If you suffer from varicose veins there are a number of simple and accessible complementary treatments that may be beneficial for accompanying regular medical treatment.
+ Varicose veins are a sign of a circulatory problem: the blood is stuck in the veins and is not flowing back to the heart properly. This is especially the case for varicose veins in the legs. They can cause pain, tiredness and lack of energy. A simple method to help soothe and prevent varicose veins is to make use of gravity by lifting up your legs. Lie down on a makeshift ottoman by placing two or three pillows on your coach and putting your feet up above hip level. This is recommended whenever your legs are sore and/or tired.
TREATMENT AGAINST TINGLING
To avoid or treat a tingling sensation produced by varicose veins, especially when it's hot, try to keep your legs and skin cool and hydrated. When you feel tingling or warmth, rinse the area with cool water and then gently massage using a blend off camphor, mint or menthol: dilute a few drops of camphor and mint or menthol oils in almond oil.
Camphor stimulates the skin and acts as an astringent diuretic that stimulates blood circulation. Mint and menthol help to cool the skin down, and have lasting effects. Massaging with these oils added to a base oil not only helps to improve blood circulation to the skin, but also helps to keep the skin hydrated for a quick relief. With continued use, the feeling of heavy, tired legs may lessen.
To increase the oil's cooling effect, keep the oil and other creams in the refrigerator.
If you have varicose veins, it's important to try and stay off your feet (standing is the worst position for this condition). Try to avoid sitting for hours as well. The best position for your body is to be in moderate motion (without high impact). For example if you are traveling in a car or plane:
- • Wrap an elastic cloth around the lower part of your legs (from the toes to the knees).
- • If you are traveling by car, make regular stops to walk around and activate the circulation.
- • If you are traveling by plane, walk around in the aisle. Try not to sit for too long.
If you have to stay on your feet for prolonged periods of your time, alternate putting your body's weight on your heels and on your toes to stretch out the muscles on the soles of your feet and improve your blood circulation.
BATHS AND RUBS
These treatments have decongestive effects and are most efficient before going to bed.
Fill up a tub or bucket with water and soak the legs up to your knees. You can add a witch hazel infusion (1 tablespoon every 4 cups of water). Soak your legs for 15 minutes. Next vigorously dry your legs with a cotton towel.
Boil a cup of grapevine leaves in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes. Next, soak your feet in a bath with alternate temperatures.
- • For the first 5 to 10 minutes; soak your feet in a bucket with a hot infusion of grapevines leaves. Continue with another bucket filled with cold water for 10 seconds.
- • Change temperatures 3 or 4 times, always starting with hot water and ending with cold water.
- • Afterward, massage your legs in an upward direction. Finish by resting with your legs elevated.
All parts of this plant have interesting medicinal properties. They are also abundant in flavonoids and the pigments that have a protective action on the blood capillaries. This is one of the most effective herbal remedies for vein ailments.
- • Use a showerhead on your legs every day for 10 minutes and use a massage starting from your ankle all the way up to your knee, to improve blood flow back to the heart.
- • Keep the skin hydrated by applying a cream after the shower.
Massages with garlic and lemon mixture
- • Cut 6 cloves of garlic in slices and place in a clean jar. Next add the juice of 2 or 3 lemons.
- • Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil (its best to use olive or fruit oils) and let sit for 12 hours.
- • Before using shake well.
- • Put a few drops of the oil on your fingertips and gently massage the sore area, using upward circular motions.
- • When you finish the massage (after approximately 15 minutes) cover the area with a long cotton sock.
- • Repeat each night at the end of your day.
COMPRESSES AND BANDAGES
Compresses consist of using a cotton or linen cloth (never synthetic fibers) folded several times, soaked in water and wrapped around the affected area. To treat varicose veins, you should use cold water. You shouldn't apply the compress directly on the skin, first place a thin cloth on the skin to protect it. You can also use another cloth to wrap around the compress to keep it in place. The following are a few compresses that are useful against problems related to varicose veins.
