Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins, they may be blue or dark purple and are often lumpy, swelling or twisted in appearance. (1)
Spider veins are a common, mild variation of varicose veins. (2)
The problem is caused by weakness of the venous walls and poor function of the valves that regulate the blood flow in our bodies.
Varicose veins can develop if the small valves inside the veins are not working properly.
In a healthy vein, blood flows smoothly to the heart.
In the blood vessels, there are tiny valves that open and close to let the blood through.
If the valves weaken or are damaged, the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, eventually causing it to be swollen and enlarged.
Certain conditions can increase the chance of developing varicose veins, such as:
- varicose veins affect more women than men.
- hormonal changes.
- heredity- having a close family member with varicose veins.
- being older.
- being overweight.
- working in a workplace that requires prolonged standing.
- being pregnant.
Varicose veins are not only a cosmetic problem, but they can also lead to pain, fatigue, restlessness and burning sensation, tingling and heaviness of the legs.
How to reduce and eliminate the risk of varicose veins:
Exercise: walking is a wonderful way to encourage blood circulation in your legs.
Maintaining weight: weight loss can help to reduce pressure on the veins.
Raise your legs: to improve blood circulation to your feet, take a few breaks during the day and lift your legs above your heart level.
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time: change your body posture frequently to encourage blood circulation.
You can try these natural treatments to reduce the severity of swollen veins and reduce some of the discomfort caused by it.
Here are some natural treatments you can do at home:
Cut down – heavy meals, red meat and cheeses they’re low in fibre and take a long time to digest, saturated fats, white flour.
THE GOAL- HEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.
Add fruits and veggies. It is very important to increase the consumption of fresh foods, which are rich sources of flavonoids, vitamin C and fibres.
Rosehip tea, buckwheat and apple peel contain the active ingredient, rutin, that strengthens blood vessels therefore useful for preventing easy bruising, varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
Drink enough water- important to maintain blood pressure and prevent constipation.
Add to your diet-
1. Chilli pepper
The hot pepper is rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which increase the blood flow and reduce the pain from the swollen veins.
Add Chilli pepper to your food to improve blood circulation.
2. Eat more Garlic
Garlic may help to reduce inflammation and varicose veins in the legs.
It also helps to remove harmful toxins from blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Great for detoxification, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. Ginger tea with lemon/orange peel
Ginger has a long history of medicinal use dating back 2,500 years in China and India for conditions such as headaches, nausea, rheumatism, and colds.
It is a great anti-inflammatory and warming traditional remedy, characterized in traditional Chinese medicine as spicy and hot. Ginger is claimed to warm the body and treat cold extremities.
Citrus peel is an excellent source of bioflavonoids and vitamin C, that strengthening the blood vessels walls.
Enjoy by adding a cup of tea daily to your diet.
*Always consult a physician before starting to take supplements.
1. Butcher’s Broom
Traditional herbal medicine that may help to relieve symptoms of discomfort and heaviness of legs related to minor venous circulatory disturbances. (3)
Especially effective in relieving pain and discomfort of the lower legs.
2. Horse chestnut
Traditionally have been used for years in the treatment of varicose veins.
Taking horse chestnut seed extract can reduce some symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins, pain, tiredness, tension, itching, oedema, and swelling in the legs. (4)
3. Grape seed extract
Taking grape seed extract or its proanthocyanidin constituents orally seems to reduce chronic venous insufficiency and improve venous tone.
Grape leaf extract, known as red vine leaf extract decreases tired or heavy legs, tension, and tingling and pain. (5)
1.Apple cider vinegar
Apple vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that improves blood circulation.
When the blood begins to flow naturally, the heaviness and swelling of the varicose veins will be reduced.
There are many websites that support this homemade easy treatment and you can find many results online.
But is it really worth to try?
A randomized controlled trial from Turkey that was published in 2016, checked the effect of the external application of apple cider vinegar on varicosity symptoms in 120 patients.
The researchers found that external application of apple vinegar on varicosity patients increased the positive effects of conservative treatment. (6)
Apply apple cider vinegar to the skin in the area of the varicose veins and gently massage or use as a cold compress for half an hour while your legs lifted up.
Do this every day, twice a day.
Take care for several months in order to reduce the size of the veins.
If you have sensitive skin, check on a small part of it before starting the process and dilute the apple cider vinegar with water.
2. Olive oil and Cypress essential oil
massage of olive oil mixed with cypress essential oil will increase blood flow to the area.
This is necessary to treat varicose veins.
Massage with olive oil helps to increase blood circulation, and reduce pain and inflammation.
Mix 2 teaspoons of olive oil with 5 drops of cypress essential oil. Massage the veins with the mixture for several minutes. Do this twice a day for a month or two.
For conclusion, supporting healthy circulation and strengthening the valves in the veins can improve and support varicose veins and spider veins conditions.
Combined with the right medical treatment all these steps can improve significantly the success of the treatment.
My name is Pazit, I’m a registered Naturopath N.D. , MNNA (a member of the Naturopathic Nutrition Association), Herbalist, Aromatherapist and Bach Flower remedies therapist based in London.
www.pazbynature.com Health & Wellness Blog includes travel inspiration, healthy food and natural remedies.