Last Modified on Feb 11, 2014
What Is Raynaud's Disease?
A condition that affects the flow of blood to different parts of the body, Raynaud’s disease is a rare disease and most often affects the fingers and the toes. Similar to cerebrovascular disease that inhibits the flow of blood to the brain, Raynaud’s disease limits the blood flow to the extremities. Typically occurring when the affected individual is feeling stressed or cold, the condition causes the restriction or narrowing of the blood vessels preventing the flow of blood to specific areas and causing the affected areas to turn white or blue. After the episode, the blood flow returns often causing redness, throbbing, and tingling. In severe instances, the loss of blood flow actually causes sores or even tissue death to develop.
More than just cold hands and feet, Raynaud’s disease is defined by specific signs and symptoms – typically classified by frequency, duration and severity of the disorder. Common symptoms include blood vessel spasms, cold fingers and toes, sequential color changes in the skin in conjunction with cold or stress, prickly feeling or pain associated with the warming of the hands or relief of stress.
Doctor’s generally do not understand the exact cause of Raynaud’s characteristic episodes; however, the attacks typically appear to be linked to cold temperatures and stress. Additionally underlying medical conditions may be related to the predisposition of blood vessels to spasm, including cerebrovascular disease.
Natural Remedies for Raynaud’s Disease
Self-care and prevention are some of the most common treatment methods; however, additional natural remedies are also available. Keeping the extremities warm and living a low stress lifestyle are both important focuses of treatment. Additional lifestyle changes that should be considered include not smoking, exercising regularly, controlling stress, avoiding caffeine and caring for the hands and feet. Fish oil and gingko supplements have been shown to decrease the prevalence of attacks while biofeedback techniques may also be used to control the body’s response to cold or stressful situations.
Acupuncture and Yoga
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/15/2011: Cured from Washington, Dc: "I am 38 and have started running low on adrenal horsepower at times; related (I believe related) troubles are Raynauld's in the winter and dry eyes. I work out very vigorously 6 times a week, recently ran a marathon, and work a great deal every day. I got tremendous relief to all my symptoms from a combination of weekly acupunture (esp. focused on qi and kidneys), daily different types of yoga (restorative and vigorous like Bikram), weekly espsom salt baths, and daily meditation and the emotional release and clarity about one's purpose it gives. My circulation is great, Raynauld's almost gone, and energy terrific. I feel 15 years younger, literally. And I am calm and have an entirely new level of self-awareness. Magnesium is very important, as well.
However, hard and/or long workouts 3-4 days in a row sneak up on me and the symptoms return. Also aggravating, I have discovered, is high consumption of tofu, dairy, and daily protein shakes, taking advil, working late on the computer, and Doing what you don't enjoy.
I was reluctant to try yoga for years and never thought about doing acupunture. Now I swear by them. Give them a go and be amazed - and get off that computer by 9pm!"
Apple Cider Vinegar
01/12/2009: Anna from Ny, Ny: "I was diagnosed with Raynaud's 3 yrs ago and am currently going through an episode. All the doctors can tell me is to stay warm and take advil or some other anti inflammatory drug. Can someone please offer a natural way to deal with this?"Replies
01/12/2009: Susan from Higganum, CT USA replies: "Hi Anna, Unfortunately the Dr's are right at this time. I have very severe Raynauds (my fingers and hands can turn to a dark blue/purple). Keeping your hands warm is the best advice. Apple Cider Viniger has helped me the most. My hands will still change color but circulation returns faster. There are some supplements like ginger that also help with circulation.
Raynauds is considered an Auto Immune disease, so keep up with your yearly physicals and blood work."
01/17/2010: Ivory Coast from Loco, Ca replies: "By the way para amino benzoic acid (paba) is a vitamin in the b complex wich is used to treat tunnel carpel syndrome. the nerves and blood vessels have to pass through very a very small hole in the wrist. when swelling occurs it consticts these blood vessels and puts pressure on the nerve. the paba removes the swelling.
raynaud's syndrome is usually associated with scleroderma and is believed to becaused by excess production of angiotenison by the kidneys.
the fact that the b vitamins are helping you would suggest this is not raynaud's phenomenon"
01/17/2010: Ivory Coast from Loco, Ca replies: "If you ever have them again, turn on the electric stove burner and hold your wrist over it, being careful not to get to close to the fire of course. the heat will open the blood vessels up again and the hand will heat up and the pain will go away."
01/05/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn: "Hi Aricepatty who wrote:
Aricepatty from Dayton, Ohio, USA: "I have been suffering from Raynauds now for a couple of years. I have been unsuccessful in finding gloves or shoes that keep my fingers/toes warm enough so that I do not loose circulation and they turn blue/black and white. Of course, the only thing that my specialist recommends is to keep warm! Well that's hard in Ohio! So I avoid, if possible, going out in cold weather, swimming and air conditioning. Are there any remedies that I can try that will help relieve or eliminate this problem or the symptoms? So far, I have tested negative for RA and Lupus, so it appears that my Raynauds is just by itself, thankfully."
