What Are Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins,usually blue or dark purple and usually occur on the legs. They may also be lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance.
Other symptoms include:
- aching, heavy and uncomfortable legs
- swollen feet and ankles
- muscle cramp in your legs
- dry skin and color changes in the lower leg
Why Do They Appear
Varicose veins develop when the small valves inside the veins stop working properly.In a healthy vein, blood flows smoothly to the heart. The blood is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of tiny valves that open and close to let blood through.
If the valves are weaken or damaged, the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, eventually causing it to be swollen and enlarged (varicose).
Certain things can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, such as:
- being overweight
- old age
Who Is Affected By This
Varicose veins are a common condition, affecting up to 3 in 10 adults. Women are more likely to develop them than men. Any vein in the body can become varicose, but they most commonly develop in the legs and feet, particularly in the calves. This is because standing and walking puts extra pressure on the veins in the lower body.
For most people, varicose veins don’t present a serious health problem. They may have an unpleasant appearance, but should not affect circulation or cause long-term health problems. Most varicose veins don’t require any treatment. If treatment is necessary, your doctor may first recommend up to six months of using compression stockings, taking regular exercise and elevating the affected area when resting.
If your varicose veins are still causing you pain or discomfort – or they cause complications – they can be treated in several ways, the most common being:
- endothermal ablation – treatment where heat is used to seal affected veins
- sclerotherapy – this uses special foam to close the veins
- ligation and stripping – this involves surgery to remove the affected veins
But,there are also suggested home remedies in treatment that you can try at home.
Home Remedies For Varicose Veins
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful treatment for varicose veins. It is a natural body cleansing product and it also improves blood flow and circulation. When the blood starts flowing naturally, the heaviness and swelling of varicose veins will decrease to a great extent.
- Apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on the skin over the varicose veins and gently massage the area. Do it every day before going to bed and again in the morning. Follow this remedy for a few months to reduce the size of varicose veins.
- Add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and stir well. Drink the mixture twice a day for at least one month to see positive results.
Increasing blood circulation is essential to treating varicose veins. Massaging with olive oil can help increase circulation, thereby reducing pain and inflammation.
- Mix equal amounts of olive oil and vitamin E oil and warm it slightly. Massage the veins with the warm oil for several minutes. Do this twice daily for one to two months.
- You can also mix four drops of cypress essential oil in two teaspoons of warm olive oil and massage with this mixture.
Cayenne pepper is considered a miracle treatment for varicose veins. Being a very source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, it increases blood circulation and eases the pain of congested, swollen veins.
- Add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to a cup of hot water and stir it well.
- Drink this mixture three times a day for one or two months.
Garlic is great herb for reducing inflammation and the symptoms of varicose veins. It also helps break up harmful toxins in the blood vessels and improve circulation.
- Slice up six garlic cloves and put them in a clean glass jar
- Extract the juice from three oranges and add it to the jar. Also add two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Let the mixture sit for about 12 hours
- Shake the jar and then put a few drops of the solution on your fingers. Massage the inflamed veins with the solution in a circular motion for 15 minutes
- Wrap the area with a cotton cloth and leave it on overnight
- Repeat daily for several months
Witch hazel is a very effective herb for strengthening blood vessels and hence can reduce symptoms of varicose veins. Apart from being an astringent, it also contains gallic acid and several essential oils that can help reduce the swelling as well as the pain.
- Soak a washcloth in witch hazel and place it on the affected area. Do this two or three times a day for one or two months.
- Alternatively, fill a tub with lukewarm water and add 10 to 20 drops of distilled witch hazel. Soak your legs in the solution for at least 15 minutes.
- Wash your legs with clean water and pat them dry. Follow this remedy once daily for one or two months.
Horse Chestnut Seeds
The seeds of horse chestnut have been used for ages to treat varicose veins.It can successfully increase ‘venous tone’ and in turn reduce the appearance of varicose veins.
Horse chestnut seed extract has a compound called aescin that improves the elastic strength of veins and prevents the release of enzymes that damage capillary walls.
- You can purchase horse chestnut seed gel available in the market. Use the gel externally on the affected area twice daily. When used regularly, it can significantly reduce leg pain and swelling.
- You can also take horse chestnut supplements. The most common dosage is 300 mg twice daily. Do not take raw horse chestnut as it contains large amounts of a toxic compound known as esculin.
Note: Pregnant or nursing women should not use this remedy.
Parsley is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that encourages the production of collagen and aids in cell repair and reproduction. It also contains rutin, which plays a key role in strengthening the capillaries and hence is very useful in reducing symptoms of varicose veins.
- Boil a handful of chopped fresh parsley in one cup of water for five minutes
- Remove from the heat, cover and allow the solution to cool to lukewarm. Then strain the solution.
- Add one drop each of rose and marigold essential oils
- Put the solution in the refrigerator for several minutes
- Using a cotton ball, apply the solution to the affected area
- Do this daily for several months to see positive results
The beautiful marigold flower is a rich source of flavonoids and vitamin C that stimulate the production of collagen and aid in cell repair and reproduction. It also helps improve circulation, thus helping alleviate various symptoms of varicose veins.
- Boil one cup of marigold flowers in four cups of water for five minutes
- Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and place the cloth on the affected area. Leave it on until it completely cools.
- Repeat several times a day for a few months until you notice improvement
- Handful of marigold flower petals
- Wash the marigold petals thoroughly
- Crush or ground these petals to get a paste out of them
- Apply this marigold paste on your varicose veins
- Leave overnight
- Wash off in the morning
- Repeat daily till your varicose veins reduce considerably or disappear totally
Grapevine leaves have a good amount of flavonoids, which help keep veins healthy. The leaves also have astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and homeostatic properties that are very helpful for treating varicose veins.
- Boil one cup of grapevine leaves in four cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow it to steep for several minutes until it is lukewarm.
- Pour it into a bucket and soak your feet in the solution for five minutes
- Then put your feet in another bucket filled with cold water for 10 seconds
- Do this three or four times at a stretch, ending with the cold water soak
- Afterward, massage your legs in an upward direction with castor oil
- Finish by putting your legs in an elevated position for a few minutes
Changing The Lifestyle To Avoid Varicose Veins
Although all the above home and herbal remedies for varicose veins will give you relief, you will also need to bring some minor and some major changes in your lifestyle so that you may prevent this varicose veins issue once and for all.
- Do not sit or stand for longer periods at a stretch. If your work demands so, take breaks after every 30 minutes. Change your position, walk a little, stretch or stand for a while. Just don’t be in a same position for longer.
- If you sit for longer, try to keep your legs elevated by using a stool or another chair.
- Don’t sit with crossed legs or crossed ankles.
- Keep your legs elevated even when you lie down or sleep.
- Avoid wearing high heels.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially those that may cut your blood circulation around your waist legs and groin area.
- Exercise regularly. Cardiovascular exercises and strength training all are beneficial for you. Walking too improves your blood circulation.
- Lose weight. Being overweight is one of the major causes of varicose veins.
- Have a balanced diet. Include more fiber in your meals. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants are good for you.
- Avoid alcohol as it dilates blood vessels making your varicose veins condition worse.
- Quit smoking as it doesn’t keeps your blood circulation healthy.
With these remedies, you can reduce the swelling and discomfort of varicose veins as well as minimize their appearance. In addition, you should do regular walking, bicycling, or swimming to improve blood circulation in the legs…and in time…there must be a result!