Ageing is an inevitable phase that we all go through and with it comes a host of several ailments that become a part of our lives. Varicose veins appear due to various reasons, and the most common culprit would be the sedentary lives we lead. We can alleviate the discomfort and pain we go through and manage the symptoms with the home remedies to get rid of varicose veins discussed in detail in this extensive article.

Causes Of Varicose Veins:

Varicose veins appear when the veins in the legs get swollen, bulging, and enlarged. This occurs when the one-way valves in the vein that help the blood to flow to the heart do not work properly. The veins, either due to being weak or damaged, restrict the blood flow. It causes pooling of blood and clots. Varicose veins can become dangerous when left untreated. The following are the reasons for varicose veins.

Causes of Varicose Veins in Legs:

  • Genetics: There is a family history of varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy is one of the causes of varicose veins in women’s legs
  • Obesity: One of the causes of varicose veins in men’s legs and women too is being overweight.
  • Age factor due to wear and tear on vein valves.
  • Smoking causes varicose veins: Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow or constrict
  • Gender: Varicose veins tend to affect women more often than men.
  • Sedentary Jobs
  • Varicose veins and high blood pressure: Here the blood pressure elevation is mainly a symptom than a cause.

Symptoms Of Varicose Veins:

Varicose veins typically appear raised and swollen. They are often very painful and the area is warm to touch.

Signs And Symptoms Of Varicose Veins:

The signs and symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • Discolouration of the veins that are either blue or dark purple.
  • The veins look twisted, swollen, and bulging
  • Heavy legs
  • Varicose veins cause edema and legs feel heavy, especially at night or after exercise
  • Even a minor injury may result in bleeding in the affected area, compared to normal times
  • Lipodermatosclerosis, which causes the fat under the skin, just above the ankle to become hard
  • Swollen ankles
  • Telangiectasia
  • There may be shiny skin discolourations near the varicose veins, usually bluish or brownish in colour
  • Venous eczema (stasis dermatitis), where the skin in the affected areas is red and dry
  • Sudden cramps are experienced while standing up suddenly in some individuals
  • Restless legs syndrome appear in the majority of people with varicose veins
  • Atrophie blanche, which are irregular whitish patches that look like scars appear at the ankles.

Prevention Of Varicose Veins:

The following lifestyle changes may help prevent varicose veins from forming or from becoming worse. Only if lifestyle changes do not work is invasive surgery recommended. Varicose veins can be prevented by reducing strain on the veins and ensuring good blood flow.

The preventive measures of varicose veins can help prevent varicose veins and are the following:

  • Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose weight.
  • Use compression stockings and exercise to improve blood circulation. All these will prevent the formation of newer varicose veins. It will also help the blood to flow easily to the heart.
  • Elevate legs whenever possible.
  • Exercising
  • Eating a high-fibre, low-salt diet
  • Changing your sitting or standing position regularly.

Varicose Veins Natural Treatment At Home:

1. Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica):

Gotukola is called “herb of longevity.” It is used in traditional Chinese, Indonesian, and Indian medicine. The benefits of this herb range from boosting brainpower, healing skin tissues, promote the health of the kidney and liver. Centella Asiatica varicose veins are known to help with venous insufficiency as it reduces swelling and improves blood flow.

See Also: Can Yoga Asanas Cure Varicose Veins

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar for varicose veins is rich in anti-oxidants. It carries anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help to lessen any external swelling. It is also necessary for detoxifying. This can improve the condition of the skin, prevent dryness, and encourages skin cell regeneration.

Treating varicose veins with apple cider vinegar is a very useful home remedy. Apply apple cider vinegar on the varicose veins and wrap the leg with a cloth. Keep it for 30 minutes.

Tips And Precautions:

Ensure to dilute with water and apply topically to the affected area and ensure that there are no open cuts or wounds on the skin.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture done regularly can be a tremendous help for the discomfort caused by varicose veins. It helps to stimulate the blood and make it move in the veins, break up any pooled blood.

