Veins are blood vessels that take de-oxygenated blood from all parts of the body back to the heart. When these veins become excessively thick, contorted or enlarged, they are called varicose veins. It is the veins in the legs and thighs that have a greater tendency to develop the condition of varicose veins, though it is known to occur anywhere in the body. Varicose veins can be inherited, and become more pronounced as the person grows older. These bluish, swollen varicose veins not only look awkward, but can hurt and cause itching too. Simple surgical methods can treat varicose veins quite effectively, but there are less drastic measures that can alleviate the condition and prevent it from getting worse, starting with increasing your intake of dietary fibre.
Try these simple remedies
- Lie down with your legs raised slightly above the level of your body, as this will enable the blood in your legs to drain back towards the heart. Varicose veins result from too much blood pooling in your veins. So even if you are at work, every once in a while you could lean back in your chair and raise your legs up and rest them on some support for 5-10 minutes.
- An ancient herbal remedy for varicose veins is horse chestnut. Try its tablets or capsules for about 90 days. It improves the resilience of blood vessels and also strengthens the valves in the veins. The tablet or capsule should contain 50 mg aescin, the main ingredient in horse chestnut. Be patient, as the results may manifest only after three months.
- Gotu kola is another herb which strengthens the walls of the blood vessels and the tissues that surround them. Take 200 mg of the herb’s extract three times a day to ease varicose veins. Try also to get a cream that contains gotu kola, as studies have proved that it promotes tissue repair and hastens wound healing. Pregnant women should not use it.
- Take some lemon peel and add it to citrus juices or to your tea and drink. It contains an ingredient called rutin, which is a kind of flavonoid which helps prevent leakage from small blood vessels.
- You need to take vitamin C and flavonoids every day. Vitamin C helps by strengthening the connective tissues around your blood vessels, and flavonoids help your body to assimilate vitamin C. Consume 500 mg of vitamin C and 250 mg of flavonoids twice daily, but if you develop symptoms of diarrhoea, you will have to reduce the amount of vitamin C that you take.
- While sitting, don’t cross your legs, as this puts extra pressure on your blood vessels, and impedes the movement of blood back towards the heart.
- Do 20 minutes of aerobic exercises at least three times a week to avoid varicose veins. It will not only help to keep you in shape, but also reduce weight if you are on the plumper side. Simple walking is a very good exercise for healing varicose veins, because the rhythmic contraction of your leg muscles helps in pumping blood back to the heart.
- In half a cup of cool water, mix 10 drops each of cypress and yellow essential oils and two spoons of aloe vera juice. Soak a cloth compress in the blend and apply to the affected areas. Aloe vera helps with tissue repair and the oils will soothe inflammation.
- If you suffer from constipation, eat more high-fibre foodstuffs like bran breakfast, cereals, oranges, pears, beans and whole grains, because straining while passing stools puts pressure on the blood vessels in your legs and impedes blood flow back to the heart.