Although they may not be able to actually remove unwanted varicose veins, a number of natural varicose vein treatments and remedies have been shown to reduce the symptoms of this often painful condition. Such dietary and herbal treatments may not be universally effective, but many are recommended by health care providers, and some have even had their efficacy verified by clinical studies.
Dietary Choices Benefit Health and Veins
There are a number of dietary choices people suffering from painful varicose veins can make to help support vascular health and avoid aggravating the existing varicose veins in a natural way.
- Increasing fiber intake can help digestive health as well as reduce the pressure put on varicose veins. Constipation can cause excessive pressure in the pelvic area and the valves within major veins. Also, straining is a leading cause of hemorrhoids, a venous condition related to varicose veins. Choosing foods with high fiber contents, like whole grains, vegetables, and certain fruits, can help reduce constipation.
- Adding additional amounts of vitamin C to the diet can ensure that blood vessels are getting the support they need. Vitamin C has been shown to help support vein structure and overall health. Incorporating fruits high in vitamin C into the diet, or taking recommended amounts of a vitamin supplement are both beneficial.
- Bioflavonoids are thought by some to strengthen vein walls due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Grapeseed extract is a readily available supplement that seems particularly effective in promoting vein health.
Take Action: Natural Home Treatments
Lifestyle choices can play a large role in developing varicose veins, and they can also help to alleviate symptoms.
- Compresses are sometimes used by people experiencing pain and throbbing sensations in the legs due to varicose veins. Cool-water soaked compresses help reduce swelling in the area applied. Aromatic compresses, soaked in witch hazel and other essential oils, are thought to sooth the affected area and induce an astringent effect, causing surface veins to contract and reduce swelling.
- Hot and cold baths are used by some who find that soaking their legs first in a warm, then cool water bath helps reduce pain and improve circulation in legs afflicted with varicose veins. Essential oils and other aromatic ingredients can be added to the baths for added relaxation and therapy.
- Simply lying horizontally on a couch or bed can be helpful in reducing pressure in the legs. If the feet are elevated on pillows to rest a few inches above the level of the heart, the blood is encouraged to drain back towards the body which releases pressure on the veins and valves in the legs.
What an Herbalist Might Say
There are many herbal treatments available that are thought to encourage good circulation and fortify vascular health. The most popular have had the highest success rates, and some have even had clinical studies performed to evaluate their effectiveness.
- Horse chestnut seed extract, called aescin, is known to strengthen the walls of veins so they are less likely to soften and bulge, and also reduces the inflammation, pain, and heaviness associated with venous conditions. It can be used internally and externally to achieve these effects.
- Pycnogenol is another herbal supplement that has been used to treat symptoms associated with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. Derived from pine bark extract, Pycnogenol contains flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Butcher's broom is a varicose vein treatment that, when applied both externally and internally, is thought to strengthen vein walls and act as a mild laxative, which also helps reduce inflammation in veins in the legs and pelvic area.
With any natural varicose vein treatment it is vital to communicate with your physician your current medical health and any changes you are considering to your health care. The treatments discussed above should be fully disclosed to protect your health and gain the valuable recommendations a health care provider can give. These natural varicose vein treatments can be used to manage the symptoms of those suffering from varicose veins, and to encourage overall vascular health.
Reviewed February 7, 2017