Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease Overview:

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition involving a narrowing of the arteries supplying various parts of the body (aside from the heart and brain). When this narrowing involves the heart it is considered to be coronary artery disease. When in the brain, the condition is referred to as cerebroavascular disease.

PAD most commonly affects the legs, but can also affect the arms and other areas of the body. It is often asymptomatic.



PAD has the same pathophysiology to atherosclerosis, and therefore has many of the same treatment options. 

+ Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD is a circulatory disease affecting the flow of blood to the extremities.

+ Raynaud's Syndrome

Raynaud's disease is a vascular problem affecting the microvascular system. It usually presents as numbness, discoloration, or tingling in the fingers relative to environmental changes such as cold weather.

+ Buerger's Disease

Also referred to as Thromboangiitis obliterans. It's an inflammatory process of the small and medium sized arteries. This condition leads to thrombotic changes, distal ischaemia, and superficial thrombophlebitis.

It's most common in male smokers between the ages of 20 and 40. The main therapeutic goal is to remove tobacco use. Doing this has significant positive outcome in most cases. Must rule out other forms of ischemia first.



Intermittent Claudication

Skin Ulcers

Blue Tinge To Skin

Cold Skin

Poor Nail & Hair Growth


Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Pulse oximetry

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Reduce Vascular Inflammation

  • Antinflammatories (Curcuma longa, Ruscus aculeatus)
  • Antioxidants (Silybum marianum, Camellia sinensis, Vitamin E)

2. Reduce Thrombotic Changes

  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors (Ginkgo biloba, Curcuma longa, Allium sativum)
  • Fibrinolytics (Salvia miltorrhiza, Allium sativum)

3. Reduce Vascular Damage

  • Vascular Trophorestoratives (Vitis vinifera, Vaccinum myrtillus, Centella asiatica, Crataegus oxycanthus)

4. Improve Peripheral Circulation

  • Peripheral Vasodilators (Ginkgo biloba, Achillea millefolium, Zingiber officinale, Capsicum frutescens, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)

5. Excercise (Gentle)

6. Quit Smoking

Especially for Buerger's Disease


Differential Diagnosis:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chronic heart failure


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease




Herbs For PAD:

  • gingko biloba
  • Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Curcuma longa
  • Salvia miltorrhiza
  • Allium sativum
  • Vitis vinefera
  • Vaccinum myrtalis
  • Crataegus oxycanthus
  • Achillea millefolium
  • Capsicum frutescens
  • Zanthoxylum clava-herculis


Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: November 2017

Recent Blog Posts:


  1. ...