Varicose veins is the condition in which the veins of legs and calves get enlarged and twisted due to blockage or prolonged pressure. The swollen veins appear close to the surface of the skin. The factors which can aggravate this condition include obesity, standing or sitting for long hours, menopause, constipation, use of birth control pills, abdominal tumors, prior groin surgery, liver diseases, etc. The symptoms of the disease are leg cramps, itching, leg sores, restlessness, swelling, heaviness in the legs, tingling, throbbing or burning sensation, fatigue, and pain. Opting for surgical or medical treatments can take a toll on your pocket. Here are some inexpensive home remedies for varicose veins which you can try to reduce the discomfort.
Home Remedies for Varicose Veins
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best treatments for varicose veins. It improves blood flow in our body and also cleanses it. Take a bandage or a gauge and dip it in the apple cider vinegar. Apply it to the affected area.
- Or else, apply ACV on your leg and gently massage it in upward direction.
- Alternatively, take a glass of water and add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to it. You can also add honey to it. Drink this twice a day for at least one month for better results.
2. Cayenne Pepper
To ease the pain, use cayenne pepper. It is rich in bioflavonoid and vitamin C which helps in better blood flow. Add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper powder to a glass of warm water. Have this daily, 3 times a day for a few months.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is very essential for repairing damaged blood vessels. Massaging with this oil improves the circulation of blood. Just take a little oil and heat it. Massage this hot oil gently to your legs or the affected area in upward motion. Do this twice, everyday. You can also mix vitamin E oil with olive oil for effective results.
This is one of the best home remedies for varicose veins. Garlic reduces inflammation and maintains proper blood circulation in the body. Add as much garlic in your diet as you can.
- You can directly apply the paste prepared by blending a few garlic cloves on the leg to reduce the pain and swelling.
- Alternatively, take 6-7 garlic cloves and slice them. Put them in a clean container. To this, add juice of 2-3 oranges and 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Let it rest for a day. The following day, take the container and shake it well. Take a little amount of solution and rub it on the affected area and massage gently. Wrap it with a cloth or a gauge afterwards. Repeat this process daily for a few months to notice changes.
5. Citrus Fruits
Eat citrus fruits such as oranges, lemon, etc., that contain diosmin and hesperidin. These compounds provide strength to the capillaries and support lymphatic flow in the veins, thus giving you relief.
Cabbage is well-off in vitamin A, B, C, E, K, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, and lots more. The sulfur content in this veggie destroys ferment in the blood. All you need to do is take a cabbage and put it in a blender. Add enough water to make a paste. Apply the resultant paste on your veins and cover the area with a cloth or bandage. After 1 or 2 hours, remove the bandage or cloth and wash off.
7. Bay Leaves and Olive Oil
Olive oil is a natural lubricant and bay leaves contain lots of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for treating ache, swelling, and blisters caused by varicosities. All you need to do is mix 3-4 bay leaves with 4-5 tbsp of olive oil. Heat the mixture for some time so that the properties of bay leaves get infused in the oil. Let it cool down and strain afterwards. Apply this on the affected area twice a day, regularly.
You can use both green and red tomatoes for the treatment of varicose vein. You will need 1 or 2 tomatoes (depending on the size of the affected area) and bandage. Cut the tomatoes in thin round slices. Place it over the painful veins. Tie a bandage over it and let it be there for 4-5 hours. Do this every day for a few weeks to cure the pain naturally.
9. Epsom Salt Bath
Take some Epsom salt and mix it in warm bath water. Bathe with this water or soak your legs for sometime in the water. This helps improve blood circulation in the body and hence, reduces the pain and inflammation.
10. Fuller Earth’s Pack
This remedy does not treat varicose vein but provides relief in swelling and inflammation. To make a pack, just take 2-3 tbsp (or more, according to the size of the affected area) of fuller’s earth powder and add enough water to make a paste. Apply a thick layer of it on the affected part. Leave it to dry. Once it dries, wash it off.
11. Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential for strengthening the vascular system. A diet which includes proteins and vitamins (especially C and K) helps in the proper flow of the oxygenated blood. Also, add a wide variety of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits in your daily diet.
12. Ice Pack
To reduce the swelling and ease inflammation, just apply ice on the affected area. Wrap some pieces of ice in a towel or cloth and rub it gently over the swollen part for some time. Repeat this twice or thrice a day, daily.
