Do you have a scattering of thin blue veins climbing up your leg? Or perhaps there are thick swollen ones running down your calves?
Either way you’re not alone. Both spider and varicose veins are quite common, especially if you’re over 50. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health around 60 percent of men and women face spider or varicose veins as they age.
As the years pass the walls of your veins, especially those in your legs, start to weaken and lose some of their elasticity. This makes them appear closer to the surface. When this is combined with the poor circulation that can occur as you get older it can lead to the blood pooling that causes those spider and varicose veins we love to hate.
They’re unsightly, and in some cases they can be uncomfortable or even painful. But unfortunately the procedures for getting rid of the unruly veins can be painful too. And worse, they don’t always work.
Fight your spider or varicose veins naturally
Why not start with a natural approach first? One that gently and effectively targets your weakening blood vessels and worsening circulation, without having to resort to costly procedures and invasive surgeries.
Following are eight effective, natural solutions to help erase spider and varicose veins.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar:
It turns out apple cider vinegar (ACV), a well-known anti-inflammatory, could help you improve your circulation too. Fermented ACV is packed with beneficial enzymes that can help keep “bad” cholesterol from clogging up your arteries and slowing your circulation. Plus, if you’re salt sensitive the potassium in the vinegar will help remove excess salt from your system, which can reduce swelling.
To supplement with ACV mix two to three teaspoons of the vinegar into eight ounces of water and drink before meals. Or for a topical fix that can reduce the appearance of spider and varicose veins mix together equal parts witch hazel and ACV and massage directly onto your trouble spots.
Bilberry, the blueberry’s British cousin, helps reduce the discomfort, swelling, heaviness and nighttime cramping caused by varicose veins by boosting circulation. However, it can be tough to find fresh bilberry in American grocery stores. Simply look for frozen bilberries, teas or supplements instead. You’re aiming for 160 mg twice a day.
Blueberries make the list too. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center rutin, a powerful bioflavonoid you’ll find in blueberries, helps protect your vein walls, keeping them healthy and strong so they resist blood pooling.
4. Coenzyme Q10:
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a proven circulation booster. The enzyme supports the endothelial cells that line your arteries helping to reduce inflammation and relax you entire vascular system. The result is better blood flow so you’re far less likely to end up with the swelling and pooling that causes spider and varicose veins. Experts recommend 100 mg of CoQ10 daily.
5. Essential oils:
Versatile essential oils can help relieve the achiness and heaviness associated with varicose veins by reducing inflammation and improving circulation.
Begin by choosing an oil. The essential oils most often used to increase circulation, or reduce inflammation, include:
- tea tree
To use as an inflammation relieving compress mix about five drops of your chosen essential oil into four cups of water. Soak a cloth in the liquid, elevate your leg and apply to the affected area for around 15 minutes. You can also use the essential oil for a circulation boosting massage. Add 15 to 20 drops of your chosen oil to three tablespoons of a carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Massage your legs with the mix in the direction of your heart.
6. Horse chestnut:
Horse chestnut is one of the most extensively studied natural treatments for varicose veins. It’s been shown to work both orally and topically to help relieve symptoms and help reverse the unsightly veins.
Whether it’s in extract, tea, or lotion form this powerful plant can help relieve pain and swelling while improving circulation. Look for a product that’s standardized to 16 to 20 percent aescin (escin), the active ingredient in horse chestnuts.
Experts say 1000 mg a day of high quality omega-3s will help protect the elasticity of blood vessels as well as keep your heart healthy, the key to strong blood flow. You can boost your omega-3s by eating plenty of fatty fish, olive oil and avocados. You can also take a daily fish oil supplement to meet your omega-3 needs.
It turns out that garnish you’ve been tossing at the end of every restaurant meal is actually really great for your circulation. First, parsley is a natural diuretic, so it helps reduce swelling. But just as importantly this leafy green is packed with vitamin C, which your body uses to create the collagen it needs to repair and strengthen capillaries.
While varicose and spider veins are rarely a health concern, nobody likes living with them. And the good news is you might not have too. Give these easy home solutions a try, and your legs could be looking great again in no time!