There are also special acupuncture points for varicose veins to stimulate circulation, which eases the blood to flow and relieves the pressure and aching that accompanies varicose veins. With treatment, one will be easily able to see the difference as the colour would lighten considerably when fresh blood begins to flow back in

Tips And Precautions:

Special care is required for the particular sites for needling, the depth of insertion, and the manipulation technique used.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and varicose veins can be referred to as an anti-inflammatory agent. It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties. When applied topically, it stimulates, revitalizes the area of skin. Coconut oil works to retain moisture in the skin cells, providing it with fatty acids, which help to renew protective layers. Make a cool or warm compress by soaking a cloth in a combination of five drops of virgin coconut oil and 1 litre of water. Apply this compress to the affected area for about 15 minutes. Keep the legs elevated during application. Coconut oil is an easy home remedy for varicose veins.

See Also: Coconut Oil Benefits For Skin

5. Cayenne

Cayenne pepper is rich in flavonoids and Vitamin C. Among natural treatment options for varicose veins, cayenne pepper helps protect blood vessels from free radicals. It boosts the formation of collagen in the vein walls and helps to keep them healthy. Cayenne’s capsaicin has effective analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and blood-thinning properties. These help to lessen varicose veins.

Tips And Precautions:

Cayenne can be taken in capsule form or apply it as a cream on the affected veins with a gentle upward motion.

6. Essential Oils:

a) Lavender Oil:

Lavender oil for varicose veins is effective in treating pain triggered by varicose veins. When used in aromatherapy, it can alleviate pain and inflammation. In cases where varicose veins have caused skin ulcers, a study showed that lavender oil helps to soothe them. Using lavender oil topically to the skin may reduce pain and the size of the skin ulcers when massaged on the afflicted areas.

b) Tea Tree Oil:

Tea tree oil for varicose veins is very popularly known for its medicinal properties like antifungal, antiseptic, and anti-viral properties. This is a simple yet potent healing oil that can be used in combination with aloe vera to combat pain and swelling due to varicose veins.

c) Helichrysum Oil:

Helichrysum oil for varicose veins comes from the steam distillation of the blooms of the plant. It reportedly has serious healing properties and is well known compared to other essential oils. It is most effective at shrinking the appearance of varicose veins and with circulation. Furthermore, helichrysum oil works to eradicate blood clots.

d) Cypress Oil:

Cypress oil for varicose veins originates from the evergreen tree of the same name. It is recommended to rub five drops of this oil on the affected area 2 times a day for a couple of weeks. “One of the best essential oil to specifically treat vein problems is the cypress oil. It has the ability to increase circulation, contract blood vessels, which encourages blood to start flowing properly.

e) Lemongrass Oil:

Lemongrass oil for varicose veins is excellent oil that encourages blood circulation and inhibits blood from pooling. It keeps the veins healthy and strong as well as dilated to allow smooth flow of blood.

f) Almond Oil:

Massaging almond oil for varicose veins helps to treat unsightly varicose veins and spider veins. The massage should be done on a daily basis.

g) Rosemary Oil:

Rosemary oil for varicose veins is well known for various health benefits, but rosemary is mostly used to increase blood flow to other parts of the body, and as we already mentioned, when your blood is circulating properly, it does not pool in your veins.

h) Frankincense For Varicose Veins:

Frankincense is a favourite among essential oils chiefly for its calming scent. It aids in good restful sleep and is an invigorating aroma. It is also touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.

i) Chamomile Oil:

Chamomile oil for varicose veins works well to tone the skin, promote circulation, and contract blood vessels. It is an anti-inflammatory agent. It has a calming effect.

j) Peppermint Oil:

Peppermint oil for varicose veins may help with blood circulation and is a remedy for enlarged veins.

Tips and Precautions:

One must exercise caution while using any essential oil topically as it is very important to dilute the essential oil with carrier oil or water. Oils like cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, cassia, wintergreen, and black pepper can be irritating, so it best and always safer to use proper dilution and skin patch tests first.

7. Grapeseed Extracts:

Grape seed extract can be used in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. Grape Seed Extract contains oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, antioxidants that help to strengthen the connective tissue structure of the blood vessels and reduce inflammation.

Tips and Precautions:

Grapeseed oil for varicose veins tends to interact with blood thinners and there is an increase in the risk of bleeding. Some common side effects are nausea and stomach upset.

