Chilblains Help Sheet

Chilblains are triggered by poor circulation and are characterised by red inflamed areas that affect the extremities.  Chilblains can cause intense itching, swollen toes and sensitivity to heat and cold.  Some unfortunate individuals suffer in both hands and feet.  It is more common in cold weather, because the small blood vessels in the skin naturally constrict when it is cold.  If you tend to suffer with chilblains every winter then you need to improve your circulation.  In the long-term to prevent chilblains you need to make sure your circulation is as efficient as possible.

Foods to Avoid:

Anything that worsens circulation.  This inevitably means foods which tend to encourage hardening of the arteries such as animal fats, full fat dairy produce, low fibre foods such as ice cream, jelly, fatty puddings, cakes etc.

Friendly Foods:

Oily fish, cayenne pepper, garlic, onions, ginger, soluble fibre like linseeds (Linusit Gold) plus oat and rice bran.  All of these foods can help either to improve circulation or help reduce levels of LDL  (The ‘bad’ cholesterol) which in the long-term will help your circulation.


Useful Remedies:

Ginkgo biloba 120 mg of standardised extract twice a day or 1ml of tincture twice a day – this increases circulation to all extremities.

Udo’s Choice Oil is a blend of omega 3 and 6 fats which helps to keep one’s blood healthy. Drizzle 1 dessert spoon a day over cooked food. To find your nearest stockist call 0845 0606070.

Natural Source full spectrum vitamin E – 400iu a day helps to thin the blood naturally. (If you are on blood thinning drugs, then tell your GP before taking vitamin E, as eventually you should be able to reduce your prescription).

Niacin (vitamin B3) take 30mg – 100mg daily which pumps blood into the minor capillaries. But beware if you are taking niacin for the first time, only take 30mg and slowly increase to 100mg daily. Niacin causes a flushing sensation in the skin- this is simply blood moving into the small capillaries, but it can make you look like a freshly cooked lobster for a few moments. As all the B vitamins work together, also take a B complex.

Include a multi-vitamin and mineral in this regimen plus 1gram of vitamin C with bioflavonoids which helps to strengthen the small capillaries.

Helpful Hints:

  • Smoking restricts circulation – so give it up.
  • Have a regular massage or reflexology.
  • Essential oils such as black pepper or rosemary (do not use black pepper undiluted) can be massaged into your feet every morning, to improve circulation.
  • Regular exercise such as walking, rebounding and skipping all help to increase micro circulation.
  • I used to suffer chilblains every winter, after having varicose veins removed years ago. The surgeon told me that I would still have plenty of veins left, but the legacy has been poor circulation.  Obviously the key would have been for me to have avoided varicose veins in my youth!  Keep this in mind and wear bed socks during winter months.  Never wear tight-fitting shoes as this really aggravates chilblains by restricting circulation to the toes.  Invest in fur-lined boots during cold weather.
  • Homeopathic Agaracus 3x or 6x can be taken 2 or 3 times daily is a classic homeopathic remedy for chilblains.
  • Sixtus Anti Cold Foot Balm based on alpine herbs and herbal extracts to increase circulation.  Available by mail order from JICA Beauty Products Ltd, 20 Island Farm Avenue, Molesey Trading Estate, West Molesey, Surrey KT8 2UZ or call 020 8979 7261. Email:
  • Magnets increase circulation which brings more oxygen to the affected areas. If like me you suffer cold feet wear magnet insoles in your shoes and in the depth of winter wear bed socks with the inserts inside them  For further information ask at your local health store or pharmacy, or call London pharmacy, John Bell & Croydon, on 020 7935 5555.
  • Keep coffee to a minimum – more than 3 cups a day increases your chances of developing osteoporosis by as much as 82%

Extracted from my book ‘500 of The Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need’.  Cico Books.