Varicose veins are veins that have become swollen and enlarged. They appear blue or dark purple in colour and occur most often on the legs. People can get upset about them being lumpy, bulging or twisted in appearance and they can be very uncomfortable as well. Varicose veins can feel heavy and can cause swollen feet and ankles.
Varicose veins are very common – around 30% of the UK population have them although they are more common in women than men. There are tiny one-way valves inside your veins that open to let the blood move back towards the heart. When the walls of the veins become stretched, the valves weaken and blood flows backwards. It can collect in veins which then become swollen and enlarged.
There are some factors that make you more likely to get varicose veins. People who are older, overweight or have an occupation that involves a lot of standing get them more often. If your varicose veins are bothering you then you should consult your doctor. There are also things that you can try at home which may help.
Garlic may be beneficial for varicose veins because it reduces inflammation and aids healthy circulation. It is easy to include garlic in your normal diet as it makes a delicious additions to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes. It can also be eaten raw in salads. Alternatively, garlic can be applied directly to the skin at the site of a varicose vein. It can be crushed and mixed with alcohol and applied twice a day.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is beneficial for many types of inflammation. You can get at the liquid inside the plant by snapping a leaf – it oozes out. A compress soaked in aloe vera can be applied to the veins overnight and removed in the morning.
3. Apple cider vinegar
This popular cooking ingredient can be used to soak a compress which can then be applied to the affected area. It is very important to apply gently and not to squeeze the varicose vein.
4. Home made cream
You can prepare your own homemade varicose vein cream! Mix aloe, apple cider vinegar and carrots together in a blender or food processor until they form a smooth paste. This can be applied onto the veins before you relax for thirty minutes. Wash the paste off with clean water once the time is up.
5. Immersion baths
Prepare an immersion bath by adding sea salt and one cup of apple cider vinegar to water. You can soak your legs for 20 minutes in this and massage them gently at the same time. This can help your legs to feel less tired and more refreshed. It can also ease the aching associated with varicose veins.
6. Green clay ointment
A paste is prepared by mixing green clay with water. This can then be applied to the skin and left on overnight. Wash it off with warm water in the morning.
7. Mixed herbs solution
This solution should be prepared in advance and is suitable for people with varicose veins on their feet. However, it can cause irritation is some people so it should be used with caution on a small area of the body and for a short time at first. You need to bring 2 litres of water to the boil and then take it off the heat. Then add a handful each of mint, chamomile and laurel leaves. Allow the mixture to steep for 5 minutes and then add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. You can submerge the affected feet in the solution for 10 minutes.
8. Chilli pepper
Chilli peppers are thought to help with circulation and this may be beneficial for varicose veins. Chillis can be incorporated into many meals – but it is best to start off with the milder varieties if you are not used to it!
9. Chestnut bark tea
This is an unusual tea that many people have not considered before! It is made by boiling 50 grams of Indian chestnut bark in one litre of water for about 10 minutes. As with all teas of this type, you then need to strain the liquid. It is important to drink it immediately.
10. Essential oils
Massaging the affected areas with essential oils is great for varicose veins and is very relaxing. Start at the feet and move up towards the thighs.