Herbs offer a wide range of health benefits. From promoting good skin to helping balance hormones, herbs have been used for thousands of years for medicinal and therapeutic effects. In this article, we’ll look at how herbs can improve blood circulation.
Proper blood circulation is crucial in keeping a healthy body. When you maintain good blood circulation, every organ in the body gets the right amount of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. It helps wounds heal faster, keeps your heart in top shape, and can improve your cognitive and brain functions. Hence, blood circulation is an essential key to maintaining optimal health.
Many herbs offer great benefits for improving and maintaining good blood circulation. They offer a safer and more natural alternative than synthetic medicines, which may lead to harmful risks and side effects.
We listed the 10 best herbs that can improve your blood circulation. We also explained how they work and how you can effectively use these herbs to maximize their benefits.
Factors That Affect Blood Circulation
Poor blood circulation isn’t considered a condition but a result of underlying health issues. When looking at the causes that affect blood circulation, you don’t just look at the symptoms but address the specific health issue that causes them. These are the most common causes of poor blood circulation.
1. High Blood Glucose Level
If you maintain a high blood glucose level for an extended period of time, blood vessel damage can occur, resulting in impaired blood flow. Diabetes also increases your risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), an abnormal narrowing of the arteries in your legs and feet that leads to circulation problems.
2. High Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in your blood vessels. When coronary arteries become clogged with too much fat, they narrow or become blocked. This prevents the heart from receiving a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen, resulting in heart conditions such as angina (chest pain), shortness of breath, and other coronary artery diseases.
3. High Blood Pressure
While many factors are linked to arterial issues, such as cholesterol and age, high blood pressure is considered major. Persistent high blood pressure can damage your arterial walls due to increased stress and strain. The arteries weaken and become damaged over time. These can also cause blood clots, blocking blood flow and putting you at risk for stroke.
How Can Herbs Improve Blood Circulation
Many of these herbs improve blood circulation by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, an important vasodilator that promotes blood vessel health. It’s usually found in all the cells in the body. It increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure by relaxing the inner muscles of your blood vessels, widening the pathway.
Some nitrate-rich herbs also help blood circulation by causing vasodilation. Many herbs contain vitamins like C and K, promoting healthy blood, improving fluidity, and other benefits. Some herbs are also effective in improving blood circulation by lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You’ll learn more about these herbs’ mechanisms of action in detail below.
The 10 Best Herbs For Blood Circulation
Here are the 10 best herbs to help you maintain and improve your blood circulation.
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Cayenne Pepper
- Gotu Kola
1. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba’s ability to improve blood circulation to most parts of the body is due to its ability to raise nitric oxide. It’s a vasodilator, which widens blood vessels and increases blood flow while lowering blood pressure. Studies show that ginkgo biloba can “immediately” increase blood flow by increasing nitric oxide by 12%.1
Ginkgo biloba supplements are widely available in pill, capsule, or powder form. To increase its absorption, it’s best to take ginkgo biloba supplements after eating food and with a full glass of water.
Because of its magnesium, chromium, and zinc content, ginger has been shown to improve circulation significantly. These minerals improve blood flow by lowering blood glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.2
You can take ginger supplements or make a warm ginger tea. When making tea, you can opt to use fresh, dried, or powdered ginger. You can add honey, cayenne pepper, garlic, or other medicinal herbs to boost its benefits.
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Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, a powerful compound that aids blood circulation by lowering blood pressure and relaxing blood vessels. Studies suggest that consuming cinnamon improves coronary artery blood flow by lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels. 3
There are four ways you can consume cinnamon: sprinkle it on food, take pills or capsule supplements, enjoy it as a warm tea, or swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon powder with honey.
4. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains a potent phytochemical called capsaicin, which is responsible for its spicy flavor and other health benefits. Capsaicin can improve blood circulation by increasing nitric oxide production, a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessel walls to allow for better blood flow.
According to studies, cayenne pepper can also help strengthen your blood vessels and reduce arterial plaques that block blood flow.4
You often see cayenne pepper as a ground spice. You can add it to your favorite foods or sprinkle it over warm chocolate milk.
