3 Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
Making these small lifestyle changes can help slow the development of varicose veins or even prevent them altogether. Keep the goal of improving circulation in mind as you treat your varicose veins, and consult a doctor before you start taking any new supplements to make sure they're safe and don't interact negatively with any medications you're currently taking.
Varicose veins are improved when circulation in the legs increases. One excellent way to boost your circulation is exercise, particularly walking. Losing weight decreases pressure on the veins. In addition, take a look at what you're eating. Removing salt from your diet helps decrease water retention throughout your body, resulting in a decrease in the swelling in your legs. Add foods filled with bioflavonoids to your diet, because they strengthen the veins; berries, cherries and plums are all good additions.
What you wear can also affect your veins. Choose low-heeled shoes to promote good circulation, and avoid tightly fitting clothes around your waist, hips and legs. Prop your feet up whenever you can, avoid sitting with your legs crossed and try not to stand in one place for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Horse chestnut, which contains a compound called aescin, has been shown to be efficacious at treating both varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, a similar condition. While it doesn't mitigate the appearance of varicose veins, it does reduce pain and swelling. Because horse chestnut is toxic when taken whole or as a tea, it should only be consumed in medicinal form, because supplement manufacturers remove the toxic ingredients. Check with your doctor before taking horse chestnut, because it causes negative reactions with many medications.
Other herbal remedies that are reputed to help with varicose veins include butcher's broom, which contains ruscogenins that constrict veins and decrease inflammation. St. John's wort, witch hazel, rosemary and lavender also have proven helpful when applied externally as a compress. The antioxidants in pine bark and grape seed extracts also strengthen blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
Reflexology is a type of massage therapy that focuses exclusively on the feet. Studies show that regular reflexology massages reduce swelling significantly in the lower legs, ankles and feet, thus relieving pressure on varicose veins.
While some people turn to surgery to get rid of varicose veins, other self-care approaches are available to deal with the discomfort of the condition. Varicose veins are a type of swollen veins; the swelling occurs when excess pressure is put on the veins, and can occur due to obesity, pregnancy or even too much standing in place over long periods. Varicose veins are most common in the legs, as the veins have to fight gravity to get blood back to the heart. If you're suffering from varicose veins, think about some of the natural remedies available.