Last Modified on Jun 18, 2014
Cold Hands and Feet
Cold hands and feet may seem like a natural bodily state; however, if not in a cold environment, an individual’s hands, feet, or any other extremity should really not be cold. While having cold hands or feet is generally a part of the body’s natural response to regulate and control the body temperature, persistently cold extremities may be a sign of underlying health concerns or potential development of health issues. Consistently cold hands and feet, mainly if accompanied by changes in color, could be a warning sign for additional issues. Health concerns that are related to having cold hands and feet include nerve issues, blood circulation problems, and damaged tissue in the hands or fingers and feet or toes. Additional symptoms to pay attention to if experiencing cold hands and feet include changes in the color of the skin – such as white or blue, numbness or tingling in the extremities, open sores or blisters, and tightened or hardened skin.
While the cause of cold extremities may simply be the body’s innate response to regulating the bodily temperature, ongoing cold hands or feet could have a number of underlying causes. The most frequent causes include problems with the blood circulation or the blood vessels in the hand. Additional causes for issues with cold include anemia, Buerger’s disease, diabetes, frostbite, lupus, Raynaud’s disease, and scleroderma.
Home Remedies for Cold Hands and Feet
In any case, natural remedies can restore the body's equilibrium, enhance circulation, and support the metabolism. When circulation is inefficient or the metabolic system is not running as optimally as it could or should be, the body extracts heat away from the extremities to preserve the internal organs. Regular exercise can revitalize the body and improve circulation. Likewise, caffeine and cayenne pepper are stimulants that have the same effect and increase blood flow.
[YEA] 01/24/2014: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa: "It is unusually cold in Tennessee this year. Yesterday my son was getting read to go work outside all day and it was to be below freezing all day. He is quite lean so doesn't have much body fat to keep him warm, though he does bundle up! I told him that if he sprinkled cayenne pepper into his socks it would help keep his feet warm. He did do this. He didn't use a lot, just a few sprinkles from the cayenne shaker (like a salt shaker.) In the evening he told me what happened.
Apparently, after an hour his feet were HOT. They cayenne had worked its way to between his toes. It was, in fact, so hot that he took off his boots and 2 pairs of socks (sitting on the flat bed of a truck, outside the freezing cold) and poured water from a water bottle (that was cold) onto his feet to rinse off the cayenne! He was warm all over and no longer needed to have on two pair of jeans, either. In the evening, as he reported this to me he said his feet were STILL warm! Yeah for cayenne! His feet were not burned or red or anything, just very warm.
This morning I decided to try it for my cold feet. I did just a little bit of cayenne in my socks. It did warm my feet up. It didn't last as long, though, for me. Maybe a couple of hours.
So, the amount needed must really vary from person to person. He was very active yesterday and that may be why it worked so well.
In conclusion, cayenne works to warm up the feet!
~Mama to Many~"
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 06/20/2010: Peter from Indian River, Mi, United States: "A misty/drizzly day will TOTALLY remedy my cold and sweaty hands, but any other weather, hot or cold, and I'm out of luck.
This seems to be in complete contradiction to everything I read concerning cold and sweaty hands and feet. Does anyone have an explanation for this? Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? I've tried everything from magnesium supplementation to iontophoresis and everything in between herbally, etc. No amount of abuse to my body or pampering seems to make a difference except the weather."
12/04/2009: Cal from Calgary, Ab: "Can you have a section for Cold Hands just as you have for Cancer, Candida, Canker sores etc? I've been battling it for a while and had to go through many different sections to find readings on it.
Finally I've found something that works for me and would like to post it but not sure which section is the most appropriate for that.
I will check back and post my remedy when that becomes available.
EC: Post away!
12/11/2009: Arturo from San Jose, Ca replies: "I second that, we need a section on cold hand and feet. I would like to hear your remedy because my wifes hand are always cold. She is a really thin women but healthy. I have a sister with the same problem thin but heathy. Some say its poor circulation but I think it's their thin body type no insulation around the bones.
12/12/2009: Hope from Sacramento, Ca replies: "It sounds as though it is possible that she is hypothroid - low thyroid. Supplementing with iodine and the companion nutrients could be a big help."
01/14/2010: Susan from Stroudsburg, Pa replies: "Cold hands and feet. Check the thyroid. (are you losing hair too??) But warning, if you go to a conventional doctor, they will test your blood and tell you your fine (which is the farthest thing from the truth, been there done that) You need to find a holistic type doctor who practices functional endocrinology. Must have proper saliva testing and hair analysis. Need good thyroid and adrenal support. May need westroid (natural thyroid meds) and may need IODINE, but must have knowledge about or have doctor with proper knowledge to load iodine) Also start taking organic coconut oil, that helps warm up the body and supports thyroid. Read the book "Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know" Mary J. Shomon and Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson. But finding an educated and support holistic doctor is KEY. I suffered for years before understanding and getting the proper help. I now take westroid daily, (eat for thryoid and adrenal support) (i.e. iodine rich, natural C, etc...depends on your individual body chemistry, that is why it is important to test with right doctor). I can function and I have warm hands and feet again after working with a doctor who practices functional medicine....AND THAT WAS DONE ALL NATURALLY."