Hawthorn has been used as a medicinal herb for cardiovascular health. It lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol levels to improve blood circulation. It contains flavonoids that interact with enzymes in the heart, allowing it to contract. As a result, the coronary arteries receive more blood and oxygen.
Hawthorn can be consumed as raw berries, jams or spreads, herbal tea, or supplements.
Unlike other herbs that promote nitric oxide production, parsley actually contains nitrates. Nitrates act as vasodilators, widening blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. Parsely is also high in vitamin C, which promotes blood vessel health, and vitamin K, preventing blood clotting.
Parsley is often used as a cooking ingredient, but you can also enjoy it as a warm tea. Simply steep dried or fresh parsley in a cup of hot water. You can add honey or lemon juice to enhance the taste.
Cacao is high in antioxidant polyphenols, which boost nitric oxide production and improve blood flow. Furthermore, it also contains flavanol, which regulates blood pressure and is beneficial in maintaining the elasticity of the blood vessels. Flavanol also promotes angiogenesis or the formation of new blood vessels.5
Enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate at night (6 g) significantly reduced blood pressure.
Turmeric is popular among herbalists due to the health benefits of its active ingredient, curcumin. Studies show that curcumin improves vascular endothelial function, which is responsible for regulating blood flow, blood fluidity, and angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. Curcumin also boosts nitric oxide production, resulting in vasodilation and improved blood flow.6
Turmeric is used in the treatment of health conditions, including skin problems like eczema.
Read More: Best Herbs For Eczema
Turmeric is widely available in many forms. You can take it as an herbal supplement or make a warm turmeric tea with honey.
Ashwagandha is considered a wonder herb because it’s rich in antioxidants, iron, and amino acids. It can improve blood circulation by stimulating the production of nitric acid. Furthermore, iron is an essential element of blood production and helps in the transport of oxygen to the rest of the body.
Ashwagandha is also an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it counteracts the stress that frequently causes high blood pressure and poor circulation. It also helps in the breakdown of sugars in the blood, lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels.7
Ashwagandha has been known for its many health benefits, including treating erectile dysfunction and promoting hormone balance. You can take ashwagandha as a supplement in capsule or powder form. It’s best to take it at night for a good night’s sleep.
Read More: Best Herbs For Hormone Balance
10. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola is dubbed the “herb of longevity” in traditional Chinese medicine for its many benefits. It contains flavonoids that improve blood circulation and prevent blood clots in the veins. It’s often used to treat varicose veins during long flights to improve blood flow in the legs.
Studies show it’s rich in triterpenes, a compound often used in blood circulation treatments. It is used to treat atherosclerosis or the buildup of plaque that causes the thickening of arteries that obstruct blood flow.8
You can take Gotu kola as a supplement or make an herbal tea by steeping dried Gotu kola leaves.
Other Home Remedies That Improve Blood Circulation
There are home remedies that can help improve and maintain good blood circulation. Here are a few of them:
Jogging and aerobics are some of the best cardiovascular exercises that help promote blood circulation. It raises your heart rate, which aids in blood movement through your arteries, increasing blood flow.
Many simple asanas promote good blood circulation in the body. Relaxation and deep breathing exercises help blood flow by providing more oxygen to your lungs. It also helps against circulatory ailments such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, and coronary heart disease.
Among the many benefits of yoga are promoting good heart health, improving mental health, relieving body pains, and more. If you want to get started, you can check out our list of the 10 best poses for beginners.
3. Quit Smoking
Cigarettes’ nicotine compound damages blood vessels, disrupting good blood circulation. Studies show that quitting smoking can improve your blood circulation and lung function in as early as 2 weeks.
4. Manage Stress
Chronic stress causes high blood pressure, which strains the walls of your veins. Stress also constricts coronary vessels, resulting in decreased blood flow, which is dangerous for patients with coronary artery disease.
I hope this list is helpful to you as you look for herbal treatments for blood circulation. Herbs contain compounds that trigger nitric oxide production, an essential molecule that helps widen or dilate the blood vessels for better blood flow.
Many herbs also improve circulation by lowering blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. So, the next time you’re experiencing muscle or chest pains, or other symptoms of poor blood circulation, give these potent herbs a shot!
Feel free to also read our new blog post about the best herbs for lymphatic system.