8. Ginkgo Biloba:

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is reported to strengthen blood vessels and improve peripheral circulation. Many herbs have been beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins, and some have undergone extensive scientific study. Ginkgo Biloba varicose veins have the ability to improve blood levels of circulating nitric oxide (1) and improve the dilation of blood vessels

Tips and Precautions:

It could cause potential side effects like nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, stomach pain, and allergic reaction. It also has the potential to react with blood thinners, so one must exercise caution while using this.

9. Horse Chestnut:

The herb horse chestnut (Aesculushippocastanum) is one of the most widely used alternative medicine remedies for varicose veins. Horse chestnut for varicose vein treatment extract results in a significant reduction in leg pain and swelling. It is said that, based on the evidence, horse-chestnut extract has potential as a short-term treatment for chronic venous insufficiency. Horse chestnut seed extract can be prepared as an oral tincture, topical gel, or tablet and useful in reducing swelling, pain, and itchiness.

Tips and Precautions:

FDA has considered the whole horse chestnut as unsafe and that it may lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting headache, circulatory, convulsions, and respiratory failure.

10. Kaishore Guggulu:

Kaishoreguggulu for varicose veins is a marvellous herbal concoction that promotes good health. It can reverse the effects of ageing. Standing for prolonged periods increases pressure on the veins of the legs and causes varicose veins. This has been used in Ayurvedic medicine Today guggul gum resin is used for lowering high cholesterol, arthritis, “hardening of the arteries,” weight loss, and other skin diseases.

Tips and Precautions:

It may cause stomach upset, nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools, belching, and hiccups. It may also lead to allergic reactions such as itching and rash.

11. Exercises:

Physical activity is the first step in home treatment for varicose veins. The more one moves, the better the blood circulates. The main idea is to help the blood that pools in the damaged veins to move back to the heart. Exercises for Varicose Veins especially low-impact exercise helps to improve blood flow and help reverses the unhealthy qualities of varicose veins. Swimming, cycling, walking, yoga, and stretching are all beneficial as they aid in the circulation of the blood. Moderate exercise helps with high blood pressure, which is one of the prime risk factors for varicose vein formation. (2)

Tips and Precautions:
  1. Exercise should be done regularly.
  2. Exercising with a peer group will offer sufficient motivation not to give up exercising.
  3. Keep track of the progress every day.

12. Compression Stocking:

People who suffer from varicose veins have to wear compression stockings. These stockings help in the smooth flow of blood through the veins and also can be worn the whole day during the day. The compression stockings can be removed at night before going to bed.

Tips and Precautions:

Compression stocking works well, except that hot weather can reduce compliance in usage. Ensure that you always remove the compression stockings before going to bed.

13. Shoes:

The choice of one’s footwear plays a vital role in leading to varicose veins. Wearing the right kind of shoes prevents varicose veins. While walking in high heels, a lot of pressure is on the balls of the foot and the toes. This causes less force on the blood going from the calf muscles to the heart. This kind of inefficiency can cause the residual blood to pool in the legs causing varicose and spider veins. If left untreated, the varicose veins can end up in more lead serious health problems such as foot ulcers and leg wounds, which may require complex surgical treatments. Wearing the right type of shoes prevents varicose veins from developing. (3)

Tips and Precautions:

The warning signs to watch out for varicose veins are itching, burning, swelling, and heavy legs. Wearing flatter shoes helps to propel blood from the calf muscle veins to the heart efficiently.

14. Pine Bark:

Pine bark extract is an excellent vein remedy that has high amounts of flavonoids, phenolic acids, and proanthocyanidins that effectively reduce inflammation and varicose veins. It also improves circulation and revives the elasticity and strength of vein walls. At the same, it also reduces leg cramps and pain associated with varicose veins.

Tips and Precautions:

Minor side effects like headaches, stomach upsets and may lower blood pressure in some cases.

15. Witch Hazel:

Witch Hazel has astringent qualities that make it an excellent herb to use topically on varicose veins. It helps to tone, tighten, and shrink visible veins. Witch Hazel helps to restore the vein’s natural elasticity and can help relieve the itching and pain associated with varicose veins. It is very easy to use. Simply apply witch hazel with a cotton ball on the affected areas with an upward motion. Do this 2-3 times a day.