05/02/2010: Pamm from Birmingham, Alabama replies: "COLD HANDS ALONG WITH TINGLING & NUMB HANDS & FEET IS A VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY, TAKE A VITAMIN B-12 COMBINATION WITH ALL THE OTHER VITAMIN BS. WORKED LIKE A CHARM FOR ME. MY HANDS ARE NO LONGER COLD...."
[YEA] 10/01/2011: David T from Greenville, Sc: "I have one solution that has been a blessing: ginger root. My mother had terrible problems with cold feet. I would solve this problem with ginger. First cut the ginger into smaller pieces, about a quarter inch... 20 pieces or so and put in eight cups of water. Bring to a boil and let rest in larger plastic bowl... Large enough to put feet in. Now place feet in the warm (nearly hot), ginger soaked water. Let soak. In fact, heat up another cup of water and pour into plastic bowl so as to let soak another fifteen minutes. Soak for about thirty minutes. Do this again the next day.
Back to my mother: Also I bought from the health food store, ginger capsules and had her take two of those with food at lunch and two at dinner.
No more cold feet. At the beginning of the cold season every year we'd do that "feet in ginger soaked water" process. It always worked.
Ginger induces enhanced circulation of course. Everyone should take two ginger capsules daily with food to help with heart, general circulation etc.
In Ayurvedic medicine, and American Indian herbal, ginger is a "driver" meaning that it helps circulate the other medicines/ herbs into the whole body.
Oh, and and also after disposing of the water in the plastic bowl, I'd also rub her feet to help with circulation too. (Foot rubbing is a soothing and good thing. Men should always be willing to rub their wives feet! I'm serious. Particularly if she both works and then comes home and does the basic housework. I've talked to many nurses while I'd be rubbing my wife's feet in hospital settings during some of her physical problems, and they'd tell me that their husbands would refuse to rub their feet. Well, get over it, men. Wives deserve a good foot rub every now and then. Show this to your husband and tell them that foot rubbing by strong firm hands is a healthy, loving and caring thing to do. And use some oil. You will make your wife happy.
Oh, one last quick help. Get a towel, put in microwave for 40 seconds. It will be very warm/nearly hot. Wrap around feet. Sometimes, just a quick hit will help. Repeat three or four times if needed. That's a good trick if patient is sick and his/her feet just can't get warm. "Replies
10/01/2011: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "David T. - what a loving and thoughtful husband and son you are! Yes, a foot rub is a wonderful treat for everyone. In keeping with the ginger theme, another way to alleviate cold extremities is to put powdered ginger in a stocking and hold it under the running hot water when you take a bath. Then let the knotted stocking soak in the bath with you. This helps, too, if you are coming down with a cold or just have the chills. A hot bath with ginger, then crawl into bed. It's good for what ails you! Thanks David T. Cheers, Bess"
[YEA] 03/06/2012: Mike from Gates, Oregon, Usa replies: "I tried the ginger root. It worked. I soaked my feet for 30 minutes. I then took an epsom salt and ginger bath. I chew on ginger 3-5 times a day. I don't have to wear my wool socks to bed for the first time in years. My feet still get cool sometimes but it is winter."
03/07/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "I have had recent "bouts" of hypertension and I can always know when it's high because of the cold hands. I have neglected using the Ginger so thanx for the post, but I do take a combination of Butcher's Broom, Ginkgo, and Hawthorn to nourish the circulation and ease the pressure.
And as for the foot wash, back in my days of nursing ( I am Certified Nurse Assistant) during bathing I would give special attention to the feet as it is definitely therapeutic at a level deeper than rational awareness. And this works on both ends, like Jesus washing and anointing the feet of others when he himself was the son of God. It's a blessing given and a blessing received, kinda like hugging and healing kisses --simple acts of kindness that may even have some degree of love attached working osmotically. The old time doctors could literally work magic with their hands in the homes and hearts of their patients. Nowadays that magic is all but lost to sterile atmospheres and cold capitalist doctors (that miss their blessing). No, my patients didn't view me as a god or goddess because I was simply a nurse aid (NA) not an MD, but for some, they got my good intent and experience healing as a result, and I got the spirit healing in return."
[YEA] 12/30/2013: Acidburn110 from Flintshire, Uk replies: "Oh yes! I am so happy that I looked this up on Earth Clinic :)
I bought a large piece of ginger root (about 300g), took it home and cut it into two. Peeled the outer skin off one half and roughly chopped it up. The other half I placed in the cupboard for next time.