13. Hot and Cold Compress
Apply alternate hot and cold compress on your legs to get relief from swelling. For this, you can either use compression bags. If they are not available, just use old plastic bottles.
- Alternatively, take two buckets and fill them with cold and hot water respectively. Soak your legs in each of them for 20-30 minutes. You can also add salt to it, to reduce the pain.
14. Feet Exercises
Exercises are always good for health. There are many workouts that you can try at home for maintaining proper blood flow in the veins. Rotate your feet in clockwise and anticlockwise directions for a few minutes. Do this with both legs alternatively.
- Or else, move your leg up and down while sitting on a chair. The contraction will ease out the pain and provide relief.
- Take a few pillows and put them under your leg. Sleep in this position to reduce the swelling and to aid proper blood flow.
- Exercises such as cycling, jogging, and swimming may also help.
15. Sitting Position
Improper sitting posture is also responsible for varicose veins. In order to get relief from this condition, choose the correct chair that fits your body and does not compress blood vessel.
- Don’t sit in cross-legged position for too long.
- Don’t sit at a particular place and in the same position for a long duration. If you can’t avoid this, do stretching in between to maintain the blood flow.
Tight clothes restrict the blood flow to your heart increasing the chances of accumulation of deoxygenated blood in your body parts. So, wear loose clothes.
Don’t wear high-heeled shoes as they levy more stress on the legs. Instead, wear shoes with low heels which help better circulation. You can also wear shoes that can be easily opened or loosened whenever required.
18. Compression Stockings
There are special compression stockings available to treat varicose vein. You can get these from doctor or any medical shop. These stockings are designed in such a way that they help improve blood circulation by applying more pressure on your lower leg than on thighs. You can opt from the different varieties of stockings such as below the knee, mid-thigh, waist high, etc.
19. Shed the Weight
As mentioned earlier, obesity may also contribute to varicose veins. The body of obese people can’t effectively pump the blood back to heart for oxygenation. The strain on blood vessels of such person is also greater than the person with proper weight. So, it is essential to lose weight in order to treat and cure the ailment.
Herbal Remedies for the Treatment of Varicose Veins
Massaging with rosemary oil can help alleviate the discomfort of varicose veins. It will also enhance the blood circulation in the body. Take a little oil on your fingers and massage gently in upward circular motion. Do this every day for a few weeks.
- You can also add rosemary oil to your food.
21. Gotu Kola
This herb is rich in a compound called triterpenes, which is the best cure for the varicose veins. It stimulates the development of connective tissues that consist of collagen. To consume this, you can prepare an infusion by adding 1 tbsp of dried gotu kola leaves to 1 cup of hot water. Let it brew for 10 minutes. Strain afterwards and drink this 2 to 3 times daily.
Note: Consult a doctor before consuming this infusion if you are suffering from any liver disorder.
This herb is rich in vitamin C which is required for collagen formation and for repairing the damaged blood vessels. Parsley is also rich in an element called rutin, which strengthens the capillaries. Take a handful of parsley leaves and roughly chop them. Put them in one cup of water and boil it for 5-8 minutes. Allow it to cool and strain the solution. Add rose essential oil to it. Dip a cotton swab in it and apply on the affected area. Do this twice a day for several months for best results.
- You can also drink this infusion once a day.
23. Aloe Vera
This is another ingredient that helps ease out the condition of varicose veins. Just apply the aloe vera gel directly on your leg and massage for some time. Do this daily for several days for positive result.
- You can also mix apple cider vinegar to it and massage in the same way.
This flower is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids. It also improves blood circulation, thereby helping in varicose vein. You can either directly eat the petals after washing them or prepare a decoction by boiling the petals in a cup of water. Let it cool down and then soak a cloth in it. Squeeze the excess water and apply the cloth to the affected area. This will provide relief in pain and reduce the swelling. Do this every day for 4-5 weeks.
25. Horse Chestnut Seed
This seed possesses anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It helps alleviate the pain and swelling caused due to improper blood flow. It has a compound called aescin that is essential for improving the strength of veins. You can apply its gel on the affected area once or twice a day, regularly.
- Alternatively, boil 50 gm of horse chestnut bark in 1 liter of water. After 10 minutes, turn off the flame and strain it. When it comes down to room temperature, sip it slowly.