Tips and Precautions

It is generally safe to use and may cause minor skin irritation in some people

Additional Tips to Get Rid of Varicose Veins:

Foods that Benefit Varicose Veins:

Add food for varicose veins that contain flavonoids and magnesium, as it may help shrink varicose veins. Flavonoids improve blood circulation and ensure smooth blood flow. This will prevent the pooling of blood and help reduce blood pressure in the arteries and relax blood vessels. All this helps reduce varicose veins. Foods that contain flavonoids are:

  • Onions
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Drinking pineapple juice is beneficial
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Cabbage for varicose veins
  • Blueberries
  • Cocoa
  • Garlic for varicose veins

Foods to Avoid for Varicose Veins

Among foods to avoid for varicose veins are

  • Refined Carbohydrates or simple carbohydrates must be avoided
  • Sugar and processed foods such as chocolate, cakes, and cookies often contain a high amount of added sugar and lead to poor vein health
  • Alcohol
  • Canned Foods.
  • Salty Foods.

Leech Therapy Used to Cure Varicose Veins:

Research shows that among various methods tried, the leech therapy for varicose veins has been tried for complicated varicose veins. Researchers have tried to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicinal leech therapy for creating venous decongestion, hyperpigmentation, a reversal of edema, and healing of varicose ulcers. Hirudomedicinalis, the medicinal leech was applied to the area surrounding the varicose ulcer. After leech therapy, the ulcers showed healing decrease in swelling, and limb girth. It appears from this study that the medicinal leech sucks out venous blood and aids in ulcer healing, and can probably be used as effective management of complicated varicose veins. (4) Doctors are already using leech therapy to treat ulcers successfully. It is best to undertake this under the advice of a medical professional.

When To Consult Doctor:

The right time to visit your doctor would be when you are faced with these symptoms:

  • Bleeding: This is a dangerous symptom when the pressure inside the vein is higher than normal.
  • Thrombophlebitis: This occurs when the vein becomes enlarged and blood clot forms.
  • Ulcers: If you have varicose veins and have an ulcer that does not heal, then it is the right time to pay your doctor a visit.
  • Swelling and discomfort
  • Rashes

With a lot of advancement, there are plenty of options available for the management of varicose veins. People are more aware of the illeffects of sitting too much. Our ancient tradition of sitting cross-legged has now gravitated to sitting on sofas, couches for prolonged periods. When the holistic approaches and home remedies do not work for varicose veins, do not worry, as there are options like vein ligation and stripping. Further, there is no dearth of newer and less invasive options available too!

Disclaimer: All in information detailed in this article, such as images and treatment methods, be it scientific or holistic approach is aimed at only to create awareness among people. The data is only to gather information and seek the assistance of a medical professional to begin the management of varicose veins. It is mandatory to remember that the results and treatment time may vary from person to person.

FAQs:

1. What Is The Difference Between Spider Veins And Varicose Veins?

Spider veins are tinier blood vessels in appearance. These veins are noticeable through the skin. The spider veins generally seen on the face and the legs. They are external on the skin and a warning sign to an existing underlying problem. Varicose veins are large blood vessels that develop in the legs. They are caused by malfunctioning of the valves in the veins. This causes blood to pool and prevent them from reaching the heart.

2. What Different Options Available To Treat Varicose veins?

Vein ligation/stripping is an invasive procedure where an incision is made in the skin under anaesthesia and the surgeon removes it through the incision. Sclerotherapy is done using a liquid or foam chemical injection to block off a larger vein. Microsclerotherapyis performed using a liquid chemical injection to block off smaller veins. Laser surgery makes use of light energy to block off a vein. Endovenous ablation therapy makes use of heat and radiofrequency waves to block off a vein. Endoscopic vein surgery makes use of a small lighted scope that is inserted through the incision to block off the vein. It is best to seek advice from your doctor as to which treatment will suit you the best.

3. How Effective Are Essential Oils In The Management Of Varicose Veins?

It is always safer to use essential oils diluted with carrier oils before use. The oils can be applied topically to the skin. Essential oils generally do not cause any side effects but may be toxic when ingested, leading to vomiting and nausea. There may be cases where one may be allergic and develop skin irritation or swelling. Some may even develop skin sensitivity on the application of citrus oil topically on the skin. It is safer to exercise caution on the usage of essential oils for varicose veins.

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