A lot of us have this numbing feeling or lack of sensation in our fingers and toes at times. What is this? Can you define it? It is nothing but when it becomes an everyday thing, you need help. For our blood to keep on serving several important functions in our body it needs to go around and that is called blood circulation. It provides oxygen and nutrients to each one of our body parts and its cells and organs as well. It also balances body temperature, and provides warmth to our fingers, nose and toes.
A pale look on your face could be the first and most alarming warning signal of poor blood circulation. No amount of skin creams or facials will help until you identify the problem from its root cause. Similarly, freezing hands or feet during winter season is something that hints at poor blood circulation. Ayurveda explains that poor blood circulation is one of the results when you are suffering from Vata or Kapha dosha. The exact reason can be gauged through Nadi Parikshan.
Poor blood circulation is an unpleasant experience and it occurs when blood flow to certain parts of our body such as heart, legs, toes and hands becomes restricted.
Causes of Poor Blood Circulation
- Build-up of Plaque on the insides of our capillaries
- Diseases such as varicose veins, kidney damage, stroke, heart diseases, aneurysms, phlebitis, arteriosclerosis, etc
- Hypertension or Blood Pressure
- A sedentary lifestyle is also the main culprit Some other possible causes include:
- Lack of exercise and activity
- Eating too much junk food
- Staying still or sitting too long in front of the computer
Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation
You will feel discomfort when it occurs but some other very obvious and common symptoms include:
- Change in skin temperature such as cold hands, fingers and feet
- Numbness or loss of sensation in limbs
- Lethargy even after small activities
- Lack of energy and stamina
- Hair fall and/or dandruff
- Dry skin, uneven skin tone, pigmentation and blemishes on the skin
- Memory loss or sluggish memory
- Irregular heartbeats
- Cramps and headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy hands, legs and feet
- High cholesterol with blood pressure
- Swollen hands and feet
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
Diet and Lifestyle changes to Improve Blood Circulation
Start by Exercising Several Times a Week
Regular physical exercises help improve blood circulation but begin with mild ones and then advance to more rigorous ones.
Take Regular Breaks
Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for too long or hours at a stretch which we usually do when we are working.
Hydrotherapy is one of the most effective Ayurveda treatments that will help you get rid of poor blood circulations. The therapy involves application of hot and cold water on the blood vessels. This improves blood circulation by directly stimulating dilation and contraction of the blood vessels close to the skin surface.
Ayurveda always advises you to follow a well balanced and healthy diet. Experts believe it to be of utmost importance to improve blood circulation. Some recommendations include:
- Reduce your coffee and tea intake
- Reduce your alcohol intake as well
- Quit smoking as soon as possible
- Avoid eating foods high in saturated fats
- Eliminate refined foods like alcohol, sugar and oily and/or deep fried foods
- Drink plenty of water every day to maintain healthy cell hydration
Massage is not just for athletes and MMA fighters. And it is much more than just an act of relaxation because a massage when done properly by professionals can relieve you of nearly all the symptoms of poor blood circulation. Your hands and legs and all major muscles and joints will relax and become stress free. This is a form of stimulation of your nerve receptors. During a massage therapy your blood vessels are dilated by reflex action, which in turn increases blood circulation. Massaging your limbs also helps remove blood clots and any other hindrance that might be impairing blood circulation.
Ayurvedic Remedies to Improve Blood Circulation
Some of these habits may be difficult for us to incorporate in our daily routine. This is why we turn to Ayurveda for solution. Try these simple and effective Ayurvedic remedies and you will definitely find more than what you expect.
Here are some foods and herbs that you never knew could improve blood circulation:
According to Ayurveda experts fruits, vegetables and herbs are considered excellent for your health. They are rich in bioflavonoids that strengthen your capillaries, and promote blood flow. Some of them are:-
This is one of those popular foods that is ideal for blood circulation improvement. Tomatoes contain high amounts of lycopene which prevents plaque buildup in our capillaries (major hindrance to healthy blood flow).
Some nuts like pistachio, almonds and cashews are high in vitamin B3, which boosts blood flow by dilating the blood vessels, and also reducing the level of low-density lipoprotein in the blood.
Garlic has a lot of medicinal properties and it is used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments. Ayurvedic researchers have found that people who consume a minimum amount of garlic on a regular basis have better blood circulation as it relaxes the blood vessels. Garlic interacts with your red blood cells, and increases the production of hydrogen sulphide. Increased level of hydrogen sulphide improves blood circulation.
By consuming raw garlic you are doing yourself a big favour as it also reduces the accumulation of low-density lipoprotein in your blood, raises good cholesterol level, keeps blood pressure within normal limits and prevents blood platelet aggregation.
Ginger is again a very common ingredient used for enhancing the taste of several of our dishes. What you may not know is that it also possesses a wide range of medicinal properties. Ginger contains gingeroles and zingerone, which are its active components that prevent absorption of cholesterol in the blood and liver. If you consume ginger on a regular basis it will help in preventing blood clot formations in the body. Some say that it is much more effective than taking an aspirin that is known to be used for thinning of blood.
Green tea is very rich in antioxidants. A major antioxidant found in it is epigallocatechin and it improves the health of the cells forming the innermost lining of your blood vessels. This helps in the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, thus enhancing blood flow. It also reduces the formation of bad cholesterol in our body and further prevents high blood pressure.
All the home remedies suggested above are simple and very much doable.
Other than making dietary and lifestyle changes, it is important to take consultation from the leading Ayurveda experts at Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre who can guide you better about your body type and the Doshas present. With a holistic Ayurvedic treatment, you would be able to regain your health and vitality. No wonder, Ayurveda has the solution to your every woe.
Vaidya Jagjit Singh is a 3rd generation Ayurved physician from his family and is the remarkable person responsible for setting up of the Chandigarh Ayurved and Panchkarma Centre in sector 32 and 22, Chandigarh and Zirakpur and he is also the first founder member of Guru Ravidas Ayurved University. He has done his B.A.M.S. from Shri Dhanwantri Ayurvedic College, Chandigarh. He is an admirable ayurvedic physician with specialization in Chronic ailments.