Varicose veins can appear anywhere on the body. However, they are mostly associated with the legs, and especially in women this can be distressing and lead to a lack of confidence.
The reason for them forming mostly in the legs is to do with pressure, blood flow and gravity. Especially at certain times in life, like pregnancy, this strain can become greater, creating varicose veins.
Even though they are unsure of the reasons conforming, a lot of people wonder how to get rid of varicose veins using home remedies. Is it even possible to achieve this?
Most people think that you need surgery to remove varicose veins. Although this is often the case, twisted and enlarged veins can also be soothed, prevented from getting worse, and sometimes regressed using home remedies.
So let’s talk a bit about how they are formed, preventative measures you can take, and learn exactly how to get rid of them using natural treatments.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are formed through pressure being placed on the veins. Although our veins can cope with a certain level of pressure, there are certain situations where that pressure becomes excessive, creating twists and bulges.
The key reasons for varicose veins forming are:
- Pregnancy, which puts pressure on the legs through the extra weight and blood flow being needed to grow the baby. That is why pregnant women get them so commonly.
- People who work in jobs that require a lot of static standing or sitting can suffer from it, as the veins have to work harder to push blood through.
- Obesity puts strain on the body generally, but the extra weight, and overall stress, again create a situation where varicose veins can form.
The reason that varicose veins occur mostly in the legs is that they are the furthest part of our body from the heart. So it requires more effort for blood to be pumped down into legs through arteries, and then back up towards the heart using veins.
Apart from being the furthest distance from our heart, the veins are also working against gravity in a way no other part of the body does.
Is Natural Treatment Realistic?
Varicose veins are usually dealt with by removing them surgically. Sometimes this can be done with lasers, or injections of chemicals.
However, other treatments are possible, especially in the early stages, which are not as harsh or invasive.
The reason that some natural treatments can work is that they can increase the efficiency of the veins through both strengthening them and improving blood flow.
These natural home remedies for treating varicose veins can range from simple massage, through to using essential oils and complex recipes.
The absolute most basic natural way you can get rid of varicose veins is to move your body more.
Exercise increases strength within the body, including the blood system, and increases oxygen in the blood. Exercise can also help to minimize varicose veins because it gets the heart pumping, moving blood down, through, and out of the legs faster and more efficiently.
But if exercise isn’t making any difference, then there are ways to help minimizing them, using home remedies on top of increased movement.
Varicose Veins: Natural Treatment Basics
If you want to try and reduce the appearance of varicose veins, some of the easiest things you can do don’t involve anything other than some basic techniques.
One of the biggest reasons for varicose veins forming is poor efficiency with pushing blood through them. This leads to pooling within the veins, which stretches and twists them.
Gentle massage can really help, especially with preventing blood clots. You don’t even have to massage the veins, just sitting with your legs in a slightly elevated position can help gravity to allow the venous blood to flow back towards the heart more efficiently.
To massage varicose veins, all you have to do is to use your hands in gentle, upward strokes. Don’t press too hard, or focus on the vein on its own, gently apply pressure using your hand and move it up the veins smoothly.
You can use an oil, something as simple as olive oil, to lubricate your hands and make the massage easier. But you should never push too hard on those bulging veins, as this can create damage, focus on a gentle, general upwards massage.
Although they obviously don’t look great, compression stockings are a very common natural remedy for minimizing varicose veins.
They work through applying a gentle and consistent pressure on the veins, reducing their diameter, basically their ability to bulge and become inefficient. The result is a reduced backflow that minimizes the chance of them enlarging.
Compression method should never be used unless you have had advice from a doctor. Sometimes they need to be specially made for your body to prevent damage.
3. Change your diet
Research is showing that part of the reason they can form is because of an increase in levels of an amino acid called homocysteine in the blood. An increased presence has been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease and general poor health.[Source]
In terms of varicose veins, it can damage the lining of the blood vessels. Levels of this amino acid grow when there is deficiency of B-complex vitamins in the body.
Simply by eating foods rich in B vitamins, varicose vein formation and development can be slowed. Foods rich in B vitamins include fish like salmon, tuna and shrimp. Chicken and turkey are also a great source, as are eggs, and things like potatoes, sunflower seeds, avocados, broccoli and lentils.
In addition, you can add foods into your diet that have natural anti-inflammatory benefits. Foods like tomatoes, nuts and whole grains can all help in this respect.
So simply by having a healthier diet, and supplementing it with foods that provide a greater range of nutrients, on top of increased exercise and something like gentle massage, can be added together to produce a sometimes powerful natural treatment for varicose veins.
Using Essential Oils For Varicose Veins
There is some evidence that essential oils can help with varicose veins. They do this through encouraging circulation, strengthening the blood vessels, and reducing the throbbing feeling associated with it.
Essential oils are sometimes used on their own, but more commonly, people create a combination of various essential oils within what is known as a carrier oil.
A carrier oil is one that has the ability to warm easily, and that is absorbed quickly and efficiently into the skin. The most common carrier oils are olive oil, coconut oil and jojoba oil.
They are also great in themselves as they include short-chain fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals, which also benefit the skin and can encourage a healthy blood flow.
Here is a list of the essential oils which have been associated with helping varicose veins:
- Juniper Berry
Best Home Remedies For Varicose Veins
When it comes to learning how to get rid of varicose veins using home remedies, there are quite a few methods which are regularly recommended.
Some are more complex than others, but all of these natural treatments can be done at home, cheaply and simply.
1. Apply a mud pack
A mud pack can have similar effects to surgical stockings. Although this is temporary, many people report a reduction in pain and flaring up of the veins when regularly using a mud pack on them.