Can't guarantee that it will help your Raynauds, but first things first, if you are a smoker - QUIT as of last year! But smoker or not, two vitamins that help the circulation are niacin (one of B complex) and vitamin E. If you have never taken niacin before, be aware that it will cause flushing & tingling and be aware that you should not drinkhot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate within 30 minutes to an hour after taking niacin. This is not an allergic reaction, it is an expected result of taking niacin. My thinking is if you're too low on any of the B vitamins, you should be taking a good Bl00 complex because you are probably low on the others also."
[YEA] 01/12/2014: Josephy from Puyallup, 98371: "I have Raynaurd`s Syndrome on the number 1 & 2nd fingers on my Right hand. I have had it for 10 years or more. The tips of my fingers turn white. They ache while they are white. Maybe 10 minutes or maybe an hour. I read an article in a health paper which said use Cinnamon on your food. Not any Cinnamon, but Sir Lanka (Cylon) in India area.There other types but only the two listed. They are both same place. An island along the coast of India. Anway put a 1/4 or 1/2 of a teaspoon or more on your breakfast Cereal or any food at lunch or dinner. Twicea day, more or less. Ive been on it for about three weeks and I would say its about 80 to 90 % gone. I am amazed. All I say, Its working for me. Joseph"
Dressing Warmly, B Complex
[YEA] 01/13/2014: Jenn from Nanaimo, B.c.: "I have been dealing with severe raynauds. Thankfully I have learned how to deal with it. For years I had no clue as to what to do to help the situation and so I suffered and wanted my foot cut off at times due to the freezing cold pain. So the problem is that the nervous system is out of wack and when it senses a cold sensation *ANYWHERE* on the body it then has an over reaction response and tells all the veins to constrict. Also it takes a while for this process to recognize that the cold is no longer present and so yet the veins stay constricted. Putting gloves and thick socks on wont stop an attack. Keep your ENTIRE body completely warm. Limit your time outside in the winter - as even your skin on your face being uncovered can cause an attack. so if your raynauds affects your feet ....and you get a cold breeze on your arm while by your fridge then it will trigger a response from your nervous system and you will find yourself having an attack. the best way to get out of an attack is to get as warm as you can as fast as you can. Cover up HEAD 2 TOE! The sooner you do this the sooner the attack will end. In the winter time I work indoors only. I limit my outside time and when I come in I get warm asap. I sometimes wear a neck warmer on my head in a stylish kind of way when at work to avoid attacks as you can lose a lot of body heat from your head. This has helped me to avoid agony. There is NO cure. But I have also been taking a multi complete vitamin with minerals...I take Children's chewables cuz I'm a big suck. And I take B Complex (chewables of course). The longer you let an attack go on for the more nerve damage you will have as a result. SO always as first defense warm up ASAP!! Please understand the importance is in keeping the *body* warm..."Replies
01/16/2014: Mr. Ree from Usa replies: "Jen, When any doctor tells you there's no cure, what he's actually saying is that he doesn't currently have a drug that will help...Look at all the issues back in the 1800's. cholera, yellow fever etc. etc that are now long gone...My conclusion is that if anyone has a health issue it means the body is out of sync with either a vitamin or mineral...I have had many clients get relief from cayenne pepper up to three times a day...If it bothers your stomach tale 1/2 glass of water with tablespoon apple cider vinegar with a squirt of lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda...Upset stomach gone... Google cayenne ...it has many, many benefits..."
[YEA] 01/17/2014: Jenn from Nanaimo, B.c. replies: "Mr Ree, have you suggested cayenne pepper to people specifically with raynauds? Does it help with both primary and secondary raynauds? I have made several adjustments to my diet and Apple Cider Vinegar has become part of my regular diet. My doctor has told me of medications to help cope with the pain. But also alerted me of the side effects. He gave me info on how to avoid attacks in the first place as well as how to get out of attacks once they have started. Thus far the info I stated above has been all that has helped. Also keeping stress at bay helps. How do I take cayenne pepper? it is not something I even have in my house. I have chipotle and cajun. Is that the same? Do I just take spoons of it? Please explain more if you will :) I just wish it would go away for good."
