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Intermittent Claudication

Related Terms

Intermittent claudication is poor blood flow to the arms and legs. It is usually caused by exercise. Pain and discoloration of the legs, feet, and arms may also happen.

It is treated with medicine and exercise therapy. Natural therapies have also been used to help ease pain.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

Padma 28 is a prepared group of herbs from Tibet. It is likely to improve blood flow.A3

May Be Effective

L-carnitine is an amino acid. It may improve walking ability.A4

Unlikely to Be Effective

Ginkgo biloba is a tree. The leaves can be taken as a supplement. It is unlikely to improve blood flow to the arms and legs.A1

Not Enough Data to Assess

Omega-3 fatty acids A2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse. For example, toxicities and side effects of Padma 28 vary depending on the herb and amount used.



Herbs and Supplements

A1. Nicolaï SP, Kruidenier LM, et al. Ginkgo biloba for intermittent claudication. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(6):CD006888.

A2. Campbell A, Price J, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids for intermittent claudication. Cochrane Database Syst Rec. 2013;(7):CD003833.

A3. Stewart M, Morling JR, et al. Padma 28 for intermittent claudication. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;3:CD007371.

A4. Delaney CL, Spark JI, et al. A systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of carnitine supplementation in improving walking performance among individuals with intermittent claudication. Atherosclerosis. 2013 Jul;229(1):1-9.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC