Raynaud’s sufferers would like to believe that just by changing their diet, they could better control their Raynaud’s attacks – unfortunately with diet and Raynaud’s, it’s not always that easy. 

Diet and Raynaud'sThis past year, I’ve been trying a number of combinations of Asian herbs provided by my acupuncture specialist:  some were in pill form, some in powders, others were raw herbs that required boiling for up to an hour, straining, and storing the broth over a few days as you use it up.  My husband couldn’t tolerate the kitchen smell of the herbs, and I needed a few spoonfuls of honey to tolerate the taste.

All of the above would have been worth it if they worked.  Unfortunately the herbs in all forms (particularly the raw herb broth) ripped up my stomach to the point I just couldn’t keep it up.  I never experienced a real benefit, and finally gave up on the herb treatments.

But recently I’ve come across two accounts of dietary approaches that sound promising.  The first is a report on the results of a clinical trial using Korean red ginseng.  It wasn’t specifically tested for Raynaud’s – the trial is described as examining results on “cold hypersensitivity in the hands and feet.”  Here’s the hypothesis behind the study:  “In Korean medicine, the steamed root of Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer, known as Korean red ginseng (KRG), is used to invigorate the body, enhance qi, and improve blood flow. It is a potential treatment for cold hypersensitivity in the hands and feet, a common complaint among Asians, especially women.”

This was a controlled clinical trial where participants took six capsules of 500-mg Korean red ginseng powder or a placebo twice a day for 8 weeks.  Changes in skin temperature in the hands and feet