There are many herbs that assist circulation. Three herbs that are easy to obtain and fairly safe that will boost circulation include cayenne pepper, ginkgo biloba and ginger.
Herbs That Help Circulation
Your circulatory systems includes the heart, veins, arteries and capillaries that push blood throughout your entire body, day in and day out, from the time your heart started beating to the moment of your death. Your heart works tirelessly to make sure that blood flows to every single spot in the body, bringing with it oxygen and nutrients to sustain life and whisking away the by products of metabolism, toxins and dead cells.
But when something changes the heart's ability to pump blood or other changes occur in the body, circulation may be impaired. Even simple things such as sitting too long can impair circulation; walking and stretching quickly improve circulation. Poor circulation may accompany other diseases or may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Talk to Your Doctor First
Poor circulation can be caused by many factors, and only a physician can diagnose the exact reason why you're suffering from poor circulation. Before taking herbs that assist circulation, be sure to talk to your doctor. Check with your doctor, too, if you're taking any medications for high blood pressure, heart disease or high cholesterol. Some herbs may interact with these and other medications.
Three Herbs to Try
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, the following three herbs are inexpensive, readily available, and fairly safe. Follow package directions when taking any herbal supplements.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper (Capsicum frutescens) increases blood flow primarily to the skin's surface. If you've eaten super hot chili or Mexican food and felt your face flush, you may have experienced one of cayenne pepper's benefits of boosting circulation to the skin.
- Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo biloba holds a time-honored place in the herbal repertoire as a circulation booster and memory enhancer. Over 40 individual components from the ginkgo plant have been isolated and tested, and the results are favorable. The University of Maryland Medical Center website reports that a dose of about 120 mg daily are enough to boost circulation and improve memory function. Ginkgo also provides anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Ginger: Ginger is a popular herb in Asian medical systems, especially Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine. Ginger root acts as an overall system tonic, boosting circulation throughout the body. It is also said to aid digestion. Ginger tea may offer some benefits as well as shredded fresh ginger root or powdered root.
Other Herbs to Improve Circulatory System Health
Poor circulation often accompanies other circulatory system problems. Many of these herbs offer secondary benefits, such as immune system support along with the potential to help circulatory health. Other herbs recommended for circulatory problems include garlic, gotu kola, hawthorn and prickly ash. Lynn' Newman, an herbalist and clinical nutritionist, states in her booklet "Common Herbs and Their Uses" that these herbs are used for the following reasons:
- Garlic: Garlic may naturally lower cholesterol levels. It is thought to lower blood pressure and offers immune system support too.
- Gotu Kola: Newman lists gotu kola as a 'rejuvenating tonic' for the circulatory system.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn is another herb frequently recommended by herbalists for all types of circulatory problems. It is said to be an overall tonic for the entire circulatory system.
- Prickly Ash: Herbal extracts from prickly ash stimulate circulation and also are thought to improve various skin diseases.
Many of the herbs recommended to improve circulation are fairly safe, such as garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper. Always take herbal remedies according to the package directions. Remember to talk to your doctor. Your circulatory and cardiovascular system are critical for your health and well-being, so make sure your doctor has ruled out major health problems before turning to herbs that assist circulation.