Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is preventable and it can be managed and treated effectively by regular exercise, good nutrition, and quitting unhealthy lifestyle like smoking cigarettes.
Natural remedies were the original medicine of man and they have been used for thousands of years to treat a lot of health problems including PAD.
Below are some of the most effective natural medicines for PAD.
This powerful herb stimulates the flow of blood in the body and it is more effective than placebo given to PAD patients having intermittent claudication.
It decreases leg pain that is caused by exercise or rest. People on blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or aspirin cannot take this herb because it thins the blood and increases the risk of bleeding.
If you are going to undergo any surgery, do not take this herb two weeks to your date of surgery to reduce the risks of bleeding.
Gingko extracts can be gotten from a good health store, take between 80 mg to 320 mg daily and you can also buy the tea bags and drink.
This is a flavonoid found in unripe citrus fruits like tangerines, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. This compound strengthens the blood vessels including the capillaries and this, in turn, eases the symptoms of insufficient blood flow.
Hesperidin also relieves the symptoms of leg pain in PAD and other symptoms such as heaviness, burning, numbness, tingling, and cramps. You can get this supplement from a reputable health store but it can react with many drugs.
Check with your doctor if you can take hesperidin supplement especially if you are on diabetes, antihypertensive, muscle relaxant, blood thinners, anti-nausea, and antacids medications. Alert your doctor if you notice any symptoms while taking this supplement.
Smoking hardens the artery faster than other factors and makes claudication intense. This unhealthy habits also prevents the development of collateral vessels, these vessels help your blood get around a blockage in the blood vessels.
Smoking also reduces your physical endurance by reducing the amount of oxygen in the body. This triggers PAD and aggravates its symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Present abundantly in oily fish, omega-3 fatty acid fights inflammation and helps people suffering from PAD by softening the red blood cells and this help the smooth flow of blood through the blood vessels.
When the red blood cells are soft, they can pass through the blood vessels easily and carry oxygen to the legs. Increase your intake of oily fish if you want to get healed of PAD.
Horse chestnut seed extract
All parts of this herb have been used as medicine for centuries in Europe and recent research has shown that this herb effectively improves the circulation of blood in the blood vessels.
It fights swellings, fatigue, itchiness, and other symptoms of peripheral artery disease. The extract can be gotten from health stores but it can react with diabetes medication.
Hawthorn berry boosts the circulation of blood and the transfer of oxygen all through the body, it decreases cramps in the legs and improves the flow of blood to your extremities.
It also improves the contractions of the heart and reduces blood pressure by dilating the arteries. It also removes the cholesterol and fatty acids lining the arteries.
It is a very effective treatment for PAD and it also reduces anxiety in PAD patients.
Low levels of Vitamin D or a deficiency in this vital nutrient increases your risk for peripheral arterial disease.
In a study, 4,839 adults were screened for PAD and 64% of those who had PAD had the lowest levels of vitamin D while those without PAD had the highest levels of vitamin D.
This herb treats a wide range of illnesses including PAD, it can be taken as herbal tea and cotton balls are dipped in this tea and applied topically on the legs and other parts of the body to relieve pains.
Chickweed removes toxins from the body, especially the skin and it also removes fat cells and cholesterol from your arteries thus aiding the flow of blood and treating PAD.
This is an amino acid that improves the circulation of blood in the body, it eases the symptoms of PAD and increases walking distances in people having intermittent claudication by 46%.
Get a quality supplement and take according to prescriptions.
This drink is an herbal concoction gotten from highly effective herbs and it treats a lot of hazardous diseases including PAD.
Green tea is dense in a lot of powerful antioxidants, it keeps the arteries clean and healthy, and it makes the blood lining healthy and reduces the levels of cholesterol.
Take this tea three times daily.
Though exercise makes you tired and cause leg pain, it can help treat the symptoms of claudication if it is done in the right way.
