Poor circulation to the extremities is quite common in cooler climates and particularly in elderly people or those who do very little exercise. Poor circulation can lead on to more serious conditions such as phlebitis or thrombosis so it should not be neglected and professional medical help should be sought if in any doubt.
Home remedies for Poor Circulation
Aromatherapy - Massage the hands or feet with diluted oils such as Black Pepper, Lavender, Marjoram or Rosemary improves circulation. These can be added to a warm footbath for a stronger short-term treatment. Use a maximum of 10 drops in total, and try a blend of 2 or 3 of these oils. Avoid if skin is broken, get advice first.
Herbalism - Take hot herbal teas regularly to aid peripheral circulation; choose from Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Lime Blossom (Tilia europaea), Nettle (Urtica dioica) or Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Daily intake of garlic stimulates blood flow too, and cayenne pepper is the strongest circulatory stimulant, perhaps simply use in cooking for this effect as well as its flavour.
Homeopathy - To improve circulation, the following home remedies may help in the short term, but if symptoms persist and the fingers and toes become numb, then seek professional medical advice:
SECALE: For cold hands and feet with a burning sensation. The rest of the body also feels cold and the fingers and toes can become quite blue or white. Take 6c every 30 minutes for up to 10 doses.
CARBO VEG: For cold hands and feet with a mottling of the skin. The skin feels icy cold to the touch and appears blue, with prominent veins. Skin can also appear blotchy.
Hand Massage for poor circulation
1. Place some base oil in a bowl, with essential oils added as recommended. Massage into palms of hands with a steady circular movement.
2. Squeeze down the fingers to stretch and loosen them, pushing towards the palm. Repeat steps 1 and 2 several times.
Foot Massage for poor circulation
1. To stretch the feet, place hands with thumbs on top of the foot, keeping a firm grip with both of the hands.
2. Move thumbs outward, as if breaking a piece of bread (be gentle with your partner!); repeat movement several times.
Naturopathy - Various substances constrict the peripheral blood vessels, most notably caffeine and nicotine, so reducing or cutting out coffee and tobacco will help greatly. Exercise is another essential, wherever possible, and in colder weather keep the wrists and ankles warm as well as the hands and feet themselves. Additional amounts of Vitamin C (up to 500 mg per day) and Vitamin E (up to 400 iu per day) can boost circulation and aid the elasticity of the blood-vessel walls.
Exercise is the best way to help yourself in improving circulation. Regular activities stimulate blood/low, and keep the heart and lung in good condition. Skipping has become more popular as an exercise, and is an excellent way to keep warm.