When it comes to varicose veins, is surgery the only way to get rid of them? Today, we want to look at some alternatives to surgery or treatments such as Endovenous Laser, and uncover if natural remedies work for varicose veins.
The symptoms of varicose veins vary significantly from one patient to another. Mild symptoms include a dull ache or ‘heaviness’ of the leg, right through to more severe symptoms such as swelling in the legs and ankles, extreme pain, fatigue or changes in skin colour.
If you’re looking for some relief from your varicose vein symptoms, there are a few natural remedies which might help:
Popular Supplements for Vein Disease
A variety of herbs and extracts are used in supplements for vein disease, including:
- Horse Chestnut Seed Extract – claims to promote constriction of the veins and thinning of the blood, thus preventing clots
- Butcher’s Broom Root – claims to reduce swelling of the veins and chronic venous insufficiency
- Prickly Ash – claims to improve blood circulation in people with varicose veins
- Pot Marigold – claims to relieve itching, dryness and ulcers
- Flavonoids, such as grape seed extract
Flavonoids are classified as food supplements. They come mainly from plant sources such as citrus fruits and, and they contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Daflon, (MPFF), is another new naturally based compound that some feel eases aching and swelling of the legs after a few months of treatment. There is some research to support this claim. There are some companies who also offer mixtures of these and other ingredients, as natural remedies specifically made to enhance vein health.
Regardless of the appearance of veins and the severity of symptoms, varicose veins should never be thought of as merely a cosmetic problem as they could lead to serious health issues – such as blood clots. Although supplements may relieve symptoms, even mild cases should be examined by a doctor to determine if there are any hidden problems.
Although exercise cannot cure varicose veins, it can alleviate pain and improve overall vein health.
- Yoga: as well as strengthening muscles, there are many yoga poses which involve elevating your legs – by elevating your legs you are aiding your body in draining the blood back to your heart, this assists in improving vein health and also alleviates pain. Be advised that there are some prolonged abdominal yoga poses which may not be recommended.
- Walking: a low-impact exercise which allows you to stretch and strengthen calf muscles, walking is highly recommended both for the prevention and treatment of vein disease.
- Running: another way of stretching and strengthening calf muscles, running can be very beneficial for vein health. However running can also put strain on your joints and make varicose vein symptoms worse.
- Cycling: stationary bikes provide a low-impact cardio option, nonetheless in some cases intensive cycling or extended periods of time crouched over handlebars can increase abdominal pressure and reduce the blood flow to your legs, which can exacerbate varicose vein symptoms.
- Mountain Climbers: a simple exercise to do from home, Mountain Climbers build strength and endurance while improving blood flow between your heart and legs.
- Ankle rotations: these are a really easy exercise to do while sitting down, so are great for office workers and people who spend a lot of time travelling. Flexing your calf muscles and rotating your ankles helps to maintain healthy blood flow. Also, while sitting or standing, rocking your feet on the ground from heel to toe activates the calf pumping mechanism and improves circulation. For more exercises you can do while sitting down, see our article 7 best exercises for vein health while travelling.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are natural methods of improving varicose vein symptoms. The use of well-researched supplements, such as Daflon, may relieve symptoms of varicose veins. Always work together with your doctor to determine the best approach to treating your varicose veins, not just the symptoms.