Best Naturopathic Doctor Tips Raynaud's, Nutrition and Hormones

October 4, 2022

Best Naturopathic Doctor Tips Raynaud's, Nutrition and Hormones

"Is there a hormonal connection to Raynaud's since more women seem to have it? What female hormones are related to my Raynaud's? Does any herb help?" Ann S.

Raynaud's Disease and Phenomena are not caused by hormone imbalance, but certainly can be made worse in hypothyroidism, thyroid disease, Hashimotos, Perimenopause, Menopause, PMS, and Progesterone deficiency. Around the age of 35 women begin to make less progesterone, which is a natural smooth muscle relaxant for our cardiovascular system, as progesterone decines, women develop High Blood Pressure, palpitations, cardiovascular disease, and High Cholesterol.

Raynaud's is a multifactorial super complex condition to treat. Raynaud's requires me to assess the patient's hormones, nutrition, autoimmune markers, allergies, triggers, and cardiovascular system. There is never just "one little thing off" with my Raynaud's patients. Unfortunately, it is not that easy of a condition to treat, but I would not bother blogging about it, if I have not been successful helping women with this painful, frustrating, disruptive symptom.

While topical treatments like rosemary oil may be helpful in reducing pain, we must address and treat the "Root Cause." [1,2] Applying topical treatments while ignoring what is going on inside the body will not provide lasting results. Likewise we cannot just rely on herbal medicine like beets to treat Raynaud's. While consuming the nitrate rich superfood is shown helpful, we need to understand why the symptoms exist in the first place and not just "slap a band-aid on them." [3]

In order for patients to improve in my Naturopathic process with their Raynaud's we will need to go through a process of checking hormones, as yes there is often hormone imbalance which is why this condition can randomly present in perimenopause and menopause. Hypothyroidism is one of the other most common underlying hormone issues ocuring with my Raynaud's patients.

I would be lying to women if I said it was that simple with Raynaud's and we just check hormones. In order to be properly successful we will also need to address nutrition, autoimmunity, immunity, vasospasm, and even look into some random Naturopathic specialty tests that not all my patients need.

From my experience working with many Raynaud's patients over the years the condition is so painful they are willing to do just about anything to fix it. Which is what also helps them become my next Naturopathic success story.

Raynaud’s phenomena is typically associated with autoimmune diseases and will benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet as well as an allergy elimination diet. The primary thing I insist on first and foremost is that we implement an anti-inflammatory diet.

In addition to diet, herbs, and nutritional therapies; be sure to investigate the root cause of the disease. Sit down with a naturopath and have them go through your complete health history.

What is Raynauds?

Raynauds phenomena is a vasospastic disorder of the hands that manifest as intermittent episodes of extreme pallor, followed by cyanosis, and extreme vasodilation and redness of the hands. Basically the hands turn white, blue, and then red because the blood vessels first constrict and the tissues lose oxygen, followed by vasodilation of the vessels resulting in intense redness, swelling, throbbing, pain, and paresthesias. Episodes may be triggered by emotional upset and typically resolve with warming.

Diet for Raynauds

  • Identify, Test and Remove Dietary Triggers with your Naturopathic Doctor. (Yes there are always food triggers in every patient I have helped with Raynaud's.)
  • Eat and Anti-Inflammatory Diet rich in Omega-3's, Green Veggies, and Berries.
  • Eat 1 cup of frozen blueberries or blackberries daily for proanthocyanidins that improve the cardiovascular system aka blood flow.

Lifestyle Considerations for Raynauds

  • Get your hormones checked! STAT. There is little sense suffering from a symptom that can be made much worse by hormone imbalance.
  • Keep a Raynaud's notebook and log the food you ate, medications, and rate your symptoms on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the worst your Raynaud's could be. Give each day a number to look for diet, stress, exercise and mood trends.
  • Acupuncture was shown in research to be effective for those with Raynaud's.
  • Quit smoking! Smoking has been shown to exacerbate symptoms by creating inflammatory oxidative stress to the system, as well as affecting nitric oxide levels which dilate our blood vessels.
  • Stress management: Stress constricts our blood vessels to send more blood to our lungs, heart, and muscles so we can run from the bear. Many of my Raynaud's patients become very stressed when they feel the symptoms coming on. Try a stress management techniques: Yoga, Meditation, Prayer, or Breathing Exercises.

