Spider veins refer to a web of enlarged blue or red veins (1) that start spreading in the legs with aging. Just like varicose veins, spider veins too are dilated blood vessels, but closer to the skin and smaller. Often, spider veins are found behind the knees, but their appearance can be seen anywhere on the body. While these veins don’t cause any medical problems as such, you can eliminate them for cosmetic or medical reasons with procedures like sclerotherapy and laser treatment (2). The main cause of spider veins is increased pressure on the veins. The exact cause is still not known, but doctors say that the problem is hereditary. It is said that people who stand for long hours such as teachers or nurses get extreme pressure on legs, due to which spider veins are developed. A patchwork of blue and red veins appears on the skin and apart from that, people also experience tiredness in the legs, feeling of heaviness in the legs, and swelling in the legs. Given below are various effective home remedies for spider veins in legs and other areas. So, if you are wondering how to cure spider veins naturally, read through the article.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar for spider veins has been an effective remedy as it can treat varicosity (3). With Apple Cider Vinegar, blood circulation to the area is increased, thereby diminishing the appearance of spider veins. Soak a cloth in apple cider vinegar and use it as a compress. Apply it to that part where you have spider veins. Do it twice or thrice daily for a month.
- Alternatively, dilute 2-3 tsp of ACV in a cup of water. You can add honey for a better taste. Drink it before the meals to cure spider veins.
Ginger helps you get rid of spider veins. Usually, with ‘Fibrin’, a blood protein, veins become prominent and visible. Ginger contains active ingredient gingerol (4) which naturally breaks up fibrin, thereby, diminish spider veins. It also brings about an improvement in blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. Ginger is known to have a blood thinning effect too. To make ginger tea, take grated ginger and add it to boiling water. Strain it and have 3-4 times a day.
3. Cayenne Pepper
This is a traditional remedy which is used for treating spider veins by boosting circulation of blood (5). It contains capsaicin, which is useful for circulation and pain relief. Consumption of capsaicin expands blood vessels and reduces pressure on the capillaries. Capsaicin is also a catalyst which boosts the strength of other herbs. For instance, when Ginkgo biloba is used in combination with Cayenne pepper, it is 75% more effective. The reason is that cayenne brings about improvement in the circulation of blood and provides essential nutrients at a faster rate. Add one tsp of cayenne pepper to a cup of water. Stir properly to mix well. Consume it thrice a day for two to three months.
4. Mustard and Coconut Oil
Mustard oil for spider veins has always proven its effectiveness, especially if a good oil massage is done. With massage, circulation of blood is improved (6), thereby, spider veins are prevented. Coconut oil and mustard oil help strengthen the valves and stimulate the circulation of blood. Coconut oil heals capillaries by penetrating deep into the skin. Warm the oil, take some on your palms and apply it to the area affected by spider veins. Massage the area gently. While massaging, the strokes should be kept towards the heart’s direction for improving the circulation of blood.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
People who are overweight have a tendency of developing spider veins. Excess body weight puts a lot of pressure on veins and contributes to reflux or inflammation, especially in saphenous veins, the largest superficial veins in your legs. Many studies have developed a connection between spider veins and obesity and say that losing weight can help prevent the disease from getting worse (7). So if you are wondering how to reduce spider veins on legs naturally, exercise regularly to shed off those extra pounds. Jogging or going to the gym will help you cut down on your weight, thereby, preventing the risk of spider veins.
Consume foods rich in bioflavonoids, which are powerful anti-oxidants that are known for having anti-inflammatory properties (8), thereby, keeping the vein walls strong. Even the structural integrity of vascular walls are protected. Pycnogenol improves vascular health (9). Usually, it is found in pine bark and can be availed from health stores easily. Grapefruits also supply the necessary bioflavonoids for treating spider veins.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known for improving production of proteins such as elastin and collagen. Collagen is the building block of blood vessels, and both elastin and collagen keep the vein walls strong and flexible. Moreover, Vitamin C also strengthens the capillaries. Vitamin C also contains high amounts of bioflavonoids which help deal with inflammation. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are cauliflower, red peppers, and citrus fruits such as lemon and orange.
8. Vitamin B
Vitamin B keeps the veins strong and prevents the occurrence of spider veins. It is essential to include vitamin B12 and folic acid in your daily diet, particularly, if you are suffering from spider veins or blood clots (11). Vitamin B3 has shown its effectiveness in bringing an improvement in the circulation of blood to the veins. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, liver, and beef are vitamin B rich foods.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a group of antioxidant-rich and fat-soluble compounds (12). These antioxidants fight free radicals which damage the health of cells. These anti-oxidants also repair and protect the damaged veins. When the body gets sufficient vitamin E, it protects the cell membranes and skin, apart from giving strength to capillaries. You should consume green veggies, nuts and seeds, wheat germ oil, and vegetable oils that are rich in vitamin E.
