Only three elements compose your body’s circulatory system—heart, blood vessels, and blood itself. Nonetheless, it is a vast network encompassing your entire body; a complex highway that transports oxygen and nutrients to every other organ.
Thanks to its starring role in the well-being of your body, blood circulation is one of the pillars of cardiovascular health and a key component of your body’s overall health. Poor blood circulation can affect every other organ and significantly reduce your quality of life.
Fortunately, herbs for healthy blood circulation are widely available, each with documented attributes and components that make them a holistic and all-natural support for cardiovascular well-being.
Curious? Take a look at some of herbalism’s best options to get your blood pumping—literally and metaphorically!
1. Hawthorn Berry
Tangy, tart, and slightly sweet—hawthorn berries are well-known for that dry, astringent aftertaste. However, this quintessential fall fruit is far more than a preserve staple—it is a nutritious ally for cardiovascular health.
Historical records have established hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) as positively impacting high blood pressure or artery malfunction. Current science verifies these claims, as multiple studies have determined hawthorn relaxes blood vessels and allows better blood circulation, probably thanks to its abundant antioxidant and antioxidant components, such as polyphenols.
These properties make hawthorn berries an excellent option for maintaining healthy blood pressure readings since it has been proven to reduce high diastolic blood pressure levels.
It is worth noting that the studies conducted did not examine the health effects of consuming hawthorn berries. The benefits noted in research come from the concentrated nutrients found in hawthorn extract, so taking supplements may be the most effective way to reap these advantages.
Although it may not be the tastiest or most aromatic of herbs, motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a medicinal plant you should always look out for if cardiovascular health is one of your primary concerns.
Its scientific name says it all—the term cardiaca highlights its importance for the heart’s well-being and, in turn, blood circulation as a whole. Current science has highlighted the potential health benefits that traditional knowledge has known for centuries.
Motherwort is rich in heart-protective compounds such as multiple flavonoids, leonurine, and ursolic acid. These elements have been confirmed to possess antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties, which in turn improves heart function and blood circulation.
Because of its bitter flavor, consuming motherwort as an herbal tea may not be the most pleasant experience. Instead, consider capsules or tincture supplements.
3. Oat Straw
While enjoying oats in your diet provides countless benefits, they are not the only part worth consuming from the common oat (Avena sativa). After all, it turns out that the stems and leaves can also positively impact your overall health.
Oat straw extract comes from the unripe stem and leaves of the common oat plant, explaining why it can also be found under the commercial name of green oat extract. It is a rich source of antioxidants such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and avenanthramides, which positively impact cardiovascular health.
Not only are they fantastic anti-inflammatory agents, but they also improve blood flow by helping dilate blood vessels and increasing blood circulation to the heart and brain, which can have long-lasting impacts on cardiovascular health.
Oat straw has only been studied as a health supplement in its extract form. You can enjoy its benefits in multiple presentations, such as capsules and tinctures.
Enthusiasts of cooking with spices are pretty familiar with cardamom—that deliciously aromatic spice with a slightly sweet flavor. But besides enhancing your dinner’s taste, cardamom’s antioxidant properties can also improve blood circulation.
According to one study, seeds of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 20 subjects within 12 weeks and increased their antioxidant status by over 90%. Likewise, its potent anti-inflammatory effects can protect the body from chronic inflammation and ensure the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.
The best part of cardamom is that it has no notable risks or side effects, making it a versatile natural medicine that suits most individuals regardless of their circumstances. Alongside using it during meal preparations, consider including it as a supplement to enjoy its vast benefits.
5. Butcher’s Broom
A curious plant with an even more curious name, the butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus) used to be a butcher’s crop, as its sturdy branches could help them sweep the blocks they used for chopping. That utility is long gone nowadays, but the plant remains important as a valuable herbal remedy.
Herbalists highly prize its root thanks to its numerous properties derived from varied active components, with ruscogenin standing out above the rest thanks to its proven anti-inflammatory, vasoconstrictive, and venotonic properties.
Some test-tube studies determined that ruscogenin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent particularly effective for vascular health. On the other hand, ruscogenin and neoruscogenin are exceptionally good at stimulating blood flow from veins back to the heart by helping them contract, which also improves leg swelling.
Since it is not particularly tasty, the best way to let your cardiovascular system enjoy the benefits of butcher’s broom is through certified organic supplements from verified sources, be it tablets or tinctures.
6. Horse Chestnut
The European horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is undoubtedly one of the plants with the most well-known and scientifically studied benefits for cardiovascular health.
Extract from the horse chestnut seed contains a potent active compound called aescin, which researchers speculate may be able to “seal” leaking capillaries and strengthen veins, making it exceptionally suitable for improving blood circulation to the veins of the legs.
Likewise, aescin also seems to display anti-inflammatory properties, which assist in reducing any inflammation and swelling of extremities derived from poor circulation issues.
An important caveat worth mentioning is that while horse chestnut is a wonderful herb for blood circulation, the unprocessed seeds contain a component called esculin, which can be poisonous. As such, abstain from consuming horse chestnut in its raw state and opt for high-quality supplements—they do not contain any esculin and can provide concentrated amounts of aescin.