Herbal Medicine for Raynuads

  • Ginkgo biloba 120mg standardized extract. Ginkgo biloba is fabulous for the ciruclatory system, and is also helpful for vision, memory, ADHD, and cognition.
  • Rosemary is also one of my favorite circulation and pain herbs and is delicious on salmon.
  • Ginger can help with pain as a natural anti-inflammatory herb.
  • Pomegranate is anti-inflammatory and good for the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Saffron and Schisandra are helpful for the anxiety that results from this illness.
  • Please work with a skilled Naturopathic Doctor when using herbs for this serious health condition.

Vitamins for Raynauds

  • Inositol hexanicotinate at 2 grams twice daily was shown to be beneficial in a randomized placebo controlled study.
  • Vitamin E at 800 IU resulted in improvement from an individual case report. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E work to reduce oxidative stress to tissues.

Supplements for Raynauds

  • Fish oil at 5-6 grams per day (5-6 capsules!!) was shown to be effective for Raynauds. Keep in mind that one capsule is typically 1000mg. I would use a EPA (eicosopentaenoic acid) concentrate when using fish oil to treat disease, as that is the anti-inflammatory component. Carlson’s and Arctic Omega are both great supplement brands that I trust and are widely available.
  • Evening primrose oil at 500mg daily was shown to be somewhat effective. Although as a nutritional biochemist nerd, I would opt for fish oil unless you are vegetarian as fish oil is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent as I discuss in "Fish vs Flax."

Amino Acids for Raynauds

  • L-carnitine at 1 gram three times daily has been successfully used as a therapy for Ranynauds. This amino acid therapy is also great for boosting mood, energy, and fat burning.

Whatever you do, never give up with Raynauds! I have helped many Raynaud's patients over the years, and putting them through my Naturopathic process usually results in symptom reduction.

Supplements are great for managing symptoms, and the diet and lifestyle aspects will address the long term quality of your health and prevent disease progression. Be sure to check with your Naturopathic Doctor before starting any new therapies as natural medicines, just like prescription drugs also come with their own drug interactions and contraindications.

Need my help optimizing hormones and understanding what triggers and benefits your Raynauds? Simply visit my SCHEDULE page to treat yourself to a Naturopathic visit. I would be happy to help!

Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD

(480) 837-0900

Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is considered a Female Hormone Expert  in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for MenopauseThyroid, Hashimotos, PMS, PerimenopauseAutoimmune, Postpartum, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Food Allergies, Digestion, Dermatology , Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 22 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones she presents to women the best integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. She has been an Herbalist for over 27 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones and Naturopathy!


  1. Vagedes J, Henes J, Deckers B, Vagedes K, Kuderer S, Helmert E, von Schoen-Angerer T. Topical Rosmarinus officinalis L. in Systemic Sclerosis-Related Raynaud's Phenomenon: An Open-Label Pilot Study. Complement Med Res. 2022;29(3):242-248. English. doi: 10.1159/000522507. Epub 2022 Feb 9. PMID: 35139518.
  2. Tapia-Haro RM, García-Ríos MC, Toledano-Moreno S, Casas-Barragán A, Castro-Sánchez AM, Aguilar-Ferrándiz ME. The complementary effects of galvanic current electrical stimulation associated with conservative treatment to increase vasodilation in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon: a randomized trial. Clin Rehabil. 2020 May;34(5):595-606. doi: 10.1177/0269215520907652. Epub 2020 Mar 6. PMID: 32141306.
  3. Shepherd AI, Costello JT, Bailey SJ, Bishop N, Wadley AJ, Young-Min S, Gilchrist M, Mayes H, White D, Gorczynski P, Saynor ZL, Massey H, Eglin CM. "Beet" the cold: beetroot juice supplementation improves peripheral blood flow, endothelial function, and anti-inflammatory status in individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019 Nov 1;127(5):1478-1490. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00292.2019. Epub 2019 Jul 25. PMID: 31343948; PMCID: PMC6879832.
  4. Andrigueti FV, Ebbing PCC, Arismendi MI, Kayser C. Evaluation of the effect of sildenafil on the microvascular blood flow in patients with systemic sclerosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 Sep-Oct;35 Suppl 106(4):151-158. Epub 2017 Mar 9. PMID: 28281457.

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