The heart and circulatory system are the body’s lifeline, so it’s essential they run smoothly. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a smoke-free environment are all vital. But look to nature, too, as there are many natural ways to stimulate the circulatory system and fortify your heart.
Symptoms of circulatory system disorders include tingling in the fingers or toes, pale skin, and cold hands and feet. Don’t ignore these signs. The first line of defense should be a visit to the doctor for medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment. But cardiovascular disease is nothing new and the following traditional ideas may help. Just be sure to consult a doctor first before using a herbal remedy if you are taking prescription medicines.
Home Remedies for Circulatory System –
- Enjoy a gentle massage. Gentle, whole-body massages encourage circulation, particularly when a few drops of eucalyptus, pine or rosemary oil are added to the massage oil.
- To promote blood flow, sip tea made from equal parts of dried calendula flowers, daisies, and chopped fresh ginger. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water over 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the mixture. Strain after 5 minutes and drink slowly.
- Encourage blood flow to your skin by rubbing it forcefully in the shower with a massage brush or a coarse washcloth.
- A mustard bath will increase circulation, open pores, and stimulate sweat glands. Mix 1 cup (200 g) mustard powder with 2 quarts (2 L) cold water. After a few minutes, strain the mustard water and pour it into a hot bath.
- Take contrasting footbaths to boost circulation, especially in your legs. Soak your feet in hot water 100–108°F (38–42°C) for 5 minutes, then in cold water 64–68°F (18–20°C) for 5 minutes. Repeat. Dry your feet thoroughly and rest for an hour. The procedure is particularly effective when practiced twice a week.
- Quite rightly, Chinese physicians have long recommended drinking green tea for health. Several clinical studies indicate the antioxidant-rich tea can reduce bad cholesterol and increase circulation.
- Health experts recommend 2,000 mg of blood pressure-lowering potassium per day. Good sources include bananas, oranges, and apricots.
- Reduce salt intake. The more salt blood contains the higher the blood volume will be because sodium attracts and retains water. Spice up home-cooked meals with herbs instead, and stay away from packaged food.
- Eat celery. The crunchy vegetable is effective for controlling circulatory problems. Four stalks a day should do it.
- Eat chocolate. Dark chocolate is not good for the soul, it has a proven ability to lower blood pressure. Just 1/4 ounce (6 g) of chocolate a day will do the trick—and the darker the better.
Weak Heart –
The following suggestions are some of the many home remedies that were recommended for a weak heart in days gone by. To avoid any adverse effects, be sure to speak to your doctor before you try any of these herbal cures—especially if you are taking other medication.
- This low-cost home remedy is available in every household: Freshly squeezed onion juice mixed with a little honey may strengthen the heart.
- Peppermint milk provides an economical drink that can help stimulate blood circulation. Pour boiling milk over some dried peppermint leaves and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink the milk in small sips.
- The hawthorn shrub has been a stalwart of both European and Chinese herbal medicine since ancient times. In the 1800s, it became particularly renowned as a heart tonic, and now some clinical trials support this claim. A qualified herbalist can make up a tincture for you, but it should be taken only under professional supervision.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on cereal and include it in cookie and cake recipes. Cinnamon may help to strengthen the cardiovascular system, shielding the heart from disorders. The spice also acts as a blood-thinning agent that increases circulation.
- Eat plenty of nuts. Nuts have many healthy effects on the heart. They help to lower the levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood—high LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease. In addition, nut consumption reduces the risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack and improves the health of the lining of the arteries.
Nervous Heart Ailments –
Anxious people have about a 25 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than their calmer counterparts, and are almost twice as likely as more relaxed people to die of a heart attack over about 10 years, according to researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
- Indulge in a daily cup of calming valerian tea, preferably in the evening: Pour 1 cup (250 ml) cold water over 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried valerian root; let stand for a couple of hours, then strain. Warm the tea and sip slowly.
- Caraway or lemon balm tea soothes nervous heart ailments, and they are quick and easy to prepare from fresh ingredients or tea bags.
- Add essential oils (anise, lavender, peppermint, orange, rose) to bathwater or use in fragrant oil burners for a calming, relaxing effect.
- Get more rest. Lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. One theory is that poor sleep causes inflammation (the body’s response to injury), infection, irritation, or disease. That in turn revs up the sympathetic nervous system, which is activated by fright or stress.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR –
If you feel exhausted at the slightest physical exertion, are constantly short of breath and retaining fluid in your legs, make an appointment to see your doctor.