Herbal Health Treatment of Poor Circulation

Poor circulation may be due to a number of reasons, including, varicose veins, arterio-sclerosis, anaemia, sluggish metabolism and heart disease.

It is easily treated with herbal medicine as there are many herbs which not only improve blood flow to the peripheries (hands and feet) but also support the heart and major blood vessels.

It is always a good idea with circulatory problems to go to your doctor to check there is no major heart condition. I have twice had people come to visit me in clinic for circulation problems, listened to their hearts and then sent them to the doctor for a check up. They both had heart murmurs which were checked thoroughly and deemed not to be a problem, so I treated their circulation making sure I supported the heart. In both cases the heart murmur cleared up and their circulation improved.

Diet plays the most important factor in trying to improve arterial health and therefore circulation.

The good old fashioned “sensible” diet is definitely the one to go for.

Complex carbohydrates, such as fruit and veg and wholegrain cereals.

Lean meat including some red meat to ensure a good iron intake and eliminate a possibility of anaemia.

Skimmed milk

Oily Fish

Polyunsaturated oils and Olive oil

Lots of Garlic and Onions


An example of a day’s menu could be:-

BREAKFAST;- muesli or fruit or wholegrain cereals/ semi-skimmed milk/ fruit juice

(Dried fruits contain a high amount of iron.)

LUNCH:- tinned  tuna   and salad or Baked potato with low fat Cole slaw or baked beans or a sandwich made with wholemeal bread and a sunflower or olive oil margarine.


DINNER: – lean cooked meat of any sort. Remember lamb and pork have more fat throughout the body of the meat so the fat is harder to cut off when preparing it for cooking. Red meat at least twice a week. Eggs at least twice a week for iron content.

Any vegetables you like and as much as you like.

Try to get out of the habit of having pudding.

Drink plenty of water during the day and no more than three cups of tea or coffee, preferably decaff.

You know I am now going to say EXERCISE!

No you do not have to be Mr or Mrs Super fit of the year but you do need to be exercising regularly.

20 minutes of walking a day or swimming twice a week or a dance class or whatever takes your fancy within your capabilities.  If you are less mobile then ask for some help from your Doctor who should be able to get you on to an exercise programme suitable for your ability. Many hospitals run exercise classes specifically to improve heart and circulation health.

So that is some good advice to try and keep your arteries and circulation in good shape. It isn’t too difficult to do and I have very often had feedback from patients who have had to make life style changes to say they have found it hard to make the change, but had got used to their new regimes quickly and now would not change back.

The herbs commonly used to improve arterial health are

  • Garlic:- this lowers cholesterol in the blood preventing a build up of cholesterol and also helps clear fat accumulating in blood vessels
  • Hawthorn:- as I have said in the description of hawthorn previously it is  a positive heart restorative and  is a cholesterol and mineral solvent
  • Lime Flower:-amongst all the other wonderful things it can do Lime flower has anti coagulant properties thus helping the blood to stay fluid in the arteries and not giving the cholesterol a chance to stick to the walls. It is also known to help dissolve fatty plaques in the arteries. It makes a delicious tea which has no caffeine and is very low in tannin.
  • Ginger: – is a specific for improving circulation to the peripheries (outlying areas). It makes a nice tea if you grate a little fresh ginger into some boiling water and leave it to stand for about 5 minutes. Strain it and drink twice a day.

There are also little obvious bits of advice such as wear a hat and gloves in winter, if your hands and feet do get very cold don’t warm them against a fire as this may lead to you getting chilblains. Don’t be proud, wear bed socks if you need to. You will find you sleep better at night if you are warm.

If you need more help do come and visit me in my clinic. You can find the clinic details  by clicking here or on the “clinic” tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information