Herbafayre: Your Questions Answered

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Q: I have a mild form of Raynaud’s Syndrome and feel the cold terribly during the colder months. What do you recommend?

A: Jean Blacker from Herbafayre says:

Raynaud’s Syndrome is a condition that prevents blood from reaching the extremities, usually just the fingers and toes but sometimes the ears and nose too, and can cause numbness and/or tingling, not to mention quite a lot of pain for many sufferers. At first the skin on your extremities turns white, then blue, and then red and burning.

This can be caused by exposure to the cold or even just by touching cold objects. Emotional stress can also trigger an episode.

Thankfully a few simple lifestyle changes can help.

Stopping smoking is the most effective way to reduce the symptoms of poor circulation, not to mention one of the healthiest decisions you’ll ever make!

Keep warm and stay away from the cold, including draughts indoors.

Try to exercise three times a week for at least 20 minutes to get the heart racing and the blood flowing.

Reduce your consumption of meat, butter and cream, which contain lots of circulation-slowing saturated fats and cholesterol, and eats lots of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish, nuts and seeds are good sources), which help to reduce blood stickiness and improve circulation.

As far as herbal remedies are concerned, ginkgo biloba is a firm favourite.

It increases circulation by relaxing the smallest arteries to allow blood flow to penetrate the extremities.

Try adding 15 drops of fresh ginkgo tincture in a little water three times a day.

However, do not use alongside blood-thinning medication such as low-dose aspirin or anticoagulants such as warfarin.

Ginger is a possible alternative if you do use blood-thinning medication.

For further advice ask at your local health shop.