While very common as we age, varicose veins can make us feel uncomfortable in certain outfits, and even lead to serious health problems. If you’re starting to see blue/purple veins on your legs that appear twisted or bulging, varicose veins are likely to blame. Sometimes they are painful, while other times they’re just there to bug us with their appearance.
As we get older, like other parts of our body, our veins lose elasticity. And as they become stretched out and weakened, blood that’s supposed to flow to your heart starts flowing backwards and pooling. Pregnancy can also increase the risk of developing varicose veins due to the increased amount of blood in the body.
12 Natural Varicose Vein Remedies – That Work!
But fear not! There are plenty of natural remedies out there for treating varicose veins. Compression stockings are usually the first choice for many, but there are other tips and tricks that you can do—many with ingredients already in your kitchen! With a little help, you’ll feel more comfortable and looking great just in time for sundress and sandal weather!
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a miracle worker in many beauty recipes and home remedies. It’s known to improve blood circulation and flow, which can help decrease varicose vein swelling. Simply apply apple cider vinegar directly on the affected area and rub gently. This should be done once in the morning and once before bed for best results. For even better results, drink a glass of water mixed with 2 teaspoons of ACV twice a day.
2. Cayenne pepper
Full of vitamin C and bioflavonoids, cayenne pepper also improves blood circulation in the body. It can also ease the pain associated with swollen veins due to its anti-inflammatory properties. All you need to do is stir a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in a glass of hot water. You can drink it up to three times a day. Add honey or another sweetener if it’s hard to get down. You should start to see results in about a month. And, as a bonus, cayenne pepper is a great metabolism booster!
As a natural anti-inflammatory agent, garlic helps reduce the appearance of varicose veins, breaks up harmful toxins in blood vessels, and can ease associated pain. Create a mixture of 6 sliced garlic cloves, the juice from three oranges, and two tablespoons of olive oil in a glass jar, and let the mixture sit for 12 hours. Gently rub the mixture on affected veins for 15 minutes in a circular motion.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil is basically our skin’s best friend. It can also improve blood flow in the veins, and act as a moisturizer as an added benefit. For best results, mix equal parts olive oil and vitamin E oil (slightly warmed) and rub on the skin twice a day.
Parsley contains rutin, which is a very powerful organic compound that directly affects capillary strength. In addition, the high levels of vitamin C help to increase collagen and repair damaged blood vessels. I’m certainly not suggesting sitting down and eating a parsley bunch, but try incorporating it in more of your meals for extra flavor and extra benefits for your veins.
6. Grape seed oil
The seeds of grapes are small, but packed full of flavonoids, linoleic acid, and vitamin E. The makeup of grape seeds can help prevent free radical damage to the blood vessels, as well as boost collagen to improve elasticity of the cell walls. Grape seed oil is a great moisturizer, and can be apply directly to veins to relieve inflammation and pain.
7. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is not only a natural astringent for cuts and wounds, it’s also a great herb for strengthening blood vessels. It contains gallic acid, which can reduce swelling and pain from varicose veins. To use it to its best potential, soak a wash cloth in witch hazel and place it on the affected area twice a day. You can also place 10-20 drops of distilled witch hazel in a tub and soak your legs for at least 15 minutes.
8. Horse chestnut extract
Interesting name, right? Whether you’ve heard of it or not, horse chestnut extract has a longstanding reputation for treating varicose veins. It naturally thins the blood and makes it more difficult for blood to leak out of veins. Eating horse chestnuts in the raw form is poisonous, so look for horse chestnut in the form of capsules or liquid extracts.
9. Move your body
Keeping your body moving is essential for proper blood circulation. And when your blood is pumping and flowing in the right way, varicose veins can be reduced and prevented. It doesn’t mean you suddenly have to be a gym rat, though. Even a quick daily walk and some gentle yoga can be helpful.
10. Watch your weight
When you gain weight, you’re only putting more weight on your veins (along with other health problems). Consider a low-sodium diet to reduce water retention and swelling in the legs.
11. Switch up your shoes
Many of us love our high heels, but the reality is, they can be very damaging to our legs. Lower-heeled shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for blood flow in the veins. I know I certainly can’t part with some high heels, but think about how much you’re wearing them. There are many other alternatives to still pull off the same cute outfits!
12. Elevate your legs
It’s important to avoid sitting or standing for too long—especially if you suffer from varicose veins. It’s a good idea to elevate your legs above the level of your heart a few times a day to help circulation. Besides which, who couldn’t use a few breaks during the day?