Constriction of your blood vessels can occur for many reasons. Most often high blood pressure, or hypertension, is the underlying cause. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms to indicate blood vessel constriction. Left untreated, this can lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Having your blood pressure checked by your doctor regularly can reveal undetected constriction of your blood vessels, which can be treated with medications or a change in diet. Additionally, several herbs have the ability to help dilate your blood vessels with less risk of unwanted side effects that can occur with prescription medications.
Drink green tea two to three times a day. According to the University of Maryland, green tea acts both as an antioxidant and protection against atherosclerosis, a condition in which the blood vessels are narrowed by plaque. Additionally, green tea lowers total cholesterol and increases your levels of "good" cholesterol. Left untreated, high levels of cholesterol can also lead to narrowing of your arteries and blood vessels. Green tea's many health benefits may also allow the blood vessels in your body to dilate by decreasing substances that cause constriction.
Take a ginkgo biloba supplement daily. Clayton College of Natural Health says that ginkgo enhances blood flow and is used in naturopathic medicine to improve cognitive function. Ginkgo also improves the structure of the blood vessels and can help relieve vascular problems that cause constriction. Ginkgo biloba can be found at your local natural food store and is available in capsule and tea form.
Use the herb hawthorn, in extract, tea or capsule form. The University of Maryland says that hawthorn contains antioxidant flavonoid compounds that may help dilate your blood vessels. Hawthorn also appears to be beneficial for people who have angina, hypertension and heart failure, all of which are associated with constricted blood vessels. Use hawthorn according to manufacturer's directions.
Increase your consumption of garlic by adding a supplement or its fresh and dried form in preparing meals. Garlic is useful as a substitute for sodium and sodium-based seasonings, which can cause blood vessels to constrict. This is especially important if you have hypertension or are at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Garlic contains antioxidant substances that can decrease the damage caused by consistently high blood pressure. As a food, garlic is generally well tolerated and is regarded as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Speak with your doctor before using any herbal supplement.
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.