Including fiber in the diet is essential while curing spider veins. Fiber provides relief from constipation which puts excessive pressure on the veins (13). With this pressure, veins are weakened, and it further leads to the back flow of blood and swelling. However, with consumption of fibrous foods, mainly insoluble fiber, the stools are softened. Removing waste from the body becomes easier without exerting undue pressure. Foods that are rich in fiber include oats, carrots, berries, peas, beans, and flaxseed.
11. Magnesium-rich Foods
Blood pressure, leg cramps, and blood pooling problems are an indication of deficiencies in electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium (14) (15). For overcoming these symptoms, intake foods rich in magnesium i.e. bananas, avocados, almonds, peanuts, and leafy greens.
12. Cabbage poultice
Cabbage poultice is a very effective home treatment for spider veins. It contains many nutritious components such as vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and vitamin A along with potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, and sulfur which are extremely beneficial for maintaining overall health. The high sulfur content of these veggies (16) destroys ferments in the blood that otherwise cause infection and ulcers. To prepare the poultice, chop the cabbage finely and add water to it to make a paste. Apply it to the affected areas. Wrap a linen cloth over it to hold the paste in place and let the skin breathe as well. Leave it for a couple of hours and then, wash off with water. Do it twice or thrice daily to see the results
- Or, Wash a cabbage and cut off the stiff midrib from it. Place it on the affected parts after straightening the leaf. Wait until it gets dry. Replace the leaf after that.
13. Olive Oil
Olive oil improves overall health significantly. Rub olive oil on the areas affected with spider veins. The mixture of rich organic compounds in olive oil soothes pain and inflammation (17). Moreover, the oil also stimulates repair of degraded or injured blood vessels or capillaries. Mix equal amounts of vitamin E oil and olive oil and heat it slightly. Do a gentle massage with this warm mixture on the affected areas for several minutes. Repeat it twice a day for a couple of months to get relief from spider veins.
- Alternatively, add four drops of cypress essential oil to 2 tsp of warm olive oil. Massage with this mixture to cure the disorder.
Garlic has always proven to be very beneficial in the treatment of the majority of diseases. Due to its effective properties, garlic is known to be an excellent herb in the removal of spider veins on thighs. You can apply a mixture of olive oil, orange juice, and garlic on the thigh area. This breaks harmful toxins present in the blood vessels and gradually improves circulation of blood, preventing the clotting (18), thereby reducing inflammation. Slice a few garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar. Add the juice extracted from three oranges to this jar along with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Leave this mixture for around 12 hours. Stir the jar after that. Take a few drops on your fingers and massage on the affected areas in a circular motion for 15 minutes. Cover it with a cotton cloth and leave it on overnight. Do it daily for several months to see the results.
- Or, you can also add garlic to your daily diet for a proper diet and get rid of this disease.
Citric acid, rather vitamin C is an effective treatment for spider veins on the face. Not only are the blood vessels strengthened but even the circulation of blood is drastically improved. Oranges are rich sources of vitamin C (19). Rub an orange peel on your face for getting rid of spider veins. It is essential to include oranges in the diet in order to reduce the effect of spider veins.
Blackcurrant brings about the reduction in spider veins and reduces the formation of new spider veins, due to the improved circulation of blood (20). The herb also cleanses the body and blood, thereby reducing inflammation. An infused water can be created, and this can be consumed throughout the day. To make this, take 2 teaspoons of dried leaves and combine it with 1 liter of water.
Note: People with heart failure or kidney failure problems shouldn’t use black currant.
Herbal Remedies for Spider Veins
Basil contains high amounts of vitamin K, which plays an important role in maintaining the health of blood vessels, by assuring a proper flow of calcium. It helps prevent backward flow of blood. It also assists in the production of thrombin (21). This clotting protein maintains a healthy blood flow so that there is no blockage of damaged veins. Studies show that if basil is added to daily meals, it fades and shrinks spider veins in a 1-month time frame.
18. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are rich in antioxidants (22), minerals, and vitamins. You can combine them with extra virgin olive oil for extracting nutrients of bay leaves. It can be applied to moisturize the skin. For creating a topical ointment, heat the bay leaves in olive oil. Let it cool. Then, strain these leaves and apply it to your spider veins.
