Enlarged veins close to the skin’s surface, known as varicose veins, often affect the legs and ankles. Varicose veins occur when the valves within veins become weakened, causing blood to pool within. This condition is common among those who are overweight and women who are pregnant. Fortunately, varicose veins can often be treated naturally. Here are five home remedies to try.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Because this type of vinegar improves blood flow and circulation, it can effectively reduce the appearance of varicose veins. For best results, place apple cider vinegar on the affected area and massage the skin in the morning and at night. After a month or two, you’ll notice that the veins are smaller. Adding two teaspoons of the vinegar to an eight-ounce glass of water and consuming the mixture twice a day can also heal varicose veins; most people see results in about a month.
Getting enough exercise has multiple benefits when it comes to varicose veins. Not only does physical activity improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in one of the lower extremities, it can also help you lose weight–eliminating one of the biggest risk factors for varicose veins. In addition, because sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of blood pooling in the legs and damaging valves, make it a point to get up and walk around several times a day if you have a desk job.
3. Compression Stockings
These special stockings place uniform pressure on the legs to compress the affected veins, reducing their diameter and repairing damage. They also provide additional support that help blood flow more smoothly and reduce the risk for blood clots, a dangerous potential complication of circulation problems like varicose veins. Compression stockings can be purchased from businesses like SmoothToe.
4. Witch Hazel
This plant-based substance has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that help shrink varicose veins. Simply use a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area two to three times a day. The natural tannins within the oil constrict the veins and prevent blood from pooling within the vessels. You can buy witch hazel ready to use or make your own by boiling a handful of witch hazel leaves in water for several minutes, then straining and allowing to cool before applying to the skin.
This pungent bulb reduces inflammation, improves circulation, and breaks up toxins in the blood vessels. To use for varicose veins, mix six sliced garlic cloves with the juice from three oranges and two tablespoons of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 12 hours then use to massage the affected area.
In most cases, varicose veins indicate venous insufficiency, a potentially serious condition. Although these natural remedies are effective for many, you should also seek medical care if you are bothered by varicose veins.