Varicose veins are a pretty common problem characterized by abnormally large veins near the skin’s surface, most frequently in the calves and thighs. They usually occur when the veins develop weakened walls or poorly functioning valves, which regulate blood flow.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, varicose veins affect approximately 25 % of women and 10 % of men.
Varicose veins can cause pain, fatigue, restlessness, and feelings of burning, throbbing, tingling, or heaviness in the legs. The appearance of bulging veins is also a major concern for many people.
Common causes of varicose veins are heredity, working environments where a lot of standing is required, obesity, birth control pills, constipation and hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
Standard treatments for varicose veins, both medical and surgical, can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are a wide range of cost effective home remedies that can decrease the severity of varicose veins and also reduce some of the discomfort they can cause. Here are 8 home remedies for varicose veins you may not have heard of.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a very effective treatment for varicose veins. It is a natural body cleansing product and 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 this every day before going to bed and again in the next morning. Follow this remedy for a few months to reduce the size of varicose veins.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is considered a miracle treatment for varicose veins. Cayenne pepper is a rich source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which 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.
3. Olive Oil
Increasing blood circulation is essential to treating varicose veins. Massaging the skin with olive oil can help increase circulation and reduce 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.
Garlic is excellent 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.
5. Butcher’s Broom
Butcher’s broom is great for relieving the aches and discomfort of varicose veins. This herb contains a compound known as a ruscogenin (RUS) and helps to reduce inflammation while constricting the veins.
- Take 100 mg of butcher’s broom supplements three times a day. Created from the roots and seeds of the plant, butcher’s broom supplements have vitamins B and C along with calcium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, silicon and zinc.
- These nutrients will help tighten, strengthen and decrease inflammation in the veins as well as improve blood flow up the legs.
Note: If you have high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia you should not take Butcher’s Broom without consulting with a doctor.
6. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is great for strengthening blood vessels and reducing the symptoms of varicose veins. Aside from being an astringent, it also contains gallic acid and sessential oils that help reduce the swelling and pain associated with varicose veins.
- 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. Then wash your legs with clean water and pat them dry.
- Follow this remedy once daily for one or two months.
7. Horse Chestnut Seeds
Horse chestnut seeds have been used for ages in the treatment of varicose veins. Horse chestnut seeds have an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effect that can successfully increase ‘venous tone’, as well as 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.
Horse chestnut seed gel is available in most markets. Use the gel externally on the affected area twice daily. When used regularly, it can significantly reduce leg pain and swelling.
Note: Pregnant or nursing women should not use horse chestnut seeds.
Parsley is rich in vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant and encourages the production of collagen. It also aids in cell repair and reproduction. Parsley contains rutin, which plays a key role in strengthening the capillaries and therefore is 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.