Along with the hot weather of summer comes the swimsuits and shorts, leaving many people self-conscious of varicose veins. The bluish and raised veins can cause achy legs as well. While an estimated 60 percent of the population has varicose veins, their commonality may not bring much comfort to those suffering from the condition. Fortunately there are some excellent natural remedies that prevent or treat varicose veins without painful injections or other costly or invasive procedures. Here are five of my top picks:
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a longstanding traditional herbal remedy for varicose veins. It contains a naturally-occurring substance that thins the blood and makes it difficult for fluid to leak out of veins. It comes in capsules and liquid extract forms, both of which can be highly effective.to prevent varicose veins. It seems to work by improving circulation. Avoid products which list Aesculus californica or aesculus glabra since they are also sometimes called horse chestnut, but are actually different plants. Also avoid eating horse chestnuts in their raw form as they are poisonous. The research-proven dose is 300 mg of horse chestnut with 50 mg of the active ingredient aescin, twice daily.
Citrus Fruit Extract
Known as diosmin, this citrus fruit extract has been found to reduce the appearance and achiness of varicose veins in only 30 days. It is regularly-prescribed natural remedy for varicose veins in Europe. It works by toning and tightening blood vessels so fluids are less likely to pool in tissues and in the veins themselves. The study-proven dose is 600mg of diosmin once a day.
Small twigs of this North American tree or shrub are distilled to create a witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) liquid solution that is not only effective for cleaning cuts and wounds, it is also a traditional remedy for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and other indicators of circulatory problems. It contains antioxidants and other naturally-occurring compounds that are proven to be effective against varicose veins. Simply apply witch hazel with cotton balls or cotton pads to the affected areas at least twice daily to help shrink varicose veins and to help alleviate swelling and tenderness.
A cross between blackberries and raspberries, these berries strengthen blood vessels, making them an excellent addition to help fight varicose veins as well as heart disease. They contain a natural compound known as rutin, which strengthens capillaries and improves circulation. Rutin has been shown to relieve aching and swelling linked to varicose veins. Eat at least half a cup on a daily basis to obtain sufficient amounts of rutin to help heal varicose veins.
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens
Spinach and leafy greens are among the highest sources of vitamin K, a nutrient that is essential for strong and healthy blood vessels. Strong blood vessels mean that varicose veins are less likely to occur. It also helps strengthen veins that are already damaged, helping them to heal over time. Enjoy at least a cup or two of spinach or other leafy green to obtain sufficient vitamin K to help prevent or heal varicose veins.