There are many different treatments that could help with Raynaud's. You may need to try using a combination of them, either together, or separately at different times of the year to find a regime that works for you.
Many natural remedies are available over the counter, but it's important to go over any treatment changes with your care provider, even when it comes to natural remedies. There is more information on the difference between natural therapies and medical treatment here.
It's also worth remembering that there is limited scientific research done into these natural remedies for Raynaud's - the results are often speculative and anecdotal. Still, it may be worth trying some out after consultation with your GP or nurse specialist.
Gingko biloba is the best-researched natural remedy for Raynaud's, and some people find that it produces a significant reduction in their Raynaud's symptoms.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) & Vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate)
Both vitamins C and E contain antioxidants, so could help to protect blood vessels.
Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) (Omega-6)
You can get GLA in several ways:
- It can be bought on its own
- It can be found in evening primrose, starflower and linseed/flaxseed oils, in which case you need to work out how many of the oil capsules you need to take to get the correct dose of GLA. Capsules containing a high dose of GLA may be preferable if your doctor suggests a large dose, so that you don't have to take too many.
You only need to choose one of these ways of getting GLA. Many people find that GLA is very effective, however it may take up to eight weeks to see the full benefit. If there is no benefit after taking GLA for 3 months then stop and try something else.
Ginger, hawthorn, cayenne, magnesium, horse chestnut, dong quai, and prickly ash are also often used for treatment of circulation problems and some people report benefits in Raynaud's Phenomenon.
All the above treatments should be avoided if you are taking warfarin or other blood-thinning treatments, and all should only be trialled in consultation with your primary care provider, particularly if you're taking any other medications.
Dietary changes to try to help Raynaud's Phenomenon include increasing consumption of omega-3 oils and antioxidant vitamins (particularly C & E). Using and eating more traditionally warming foods such as ginger, cayenne peppers and chillies can also help.
Supported by the Royal Free Hospital, London.