Varicose veins (sometimes called spider veins) are the result of weak or damaged valves which are present in veins.
Veins play an important role in the body. It carries blood from the organs to the heart.
Veins have valves. The valves keep the blood moving in one direction towards the heart and prevent the blood from flowing back into the veins. But when valves are weak or damaged the blood will flow back into the veins and collect there. The veins will then swell up and become enlarged and bluish in color. The swollen veins will stick out from the surface of the skin. These types of veins are called varicose veins.
Some of the areas of the body prone to varicose veins are the thighs, legs and calf.
Both men and women are susceptible to varicose veins since it can be caused due to genetic or environmental reasons. But studies done show women are more prone to varicose veins especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hormones released during child birth and breastfeeding can damage the valves thereby causing varicose veins.
Listed below are some home remedies for varicose veins
Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging or bicycling will improve blood circulation throughout the body and strengthen the walls of blood vessels such as those of the veins.
Wear compression stockings or elastic stockings as it helps to improve circulation and brings relief to pain and swelling caused by varicose veins.
Elevate the Legs
Raise the legs so it stays above the heart level. You can use a footstool or pillows to rest the legs on.
Avoid standing for long periods of time. Weight from the body can put pressure on the veins after sometime.
When sitting avoid crossing your legs at the knees. The veins on the legs can get squeezed when it presses against the knees. This can disrupt and block the blood flow.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Traveling can be a nightmare for varicose vein sufferers if they have to sit for hours before reaching their destination. Pain and swelling increases because of the pressure exerted on the legs by sitting in the same position for a long time.
One of the ideal ways to overcome this problem is to do a few foot exercises to regulate blood flow.
Apple Cider Vinegar or Witch Hazel
Wet a cotton ball or cotton pad with some apple cider vinegar or witch hazel and apply on the varicose veins.
Some people drink a glass of pineapple juice or consume ½ cup of pineapple pieces 3 times a week to treat varicose veins.
Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is effective in getting rid of fibrin. Fibrin is a substance found in varicose veins. Fibrin causes varicose veins to become hard hence blocking blood flow.
Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and black currants
Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and black currants are ideal fruits to eat if one is suffering from varicose veins. These fruits are rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins which help to strengthen the walls of veins hence lowering the risk of varicose veins.
Applying castor oil on varicose veins after a warm bath is an age old remedy. It reduces both the swelling and pain caused by varicose veins.
Leeches to Treat Varicose Veins
In the late 1990’s a group of doctors in
did an experiment on 20 patients by treating their varicose veins using
leeches. They confirmed the leeches were effective in treating the ‘leg ulcers and swelling’ caused by varicose veins.
© Suranee Perera 2012