13 Home Remedies for Varicose Veins That Really Work
If you are unfamiliar with varicose veins, they are a type of malformed, malfunctioning vein that usually appears in the legs. If you are familiar with them, then you probably know all about the issues that come with them. Generally speaking, varicose veins are the result of too much pressure on the veins, especially when standing and sitting. Though the veins are superficial, this sort of pressure can lead to pain and discomfort. That being said, pressure is not always responsible for varicose veins. Sometimes it’s just a matter of heredity.
Given the distance of the legs from the heart, it takes significant effort for the heart to pump blood that far- especially against the pull of gravity. This is where the calf muscles come into play. They are specifically structured to prevent the backflow of blood. However, if the veins lose elasticity(something that happens naturally, with age, or is caused by various illnesses) then this structure can become ineffective, which leads to blood pooling. When blood pools in the veins, it can cause them to lose their natural shape and become clumpy, bulging, and swollen.
The nature of varicose veins makes them more prevalent in those who spend a significant portion of their time standing, as well as women. Unfortunately, pregnancy can also play a role, as well as obesity; both of these put more strain on the legs, which can cause varicose veins to worsen over time. Fortunately, however, varicose veins are rarely a serious problem- just an unsightly one. However, if varicose veins cause itching, ulceration, eczema, or pain, they may be concurrent with deep vein thrombosis, which is a serious issue that should be handled by medical professionals.
Generally, there are two schools of thought when it comes to dealing with varicose veins: invasive or surgical procedures, or natural home remedies. In the case of the former, there may be some cost and discomfort for the procedures. In the case of the latter, mileage may vary among individuals and specific treatment options- some treatments merely alleviate symptoms. In general, things that strengthen blood circulation are thought to help.
Because pooled blood is the main cause of varicose veins, massaging the affected area can help. Generally, elevate the legs, so gravity contributes positively to draw venous blood in the legs back to the heart. A gentle leg massage may help to guide the pooled blood along its path. A proper massage may smooth out twisted or bulging veins and help with the blood flow. Keep in mind that varicose veins could be associated with dangerous conditions; check with a doctor before getting a massage, and respect the decision of your masseuse if they decline to work the affected area.
If they are applied early enough in the development of varicose veins compression stockings can limit the progress of the condition. There are many types of compression garments available; generally, class II or III are the best. Keep in mind, however, that certain arterial problems may be worsened by the use of compression garments, so speak to a medical professional about what to use. Compression garments essentially force the veins to do their job, keeping them slimmed down so that they don’t bulge, and the blood flows to where it needs to go. This helps reduce pooling and blood clots.
Weakened veins do not just have a higher risk of becoming varicose. They may also lead to thrombosis. According to research part of what weakens veins is an increase in homocysteine levels, because it can cause damage to the blood vessel lining. This elevation is caused primarily by a deficiency of B-complex vitamins, such as B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folic acid) and B12. Alcohol has also been known to contribute consumption also has a similar effect. A proper diet with B6, B12, and Folate can help- specifically, foods like shrimp and chicken, potatoes, bananas, and broccoli can provide the required nutrition.
In theory, increasing physical activity should contribute to the easing of varicose veins. Unfortunately, studies have not proven such. That being said, regular physical activity likely contributes directly and indirectly to varicose vein prevention, rather than serving as a treatment option. This is because the heart relies on calf muscle movement to pump blood back to it. Therefore, an active lifestyle is likely to prevent difficulty returning blood to the heart, which makes an active individual less likely to contract varicose veins. Furthermore, active living generally includes other healthy habits, like healthy eating, also reducing the likelihood of varicose veins.
Research suggests that horse chestnut extract can help improve circulation, combatting varicose veins. This is because of its active ingredient, Aescin. Aescin is a vasoprotective, which means that it can prevent damage to the blood vessels by inhibiting the enzymes that cause damage to them. Extracts that are properly prepared can be consumed, but if one is using the bark directly, it may be applied topically. Eating horse chestnut raw and unrefined can cause harm because it contains toxins that are removed by processing. However, the vasoconstriction caused by horse chestnut extract is equal with the benefit of compression stockings.