Use something like Fullers Earth, mixed with water to make a clay. Then you can liberally apply it to the legs and allow it to dry.
The thinking behind this home remedy is that as the clay dries it hardens and contracts, which creates a tightening on the legs similar to that of compression stockings. It can constrict the blood vessels, which can help to promote blood flow.
2. Use horse chestnut
Extract of horse chestnut is a widely used herbal remedy to help with varicose veins. It is obtained from the Aesculus hippocastanum plant, through extracting it from the leaves, flower, seeds and bark.
Horse chestnut extract contains an active ingredient called Aescin. This has been linked to having the ability to constrict body tissue, specifically the blood vessels. So it works on the same principle as compression stockings, by creating vasoconstriction.
Horse chestnut extract also has blood thinning properties. This means that circulation can be increased, and in a small way it can help with minimizing the risk of blood clots forming in the legs.
To use horse chestnut extract as a natural remedy for varicose veins, simply rub it onto the affected areas.
You should never drink horse chestnut extract as it contains a toxin called esculin. However, if you buy it from a reputable retailer, these extracts are safe because the toxin has been removed.
3. Cayenne pepper
Most people would never consider using cayenne pepper as a natural home remedy to help with varicose vein reduction. However, cayenne pepper contains components that can help to protect blood vessels.
On top of that, cayenne pepper has been linked to the promotion of collagen formation. This can keep skin elastic and reduced pressure. In addition to this, cayenne pepper also has minor anti-inflammatory and blood thinning properties.
With these reasons put together, cayenne pepper could be a great substance to use. This is especially the case as it can be taken orally, meaning it can be used as a supplement on top of topically applied home remedies.
Be careful when drinking cayenne pepper. You should start with a small dose. We would recommend about half a teaspoon mix thoroughly into warm water. You can then add more cayenne pepper as you get the taste for it, up to around 1 tablespoon.
4. Witch Hazel
This has been used for centuries by the Native Americans as a herbal remedy. Many people have found it can also counter the spread of varicose veins.
Witch hazel contains tannins, similar to tea but much more concentrated. This gives it an astringent property which can help to constrict veins and improve elasticity. It also has minor anti-inflammatory properties.
You can use witch hazel as a home remedy orally or topically.
Orally, you can drink it with water, diluting it to taste. Topically, you can create a warm compress. The combination of heat and the soaking of witch hazel into the skin can both reduce pain and swelling. This ability to reduce the congestion can really help.
Home Recipe Treatments
As well as using things topically or orally to relieve and reduce varicose vein problems, you can also create home recipes that can be rubbed in topically, to have an effect both on the skin, veins themselves, and more general wellbeing.
In this section we are going to give you a couple of the most popular home remedies for varicose veins, that contain essential oils, as well as carrier oils that can increase the benefits.
In both these recipes, we will describe the measures in “cups”. Use a standard tea or coffee cup/mug to do this.
For both of these home recipe treatments, make sure that you buy high quality ingredients. This means organic, raw and unrefined oils. They should also be cold-pressed, and if possible carry a verifiable industry mark, to confirm they are genuinely natural.
Body butter recipe for varicose veins
One great way to get rid of varicose veins naturally is to use body butter, plus other ingredients linked to having the ability to both soothe and minimize the appearance of varicose veins.
This recipe is great because it contains lots of ingredients linked to relieving symptoms, and on top of that it can be stored in the fridge for at least six months.
- Half cup of coconut oil
- Half cup of shea butter
- Quarter cup of jojoba oil
- A few drops of liquid vitamin E
- 20-30 drops of a handful of essential oils from the list mentioned earlier (although a key one to try and include is helichrysum as this has been especially linked to varicose vein soothing)
Put the coconut oil and shea butter into a bowl and microwave gently until they are melted and warm.
Add the other listed ingredients and mix well using a new wooden spoon. Allow to cool until the mixture thickens, and then whip it with a hand blender for a few minutes.
Pour the mixed ingredients into a container and seal it. Put it in the fridge until it has hardened. This will create an off-white solid.
How to use:
Scoop out a palm sized amount of the body butter. Smooth it gently through cold hands to melt it, and then start to apply it to the legs.
Gently massage the legs upwards towards the body, until all of the oil has been smoothed in.
Quick and easy varicose vein treatment
If you want to make a quick and easy home remedy for varicose veins, then you can mix this up and use it instantly with minimum preparation and mess.
It’s great because you can just mix it up in a small container any time you need it, and apply it topically to get instant relief from the pressure of varicose veins.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
- 20 drops of various essential oils from the list earlier in this article
- 10 drops of liquid multivitamins
Put all of the ingredients into a bowl, and mix well using a new wooden spoon to prevent any contamination.
How to use:
Make sure that your hands are cold. This is because cold hands don’t absorb oil as quickly.
Rub the recipe into your hands for a few seconds and then start applying it to the legs. Again, gently drag your hands upwards towards the body, and don’t apply too much strong pressure directly to the veins.
The Final Word
All these home remedies to get rid of varicose veins can be beneficial. In some cases it can lead to a reduction of varicose veins, especially if a couple of these methods is used in combination.
However, you should always get the advice of a medical professional before undertaking any treatment, professionally or at home, that puts significant pressure on to the veins, and then pushes those veins.
Too much pressure in pushing can create blood clots, which can be dangerous.
But the great news is that using the home remedies outlined here, and using a gentle and steady technique, you can potentially reduce the visibility and distress caused by varicose veins.