When it comes to treating varicose veins, it may seem that only radical surgery can help. Indeed, some cases may be so severe that medical intervention is necessary.
These options range from simple things like medications and compression stockings to expensive surgical techniques or combinations of different therapies.
And these remedies aren’t even permanent! Studies have shown that more than half the patients who receive varicose vein surgery develop some recurrent varicose sites within 10 years of surgery. Worse, some may even suffer nerve injuries.
But before signing your life savings away, take some time to consider an alternative. A NATURAL alternative. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that natural, herb-based remedies work – and can both treat and prevent varicose veins.
And when there’s a way of avoiding surgery and lasers, why wouldn’t you try it?
Varicose veins are generally caused by an underlying disorder that affects the way blood is pumped through the veins.
Natural remedies are designed to treat the root cause of the varicose veins first, rather than “erasing” them externally.
These are the best natural treatments that have been proven to work!
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One of the main causes of varicose veins is sitting or standing for long periods of time. Sitting with your shoulders hunched over or your legs crossed is especially problematic. Being sedentary causes your blood to pool in the lower parts of your body, increasing the pressure on the veins. It’s also more difficult for your veins to work against gravity in sending blood back to your heart.
Over time, this can cause the walls of the veins to weaken.
Regular exercise is the simplest and most effective way to improve circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. Burning extra calories also helps to keep your weight in check, which makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.
Then there’s the fact that exercise can help to balance hormones – especially in women – which further reduces the risk of varicose veins from developing.
The specific exercises for preventing varicose veins (as recommended by health experts) include leg lifts, calf raises, bicycle legs and side lunges. These help to strengthen and stretch the veins around the legs.
Daily cardiovascular activity such as walking, jogging, swimming or bicycling, are also great for maintaining healthy blood circulation and reducing the ‘pooling’ of blood in the veins.
Lose Excess Weight
As with most health conditions, excess weight only makes things worse. Carrying a few more pounds than you should increases your risk of developing varicose veins cause extra weight puts more pressure on your veins. Excess fat also increases inflammatory chemicals in the body, especially in the larger superficial veins in your legs.
Unfortunately, those who are overweight may be less likely to notice their varicose veins until it’s too late. It’s only when the veins become inflamed and painful that they realize something’s wrong. By this stage, their varicose veins may be up to 4-5 cm long.
Losing weight is different for everyone. The most effective way to drop a few pounds is to make some lifestyle changes – particularly with regards to diet and exercise. It may help to consult a nutritionist or personal trainer to help with getting on track. Check this 30-Minute Massage to get a Fit Body.
Try Essential Oils
Far from just perfuming the air, essential oils harbor powerful medicinal properties that can be hugely beneficial for varicose veins. It’s just a matter of knowing which ones to use.
A number of essential oils are known to be circulatory stimulants: that is, they help to improve blood flow. This is key for preventing blood from stagnating or pooling in the lower legs. An added bonus to many of these essential oils is their ability to reduce inflammation in the body and bring hormones back into balance.
One essential oil often recommended for treating varicose veins is cypress oil. Cypress is a well-known circulatory stimulant that can help blood move around the body more efficiently. Ginger, peppermint, and lavender are also gentle but effective for improving circulation.
Health practitioners recommend using 100% pure essential oil. Dilute the essential oil by adding a few drops to a carrier oil such as coconut or sweet almond, then massage into the problem area. Apply at least twice daily for several weeks.
Cut Out Inflammatory Foods
Our modern lives are full of foods that can increase inflammation in the body: sugar, alcohol, trans fats, caffeine, and processed foods. The more of these you encounter each day, the higher the number of inflammatory chemicals in your bloodstream. These chemicals are extremely damaging to the veins and arteries, causing the delicate walls of the veins to swell, weaken and lose their stability.
Inflammation can also contribute to poor circulation, elevated blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, and even weight gain.
And let’s not forget that high amounts of sodium in the diet can also increase blood pressure, forcing the veins to work even harder.
Fortunately, there’s a huge range of anti-inflammatory foods that can help to counteract this damage. These include:
Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants work by neutralizing the free radicals we’re exposed to every day (from stress, pollution, chemicals) and preventing the oxidative damage they cause to cells. The foods that contain the highest amounts of antioxidants include brightly-colored fruits and vegetables such as berries, leafy greens, pomegranates, and citrus. These foods are also good sources of vitamins C and E, both of which help to repair cells and reduce inflammation. Check this article regarding Anti-Aging Food.
Healthy fats: Foods high in Omega 3 are the best for bringing down inflammation and swelling. Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential component of the cell wall, and eating more of them can help to nourish and rejuvenate damaged tissues. Foods high in Omega 3 include wild-caught oily fish such as sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel; plant foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocado; oils such as olive, coconut and chia seed. See here – which sugar-based products are healthy.
Certain herbs have been shown to help improve blood pressure, circulation and reduce water retention. For varicose veins, the two most important circulatory herbs are bilberry and horse chestnut: both of which have been used for centuries to treat this exact problem and have now been proven effective in several scientific studies.
Bilberry and horse chestnut help to reduce venous insufficiency (poor blood flow in the veins) that can lead to pain, swelling, itching, cramping and a general heaviness in the lower legs. Clinical trials of horse chestnut, in particular, has been shown to significantly reduce varicose veins.
These herbs also help to reduce fluid retention that causes further pressure on the veins, as well as boosting overall circulation.
Both bilberry and horse chestnut extracts can be taken as concentrated supplements. These are available in a standardized form in good health stores.
Sometimes, the most effective solutions are also the most simple. If you don’t fancy the pain and expense of surgical treatments, at least try these first!