Varicose veins are the conditions that occur when an individual’s veins get swollen and quite enlarged. In some cases, these varicose veins cause discomfort and pain. There are medical treatments for treating such conditions. However, mild cases of varicose veins can be managed with some home remedies, which include exercise, some herbal remedies, dietary changes, and some other common home remedies. If you are someone suffering from this condition and are willing to know about the home remedies, then you are in the right place.
Varicose Veins: In Brief
Varicose veins have purple or dark blue appearance and they might bulge outwards from underneath the skin. Generally varicose veins develop when small valves present in the veins get weak. These valves are generally known to stop blood flowing backward through the veins. When these veins get damaged, blood pools in the veins and this results in swollen and twisted veins that even become quite visible. Apart from their dark blue or purple appearance, there might be other symptoms of varicose veins, which includes, burning sensation in the legs, muscle cramps usually at night, uncomfortable legs feeling heavy and quite achy, swelling in ankles and feet, itchy and dry skin appearing thinner over the skin where varicose veins appear. About 20% of adults will generally experience varicose veins at some time or the other. (1)
There are various medical treatments for varicose veins, however, if you have mild cases of this condition you can try out some home remedies to relieve the symptoms.
Home Remedies For Varicose Vein:
Exercise For Varicose Vein
We already know that exercise is quite important for all of us. Exercise, when done regularly, can also help in treating varicose veins. Yes! Some exercises, especially the low-impact exercises like cycling, swimming, walking, and yoga moves are important home remedies for varicose veins.
Exercising regularly encourages a better circulation of blood in the legs, which in turn helps in pushing along the blood that gets collected in veins. Moreover, exercise even helps in lowering the blood pressure of a person, which is one more contributing factor to the occurrence of varicose veins. Low-impact exercises aid in getting your calf muscles working without more strain. So, try out these exercises and keep safe from varicose veins.
Dietary Changes To Get Rid of Varicose Vein
Foods With Potassium:
Potassium deficiency is known to result in water retention. (2) This, in turn, increases the volume of blood in the body and generates excess pressure on the valves of the veins. So, taking potassium-rich foods could help manage varicose veins.
Almonds, yogurts, pistachios, chicken, tuna, salmon, white beans, dates, lentils, oranges, potatoes, beet greens, leafy vegetables and winter squash are some of the foods which are packed with potassium in them. Taking these foods could be one of the best home remedies for varicose veins as they help in reducing water retention in the body and thus prevent varicose veins.
Apart from this, you also need to know that salty or foods rich in sodium can cause the body to retain water, and thus it is important for you to cut down more of salty foods which can actually minimize water retention.
Foods With Fiber:
There are some foods which are packed with fiber and are known to improve your vein health. There are foods like wheat, whole-grain foods, nuts, oats, peas, flaxseeds, plums, beans, figs, avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots.
Foods containing dietary fiber help with proper bowel movements and prevent constipation. This is important, as straining can aggravate the damaged veins’ valves and can worsen them.
Foods With Flavonoids:
One more thing you can do to treat varicose vein in by adding foods that are loaded with flavonoids. Flavonoids might help in treating cardiovascular issues and can also help in improving the circulation of blood, reducing arterial blood pressure, and also in relaxing blood vessels.
Foods containing flavonoids are garlic, onions, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, citrus fruits, cherries, grapes, apples, and cocoa.
So, add more of these foods packed with flavonoids and help yourself to shrink the varicose veins.
Herbal Remedies For Varicose Veins:
As per the National Institute of Health, consuming grape seed extract orally might help in reducing the swelling in lower legs and several other symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. However, there is limited evidence about its effectiveness in this regard. (3)
There are few more herbal remedies that can help in easing the symptoms of varicose veins. These herbal remedies come as topical phlebotonics or as oral dietary supplements.
As per a study, it was found that Rutosides, along with grape seed extract might have some real beneficial effects on chronic venous insufficiency symptoms, like restless legs, swelling or cramping. (4)
Let us below take a look at some more herbal remedies for varicose veins.
As per a review study done in the year 2010, it was mentioned that sea pine extract and Butcher’s broom extract both might help in reducing edema or leg swelling, usually associated with varicose veins. (5)
Butcher’s broom is an excellent herbal remedy to relieve the aches, pains, and discomfort associated with varicose veins. This is a herb that contains a compound called RUS or Ruscogenin and it helps in reducing inflammation and in constricting the veins.
You need to take 100 mg of the butcher’s broom supplements, at least 3 times in a day. This supplement is created from the seeds and roots of the plant and it has got vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals like calcium, manganese, chromium, and magnesium, silicon, potassium, zinc, and silicon. All these nutrients help in tightening, strengthening and reducing the inflammation in the varicose veins and also in improving the flow of blood up the legs.
NOTE: You should avoid taking Butcher’s broom without consulting doctor if you are suffering from benign prostate hyperplasia or high blood pressure.
Centella Asiatica is also known as Gotu kola, and it is a perennial plant that is native to Asia. Preclinical research shows that this herb is quite effective in strengthening weakened veins. (6) Also, Centella Asiatica helps in treating venous insufficiency. This is generally taken in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. You can also apply this herb topically as cream or ointment.
NOTE: Centella Asiatica might interact with other medications or other herbs. So, you need to know more about its safety before using it.
Horse Chestnut Seeds:
One of the best home remedies for varicose veins could be horse chestnut seeds. These seeds are used for varicose veins for ages. These seeds have got an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effect and thus can increase the venous tone successfully, and also reduce the appearance of unwanted varicose veins.
