A woman with poor circulation and cold hands clasped together

Circulation matters

Cold hands and toes are a sign of poor circulation, especially at this time of year when chilly winds start to bite.

As autumn starts and the weather takes a dip, editor Jane Garton looks at ways to give your circulation a helping hand.

Wrapping up well and wearing thick socks and gloves can help to warm you up. Cutting out smoking, watching what you drink and regular exercise can also all help boost circulation. Meanwhile, here are some herbs that may help boost blood flow to your extremities.


Garlic is a long-time favourite for boosting circulation. It contains active compounds that help to make the blood less sticky and prone to clotting. Taking a garlic supplement may also help to keep arteries flexible.


Ginkgo biloba is another useful herb. It works as a blood thinner, reducing ‘stickiness’ and can help to keep your circulation on the move.


These are two other herbs often used to promote good heart health, while ginger can help to warm things up.

Cayenne sprinkled on to freshly brewed ginger tea kicks the circulation into action. Simply add half a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger into a mug, cover with just-boiled water, sprinkle with cayenne and drink.


Last but not least, Horse chestnut can help keep your veins flexible, helping to tone them up.

Try these tips to warm up chilly toes and fingers:

  • Circle your ankles when sitting down
  • Clench and unclench your fists while watching the TV
  • Go up and down on your tiptoes while standing
  • Do windmills with your arms whenever you can