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Best Chinese Herbs for Poor Blood Circulation

Got cold hands and feet? Pins and needles? Nagging pain and fatigue? These are all signs of poor blood circulation. With the help of Chinese herbs for poor blood circulation, however, you can get your blood coursing to relieve these pesky symptoms and improve your whole body health. Read on to learn more about how you can use Chinese herbs for increased blood flow to improve your circulation naturally. 

 

What is Poor Blood Circulation?

Every cell in your body needs healthy blood circulation to survive. When our blood doesn’t flow properly our tissues suffer. They don’t get the blood flow – or nutrients and oxygen contained in the blood – that they need to function. Poor circulation also means that these cells and tissues struggle to get waste out. Toxins and waste products linger in the tissues or the lymphatic system which causes issues like fatigue, pain, brain fog, and inflammation. 

 

Poor blood circulation can be caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, blood clots, inflammation, or structural issues that prevent blood flow. Even being too sedentary can lead to issues with circulation, which is why exercise is crucial to a healthy life. 

 

Circulatory problems often start out mild, which is why many people ignore the signs until it’s too late. Over time, poor circulation can lead to more severe health issues like high blood pressure, arthritis, varicose veins, hardened arteries, and other cardiovascular concerns. 

 

Are you wondering if you have poor blood circulation? Here are some common signs that your blood may not be flowing as well as it could: 

 

Signs of Poor Blood Circulation

  • Muscles that hurt or feel weak when you walk
  • A “pins and needles” sensation on your skin
  • Pale or blue skin color
  • Cold hands or feet, or fingers or toes
  • Numbness
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling
  • Bulging veins 

 

Go with the Flow: Chinese Medicine and Poor Blood Circulation 

In Traditional Chinese medicine, maintaining a healthy blood flow is considered essential to health. According to this system, qi (or energy) is used to move the blood throughout the body. We need enough of this energy, as well as enough blood, to properly nourish and cleanse every cell. 

 

In many cases, poor blood circulation is due to a lack of energy or blood. But, there are other reasons we might suffer from poor blood circulation:

  • Qi stagnation: Qi moves the blood. If the qi is stuck, blood won’t move and we develop circulation issues. There are many different reasons why qi becomes stagnated (such as stress or dampness accumulation). Thankfully, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and exercise are all great ways to get qi (and blood) flowing again.

  • Blood stasis: Blood stasis is a condition in which the blood fails to move properly. It could be due to internal blood clots, scar tissue, or a structural issue in the body. Studies show that Chinese herbal medicine helps reduce and remove these issues to improve blood circulation naturally. 

 

  • Excess cold: Cold slows everything down, including blood. If you have a colder constitution, live in a cold area, or consume lots of cold-natured foods, you could have an excess of cold in the body, making it harder for your blood to circulate efficiently. Warming herbs and therapies will help.

Along with the traditional signs of poor blood circulation, Chinese medicine also considers issues such as pain or weakness in a particular area, fatigue, digestive issues, headaches, dizziness, menstrual pain, cancer, infertility, fibromyalgia, or arthritis to be related to poor blood flow. 

The Best Chinese Herbs for Poor Blood Circulation

There are several Chinese herbs to improve blood circulation and heart health. Which one is right for you will depend on how the circulatory issues are presenting, your constitution, and your other symptoms. Here are some of the most common reasons people seek out Chinese medicine to stimulate healthy blood flow: 


Chinese Herbs to Increase Blood Flow for Colds Hands and Feet

Cold hands and feet are a common, mild sign that your circulation needs support. If you want to enhance your body’s natural blood flow to keep your heart healthy and prevent disease, these gentle formulas can help.

 

  • Xiao Yao Wan
    Xiao Yao Wan is a commonly used formula for a wide range of conditions – mostly when there is an element of qi stagnation at the root of the problem. By moving the qi, we also increase circulation. This formula also includes herbs that supplement and nourish the blood itself, which makes it particularly good during the menstrual cycle.

  • Blood Circulation Tea
    Healthy circulation is the foundation of health, and this tea helps you encourage healthy blood flow each day. It combines several precious herbs into a delicious daily tea that helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and supports blood circulation function.

Chinese Herbs for Heart Health and Circulatory Conditions

When blood circulation issues become advanced, they can lead to more serious conditions like stroke, stroke, chest pain (angina pectoris), and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Use these formulas to improve existing heart conditions. 

  • Fu Fang Dan Shen Pian
    Studies suggest this formula can help restore the brain and heart health after an attack. Its main herb is dan shen, a powerful blood-moving herb that can also be used for menstrual disorders, chronic liver disease, trouble sleeping, rapid heartbeat, tight chest, wound healing, and skin conditions.
     
  • An Shen Bu Xin Wan
    An shen bu xin wan helps ease heart health issues with deficiency at the root. Along with poor circulation, these might present with symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, restless sleep, vivid dreams or nightmares, palpitations, dizziness, weak or sore lower back, ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Chinese Herbs for Circulation and Reproductive Health 

Poor circulation is common in what Chinese medicine practitioners call “the lower jiao.” This area contains your lower digestive and reproductive organs, and a lack of blood flow here can cause issues with fertility, sexual health, and abdominal pain.

  • Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan
    Xue fu zhu yu wan means “blood stasis in the mansion of blood pills.” For women, this means the uterus. If you suffer from painful menses with cramping and clotting, this formula can help improve circulation through your reproductive organs and ease your menstrual pain. It can also be used for other issues related to blood stasis and poor circulation, like scarring, masses, and fibroids.

  • Strong Man Bao
    Strong Man Bao is a circulation and energy-enhancing herbal formula for erectile dysfunction, low libido, and impotence. This blend of invigorating herbs boosts your sexual drive, heightens pleasure, and improves your bedroom performance.

Chinese Herbs for Numbness and Pain 

If you had an injury, poor healing of the tissues can cause scar tissue that prevents healthy blood flow from nourishing the area. As a result, you may notice tingling, numbness, or even pain in the affected areas of the body. Other issues like structural issues in your spine or poor posture can make numbness and pain worse. 


  • Vine Essence Pills
    Vine Essence Pills are a gentle tonic formula to support your muscle, tendon, bone, and joint health. It contains herbs like Dang Gui and Ren Shen to enhance your natural circulation to the musculoskeletal system and prevent issues like pain, arthritis, fatigue, and general debility.

  • Xiao Huo Luo Dan
    If your pain is more severe, a formula like xiao huo luo dan might be a better choice. This formula helps fight severe migrating or fixed pain in the joints and bones with stiffness and a reduced range of motion. It’s also helpful for chronic weakness, numbness, and pain of the extremities caused by poor circulation.

Improve Your Circulation Naturally with Chinese Herbal Medicine

Good health requires good circulation. Along with eating right, exercising, and making time for stress relief and rest, Chinese herbal medicine can help you support your circulatory system naturally. Keep your heart in tip-top shape with Chinese herbs to improve circulation. Shop now!

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About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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