Raynaud’s Phenomenon – Causes and Natural Treatment

Raynaud’s phenomenon is characterized by an excessively reduced blood flow in the upper and lower extremities through a constriction of small arteries, followed by a constriction of the corresponding veins, a pathological pattern that makes the fingers and toes turn white, then blue, and then red. 

5 - Raynaud's phenomenon

The phenomenon’s duration, variable from case to case, lengthens in time, from 2-3 minutes, at the onset of the disease, to over 30 minutes, after a few years with no or poor treatment. Raynaud’s phenomenon can be triggered by certain emotional states or by (sometimes a very brief) exposure to cold, or it can occur without an apparent cause, sometimes more than once a day for an indefinite period of time. Though at first not a problem in itself, Raynaud phenomenon can be an early sign of a systemic disease that needs to be properly investigated. And even if it can not be related to another medical condition, Raynaud’s phenomenon must be treated, because in time it can lead to permanent damage of the arterial vessels and a constant exposure to further tissular lesions, such as the atrophy of skin and nails and even distal phalange necrosis.

Causes and related medical conditions

Raynaud’s phenomenon can occur without any apparent cause, in which case it is known as Raynaud’s disease. This is, however, a less frequent situation. In most cases, Raynaud’s phenomenon is known as Raynaud’s syndrome as is part of a primary disease or condition:

  • Connective tissue disorders: scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, dermatomyositis, polymyiositis, mixed connective tissue disease, cold agglutinin disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
  • Eating disorders: anorexia nervosa
  • Obstructive disorders: atherosclerosis, Buerger’s disease, Takayasu’s arteritis, subclavian aneurysms, thoracic outlet syndrome.
  • Drugs: beta-blockers, ciclosporin, bromocriptine, ergotamine, sulfasalazine, chemotherapeutics (especially bleomycin).
  • Occupation: drilling, exposure to vinyl chloride or mercury, exposure to cold.
  • Others: Lyme disease, hypothyroidism, cryoglobulinemia, malignancy, chronic fatigue syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, carpal tunnel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, magnesium deficiency, physical trauma.

Natural treatment

A natural approach to the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon is the use of herbs known to improve the function of the heart and blood vessels and to decrease the viscosity of the blood. The most notable among such herbs are the following:

  • Clove: The results of a study published in The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology in 1997 revealed that “the hydroalcoholic extract, and its fractions, from the leaves of Eugenia uniflora have graded and endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant effects.”
  • Garlic: A study published in Integrated Blood Pressure Control in 2014 demonstrated that “garlic-derived polysulfides stimulate the production of the vascular gasotransmitter hydrogen sulfide and enhance the regulation of endothelial nitric oxide, which induce smooth muscle cell relaxation, vasodilation, and blood pressure reduction.”
  • Ginger: A study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in 2015 demonstrated “the inhibitory potential of ginger constituents on vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation”, which is involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Ginkgo biloba: A study published in Atherosclerosis in 2014 demonstrated that “Nrf-2 mediated heme oxygenase-1 expression, an antioxidant-independent mechanism, contributes to anti-atherogenesis and vascular protective effects of Ginkgo biloba extract.”
  • Hawthorn, St John’s wort: A study published in Inflammation in 2014 showed that “hyperoside [an active compound from the genera of Hypericum and Crataegus] inhibits high-glucose-induced vascular inflammation in vitro and in vivo.”

All of them are best taken as a tincture, 1 teaspoon in a glass of water, 3-4 times a day, before a meal.

1 comentariu

  1. Might help with your cold hands and feet Hannah xxx

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