn has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it beneficial for heart health. It was traditionally used to support healthy blood pressure, circulation and blood vessels5.  

    Hawthorn’s effects result from its ability to help dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow, especially to the heart.  It may also support healthy cholesterol levels.

NOTE:  symptoms of poor circulation can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying problem. Please speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.


1Burke et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension. South Med J 94.11 (2001): 1112-17
2Langsjoen, H et al. Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspects Med 15 Supp l(1994):s165-s175
3Rosenfeldt F et al. Systematic review of effect of coenzyme Q10 in physical exercise, hypertension, and heart failure. Biofactors 18 (2003):91-100
4Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. 3rd Edn. 2010:Ginkgo biloba:493-509
5Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. 3rd Edn. 2010:Hawthorn:591-598

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Herbs and nutrients that help with poor circulation

Poor circulation or blood pressure often means include cold, numb fingers and toes. There are natural remedies that may benefit you. Learn more here.

What causes poor circulation?

Technically, the term “circulation” can refer to any blood flow throughout the body.  However, when most natural health practitioners use the word, they mean peripheral circulation:  the flow of blood to the hands and feet.

Circulation starts when deoxygenated, nutrient-rich blood moves from the heart to the lungs to be saturated with oxygen.  From there, the heart’s pumping pushes it through the arteries and out to capillaries all over the body. Here it delivers the oxygen and nutrients to the waiting cells. Finally, it returns back through the veins to the heart, only to start the cycle again with the next heartbeat.

Poor circulation can occur when capillaries become narrow or damaged, which constricts blood flow in that area. The first symptoms of poor peripheral circulation often include cold, numb fingers and toes.   If you frequently experience this, several natural remedies for poor circulation have been identified.

Natural remedies that may assist with healthy circulation    
Several herbs and nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on peripheral – and general – circulation. Four commonly recommended natural remedies include:

  • CoQ10 (Ubidecarenone/Ubiquinone): think of Co-enzyme Q10 - often just called CoQ10 –  as “nature’s spark plug”.  The mitochondria (powerhouses) of every cell in the body produce CoQ10 naturally, using it to create the energy that each cell needs. 

    Research
    1,2,3 suggests that CoQ10 has a beneficial effect on heart function and blood pressure levels, which, in turn, helps to improve circulation. Beyond this, CoQ10 may also support healthy blood glucose and cholesterol balance. 
  • Omega 3-rich Fish Oil: fish oil is rich in two essential Omega 3 fatty acids (EFAs) – Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). These EFAs help to maintain healthy circulation, and relax the blood vessels, leading to freer blood flow.

    Other ways in which fish oil can support circulatory system health include helping to maintain heartbeat regularity, healthy blood pressure, and cholesterol balance.  The Omega 3 EFAs also act as building blocks for vital anti-inflammatory prostaglandins: hormone-like compounds that are responsible for reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of health complaints, Ginkgo assists in regulating blood vessel elasticity and tone, thus supporting peripheral circulation.

    The herb’s circulatory benefits are a result of the unique compounds it contains: in particular ginkgolides and bilobalides as well as antioxidant flavonoids. These compounds make Ginkgo especially helpful for cold hands and feet, Raynaud’s disease, chilblains, or intermittent claudication4.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata): closely related to common garden rose bushes, Hawthorn has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it beneficial for heart health. It was traditionally used to support healthy blood pressure, circulation and blood vessels5.  

    Hawthorn’s effects result from its ability to help dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow, especially to the heart.  It may also support healthy cholesterol levels.

NOTE:  symptoms of poor circulation can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying problem. Please speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.


1Burke et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in isolated systolic hypertension. South Med J 94.11 (2001): 1112-17
2Langsjoen, H et al. Usefulness of coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: a long-term study. Mol Aspects Med 15 Supp l(1994):s165-s175
3Rosenfeldt F et al. Systematic review of effect of coenzyme Q10 in physical exercise, hypertension, and heart failure. Biofactors 18 (2003):91-100
4Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. 3rd Edn. 2010:Ginkgo biloba:493-509
5Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. 3rd Edn. 2010:Hawthorn:591-598
Herbs and nutrients that help with poor circulation
 
 

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