Varicose veins are dark or purple swollen veins that are most commonly found in the legs. The Department of Health and Human Science says that about 50 percent of people who are over 50 years old are affected with varicose veins, and around 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men suffer from vein problems in the United States [R].
A 2012 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association claimed that the treatment for varicose veins can vary from conservative, to minimally invasive, to invasive (requiring surgery), to a hybrid (a combination of more than one therapies). Essentially, treatment can be a lifestyle change to sclerotherapy to invasive surgery, and you can turn to natural remedies as well [R].
This is why we have compiled five natural remedies for varicose veins.
Adding to the long list of benefits you can get from regular exercise is blood flow improvement and inflammation reduction. According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, sitting or standing for extended periods of time without sufficient movements increases your risk for blood pooling, such as varicose veins [R].
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is linked with cases of varicose veins, especially among women and old people. This is because having excessive body weight strains your veins and adds more pressure to them, causing inflammation. This is especially true in the saphenous vein located in the legs, which is one of the largest superficial veins in our body.
According to one report by the Huffington Post, the varicose veins in overweight people are harder to assess and treat because they usually go unnoticed until they’re already so severe or until they have inflamed to a size of about four to five centimeters long inside the leg. This alone is alarming and a good precaution why a healthy weight should be maintained [R].
3. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used to treat various illnesses since so far back in history [R]. There are essential oils that are beneficial for blood flow improvement, inflammation reduction, and hormonal balance. One that’s gained popularity in this aspect is the cypress oil, which overall improves the circulatory system.
Simply massage five drops of cypress oil on the affected area twice a day. Continue this diligently for several weeks until the symptoms have subsided. If you experience the pain symptoms that sometimes come with varicose veins, tea tree, lavender, and peppermint essential oils can help soothe the pain. Simply massage the oils in the affected areas [R].
4. Try an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The food you eat greatly affects the condition of your body, so it would only make sense for you to alter your diet if you are having health problems. Since inflammation is common in varicose veins, you would want to avoid foods that can trigger or worsen it. These foods include sugar, alcohol, trans fats, caffeine, and processed foods [R]. Avoiding these foods can also help you avoid any circulatory problems, hormonal imbalance, and weight gain. These foods are high in sodium, thereby causing dehydration and inflammation.
What we recommend for people suffering from varicose veins is to consume foods that are high in fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium and those that are natural diuretics that reduce water retention in your body.
5. Try Natural Herbs
Since we have been mentioning natural remedies, it is good to include two natural herbs that go way back thousands of years as a folk remedy — bilberry and horse chestnut. These are two plants that have been proven as effective as varicose veins treatments. They can ease pain, swelling, itching, and cramping in the affected areas. They are also great for water retention reduction, circulatory system support, diarrhea prevention, and curing skin-related illnesses [R] [R].
The bilberry fruit can either be consumed directly, made into tea, or extracted, while horse chestnut extract can be pressed from the seeds, bark, flowers, or leaves of the tree (otherwise known as Buckeye). The extract is then used as a main ingredient in creams, tea, or capsules.