8.Grape Seed Extract
Numerous flavonoids, as well as antioxidants, can help to remedy varicose veins. Grape seed extract packs a powerful punch in this regard, with significant levels of linoleic acid and vitamin E. Additionally, the oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) are antioxidants that likewise contribute to vasoprotection. In general, antioxidants prevent free radical damage to the walls of the blood vessels and do the same for other tissue. They also promote the formation of collagen, which maintains the elasticity of connective tissues and the walls of the blood vessels. Powdered grape seeds or grape seed extract with at least 95% OPC content work.
Cayenne pepper is another flavonoid-rich substance. This gives it much of the same antioxidant power, but also provides anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used as an analgesic to relieve pain. Taken orally, it can help reduce symptoms of varicose veins. If you are going to consume it, mix it in with spicy dishes, or use smaller doses of around half a teaspoon to start with. Fortunately, for those of us who are not ready to eat cayenne pepper just yet, it also has similar effects when used topically; capsaicin or cayenne pepper extract can both increase blood circulation.
6.Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark extract or perhaps more accurately, Pycnogenol®, has shown to be helpful in dealing with varicose veins. It is extracted from the bark of French maritime pine, and it may be applied topically or consumed to reap its benefits. Its varicose treating powers lie in the phenolic acids, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins. All of these powerful components help to reduce inflammation of varicose veins, and therefore some of their visibility. Taken orally, it strengthens blood vessels and restores elasticity via collagen. It also reduces blood pressure and boosts blood circulation, making it useful for varicose veins and heart disease too.
5.Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Pot marigold, among other things, is thought to be a treatment for varicose veins, if history is any indication. Generally, it is used for skin conditions, rather than for issues within the body; however, in the case of varicose veins, pot marigold can help because of all of the skin altering symptoms brought on by varicose veins. Additionally, pot marigold has astringent properties, which means it can cause body tissues to constrict; this can help varicose veins regain some of their natural strength and functionality. It can be used topically in a bath or warm compress or taken by mouth.
4.Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Otherwise known as Indian pennywort, gotu kola is another plant with a background of cultural medicinal use. Specifically, it has been used to help treat varicose veins in Asian countries. Sometimes, the herb is dried as a powder; other times the extract is used. In either case, gotu kola is taken orally. Specifically, gotu kola helps by reducing blood pooling and leakage from the veins plays a role in controlling inflammation and prevents water retention. Additionally, the herb possesses triterpenoids that can strengthen the blood vessels and also increase the blood flow through them. Topically, it treats various skin conditions.
Witch hazel is a Native American herbal remedy that has been helpful to many people with varicose veins. Because of the tannins abundant in its extract, it has incredible astringent properties, allowing it to constrict the veins and improve blood flow. Witch hazel also can work to combat inflammation, reducing some of the pain associated with varicose veins. Like a number of other herbal and extract remedies, you can take witch hazel orally, or you can use a compress and apply it topically. Either way will bring relief from the various symptoms of varicose veins, including pain, itching, and swelling.
2.Essential oil of Helichrysum
Extracted from the flowers of Helichrysum spp., this essential oil is thought to be a great help against varicose veins. This is due primarily to the fact that helichrysum oil has anticoagulant and anesthetic properties, which means that it prevents blood clots that may form from pooled blood, and it may relieve pain that is commonly associated with swollen veins. Apply it topically by using 2-3 drops of it and gently rubbing/dabbing it on the affected area in order to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Chamomile oil is among one of the most popular essential oils. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce the swelling, thereby greatly improving the visibility of varicose veins, but also reducing the level of pain as a result. Chamomile oil is also very soothing and can help you relax, particularly after you have been stressing your legs for a significant period of time. You might consider mixing chamomile oil with other oils to improve the effect, such as lavender for further soothing, or coconut oil to revitalize damaged skin.
Reference: Health Guide