Varicose veins are a common problem in which abnormally enlarged veins appear close to the skin’s surface. In addition to being unsightly, varicose veins can be quite painful. They usually occur in the calves and thighs when the veins develop weakened walls or poorly functioning valves, which regulate blood flow. Common factors contributing to varicose veins are heredity, occupations that require a lot of standing, obesity, use of birth control pills, constipation and hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
There are some self-care measures or remedies you can take to decrease the discomfort that varicose veins can cause. These same measures can help prevent or slow the development of varicose veins, as well. They include:
Garlic is an excellent herb for reducing inflammation and the symptoms of varicose veins. It also helps break up harmful toxins in the blood vessels and improve circulation.
How to use: 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.
Witch hazel is a very effective herb for strengthening blood vessels and hence can reduce symptoms of varicose veins. Apart from being an astringent, it also contains gallic acid and several essential oils that can help reduce the swelling as well as the pain.
Remedy 1: 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.
Remedy 2: 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.
Loaded with vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and the antioxidants oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs), grape seeds can get you rid of varicose veins. They protect capillaries, veins and even arteries from free radical damage along with enhancing the performance of vitamin C which is essential for collagen formation. They also increase the tone and elasticity of capillary walls. This makes capillary walls more resistant to haemorrhages, ruptures and infection.
How to use: There is no known damage if you chew on the grape seeds other than that it will make your mouth bitter tasting. You can also make powder of these seeds of grapes and add it to your soups etc.
If you do not like the idea of consuming grape seed extract, you can massage with the grape seed oil. You need 3 tbsp grapeseed oil and jojoba oil. Mix these oils and gently warm it up by rubbing between your palms. Now gently massage your legs, ankles or the area with varicose veins. Use upward strokes, from feet to the top of your legs.
Parsley is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that encourages the production of collagen and aids in cell repair and reproduction. It also contains rutin, which plays a key role in strengthening the capillaries and hence is very useful in reducing symptoms of varicose veins.
How to use: 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.