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.
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 food supplements. They come mainly from plant sources such as citrus fruits and, they contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Daflon (MPFF) is another new naturally based compound that can ease aching and swelling of the legs after a few months of treatment. There is some research to support this claim. Also, there are some companies who offer mixtures of these and other ingredients, as natural remedies specifically made to enhance vein health.
What do essential oils do for varicose veins?
The use of essential oils is becoming increasingly popular, as they are known for their healing and calming properties. Psychologically, they have an undeniable calming result, so can they do the same for the rest of your body? There are a variety of oils that offer different benefits for varicose veins.
Lavender and Frankincense
Lavender oil is best known for its calming effect, but when used in aromatherapy it can reduce pain and inflammation, similar to frankincense, which has anti-inflammatory properties. These oils can assist with the swelling caused by varicose veins, and in turn, relieve the discomfort of swollen legs.
Cypress and Rosemary
Essential oils like cypress and rosemary can ease your symptoms, too. Both these oils help with your circulation, encouraging the blood to flow toward your heart. The use of these oils will ease swelling and the heaviness associated with varicose veins.
Geranium and Helichrysum
Other oils, like geranium oil, known for aiding skin conditions and improving circulation, and helichrysum oil, also known to boost circulation and minimise inflammation, have the potential to reduce the appearance of varicose and spider veins. Despite being able to reduce the appearance, these oils cannot prevent the growth of new varicose or spider veins.
Some considerations with holistic vein treatment
Despite popular opinion, essential oils, along with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, will not treat your already-developed varicose veins. Regardless of the appearance of veins and the severity of symptoms, you should never see varicose veins as a cosmetic problem only. Indeed, 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.
Other natural methods to manage varicose vein symptoms
While essential oils and supplements may provide some relief, there are proven non-medical ways to manage symptoms that you should use in conjunction with them.
- Exercise like yoga, walking, and swimming
- A healthy diet full of vitamins and fibre
- Elevating your legs
- Wearing compression stockings
Seek specialist advice
Remember: when it comes to varicose veins, symptom management is not equivalent to treatment. While vein doctors recommend conservative options in some cases (such as for those awaiting treatment or those that aren’t experiencing uncomfortable symptoms), others may require medical intervention,
The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call 13 VEINS (that’s 13 83467). Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.