Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are usually bluish purple in color. Normally, small, one-way valves within the veins ensure that the blood only flows towards the heart. However, in some people, these valves weaken and blood collects in the veins and causes them to enlarge. Varicose veins are most commonly seen on the legs, because the leg veins must work against gravity and standing increases pressure on the leg veins.
Varicose veins can be just a cosmetic concern in some people, but it can cause swelling, pain, or heaviness in others. It could also be a sign of circulatory disorders or heart disease. If not treated, varicose veins could lead to other serious complications such as skin ulcers, phlebitis or inflammation of the veins, and blood clots.
Causes of Varicose Veins:
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
- Being overweight, which increases the pressure on veins.
- Prolonged standing
- Chronic constipation
Considering the effectiveness of herbal supplements, many people are turning to herbal supplements and creams to treat varicose veins. As opposed to laser treatment and sclerotheraphy, herbal remedies aim to address the root cause of the problem such as weak vein walls and valves. Herbs help strengthen the vein walls, increase flexibility, improve blood micro-circulation and normalize vein permeability.
Grape Seed and Pine Bark: The extracts of grape seeds and pine bark include oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, antioxidants that make the connective tissue structure of the blood vessels stronger and reduce inflammation. The Grape seed extract is rich in antioxidants that help protect the cells against harmful free radicals. It has been effectively used to improve circulation, prevent blood clots and increase skin elasticity. Grape seed extracts help treat vascular or vein conditions like spider veins and varicose veins, in addition to improving vision and maintaining a healthy heart. However, people with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis should not take pine bark or grapeseed extract without first consulting the doctor.
Butcher’s broom: This herb contains ruscogenins which help to strengthen collagen in the blood vessel walls as well as improve circulation. This in turn strengthens weak and stretched vessels like those associated with varicose veins.
Japanese pagoda tree: Extracts of the Japanese pagoda tree are some of the most effective herbs for vein health. They are thought to enhance vein and capillary stability, reduce inflammation, and normalize permeability. Japanese pagoda tree extracts have also been shown to improve blood micro-circulation.
Horse chestnut: The extract derived from the seeds of the prickly horse chestnut fruit has been used for many years to treat vein conditions like varicose veins and spider veins. Horse chestnut extract helps reduce inflammation and improves the vein wall tone to facilitate blood flow back to the heart. It fixes microscopic leaks in tiny veins and capillaries, strengthens the vein walls, promotes elasticity, and prevents swelling. An active ingredient in horse chestnut called aescin blocks the release of enzymes which damage the capillary walls. However, whole horse chestnut is considered to be unsafe by the FDA as it could cause nausea, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Although these herbs help deal with varicose veins, certain allopathic medications like Herbal Pilex can also prove beneficial, available at online pharmacy. Pilex helps reduce the engorgement and turgidity of veins and venous capillaries. It relieves hepatic congestion and portal pressure, thus playing a facilitatory role in hepatic disorders linked with venous congestion. Its anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation and promote healing. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using this medication or any of the herbal medicines mentioned above.