The Best Herbs for Improving Circulation and Blood Flow

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski June 14, 2021

Your body’s circulatory or cardiovascular system is one of the most important in your body. Taking care of your cardiovascular system can do wonders for your life expectancy and lead to general wellness and energy – no one likes to feel fatigued or exhausted while in the prime of their life!

But many people have circulatory problems despite eating relatively well and exercising. Certain individuals may need to look into herbal supplements or other treatments to improve circulation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and a heart attack.

Let’s take a look at some of the best herbs you can take for circulation and explore why these herbs are so effective.

What is Blood Circulation and Why Does it Matter?

In a nutshell, blood circulation is simply a measurement of how well blood flows throughout your body. Your cardiovascular system is a network including veins, blood vessels, and your heart that ensures that oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood flows throughout the body and reaches all of its tissues.

Without a healthy cardiovascular system, your body wouldn’t get the nutrients and oxygen it needed. Blood circulation is crucial because it directly affects things like:

  • How healthy your tissues are
  • How physically fit you can be
  • How hard your heart has to pump to bring oxygenated blood to distant tissues, like the extremities (i.e. fingers and toes)

The last aspect is particularly important. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for Americans in the modern era, even with all of medicine’s advanced science. If you have poor blood circulation, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood throughout the body, leading to degradation and heart disease.

Therefore, it's important that you exercise regularly and follow a good diet, as both of these can increase blood circulation and cardiovascular health. You can also rely on certain herbal supplements to boost blood circulation and lower the likelihood of blood clots forming.

Consequences of Poor Circulation

Poor blood circulation is usually characterized by blood clots or a weak heartbeat. Blood clots are essentially plugs of fatty tissue that plug up the different veins or blood vessels in your body. When blood clots form, your heart has to work harder to pump blood past them and get oxygen and nutrients to organs, muscle tissues, and more.

Over time, your heart can tire itself out and eventually pump even less effectively. When this happens, you may find yourself frequently out of breath, fatigued, or even experience more intense symptoms like tissue degradation or illness.

Bottom line: poor blood circulation is never a good thing. You should try to avoid it at all costs.

How Can Herbs Help with Blood Flow?

Certain herbs contain various vitamins and minerals that can boost blood flow and improve overall cardiovascular health. Note that not all herbs have all the essential vitamins and minerals you need for excellent blood flow; most herbs only have one or two.

For the best results, many people who use herbal supplements take multiple either in the form of a multivitamin or as distinct ingredients in teas or foods. Some of the crucial vitamins and minerals herbs can provide include:

  • Vitamin E is a key antioxidant and is crucial for boosting blood vessel health and cardiovascular flow. Fortunately, vitamin E is found in a variety of food and essential oils like hazelnut oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, and so on
  • B vitamins, like vitamin B12. These important vitamins are necessary for the development of certain tissues and fibers. You can find B vitamins and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale or in a variety of herbal supplements
  • Vitamin C, another key antioxidant. It protects your blood vessels from being damaged by free radical oxygen molecules and boosts your immune system to ensure that your body isn't negatively affected by viruses. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and a variety of other healthy foods
  • Iron, which is a key mineral that your body needs for overall blood health. It can be found in leafy green vegetables and red meat, or certain mineral supplements

While several top herbs can provide significant benefits to blood circulation, it’s important to remember that herbs alone cannot guarantee cardiovascular health. You’ll want to combine herbal supplements with regular exercise and a strict diet for the best results.

Try to avoid overly fatty foods and eating too much red meat like beef. Similarly, be sure to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and regular fruits. Minimize the number of carbohydrates you eat as well to keep body fat down and minimize the formation of blood clots.

Let’s break down which herbs you should specifically look for to boost blood circulation.


Everyone likes cayenne pepper as a seasoning, but it's also an excellent herb for improving blood flow! In fact, when you bite into a hot chili pepper, you'll experience this herb's blood-boosting effects as the warm or hot feeling it induces in your mouth.

Cayenne helps blood be pumped throughout your body and promotes healthy blood and artery function. As a result, it’s one of the best powders you can use to increase blood flow.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba or just ginkgo is a famous herb that may be able to provide cognitive and memory boosts. It’s a circulatory stimulant; that means it directly boosts blood flow to the brain and other vital organs in your body. Even better, it’s a potent antioxidant that can protect your organs from free radical oxygen molecules.

Ginkgo is derived from tree leaves, so it’s an ideal ingredient for mixing in herbal teas. Just crush some leaves into boiled water and you’ll be set!

Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn berries grow on trees and shrubs from the Crataegus genus. There are hundreds of different tree species that produce the berries, but the berries themselves have a tart and tangy taste and can serve as an effective herbal supplement to treat high blood pressure and other heart failure effects.

They have been used as parts of Chinese medicine for centuries. The berries can be eaten or their extracts consumed as part of prepared supplements.


Turmeric is an ancient herbal remedy to treat blood pressure problems and other ailments. It opens up the blood vessels and improves blood circulation next to a compound called curcumin: a key ingredient found in all turmeric. This increases the production of nitric oxide, which decreases inflammation in the veins and blood vessels and reduces oxidative stress.

Butcher’s Broom

Butcher’s broom, also called ruscus aculeatus, is a classic circulatory herb that can help to reduce swelling, particularly in the extremities like the arms and legs. The key ingredient in this herb, called ruscogenin, tones the venous system in your body and helps it build new, healthy blood vessels.

Ultimately, it’s an excellent overall circulatory herbal booster.

Horse Chestnut

You may also wish to try the seed extract of horse chestnut trees. However, it’s vital to only take prepared horse chestnut supplements in carefully constructed powders. The leaves and bark of this tree, when eaten raw, could cause death due to their poisonous nature.

When taken correctly, horse chestnut contains a substance that can thin your blood, making it more difficult for fluid to leak out of veins and capillaries. In a nutshell, it makes it so your heart has to work less hard to pump blood throughout the body. So it can be one of the most effective herbs to treat poor circulation.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is another great herb to target if you want to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. It has demonstrable effects on both cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, so it can help your heart bring healthy and oxygenated blood to your extremities like your fingers or toes.

Additionally, olive leaf extract is a powerful antioxidant. This will help your circulatory system and prevent your heart from being damaged by free radical oxygen molecules.

Wrap Up

All in all, there are several effective herbs you can try and supplements or teas to improve blood flow and help you enjoy excellent cardiovascular health for years to come. Just make sure that you combine the herbs with regular exercise and good dietary planning to see long-term health benefits.

Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski

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