19. Grapevine leaves
Soaking the spider vein affected leg in boiled water with grapevine leaves is a good treatment for spider veins. These leaves have always been popular for their homeostatic (23) and astringent properties. These properties are helpful in dealing with swelling and inflammation that is associated with spider veins.
20. Ginkgo Biloba
With Ginkgo Biloba, the tissues which form vein walls are strengthened. This herb widens and relaxes blood vessels, thereby regulating the flow of blood. Apart from the improvement in blood circulation, even tissue oxygenation is enhanced (24). These properties of the herb make it an effective remedy for spider veins. You may take this herb in the form of extract. You need to take 120mg of the extract daily, divided into 3 doses i.e. 40mg at one time. However, before consuming, do consult a natural herbalist.
21. Witch Hazel
This is a commonly used herb and is very beneficial in curing spider veins. Owing to the herb’s astringent properties (25), it is an effective remedy for spider veins. Many studies show that this herb strengthens blood vessels. Take a cotton ball and dip it in a solution of witch hazel. Then, apply this to the affected area. Repeat this 10-15 times in a day.
22. Horse Chestnut
Horse chestnut is a rich source of tannins and saponins (26) which have excellent circulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. It is believed that seed of horse-chestnut is very good for fatigue, itching, pain, and swelling associated with spider veins. The herb strengthens the veins that lost elasticity. Even clinical studies have proved that with horse chestnut, circulation of blood to the legs is improved, and inflammation is decreased. Veins and capillaries are strengthened. Mix 1 tbsp of horse chestnut tincture and 10 tbsp of witch hazel. Apply this to the area affected with spider veins.
Note: Excessive dosage is toxic. Consult a doctor before consuming.
Bilberry is known to be an effective home treatment for spider veins. It contains phenolic acids (27), tannins, proanthocyanidins, and flavonoids which help get rid of spider veins. Moreover, it also has antioxidant properties which protect veins from damage caused due to free radicals. Apart from bringing about an improvement in the circulation of blood, it also leads to the strengthening of blood wells. Take 20-40mg of bilberry extract thrice a day.
1) Bilberry is known to lower blood sugar and so, always consult your doctor before consuming it.
2) Don’t take it for more than 6 weeks.
3) Avoid consuming bilberry if you are on blood-thinning medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
24. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola is a popular remedy for spider veins. It improves the flow of blood and reduces swelling. Studies have shown that people who consume Gotu kola daily have less fluid leakage and can easily fight abnormalities of veins. You can consume it in the form of tablets, capsules, tincture or dried herb and can also apply it as an ointment. Take dried leaves of the herb and boil it in water. Strain it and have this tea thrice a day.
Note: Gotu Kola harms the liver. Don’t use the herb more than six weeks (28).
25. Butcher’s Broom
This herb contains compound named ruscogenin (29) which is quite effective against inflammation. These ruscogenins improve collagen production as well as circulation of blood. Moreover, it strengthens the weakened veins and valves. Basically, ruscogenin is a steroid building block which aids the body to form its own steroids to help with vein resiliency. It also smoothens the muscles of the vein wall, thus bringing it back to normal. Take 100-300mg of Butcher’s broom thrice a day.
26. Essential oils
There are a variety of essential oils that assist in reducing the spider veins appearance. Some of the best ones include grapeseed essential oil and carrot essential oil. Carrot oil is known to have tonic, cytophylactic, stimulant, emmenagogue, diuretic, depurative, carminative, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, detoxifying, disinfectant and antiseptic properties. Not only blood circulation is stimulated, but even the metabolic function is improved. This essential oil tones the muscles and tissues and makes them efficient and strong. It also stimulates new cell growth, which is essential for curing spider veins. On the other hand, even spinach essential oil has many demulcent, astringent, laxative, diuretic, and antioxidant properties. It soothes the blood vessels and ensures proper circulation of blood. Spinach essential oil even reduces the tension of vessels and arteries along with relieving stress to the cardiovascular system (30). This is essential for proper functioning of veins.
27. Pot Marigold
Pot Marigold has been an old remedy for all kinds of skin problems. Although spider veins aren’t categorized under skin problems, they give rise to ulcers, dermatitis, eczema, dryness, and itching. Moreover, pot marigold has anti-inflammatory properties (31) which provide relief from pain and inflammation. To get rid of itching and dryness, take some pot marigold petals and boil it in water. Use it as a warm compress. Pot marigold also promotes the production of collagen and possesses antimicrobial properties which promote circulation of blood.