I then placed the chopped ginger in a washing up bowl and added enough hot water so that it would cover my feet entirely. Into the water went my permafrost feet and I left them there for fifteen minutes. As the water cooled I asked my wife to bring me some more hot water to top it up. Towards the end of the second fifteen minute bout, I could feel my feet and legs begin to tingle.
After half an hour in total, I dried my feet, put on some clean socks and now - two hours later; my feet and legs are perfectly hot and tingling a bit :) The best they've felt in years.
I'll post another update soon!"
12/30/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Hello Acidburn 110,
So glad you tried the "Ginger Remedy" for cold hands and feet. In fact, just did the Remedy five days ago.
Don't forget...BEFORE inserting hands/feet, decant enough for a few cups to DRINK.
I'll post more one day on the amazing power of ginger. It does more than just accelerate circulation for cold feet and hands."
[YEA] 12/14/2009: Caroline from Blaricum, The Netherlands: "Cold hands and feet - I cured my cold hands and feet as well as my sinusitis with a Liver and galbladder detox, you can look it up on the internet; apple juice, epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) olive oil and grapefruit-, lemon- or orangejuice). You have to drink 1 liter applejuice a day for 5 days in a row and on the 6th day you do the detox. So actually it is a one day detox. Before you start you have to be sure if you are willing to repeat this cure several times! I did the cure 6 times in a row with 2 weeks in between. Be aware that you can have Herxheimer reaction. I think this detox is very good for over all health! Now I repeat the detox at least once a year. By the way I am a thin person."Replies
12/22/2009: Diego from Albuquerque, Nm replies: "Hi Caroline. Can you share more details of your liver/gallbladder cleanse? How much epsom salt/oil/lemon? Is it all taken together? My hands and feet are freeezing!"
01/04/2010: Caroline from Blaricum, The Netherlands replies: "I have ordered the first detox cure on the internet; After the 5 or 6 days applejuice (1 liter a day) you stop eating from 14.00 in the afternoon. You take 4 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and 7,5 dl mineralwater in a bottle. Devide this drink over 4 glasses. Take the first glas at 18.00 in the evening, the second one at 20.00, this will empty your bowels. Press the grapefruit, oranges or lemons and remove ake the pulp, you should have 3/4 glass of juice. Put the juice with 125 ml olive oil (not too cold) in a jar and shake well. Drink this mix at 22.00 hrs and lay down directly (very important) with your head higher than your belly, you can if you like lay down on your right side with your knees up in the direction of your head. Lay still for 30 minutes. You will feel the stones move! I also felt a sucking in my abdomen?! It kind of scared me the first time but nothing bad happend. I fel asleep right away. The next morning you get up at 06.00 and drink your third glass of the Epsom salt mix, go back to bed and try to sleep as you are not allowed to eat anything. Take 2 hrs later at 08.00 your last glass of the Epsom salt mix. Now you will see the stones come out! I have only seen green stones but they can also be black or white (so they say). Repeat the cure as stones can be left behind in 'pockets' in your bowels and cause inflammation. Repeat the cure until no more stones come out, with at least 14 days in between. After that you can do it once or twice a year. Take probiotica supplements after each cure as all of your good intestinal flora is flushed out as well! For this reason you shouldn't start when you have a cold or flu."
[YEA] 02/05/2011: Bil In Calgary from Calgary, Alberta Canada: "I work in cold weather in northern Alberta, and have found that taking a spoonful of Blackstrap Molasses and a spoonful of Coconut oil increases my metabolism and I don't get chilled like I used to. An old Iron worker trick for cold feet in cold weather is to sprinkle Cayenne pepper in your socks."
06/13/2014: Nchimunya from Kitwe, Zambia: "I have cold sweaty hands and feet. Can someone help?"
09/03/2013: Ali from Tutong, Brunei: "I feel cold always especially morning. I cannot stand air-con rooms but I have to work in one. I love to exercise and do hard work but can't because I feel weak, tired and dizzy. What can I eat to improve myself against feeling cold. Help"Replies
09/04/2013: Mama To Many from Tennessee, Usa replies: "Dear Ali,
I have a couple of initial thoughts... One is that if you are not getting enough fat, you will feel cold. Some people avoid fat because they are worried about gaining weight (or trying to lose weight) but some fat is needed... Not sure if this fits you... But Coconut Oil does not make you fat and having a couple of Tablespoons a day may warm you up!
Cayenne Pepper is also excellent to warm you up. 1/2 teaspoon in some grape juice is one way. You could have this a few times a day.
Blackstrap molasses - 1 T. a day may help with energy and getting in some extra nutrients.