01/17/2014: Mr. Ree from Usa replies: "I buy mine at a health food store in bulk...I also buy capsules and fill about 20 at a time and use them as required...You can also buy the bulk cayenne at most vitamins sites...They also have empty capsules...If you pack your capsules yourself be sure to wash you hands thoroughly afterwards because if you put your hand in your eye it will not be a pleasant experience...If you google "Cayenne+ benefits" you will see the many and varied things that this miraculous herb does...It gets rid of hemmoroids in a couple of days...Stops heart attacks in one minute or less and raise body temperature. cleans arteries and about 100 + other things with no side effects like drugs...I would start with 1/2 pill a day...Then if you feel that's enough stop taking it...or go to a full pill and continue until you have taken 3 capsules a day...BTY you can purchase empty pill capsules for very low price...I think it's about $4.00 for 500...The bulk cayenne is about 5-8 dollars a pound...Three a day is about the max...But I have known people who take more...If it upsets your stomach take a half glass water and put 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and a squirt of lemon...It'll work in about 30 seconds..."
01/17/2014: Mr. Ree from Usa replies: "Jen, BTW, you have to be consistant with the cayenne.
My wife...Ms. Ree...has raynauds and the tips of her fingers get either white or black in the winter...They problem is resolved with cayenne...Then she stops taking it and it comes back..."
01/19/2014: Jenn from Nanaimo, B.c. replies: "Mr.Ree, thank you for your informative suggestion. I will give cayenne a try after my surgery. I've been told to stop taking all meds, herbs, and vitamins 10 days prior to my surgery. I have to admit when I read your first post the first thing that ran into my mind was the scene from the movie 'Dumb & Dumber" when Jim Carrey puts chilli's in the unsuspecting guys burger and he croaks. Would taking teaspoons of it burn or by pill would it burn? I'm going to do as you suggested and google the benefit and such. Do you personally know of any good links? I can appreciate that your wife personally has raynauds. This year is the first year I've managed to keep most attacks at bay. But it's at the cost of staying in almost the entire winter. I really appreciate your advice."
01/19/2014: Mr. Ree from Usa replies: "Don't take cayenne by the spoonful...It will burn your mouth...Take it in capsule form...Some people put a little and make tea but I want a good blast of it when needed...It keeps my feet warm whenever they get cold especially in this winter....There are a ton of sites that give the benefits...There's one with about 100 benefits...Can't remember the name of it..."
02/11/2014: Andrea C from Wales replies: "RE: Cayenne use. You should use it WITHOUT COVERING. This is because you body will start a chain reaction that makes the Cayenne WORK PROPERLY. The correct way is....start with half a teaspoon in a cup or glass of WARM WATER 2 times day AM+PM it also trips off substance P which is a natural anti inflamatory and pain killer. Cayenne also comes in different 'HEAT UNIT'S' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville_scale I tried the
one below..........NEVER AGAIN!!!!! I ate half which was WAY too much but on youtube is MAD people eating them WHOLE???? And the way to stop or take the edge off Chili pepper bur is lemon juice in water not WATER!!! Bad move water makes it worse!! Yougurt helps with quite hot ones but a GALLON Never touched the one I took below and the lemon in water took a tiny edge off after 18hrs of my whole body feeling like I was being incinerated I even put my arms and head down the TOILET while pouring ice cubes and flushing constantly even more AAARRGGHH!! I know what hell is man!! An I got real bad Chronic pain? Mind I forgot about THAT when this pepper got me! I tried a splinter first as I like Cayenne my Family use it for lots of things +cooking and sprinkled on food. and the person you need to ''GOOGLE' is DR CHRISTOPHER he was around year's ago and used FOLK MEDICINE with great results but CAYENNE PEPPER was his most favoured method in lot's of health issues. Here is a HUGE list of peppers and heat scale at this site And it's DR JOHN R CHRISTOPHER HERBALIST you need to Google.
1, 200, 000 ~ 2, 009, 231
The Moruga Scorpion was declared world's hottest pepper
Love Andrea C"
Dry Brush Massage, Coconut Oil
[YEA] 01/05/2009: Dianna from Austin, Tx: "In response to:
01/05/2009: Aricepatty from Dayton, Ohio, USA: "I have been suffering from Raynauds now for a couple of years. I have been unsuccessful in finding gloves or shoes that keep my fingers/toes warm enough so that I do not loose circulation and they turn blue/black and white. Of course, the only thing that my specialist recommends is to keep warm! Well that's hard in Ohio! So I avoid, if possible, going out in cold weather, swimming and air conditioning. Are there any remedies that I can try that will help relieve or eliminate this problem or the symptoms? So far, I have tested negative for RA and Lupus, so it appears that my Raynauds is just by itself, thankfully."
