Rubbing your hands together to warm them up is a common winter scene. So is stuffing your feet in woolly socks and fluffy slippers to keep them warm. But for some unfortunate souls, these tried-and-tested tactics fail miserably to warm up cold hands and feet.
If you repel people with your ice cold hands and feet, read on to find the solution.
Consult your doctor if there’s numbness or tingling in the affected area, if the skin becomes tight or hardened and if the skin color changes to blue or white.
- Causes of Cold Hands and Feet
- Prevention of Cold Hands and Feet
- Home Treatment for Cold Hands and Feet
- Method 1: Use Essential Oil Massage
- Method 2: Use Ginger
- Method 3: Use Cayenne Pepper
- Method 4: Use a Heated Rice Bag
Causes of Cold Hands and Feet
- When the temperature of your surroundings drops, the blood vessels and capillaries of exposed body parts constrict and the blood flow along with body heat is redirected to the vital organs of the body. This often involves drawing heat away from the extremities, which leaves you with cold hands and feet.
- Other than exposure to extreme cold, factors like poor circulation, stress, heart disease, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, frostbite, medication side effects and prolonged work with vibrating equipment like jackhammers can also give rise to cold hands and feet.
- Women are more susceptible to cold hands and feet due to thyroid and other hormonal imbalances and fluctuations.
- Genetic factors may also determine your susceptibility to cold hands and feet.
Prevention of Cold Hands and Feet
Avoid smoking, caffeine and alcohol. Smoking impairs circulation and caffeine constricts your blood vessels. As for alcohol, its warming effects are just temporary.
Home Treatment for Cold Hands and Feet
If layering socks and gloves or soaking in hot water has not done anything to alleviate your cold hands and feet, try some easy natural remedies to get the warmth back in your extremities.
Keep in mind that what works for one person may not be effective for another. So try each one until you find a good remedy that suits your needs and comfort.
Here are four easy home remedies to warm up cold hands and feet within 2 minutes.
Method 1: Use Essential Oil Massage
Essential oils can be very beneficial in improving blood circulation and thus preventing cold feet. The best way to use them is as a hot oil massage. The combined effect of the oil and the heat can provide noticeable results.
The oils made from aromatic herbs are especially beneficial for this condition. Cardamom, lavender, peppermint, lemon, clove, marjoram, rosemary and cypress are some of the essential oils that you can use.
Things you’ll need:
- Olive oil (improves blood circulation) – 1 tablespoon
- Rosemary essential oil (stimulates blood flow) – 2 or 3 drops
- Peppermint essential oil (accelerates blood flow) – 2 or 3 drops
- Lemon essential oil (increases blood circulation) – 2 or 3 drops
Step 1. Warm up olive oil
- Measure 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up.
Step 2. Add essential oils to the warm olive oil
- Add 2 or 3 drops each of rosemary, peppermint and lemon essential oils to the warm olive oil.
- Mix all the ingredients together.
Step 3. Massage your hands and feet with the warm oil blend
- Applying gentle pressure, massage the warm oil blend all over your fingers and palms for 5 to 10 minutes to get instant relief.
- You can repeat this activity with your feet before going to bed. Massage the warm oil blend all over your feet, from your toes to your ankles, for about 10 minutes. If needed, wear socks to bed to prevent the oil from rubbing off onto your linens.
Repeat daily as needed.
Method 2: Use Ginger
According to traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is considered a warming food – one of the reasons it’s so widely used to treat cold and flu symptoms. Ginger is also very beneficial in thinning blood and improving circulation.
Thus, including ginger in your diet is very beneficial in preventing cold hands and feet. Add raw gingerroot to salads or use it in cooking. Another easy way to harness the benefits of ginger is to drink ginger tea.
Step 1. Boil ginger slices in water
- Pour 1 cup of water into a pan placed over heat.
- Add peeled ginger slices from 1 to 2 inches of raw gingerroot.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 2. Strain the ginger tea and drink it 3 times daily
- Strain the ginger tea into a cup.
- Drink this ginger brew 3 times a day to improve circulation and quickly warm up your cold hands and feet.
- You can also add a bit of honey to improve the taste as well as increase the benefits of the tea.
Consume it daily as needed.
Method 3: Use Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is generally used synonymously with heat. It’s a red-colored hot chili pepper that can get your ears smoking, face red and your nose runny in no time. It can also be used to heat up snow cold feet.
This capsaicin present in cayenne pepper is what gives the chili its telltale heat. It helps the blood circulation in the soles of the feet and gets even the coldest of feet to warm up. You can also include a little cayenne pepper in your diet to improve your overall circulation and prevent your hands and feet from being persistently cold.
Cayenne pepper for cold feet is a very popular remedy that has only one catch – your feet should be free from any cuts or wounds. You can easily guess what will happen if you put cayenne pepper on broken skin – a big and persistent OUCH! So this remedy is a strict no if you’ve got a bad case of cracked heels. You should also not use this remedy if your skin is sensitive to capsaicin or if you’re prone to getting chili burns on your hands.
Things you’ll need:
- Cayenne pepper powder (helps improve blood circulation)
- Cotton socks
Step 1. Sprinkle cayenne pepper powder inside the socks
- Turn your cotton socks inside out.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper where it will come in contact with the bottom of your toes, balls and heels of your feet. Use only 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper per pair of socks.
Step 2. Wear the cayenne pepper socks
- Simply put on the socks so that the pepper comes in contact with the bottom of your feet and let the remedy work its magic. The pepper might dye the soles of your feet red or pink.
- If you don’t want your skin to come in direct contact with the pepper, cover your feet with thin socks and wear the pepper socks over them.
- You can also replace the pepper socks with a fresh pair once your feet warm up.
Repeat daily to get relief from cold hands and feet.
Method 4: Use a Heated Rice Bag
Nothing spells comfort as warmly as a good old rice bag. Making a rice bag at home is very easy. But if you’re not up for sewing and don’t care how your rice bag looks, just use a lone old sock to fashion a makeshift rice heating pad.
Just be sure to use a sock with microwavable fabric, preferably cotton. Fill it with any kind of white rice and secure the open end with a knot. All you need to do is nuke it for 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave.
Fresh rice bags take less time to heat up. Old rice in heating pads take longer to heat up, as the rice loses some of its heat-retaining capacity over months of use.
Single-Step Treatment: Warm your hands and feet with a hot rice bag
- Simply snuggle up with a warm rice bag and use it to warm your cold hands and feet instantly.
- At bedtime, you can also put it underneath the bottom of your blanket to warm your feet while you are sleeping.
Do this daily to warm up your cold hands and feet within 2 minutes.
- You can substitute olive oil with coconut or castor oil to use as a carrier oil for the essential oils of your choice. In a pinch, you can also use essential oil in a lotion instead.
- If you intend to use more than 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in your socks, mix it into a base of talcum powder or corn starch first.
- You may wear a glove to protect your hand from chili burns when preparing the cayenne sock remedy. If handling cayenne pepper with bare hands, wash your hands with soap and water.
- You can also use sand, wheat, barley, oatmeal, beans or cherry pits as a substitute for rice to make your sock heating pad.
- If you have an electric heating pad, you can use that as well.
Summary of How to Warm Up Cold Hands and Feet
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