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Red Vine for better blood circulation

by Marie Couture ND 05 Jun 2024
La Vigne Rouge pour une meilleure Circulation Sanguine - La Boite à Grains

If you have problems with venous insufficiency or hemorrhoids, you'll probably be interested in the medicinal plant red vine.

A perennial member of the Vitacea family, it is used to make table wine. It is a climbing shrub with twigs that hang from small tendrils. Its leaves are palmately lobed, a little like a hand, with 5 to 7 lobes, and its fruits are arranged in clusters..5

Red vine: its history

The red vine is cultivated in almost every region of the world, but its origins lie in Western Asia, where cultivation is thought to have begun. Knowledge of its medicinal properties dates back to the ancient Romans, who made extensive use of it in a wide range of therapeutic applications for a variety of conditions. In the past, the leaves of all types of vines were used for their astringent properties. It is the tannins they contain that make them so interesting..1

But why red vine?

The red vine is a very special cultivar (variety of plant species): Vitis Vinifera var tinctoria. So it's the tinctorial variety that makes the difference. This vine produces black grapes. In autumn, the leaves of the red vine turn partially or totally red.

Its tannins act on blood circulation (vasotonic action). These tannins tone and strengthen blood circulation, particularly when veins lose their elasticity and integrity. This is known as venous insufficiency.

Venous insufficiency occurs when blood is unable to return properly from the legs to the heart.5, 6

So, basically, grapevine leaves (of all varieties) contain various tannins. The advantage of red grape leaves is their red pigment, which yields several powerful polyphenolic compounds such as resveratrol, OPCs (oligo proanthocyanidins) and flavonoids such as quercetin. These polyphenolic compounds are characterized by their health-promoting antioxidant properties, notably against cell ageing..5

These anthocyanins (antioxidants) have captivating properties, in particular their action on blood circulation. They even reinforce the action of tannins on venous return. Today, red vine is monographed in the French pharmacopoeia for very specific medicinal purposes. It is primarily indicated to help relieve symptoms associated with minor chronic venous insufficiency: swollen legs, varicose veins, feelings of heaviness, pain, fatigue, itching, leg tension and calf cramps..1, 3

Firstly, these protective substances reduce capillary permeability. When venous return is poor, blood capillaries become permeable, i.e. they allow fluids to escape and accumulate in the lower limbs.

Red vine helps repermeabilize the veins to prevent this symptom, known as 'anti-oedematous action'.

Interesting properties of red vine

Red vine also protects collagen in venous tissue by inhibiting the action of certain enzymes (collagenase, elastase) that degrade tissue caused by inflammation.

Red vine is a medicinal plant that helps with problems such as venous insufficiency, not to mention symptoms such as hemorrhoids, thanks to its venotonic action. Wherever the imbalance lies, this plant has a role to play in blood circulation.

It is also known to have hemostatic properties, meaning it can slow down bleeding. It could therefore be very useful for heavy periods or bleeding between periods, or during the peri-menopause when the cycle is disrupted.

Its astringent qualities also give it the power to stop spontaneous or chronic diarrhea.1, 2, 5, 6

Red vine: recommendations worth knowing

Lifestyle habits that have an impact on our blood circulation, such as wearing high heels, eating too much salt, not enough fiber (whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, oilseeds (flaxseed), etc.) in the diet, being overweight, constipation, prolonged standing and a sedentary lifestyle are all situations that don't help the problem. 

Walking or physical exercise on a daily basis, resting your legs elevated, when sitting, not crossing your legs, at night using a cushion to elevate your legs, etc., are all good ways to help.

Another solution is to massage your legs and the back of your knees with a vegetable oil and essential oil (Juniper) in an upward movement. Use organic oils.

At the end of a shower, direct a jet of cold water towards your legs. All these measures could help you get your blood flowing again.4, 8

Red Vine: Léo Désilets' concentrated formula

Léo Désilets, a Quebec company based in the Eastern Townships, offers a unique product of the medicinal plant. One of the particularly interesting attributes of Léo Désilets brand red vine extract is that this formula is ultra-concentrated. In other words, the formula is 50% more concentrated than regular red vine extract. You'll need to take fewer vegetarian capsules to achieve therapeutic results. This, of course, translates into patient compliance..1

Plant combinations for good blood circulation

Red vine extract can be combined with other plants that promote good blood circulation. Plants that support the heart and circulatory system: garlic, hawthorn berries, black cohosh, thorny fragon, cayenne, ginkgo biloba, horse chestnut, goldenseal and licorice root..1

Vitamins for healthy circulation

  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (rutin)
  • Vitamin K2 (fermented dairy products (kefir), organ meats, fish oils, etc.)
  • Vitamin E (walnuts, wheat germ, eggs, etc.)
  • Omega-3 (linseed oil, fish oils, etc.)
  • Vitamin P (red berries)7, 8

Drink water

Drink plenty of water. Among other things, it helps combat constipation, which would only aggravate poor venous return.

Red vine extract, a natural solution within your reach! 

About the author

Marie Couture, Certified Naturopath

Specialized in :

  • Digestive disorders
  •  Inflammation
  • Hormonal problems
  • Stress management

References :

  1. How to improve leg circulation?
  1. Red vine: Venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids, blood circulation
  1. Poor venous circulation and medicinal plants

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