Though poor circulation is not a seasonal affliction, when winter comes it certainly can be harder to ignore.
Constantly cold hands and feet are a sure sign that your vital blood flow is not as efficient as it should be.
Other tell-tale signs are those itchy, red, swollen toes that happen when you try to warm up your feet too quickly (chilblains), and painful, swollen lymph glands whenever you catch a cold or feel unwell.
Should I bother telling my doctor if I get cold hands and feet in winter?
Though it might seem like an unimportant detail, you should definitely take notice if you think you might have poor circulation and you are familiar with any of the following classic symptoms:
- Cold hands and feet - cold nose and ears too
- Frequent numbness in arms and legs, or hands and feet
- Trouble with remembering things and spells of confusion
- Times of little appetite and random tummy troubles
- Feeling tired and run down a lot
- Getting sick more often than is usual
- Feelings of tightness in your chest
- Lack of sex drive
- Dark eye circles
- Weak hair and nails
Good circulation pumps oxygen and nutrients from the heart throughout the body so that all systems can function optimally.
The lymphatic system plays an integral part, working alongside and filtering out waste, pathogens and toxins at the lymph nodes.
When circulation is bad, not only does the body struggle to function at the extremities, but also anywhere that healthy blood-flow is required (ask yourself: where is it not required?).
Due to the direct relationship with the lymphatic system and antibody production and transportation, the immune system is quickly compromised by poor circulation – another reason why you might first notice the issue in winter, catching lots of coughs and colds.
The body can also be exposed to a host of other issues like fluid retention, cellulite and, much more significantly, stress on the heart, the kidneys and even the eyes.
It is important to check the possibility of serious underlying causes such as diabetes, anaemia, lupus and other diseases. However, a more sedentary lifestyle in winter (less muscle movement to power lymphatic cleansing) might be a less serious reason for experiencing circulatory issues such as fatigue, poor digestion and low immunity.
How can I improve my circulation with natural health remedies?
Good hydration, diet and exercise are crucial factors in improving circulatory health. Body work such as dry brushing and massage can be especially effective at supporting a healthy life.
Pure therapeutic-grade essential oils can offer warming, cleansing and fortifying properties. These have active compounds that help increase dilation in blood vessels to improve flow. They complement and enhance body work and can boost a range of treatment plans.
Which essential oils can help improve winter circulation?
There are a lot of warming, stimulating essential oils that can be recommended for aiding circulation.
It is especially important to use certified organic and pure extraction essential oils. You cannot support effective lymph cleansing and immune processes with impure substances, or plant molecules that have been compromised by fast extraction methods.
Investigate ‘therapeutic’ claims before trusting a marketing label.
Pure essential oils that I like to use in prescription blends for circulatory health
Cypress, Ginger, Black Pepper, Coriander Seed, Rosemary, Nutmeg
Pure essential oils that offer extra support for lymphatic cleansing and immunity are:
Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lemon
Essential oil recipes for boosting winter circulation
MASSAGE gives direct access to improving blood circulation and lymphatic flow. Massage with the following blend, focusing on the chest area, arms and legs.
- 5 drops Rosemary
- 1 drops Black Pepper
- 2 drops Ginger
- 1 drops Nutmeg
- 1 drops Coriander
- In 10ml carrier oil Repeat 3 times a week.
DRY BRUSHING is a simple technique for powerful lymphatic support. Drop the following blend direct to a loofa and brush onto the body and limbs in the direction of the heart.
- 2 drops Grapefruit
- 1 drops Juniper Berry
- 2 drops Lemon Repeat 2-3 times a week.
A BATH / FOOTBATH with added essential oils can be highly therapeutic, for a maximum soak of 15 minutes (before toxins are reabsorbed).
- 2 drops Cypress
- 2 drops Grapefruit
- 1 drop Nutmeg
Repeat 2-3x a week with these oils, you may bathe utilising other oils for the remaining days e.g. Lavender True.
DIFFUSION can stimulate a healthy dynamic through enhanced respiration.
- 3 drops Rosemary
- 3 drops Cypress
- 3 drops Lemon
- 1 drop Ginger
Repeat as required but do stop diffusing this blend after 3pm as it might be too stimulating for the evening.
TEA a quick, frequent boost to any treatment:
- 2 drops Lemon & 1 drop of Ginger in hot water with a couple of slices of fresh Ginger & fresh Lemon (drinkable temperature, not boiling).
Are there natural health remedies that can help prevent poor circulation?
As a general maintenance approach to enhancing circulation for optimum health and body tone, all of the above recipes can be used. A weekly massage or bath for example, a monthly or even bi-weekly dry-brush, and a Lemon and Ginger tea as an alternative to other teas and coffees.
Use also safe, clinical blends Cell Tone and Cell Slim Oil, created for high-impact synergy and ready to use. They work together to give the benefit of an intense night time treatment (CellSlim), and a continued active dynamic for the daytime (CellTone).
Medicinal-grade Therapeutic Plant Oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with maximum purity and therapeutic value. See more at Absolute Essential.