Have you tried dry brush massage? You take a natural bristle brush and massage your skin before a bath. Brush your whole body - ESPECIALLY your hands and feet. This really helped me when diabetes was giving me numb and cold hands and feet - do it til your hands are red and you can see the blood moving under the surface and they feel warm. After I had done this just a few times the numbness went away. Eating virgin coconut oil made the cold hands and feet go away too - when I stop taking the VCO my cold hands and feet come back. The combination is perfect for me. Try it - it can't hurt. Djh/Texas"Replies
09/02/2010: Mary from Hertfordshire , United Kingdom replies: "I have Raynauds desease and I will try dry massage and see if it helps thank- you"
03/13/2011: Jamie from Ethelsville, Al replies: "I was wondering how much coconut oil you use in cavities and what brand do you recommend. I have raynauds really bad and I am cold when it is under 80 degrees. I have very stagnated blood, it is hard for them to draw blood it is really thick and dark. Also I have huge digestion issues. how do you also heat up oil when cold."
12/15/2011: Bruce from Tuscaloosa, Alabama: "For anyone with Raynaud's. try L-Arginine, 1000mg 3xday. This is used if you have high blood pressure to increase blood thru your veins. Should help in all veins."
[YEA] 01/20/2011: Jessaka from Tahlequah, Ok: "Raynaud's Disease: I tried taking magnesium capsules internally and have been using them for over two years without success. The oil worked. I don't think it matters what brand it was. I got mine off amazon I think. I put it on my wrists twice a day, and in two weeks I have noticed the difference. It works, but if you don't use it one day it comes back but not as bad. it also helps more if you have just taken a warm shower, so I imagine that is because it opens your pores."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/10/2011: Jessaka from Tahlequah, Ok, U.s.a.: "Thanks so much for the magnesium oil idea. I have suffered with Raynaud's for 20 years. One year I was free from it when taking Ginko. It quit working. I have been using the oil for 3 weeks now, and it took 2 weeks to notice a difference. I put it on twice a day, in the morning and before I got to bed. I rub it on the inside of my arm, from my wrist to my elbow. I am not completely symptom free, but I can go outside in the cold now without my hands turning white. It used to be that I couldn't get to the car without having to go back and put my fingers in hot water. Today in the snow I went to the grocery store and back, and it has been like that. I don't wear gloves because they never work. So you can imagine. I couldn't even sit in my computer room due to how cold it is, and I am now. Thank you so much. I also take magnesium tablets at night, but have been doing so for a year or more, but they did nothing for this condition."
[YEA] 02/19/2009: Karen from Asheville, North Carolina: "I have suffered with Raynaud's for the last 10 yrs and have tried many different supplements without any success until this last week. I am so excited to share this with anyone who has to endure Raynaud's since it seems to get worst in most cases as it has in my case.
I love the Earth Clinic website and after reading about magnesium oil used for something else on the EC site I decided to look into magnesium oil and read it helped people with Raynaud's. I have been using it for the last four days faithfully with the temperature ranging from 20 to 45 degree's here and I have only had one tip of one finger turn white or loose blood!! This is amazing since just last week when my husband dropped me at the door of the supermarket so I would only be exposed to the cold 30 seconds and I would loose the blood (go white) in all 4 fingers on both hands and all toes on both feet.
This is a great improvement in just a few days using the magnesium oil so I am very excited and wanted to share. I knew I had symptoms of low magnesium and have tried other magnesium supplements (oral) before without any improvement, however the oil that I am now using is absorbed through the skin so it is obviously utilized better by the body. Hopfully it will be a lasting improvement...I'll post again if there are any changes!
Thanks for all the great info on EC site!! My favorite :)"
02/21/2009: Janice from Coloma, Mi/USA replies: "In using magnesium oil for Raynaud's, did you rub it on your fingers and toes? How much and how often."
04/17/2009: Selena from Chula, GA replies: "I would like to know what form of Magnesium supplement you were taking before using the oil form? I have recently started taking an ionic magnesium citrate form for excessive sweating (with excellent results.) I also suffer from Raynaud's with my first experience about 3 years ago and progressively getting worse. The weather is warming up here in South GA so I may not be able to notice an improvement until winter arrives again. In the winter I usually have multiple episodes throughout the day lasting anywhere from 5 mins. to 30 mins at a time. Mine affects both feet and my fingers. I have not had an episode since starting the ionic magnesium 2 weeks ago. It may be too soon to tell. I will post back on my progress in a few weeks."
Selenium, Zinc, Vit E, Vit B
[YEA] 01/15/2010: Bibi from Nashville, Tn: " I have Raynaud's and my fingers turn white, blue, and purple. I was having this problem daily. Supposedly it is related to Systemic Lupus, but I'm wondering if it isn't related to thyroid issues and the problems of converting T4 to T3.
As soon as I started taking 200mcg selenium and 50 mg zinc with a vitamin E source (usually sunflower seeds) and a stress B complex, I immediately stopped having this problem. I have read on various sites on the internet that Selenium and Zinc deficiencies cause problems with the conversion of T4 to T3. Good luck."