Mix 4 cups of mineral water with 1 teaspoon of fine salt and the juice of 2 lemons. Keep this lotion in the refrigerator and apply as a compress on the varicose area once daily. After elevate your feet for ½ an hour. A variant of this treatment is using vinegar mixed with cold water in equal parts. Apply at night before going to bed.
COLD FENNEL AND LAVENDER COMPRESSES
Fill a bowl with cold water and add 5 drops of fennel essential oil and 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Soak a linen cloth in this mixture and wring it out. Apply as a compress and leave for a few seconds. Repeat this process 5 or 6 times. This treatment is best before going to bed. It has an anti-inflammatory action.
To relieve swollen ankles prepare an infusion with this herb, filtering and then cooling it in the refrigerator. Apply as a compress on the affected area and leave to sit for 20 minutes, keeping the legs raised above hip level.
Place 1 cup of marigold flowers in 4 cups of water and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Soak gauze with this infusion and apply to the affected area.
Apple cider vinegar
For heavy, tired legs prepare a mixture of 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply this lotion to the legs and then gently wrap them (without squeezing) with elastic gauze. Put up your feet for 20 minutes. Next, take the bandage off.
Camomile and rose flower
Mix in equal parts camomile and rose flowers using 1 tablespoon of each in 1 cup of boiling water; let steep for 10 minutes. Soak a small bandage with this preparation and apply it to the affected area.
Compresses and bandages have been adapted and used from the medicines of ancient cultures. They can be easy to use and very efficient. In general, compresses are used as a complementary therapy to accelerate the curing process. Their action depends on the ingredients used in the compress: thermal (for varicose veins cold is recommended), chemical (herbs, clay), extracting (mustard) or physical (to adsorb toxins).
SPECIAL COMPRESS POULTICES
Cataplasms are special paste preparations that are applied with a linen cloth or directly on the skin. You can use a number of different earth elements such as clay or volcanic mud, medicinal plants (cabbage leaves, mustard seed) or other animal products (bees wax).
Clay with onion juice
- • Mix medicinal clay with juice extracted from raw onions.
- • Apply at night as a cataplasm directly on the skin.
- • Cover with a tight fabric or linen cloth.
- • Leave on all night as you sleep.
- • In the morning remove the cataplasm and clean the skin, rubbing with ½ lemon. You should rub firmly upward but gently downward.
Mustard seed tends to have an irritating action. If you leave on the skin for prolonged periods of time, it can irritate the skin and give a burning sensation. The body defends itself by sending a lot of blood to the area, increasing blood circulation which has a detoxifying effect. The application should be left on the skin for a very brief period of time, to avoid the irritation turning into a sore.
This treatment helps to stimulate circulation. Mix 3 oz/90 g of ground mustard seeds mixed with hot water to form a thick paste. Spread over a piece of fabric. This treatment shouldn't be applied directly on the skin your are treating. First place a wet gauze on your skin to avoid the paste sticking to it. Then apply the cataplasm and take off some minutes afterward. To relieve reddening we recommend applying olive oil to the skin.
Cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties. To avoid tired, heavy legs cover them with cabbage leaves soaked in water. You should use a cotton fabric. Leave to act for ½ hour.
Oatmeal and yogurt
To clear up blue marks on the legs, prepare a paste with the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon of oatmeal flour, 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil. Mix all the ingredients together and apply on the discolored area. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse off with water. You should repeat up to 3 times a day.
Cacao butter and wheat germ oil
Mix in equal parts these two fatty elements and apply to the affected area. Leave on for ½ hour and then rinse off with tepid water.
Chestnut helps to support the veins and blood vessels. This decoction made from the dry nut is easy and fast to prepare. It helps to treat blood circulation problems, and among those, pains related to varicose veins.
• Boil ½ glass of water and 1 tablespoon of chestnuts for 3 minutes.
• Let steep for 5 minutes and filter.
• Sweeten with brown sugar, honey or molasses (not refined sugar) and add lemon juice.
• For the first 10 days drink this infusion 3 times a day before meals. After 10 straight days, twice daily before meals. Then cut down to 1 cup a day.
• Repeat this cycle for 1 month.
• If your pain doesn't improve you can continue drinking this infusion.