When treating medical conditions, mentioning the use of holistic medicine can sometimes lead to arguments from both supporters and those who do not believe in its effectiveness. This is particularly true when it comes to varicose veins. While studies have conclusively shown that alternative therapies cannot treat the root cause of varicose veins, the therapeutic and symptom-relieving benefits of holistic medicine can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by varicose veins.
How does holistic medicine for varicose veins work?
Holistic medicine is the approach to health through mind, body and soul. Most commonly combining traditional contemporary medicine with alternative therapies, its aim is to address all aspects of the patient’s health. When treating varicose veins, there is ultimately no substitute for medical procedures, however, there is a range of holistic treatments that can prove effective in relieving the symptoms associated with varicose veins.
How to treat varicose veins holistically:
Regular exercise is one of the cornerstones of both traditional and alternative medicine and is extensively praised by clinicians as one of the simplest ways to manage varicose vein symptoms. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your exercise routine, follow these tips:
- Walk at least 20 minutes a day
- Calf raises, side lunges, leg lifts and bicycle legs
- Low impact activities like cycling, swimming and walking.
The above exercises are great for reducing leg swelling and to get more blood pumping through the legs to decrease the severity of varicose symptoms.
Diet has a wide-ranging effect on your general wellbeing, and this is especially true for vein health. Cutting down on foods which are high in sugar, caffeine, trans fats and alcohol is an important step while increasing the intake of anti-inflammatory foods to alleviate swelling and reduce the vein size.
The following foods will help to reduce varicose vein symptoms:
- Anything rich in antioxidants like berries, green vegetables and citrus fruits
- High fibre foods help digestive function and reduce the potential strain on your veins. This includes flax and chia seeds, fresh fruit, legumes and ancient grains.
- Leafy greens, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes and other foods rich in magnesium can help with blood pressure and cramping.
- Foods that help reduce water retention and swelling include cucumber, celery, asparagus and fennel.
- Wild salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which boost circulation.
3. Essential oils
Essential oils are proven to have a range of benefit for mental health and can also assist to reduce varicose vein symptoms.
Try these oils for their holistic benefits:
- Rosemary and cypress for swelling and heavy legs
- Lavender and frankincense for swelling and discomfort
- Geranium and helichrysum for inflammation and larger veins
- Peppermint and tea tree for problem areas
For more details on how essential oils do and don’t help, check out our article: Can essential oils treat varicose veins?
4. Natural herbs
Including natural herbs in your diet can help to reduce varicose vein symptoms but this should always be discussed with your doctor to ensure there aren’t any adverse effects.
Some herbs are horse chestnut seed extract, pot marigold, bilberry, butchers’ broom and grape seed extract. Vitamin C and E are important for vein and circulation health too.
Seek expert advice
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.
The benefits of non-surgical varicose vein treatment are:
- Walk-in walk-out treatment
- 98% success rate
- Extremely effective
- Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
- No general anaesthetic
- Medicare rebates apply
- No downtime or time away from work
To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.