Varicose veins are a condition recognized by bluish purple enlarged and twisted veins. This condition occurs when one-way valves that ensure the blood flow towards the heart become weak and due to the weakness veins become enlarged and the blood gets collected inside them. Varicose veins are most common in legs because they must put up against the gravity and increased pressure caused by standing up. Besides the obvious cosmetic concern, varicose veins can also cause, pain, aching, heaviness and swelling. If not treated properly they can lead to more severe health conditions like phlebitis, blood clots, circulatory disorders, skin ulcers and heart diseases. Varicose veins are usually caused be aging, hormonal changes in women, genetics, increased pressure from excess weight, chronic constipation and prolonged standing or sitting.
There are quite a few home treatment for varicose veins which can be beneficial in strengthening the veins and reducing the leakage of the fluid from the vessel walls. One of the most popular home treatments for various veins and another possibly related conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency is a herb called horse chestnut.
This herb is a very rich in aescin which is an active compound very efficient in blocking the releases of enzymes that are responsible for the damage of the capillary walls. Horse chestnut extract is very beneficial in reducing the pain and the swelling that occurs with varicose veins. Whole horse chestnut can be potentially unsafe because it may trigger diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, headache, respiratory failure, circulatory failure and it may even be fatal. Commercially produced horse chestnut does not contain the toxic substance called esculin. Pregnant and nursing women, infants and those who suffer from kidney and liver diseases should avoid this remedy. It also should not be mixed with Aspirin and anticoagulant medications.
Grape seed and pine bark extracts are also very beneficial because they have strong antioxidant properties due to their oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes. These substances are very efficient in strengthening the connective tissue of blood vessels and reducing inflammations. Side effects include an upset stomach, nausea and an affected immune system in some patients who have some other underlying conditions. These extracts should not be mixed with corticosteroids and immune system suppressants.
Butcher’s broom is another home remedy for the treatment of varicose veins because it strengthens the blood vessel walls and improves the circulation due to its abundance in ruscogenins. Some patients have complained that it may cause nausea and indigestion. It also should be avoided if the patient already takes high blood pressure medications and MAO inhibitors. Reflexology is another method that can be helpful in reducing the swelling.