- Or else, you can take supplements after consulting a doctor.
- If you are suffering from any kidney disorder, nausea, gastrointestinal problem or if you are pregnant, then do not consume horse chestnut seeds.
- It should not be consumed in raw, unprocessed form and tea cannot be prepared as it contains a type of poison which can be harmful.
Grapes can be used in different forms for the treatment of this ailment.
- Grape seeds, being rich in vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, etc., help alleviate the varicose veins naturally. One of the most important compound in grape seed is OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes) which increases the elasticity of the capillary walls. You can either chew the seeds or can make a fine powder and add it to your food.
- Massage grape seed oil on the affected area. This will provide strength to the capillaries and improve blood circulation.
- The leaves of this fruit are also beneficial for a person suffering from varicose veins. Take a handful of grape leaves and boil them in 5-6 cups of water (enough to soak your legs). Let it boil for some time. When it comes to room temperature, soak your legs in it for 10-15 minutes. Do this every day for a month or two.
27. Pine Bark
Pine bark contains antioxidants that provide strength to capillaries and also enhance blood circulation in the veins. It is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the burning sensation and swelling. For making its extract, take some fresh pine bark, water, and cheesecloth. First of all, boil at least 8 cups of water. Meanwhile, wash the bark. When water starts boiling, add pine bark, and simmer it until the water is reduced to half. Use cheesecloth to strain. Store the solution in a bottle. Consume 50-100mg of this extract, three times a day.
Note: You should consult a doctor before consuming the pine bark extract.
28. Essential Oil Compress
To treat any kind of pain using oil compress, it is important that right oils are mixed and in a correct ratio. To make an essential oil compress for varicose veins, you need to mix 3 drops each of chamomile oil, carrot seed oil, and lavender oil. To this, add one cup of water. Soak a piece of cloth in the mixture. Squeeze and place it on the affected area for some time. It will help reduce the itching and inflammation. For better results, use this remedy daily.
29. Helichrysum Essential Oil
This is one of the best natural remedies for varicose veins. The oil is derived from its flowers. The oil is anticoagulant and possesses anesthetic and antispasmodic properties. Just take 2-3 drops of the oil on your finger tips and massage it on to the affected area in an upward direction. This will ensure proper blood flow in the legs and thus, provide relief in the condition.
30. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel strengthens the blood vessels. It possesses astringent properties and is rich in gallic acid that reduces swelling caused by varicose veins. Take a piece of cloth or gauge, and dip it in the witch hazel. Squeeze out the excess and place it on the affected area for several minutes. Repeat this process two to three times a day, every day until you notice the results.
31. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort can be used externally as well as internally. You can have its infusion or can apply it topically in the form of salves, oil, etc. This herb reduces ache and discomfort caused by varicose veins.
Note: It should be used in fresh form as the medicinal properties are lost if it is air-dried.
32. Prickly Ash
The bark of this plant is rich in tannins, alkaloids, etc. that improves blood circulation and provides relief in the ache. Mix the tincture of prickly ash in any ointment and apply it on the affected area.
- Do not consume it internally if you have gastrointestinal problems or if you are on a medication.
- You can also consume its tea after consulting a doctor.
33. Butcher’s Broom
This is another natural remedy that cures varicose veins effectively. It is rich in vitamin C, B, calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc. The most important compound called uscogenin in this herb is essential for reducing inflammation in the veins. It also possesses anti-elastase properties which aid in constriction of the veins. This herb can be consumed in the form of supplement, 100mg, 3 times a day.
Note: This herb should not be consumed without prior approval of a doctor if you are suffering from prostate hyperplasia or high blood pressure.
34. Bilberry Extract
Bilberry extract is another wonderful herb for varicose veins. This extract is rich in anthocyanosides, which is essential to provide strength to capillary walls and maintain the collagen. To cure varicose vein, add a little of this extract in your tea and have it daily. You can consume 20-30mg of this extract daily or as prescribed by the doctor.
- Alternatively, consume the fresh berries.
Note: If you are consuming pine bark or taking any blood thinning medicine, avoid the consumption of bilberry.
- Keep a check on your weight.
- Eat a diet that is high in fiber.
- Do not have excessive hot baths.
- Don’t stand for long periods of time.
- Avoid sugar, ice creams, cheese, etc.
- Don’t scratch the itchy skin.