28. Pine Bark extract
Pine Bark extract contains proanthocyanidins (32), flavonoids, and phenolic acids which possess various beneficial effects, including reduction of spider veins visibility and inflammation associated with inflammation. When you intake pine bark extract orally, it strengthens blood vessel walls and restores elasticity. It improves circulation of blood and reduces blood pressure. Apart from this, pine bark extract provides relief from a variety of symptoms such as leg cramps and pain.
29. Helichrysum Oil
This oil is very effective against spider veins. Helichrysum oil is known for its anticoagulant (33) and anesthetic properties. It also prevents clot formation in stagnant blood within the veins. Apply 2-3 drops of this essential oil to relieve pain and reduce swelling. It even brings about an improvement in the blood movement through the veins.
30. German Chamomile
This herb has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it also has antiplatelet properties which help fight against blood clotting (34). Consuming this herb is pretty simple. All you need to do is get a dried flower, add 2 tsp of it to a cup of hot water, strain it and have it thrice a day. However, keep the cup covered so that the volatile oil content in it, which provides anti-inflammatory effects, doesn’t evaporate.
31. Rose Hip Oil
When blood vessels are toned, it ensures better circulation and alleviates spider veins. Rose hips are known to have powerful astringent properties (35) which help surrounding tissues improve circulation of blood. Massage rose hip oil gently on the affected areas. If you don’t wish to massage, create a compress with rose hip oil and apply it to the area directly.
32. Rutin and Hesperidin
Rutin dilates blood vessels and prevents fragility of capillaries. It is recommended that Rutin must be taken with hesperidin and quercetin. This is because the combination makes it a powerful remedy for spider veins. Hesperidin protects capillaries (36), ensures greater health for small blood vessels, thereby preventing spider veins.
33. Evening Primrose
Evening primrose is helpful for spider veins. It promotes the healthy circulatory system and works as a natural anticoagulant (37). This means that clotting is effectively reduced. Moreover, it also impedes inflammation of blood vessels and keeps them dilated and flexible. It stops blood from flowing backward so that spider veins resolve and new ones aren’t formed. Combine this with vitamin E for improving absorption and making it more effective.
Note: If you have epilepsy, do not take evening primrose.
34. Lemon Oil
Massage lemon oil onto the affected area and make sure to rub it in surrounding areas too. If this is done once a day, it alleviates swellings and brings about an improvement in blood circulation. Since veins are caused by backed-up blood (38), getting proper circulation would alleviate this issue.
Hawthorn is a popular herb which is rich in vitamin C, sulfur, bioflavonoids, and zinc. All of them make it an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent (39). These contents are effective in treating spider veins. According to the experts, you should have 200mg of this herb thrice a day. You can take it in the form of tincture or the form of pills. Tea prepared from this herb provides relief from spider veins. Have 2 cups of this tea daily. You can prepare this infusion by adding 1 tsp of hawthorn flowers in 1 cup of boiling water. Strain it and have it.
36. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed is a powerful natural oil that relieves muscle pain and inflammation (40) if applied topically. You can also consume grapeseed extract, but often people give preference to topical application due to its unpleasant taste. The oil contains proanthocyanidins which resist degradation and strengthen capillary walls. Moreover, it reduces inflammation and promotes healthy blood flow.
This common herb is an effective home remedy for spider veins. Since it contains high levels of vitamin C, it promotes the healthy creation of collagen and repairs damaged blood vessels (41). Rutin is commonly found in parsley which affects the strength of the capillary. Make sure to add parsley to the diet in case of unsightly spider veins.
- Spider veins is a cosmetic concern and may lead to other health issues. As soon as symptoms like itching, leg swelling, night cramps or fatigue are experienced, contact a specialist.
- Always keep active and keep the legs moving. Go for swimming, cycling, and walking as it would maintain proper blood circulation
- Maintain a healthy weight as it prevents spider veins, by reducing pressure on the legs.
- Wear compression stockings for elevating pressure on the veins. With such stockings, there is an even distribution of pressure.
- Don’t stand or sit for long. This would exert pressure on your veins. Every 30 minutes, change your position.
- Don’t assume things or take treatments on your own. Consult a vein damage expert as he/she will be able to suggest the best treatment.
- Don’t expose the legs to excess heat. Everyone enjoys relaxing in a hot tub of water or taking a hot bath, but it should be kept to a tolerable temperature as it would increase blood pooling and vein swelling.