Varicose veins are a common but annoying problem which affect about 50% of people in the U.S. Specifically, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 50 to 55% of women and 40 to 45% of men are affected by some type of vein problems; varicose veins affect 50% of people older than 50. [S]
Varicose veins are ugly and represent a much-hated cosmetic issue. These bulging veins can leave you feeling insecure and stop you from showing off your legs.
However, the good news is that varicose veins can be treated quite easily. In fact, there are a number of different courses of treatment possible, including using natural remedies which are helpful for relieving varicose veins as well as swollen feet and ankles.
These natural treatments will help your legs look young and beautiful again if you are constant with the application.
What Causes Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are large and unattractive veins near the surface of the skin, usually in the thighs and calves. They can be painful and make it difficult to stand for long periods of time, causing fatigue, restlessness, throbbing or tingling in the legs.
Varicose veins are caused by veins developing weaker walls or valves which are not functioning properly and are therefore inefficient at regulating blood flow.
This may be due to hereditary reasons, weight gain, birth control, working in a position which requires standing for extended periods of time and hormonal changes due to pregnancy and menopause.
How to Treat Them
Varicose veins can be treated both medically and surgically, although the removal can be quite expensive. Your doctor can advise you on a suitable course of action for varicose veins, once they have been diagnosed.
However, if they’re not causing any pain, it might be a good idea to leave the varicose veins alone and continue with regular check-ups, while opting for natural solutions.
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Some Effective Home Remedies for Varicose Veins
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to be beneficial for many things, from detoxing and weight loss to skincare. It’s a great natural product which improves circulation and blood flow and is therefore effective in targeting the swelling, heaviness, and throbbing of varicose veins.
Gently massaging varicose veins is a good way to improve circulation; apple cider vinegar can help make the massage even more effective.
Apply unfiltered and undiluted apple cider vinegar on the areas affected by varicose veins and massage the area with care. Doing this every day before bedtime and when you wake up will help you reduce the size of varicose veins over the course of just a few months.
2. Horse Chestnut
Horse chestnuts and their seeds, in particular, are favorites for the treatment of varicose veins all over the world. Horse chestnut has been used and researched since the 1960s to fight varicose veins, as the anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effect, it seems to have is useful in improving circulation and reducing edema, as well as the appearance and thickness of varicose veins.
Horse chestnut seed extract is effective thanks to a compound it contains named aescin; this compound improves the elasticity of veins and prevents damage to capillary walls.
Gels, pills and other forms of supplements are easily available; if you prefer an external topical use, opt for the gel and use it twice a day regularly. The constant application will significantly help you reduce pain and swelling in your legs, making your legs feel lighter.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper and other spices, such as curry, increase blood circulation and appetite control. Furthermore, cayenne pepper is rich in flavonoids and vitamin C, essential nutrients which protect the blood vessel walls from free radical damage.
This keeps them healthier and more elastic, reducing the appearance of varicose veins. Cayenne pepper also contains a potent substance called capsaicin, which is a great help for varicose veins as it is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
In this case, it is better to take cayenne pepper orally; simply mix a small amount of cayenne pepper – maximum one teaspoon – in a cup of warm water daily. However, if you prefer, even topical application of cayenne pepper extract or capsaicin can help blood circulation, relieving soreness and fatigue in your legs.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is easy to find and inexpensive, and chances are you already have it in the house anyway. As increasing blood circulation is an essential aspect in the treatment of varicose veins, a gentle olive oil massage twice a day can help increase circulation while reducing pain and inflammation thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil.
To make this remedy super effective, combine olive oil with garlic, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, considered a sort of natural antibiotic. Slice up a few garlic cloves and combine them with freshly squeezed orange juice and two tablespoons of olive oil in a glass jar. Then let the mixture sit for about 12 hours before applying it to the skin. Only a few drops are needed to massage the swollen veins for about 15 minutes. The smell might not be amazing, but the combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients and vitamin C is sure to give results if you repeat the massage daily for a few months.
5. Essential Oils
Specific essential oils, such as chamomile, lavender or rosemary essential oil, are soothing and helpful in relieving swelling and heaviness resulting from engorged veins, as they have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Especially, if you are on your feet for extended periods of time, essential oils can represent an effective solution. Mix your oil of choice with a neutral organic massage oil, such as coconut or almond oil and massage onto your legs before going to bed.
You can also make a warm compress by dipping a cloth in warm water and adding a few drops – no more than five or six – of the essential oils; place the compress on the swollen area for immediate relief. To strengthen the remedy, you can also add a few drops of your essential oils of choice in your bathwater.
Persistence Is the Key
As with all natural cures, it’s essential to keep applying the chosen remedy for weeks and sometimes months in order to reap the benefits. Try to commit to the application at least once a day, if possible twice.
In order to make your cure even more effective, remember to keep moving and exercise frequently. Don’t stand or sit still for extended periods of time, and make sure to include a form of exercise which is good for blood circulation in your daily routine, such as swimming or walking.