According to a review study done in the year 2006, it was found that horse chestnut extract might help in reducing heaviness, leg pain, and itching in individuals having chronic venous insufficiency, which is known to be a major factor resulting in varicose veins. (7)
Horse chestnut seed extract has aescin compound in it that helps in improving the elastic strength of the veins and also in preventing the release of enzymes that damage the capillary walls.
You can get horse chestnut gel from markets. Using this gel externally twice in a day on the affected area can be quite beneficial. It can reduce the pain and swelling significantly when used regularly.
NOTE: Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid horse chestnut seeds.
Another herb that is quite effective in treating varicose veins is witch hazel. It is great for strengthening blood vessels and for reducing several symptoms of varicose veins. It is not just an astringent, but it even contains gallic acid and essential oils that help in reducing pain and swelling associated with the condition of varicose veins.
For using this as a remedy for varicose veins you need to soak a cloth in witch hazel and place in over the skin where varicose veins appear. Doing this 2-3 times in a day for about 2 months could get you your desired results.
You can also alternatively, fill one bathtub with lukewarm water and add 20 drops of distilled witch hazel and soak your affected legs in this solution for about 15 minutes and then wash them off and pat them dry. Doing this for 2 months could benefit you in getting rid of varicose veins.
Parsley is loaded with vitamin C and it is a potential antioxidant and also encourages the production of collagen. Moreover, parsley even helps in cell repair and cell reproduction. It contains Rutin in it, which plays a crucial role in strengthening your capillaries and thus is beneficial in reducing the various symptoms of varicose veins.
To use this remedy for varicose vein you need to boil a handful of fresh parsley in a cup of water for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and allow the solution to cool down to lukewarm. Then strain it and add one single drop each of rose and marigold essential oils and place the solution in the refrigerator for some minutes. Then by using a cotton ball, you need to apply this solution over the varicose veins. Doing this regularly for several months can get you positive results.
Rutosides are also known to be beneficial in reducing varicose veins. These are also known as rutin and are bioflavonoids, which are mostly found in plants like buckwheat, citrus fruits, apples, Gingko Biloba, and St. John’s wort.
Rutoside or rutin is known to be rich in anti-oxidants, it is anti-inflammatory and an antidiabetic supplement. It has even got vascular benefits and can strengthen weak blood vessels and weak capillaries that are usually a precursor to varicose veins.
Rutosides are used for treating varicose veins and spider veins, and also for swelling of ankles and calves. You can get rutoside in form of capsules or tablets.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is known to be very effective in treating varicose veins. It is a natural body cleansing product and it even improves the circulation and flow of blood.
When the blood begins to flow naturally, the heaviness, as well as the swelling of varicose veins, will reduce to a greater extent.
You need to apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on your skin that is affected with varicose veins and massage over it gently. Doing this every day before bed and again in the morning for a few months would help you reduce the appearance of varicose veins to a fair extent.
Grape Seed Extract:
Grapes, along with its leaves and grape sap are all used in alternative medicine for long. Research has suggested that the grape seed extracts can help in treating symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. (8) Moreover, it can even reduce swelling. However, the studies are not quite conclusive and it is essential to have more research on this.
Grape seeds contain flavonoids, vitamin E, and several other compounds in them. It can be purchased as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.
NOTE: We must mention that these extracts interact with blood thinners and can increase the risk of bleeding. So, if you are taking any medicines then do avoid grape seed extract.
Other Home Remedies For Varicose Veins:
One of the best home remedies for varicose veins is to wear compression stockings. They help in applying pressure to your legs, which in turn helps the veins and the muscles to move blood towards your heart.
According to one study conducted in 2018, it was found that those who make use of knee-high compression stockings for one week; reported a reduction in their pain associated with varicose veins. (9)
You can find these compression stockings from online stores or pharmacies.
Choose Non-Restrictive Clothing:
You must wear non-restrictive clothing. Wearing tight-fitting clothes can generally restrict the flow of blood. However, wearing loose-fitting dresses can benefit you in improving the blood circulation and this does not restrict the supply of blood to the lower body.
It is also important for you to wear flat shoes and avoid high heels; which might help you with varicose veins.
Keeps The Legs Elevated:
It is important for you to keep your legs elevated, ideally at the same height as your heart or slightly above it. Doing this will help you in improving the blood circulation. This reduces the pressure in the veins of your legs and the earth’s gravity will help the smooth flow of blood back to your heart.
So, keep your legs elevated if you are sitting for long, such as during rest or work.
Massage is known to be one of the best home remedies for varicose veins. Gently massaging the affected portions can help in keeping the blood moving through your veins.
You can use olive oil to massage over the varicose vein as this can help in increasing the blood circulation and also help in reducing the pain and inflammation.
For using this as a remedy you need to mix equal amounts of olive oil and also vitamin E oil and slightly warm the mixture and gently massage your varicose veins for several minutes. Doing this twice regularly for around 2 months will help you greatly.
NOTE: Keep a note not to Press directly onto the varicose veins, as this might damage the fragile tissues.
Avoid sitting for a longer period of suffering from varicose veins. If you have to sit for a long time during work, you must get up and take a small move around your place or might even change your position frequently to keep the blood flowing quite smoothly.
You must also know not to sit with crossed legs for long, as this can restrict the blood flow to your feet and legs, and this might add to the blood circulation issues.
Indeed, varicose veins can really cause pain and discomfort in the affected person and thus treating the condition is highly essential. We talked about some of the home remedies for varicose veins. Try these remedies, make the specific dietary changes, and go for exercises to treating your condition of varicose veins. However, we must also mention that severe cases of varicose veins always require strict medical attention. So, talk to your doctor about the best treatment options.
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