Chillblains

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I have trouble with chilblains on my fingers and toes. They get hot and itchy preventing me from getting to sleep. How can I fix them?

A. Chilblains are painful, itchy, blue-red swellings that occur on the cheeks, ears, fingers and toes. They are caused by repeated exposure of bare skin to cold temperatures. The cold exposure causes damage to the peripheral capillaries. Chilblains most commonly affect children and women.

Geranium Pelargonium graveolens is indeed great for the healing chilblains, to increase circulation add some Black Pepper Piper nigrum. A good receipe to make up is Geranium Essential Oil 30 drops, Black Pepper Essential Oil 20 drops, Carrier Oil (eg. almond, olive) 25ml and Aloe Vera pure gel 50g. Mix well as it will separate. Essential oils are available from www.absoluteessential.com.

Herbs such as gingko, chilli, and ginger enhance peripheral circulation, thereby increasing the temperature in the extremities. .

Topical application of chilli to the chilblain may alleviate the symptoms. One recipe suggests 1 part cayenne (chilli pepper), 1 part slippery elm, 2 parts vegetable oil, one drop of black pepper essential oil. Mix all of these together and apply to the affected area morning and night.

Soup provides internal warmth, as does chopped ginger root added to the teapot, making a warming drink.

Woollen clothing and gloves provide warmth to help with peripheral circulation.

Avoid smoking cigarettes as this reduces blood supply to the extremities.