The kinds of exercises good for peripheral arterial disease are those that are mild and do not put a strain on the muscles or overstimulate them.
These types of exercises increase the flow of oxygenated blood all through the body through collateral blood vessels. You can start by walking slowly, walk to the point where cramps in your calf prevent you from moving forward.
Start walking again when the pain subsides, repeat this for at least 30 minutes and at least three times weekly, with time you will be able to move for a longer time and the pain would have reduced.
This hot spice is the most powerful against PAD. It enhances the flow of blood and purifies your blood. It improves physical healing and it is a powerful herb.
It protects the heart and blood vessels and supports a healthy circulatory system. It helps the flow of blood through the blood vessels and prevents damages to the blood vessels.
Prepare your meals with cayenne pepper, you can also add half teaspoon of ground cayenne to a cup of warm water and drink. Do this three times daily.
This is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin) which has less flushing effects than others. It is highly beneficial for PAD patients. It is used in the United Kingdom to treat intermittent claudication.
B vitamins reduce the risks of PAD by converting homocysteine to methionine or cysteine, a low intake of these vitamins or a deficiency in these vital nutrients will increase the levels of homocysteine in the body.
High levels of homocysteine, a protein has been associated with a lot of complications in the body. These include increased aggregation of platelets, oxidative stress, decreased the production of nitric oxide which is needed to make the arteries dilate and ease the flow of blood, proliferation of the vascular smooth muscles, and impaired endothelial functions.
B vitamins highly effective in reducing the levels of homocysteine are folate, B6, and B12. Vitamins B12 and B6 are cofactors in the conversion of homocysteine to cysteine or methionine. A low intake or deficiency of these vitamins will reduce the ability of the body to convert homocysteine thus leading to increased levels of homocysteine in the body.
Eat vitamin B rich foods and you can meet a doctor to prescribe a good supplement for you in severe cases.
This compound natural lowers the levels of high cholesterol, it is made from the wax of cane sugar and it is as effective as the blood thinner ticlopidine used in treating intermittent claudication.
It is also more effective than lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering statin. This helps in treating PAD and relieving its symptoms.
Reduce your level of cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol in the body raise the risks of atherosclerosis, this fat-like substance can build up in your arteries and block them, this, in turn, leads to claudication.
There are effective natural means of reducing high levels of cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Fish oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it protects the cardiovascular system thereby reducing the risks of heart disease in people with PAD.
Take 2 to 5 mg of fish oil daily, make sure you purchase a quality supplement.
Grape Seed Extract
The fruits, leaves, and seeds of grapes have been used since ancient Greek as medicine which is used in treating a host of health problems like chronic leg ulcers, varicose veins, and other symptoms of PAD.
The grape seed extract is rich in a compound called Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, a powerful antioxidant that reduces the symptoms of poor circulation in the leg veins such as cramps, itching, heaviness, swellings, nerve pain, numbness, and burning.
Avoid this if you are allergic to grapes and it should also be taken with caution if you are on blood-thinning medication.
This is an effective natural for high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol. It prevents PAD and also relieves its symptoms. Consume a clove of raw garlic daily.
This is a common Ayurveda remedy for circulation problems, it is a gum resin gotten from a small shrub named Commiphora Whiigti native to India and it is very effective in bringing down high levels of cholesterol.
When to see a doctor?
If you have constant leg pain, don’t see it as a normal sign of aging, especially when there are numbness and other symptoms. Make sure you see a doctor immediately.
Sometimes PAD may not show symptoms, so you have to get screened for this disease if you are:
- More than 65 years old
- More than 50 years old and you smoke or have a history of diabetes
- Less than 50 years old and you have diabetes
- Less than 50 years old and you have the risks of peripheral artery disease like high blood pressure and obesity.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD); Mayo Clinic
- Peripheral Artery Disease; NIH
- The Use of B Vitamin Supplements and Peripheral Arterial Disease Risk in Men Are Inversely Related; JN