Varicose veins are so common and it’s the time of the year where we want to show off our legs and feel cool, but don’t feel confident. Besides being unsightly, these enlarged veins can be dangerous for your health. Even when they pose no threat, they can be painful and uncomfortable.
Your veins have gotten this way as a result of lost elasticity combined with a weakening of the one-way valves in the veins. These valves are supposed to stop the blood from falling back in the direction of gravity and away from your heart but if they are weakened you can get a pooling of blood in the dilated veins, hence the bulges characteristic of varicose veins.
Varicose veins can cause swelling, aching, itching, heaviness in the limb and fatigue. In severe cases the circulation to the lower leg is affected and may result in clots.
Here’s how you can either prevent varicose veins from worsening:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a diet high in fibre to avoid constipation and straining. That means lots of fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains – think wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, oats etc.
- Drink plenty of water – the most nourished and “full” your skin is, the less veins will appear.
- Exercise and engage in an activity such as walking, running, dancing or riding a bike to promote circulation and prevent pooling of blood.
And here are 6 home remedies to reduce your varicose veins:
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps improves blood flow and circulation, which in turn can help your veins to get rid of blood more effectively, thus reducing their appearance.
To reap the benefits, apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on the varicose veins and gently massage the area twice a day. Another way is to add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
Garlic works to reduce inflammation and break down harmful toxins in the blood vessels.
You can either rub a clove of garlic on your veins or you can use minced garlic. Increasing your intake of garlic may also reduce the appearance of your veins.
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a very effective herb for strengthening blood vessels, and can reduce swelling. Simply place a cotton ball or swab soaked in witch hazel on your veins, three times a day.
4. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and can also strengthen and repair damaged capillaries and blood vessels. To reduce your veins, simply gently massive your problem area twice a day.
5. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is considered a miracle treatment for varicose veins – all you need to do is add one teaspoon of the powder to a cup of hot water and stir it well. Drink twice a day to see an improvement.
6. Olive oil
Increasing blood circulation is essential to treating varicose veins so massaging with olive oil can help increase circulation.
To see the benefit, mix equal amounts of olive oil and vitamin E oil and massage into the veins.
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