Hopefully others here will have some ideas for you!
~Mama to Many~"
[YEA] 12/10/2013: Anon from Anon: "I tend to have achy cold feet and legs and hands and poor circulation. The combination of ingredients in these cookies combined with the turmeric milk makes me feel toasty warm and relaxed. The cumin helps with a heavy feeling in the legs, I like to put it on pizza, too. It makes me sleepy and I wake up feeling refreshed. I also put curry powder on pizza. I could practically live on these two recipes:
Oatmeal Freezer Cookies
- melt equal amounts butter and peanut butter in a pan on medium heat, just until melted
- stir in sugar to taste - 1/8 cup or so
- stir in about 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon or more clove powder
- stir in enough uncooked oatmeal to make it thick enough to make little bite size balls
- press into the bottom of a pan and freeze
- cut into bite size squares and store in freezer or fridge
2 cups hot milk, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon turmeric (no pepper), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optionally 1/4 teaspoon cumin
drink it hot
Also, if you make ginger snap cookies, try adding a tiny amount of cayenne :)"
[YEA] 01/14/2010: Cal from Calgary, Ab: "Good to see that you implemented my suggestion for the section on cold hands and feet.
A bit of history. Hands would get very, very cold even in mild temperatures, even when it's 21 or 22 degrees in the house. And the thing it wasn't just my hands - it was my core. At work folks would have the fans going and walking around in short sleeves and I would be literally freezing and had to wear my winter jacket in the office and at home the same thing - cold, cold. I saw a naturopath, chiro, acupunturist, medical doctors and specialists and nothing worked. Doctors said they found nothing wrong after gallons of blood taken and hundreds of tests. They said I was practically very healthy. One specialist decided to tell me that I have Raynauds but I told him no, I don't have Raynauds. (Don't always listen to them. Get a second opinion if in doubt). Finally I came across a doctor online and he suggested some tests to take so I went back to my doctor and got some of the tests done. The tests revealed that I was very, very deficient in Vitamin D, yes Vitamin D. Within a couple days of taking the Vit d supplements there was huge improvement. My hands were warmer, much warmer and I am not shivering at work anymore. It's not 100% better yet and I'm working on that but there has been a huge huge difference. Now my hands are actually warm when I go to bed while before they used to be freezing. The doctor suggested 2000 IUs a day for 3 months then 1000 after and the good doctor online just suggested 5000 IUs a day for a couuple weeks to bring things up to a comfortable level.
Hope this helps someone."Replies
[YEA] 01/15/2010: Sandy (sandhya) from Bangalore, India replies: "Hi Cal, this was certainly enlightening! I started calcium and vitamin D supplementation a couple of days, and since then I asked my husband a few times if its suddenly warm now a days...I used to always feel cold previously. Thanks for this revelation. Other foods that I found increase my body temperature have been coconut oil and caffaine from coffee or tea."
02/02/2014: Sunny from Ca replies: "Are all vitamin D's the same? Thank you!"
02/03/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Sunny: Instead of taking the rest get the best. Skate liver oil has d, a, shark cartilage, high dha fish oil, and a full compliment of quinones. The fermented d has 3x the potency as regular d and the fermented a has 2x the potency of regular a."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/03/2010: Anne from Westport, Ct: "Not a cure for cold hands and feet, but a work-around. The warmer the torso & head, the warmer the hands & feet. I add more layers of clothes to my body and a wool hat to my head when I notice my hands are cold in the house. Once the core heats up, my hands and feet get nice & toasty."Replies
12/06/2011: Shen from Johannesburg, South Africa replies: "Reply to Cal - Vitamin D to warm up the core. I have the same problem for years. And I also have been to doctors that just shrug me off. Results for thyroid came back clear. At the moment I am wearing a jersey at work whilst my colleagues have the fan on. At night I have to wear socks and even take a hot water bottle to bed. It feels like there is ICE in my body, running thru my veins. I wil try out the vitamin D and let u know if there is a difference."
02/19/2012: Nazura from Shah Alam, Malaysia replies: "Hi Shen, did you try the Vit D remedy? Did it work?"
09/21/2012: Catherine from Kensington, Ca replies: "Hi there, I have had the same problem with icy hands and feet. I went to see a doctor who has this high-tech machine (ZYTO bio-communication scanner) that reads your body's energy and figures out what's wrong. It's like something from Startrek! Anyway, it turned out I had a massive Vit D deficiency. I felt dramatically better once I started taking Vit D pills. However the shocking thing is I just went back after a month on 2 x 2000 ius a day, and I STILL have a massive deficiency. So now I'm taking 6 x 2000 ius a day, and we'll see what happens. I read that sometimes the kidneys lose their capacity to metabolize Vit D. I think this could be my problem although I'm not sure... Hope this info helps someone..."