Varicose veins, abnormally enlarged veins under the skin, can occur in both men and women at any age. Usually, they appear on the calves and thighs as a result of weakened walls and under functioning valves.
It is estimated around 60 percent of people worldwide will suffer from varicose veins, though women are more likely to suffer from them. Varicose veins can be ugly and painful but for women it is a cosmetic concern, especially because they appear on the calves, the part of the leg most like to be shown in the summer months. The reason for the bruise-coloured scary appearance is because the blood needs to be properly pumped back up to the heart and it is not, so the blood pools into the same weakened part of the vein system, hence the look.
Whilst the usual treatment for the worst cases can be surgery, most doctors suggest treatment are compression socks, cold baths and exercise (all of which can work over a long period of time to a limited extent) which can be very effective for easing the pain and reducing the appearance of swelling.
Planetfem is a great advocate of the more natural strategy and we have found some alternative suggestions which might help to not only improve the appearance of the varicose veins you already have, but that also might help to reduce the chances of new ones forming. Bear in mind, as with all treatments it might take a while to see improvements, so choose a suggestion and stick with it for a few months. If you notice some improvement, continue with it, if not, try another one.
Regardless of the treatment, you must get plenty of aerobic and strength training exercise to keep your veins healthy and to support the venous system and structure.
Maintain a healthy weight. Often varicose veins are the result of obesity though even pregnant women suffer from them too.
Try Grape seed extract according to Living Green, the French use this treatment commonly for varicose veins because grape seed extract is rich in an antioxidant which is important to the elasticity and health of veins. It also aids the reduction of fluid leakage, a cause of leg swelling.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural body cleanser which improves blood flow and circulation. Apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on the skin over the varicose veins and gently massage the area. Pour it on the skin at night and again every morning, drink it in water twice a day and hopefully you will see a difference within a month. Butcher’s Broom
Butcher’s Broom. This supplement comes from the roots and seeds of the plant. Also called thorny ruscus, it contains compounds called ruscogenins which work to reduce inflammation while constricting the veins. It is said to help tighten, strengthen and decrease inflammation while improving blood flow. Take 100 mg of butcher’s broom three times a day.
Note: People who suffer from high blood pressure or have a condition called benign prostate hyperplasia should not take this herb without consulting a medical practitioner.
Witch Hazel is an astringent containing gallic acid. It can help to reduce the swelling of varicose veins if you soak your legs with a witch hazel bath for at least 15 minutes twice a day, for a couple of months at least.
source: Living Green
photo credit: OHSU