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Su B

We’re feeling the cold in Britain now, as the frost arrives at last. So what can you do to keep warm in wintry weather?

Vigorous exercise is one answer, of course, unless your mobility is restricted by injury or other health issues. So is turning up the heating, but that doesn’t help your circulation to get more dynamic.

Herbs that are rich in essential oils will help to keep the blood flowing and, because they smell – and often taste – good, we can drink them as teas, so you get double benefits from the hot tea and the warming herbs

Limeflowers, Rosemary and Elderflowers are probably the best known, but there are plenty of others. Root ginger can be chopped fine or grated and added to a tea mixture, too.

And the ones that don’t taste so pleasant can be taken as tinctures. Herbs like Hawthorn, Ginkgo and Prickly Ash Bark can support better circulation if you take them regularly, and help to avert problems like varicose veins and eczema, chilblains and Raynaud’s disease.

Chilblains are less common, thankfully, in these days of central heating, but if you do get them, try mixing some chilli powder into plain ointment and applying it to the inflamed areas. Chilli is able to increase the blood flow to the skin – as you’ll know if you’ve accidentally rubbed your eyes while cooking with it – and it also contains capsaicin, a potent anti-inflammatory.

Use it regularly and it will not only help heal chilblains, but prevent new ones from forming.

Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ( The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
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