Raynaud’s Disease
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: December 31, 1998

Have you any information on what herbs may help Raynauds or Buergers disease? A friend of mine may have it. His fingers freeze and become numb and start to get gangrene. Any herbs to help that?

Raynaud’s disease is an exaggerated constriction of the small arteries and veins, usually in the hands and feet, in response to cold. Buerger’s disease is an inflammation of the blood vessels of the legs that may be caused by smoking. Herbs that relax and dilate the blood vessels and increase circulation are useful.

Ginkgo biloba is a circulatory stimulant that increases blood flow to the peripheral blood vessels.

Prickly Ash bark is a powerful stimulant to peripheral circulation.

"Hot" herbs, such as ginger, mustard and cayenne increase blood circulation.

Valerian reduces spasm and pain.

James Duke in "The Green Pharmacy" (St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010) states that in one study Evening Primrose Oil, massaged into the fingers of people with Raynaud’s, improved symptoms in half the people.

Two tablespoons of extra virgin Olive oil daily helps the circulation by its beneficial effect on cholesterol. Garlic works similarly to improve circulation.

In Buerger’s disease, Wild Yam is useful as an anti-inflammatory and relaxant. Hawthorn is useful in improving circulation to the leg to alleviate associated leg pain.

Cold drinks, tea, coffee and smoking restrict blood circulation.

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