Are Natural Treatments Effective for Reversing Varicose Veins?
It is natural for people with varicose veins to seek out easy fixes for making their legs look and feel great. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of the natural or home remedies that flood the internet are far from the simple solutions that they may appear. Read on to learn about some of the most common home remedies for varicose and spider veins and why it’s better to steer clear of these options.
Common Home Remedies
Varicose veins are a serious medical condition that demands serious treatments, yet people continue to turn to home and natural remedies in the hopes of finding an easy solution. The list of home and natural remedies that have been proposed for varicose veins could go on for pages. Instead of trying to address all of them, we’re taking a closer look at a few of the most popular ones to better understand what they are and whether they work.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Across the internet, apple cider vinegar is touted as the cure for everything from the common cold to cancer (the latter has been debunked). It’s not surprising, then, that it comes up frequently as a natural remedy for varicose veins. You are supposed to apply the apple cider vinegar to the veins topically in order to improve circulation and healthy blood flow. While it’s quite possible that apple cider vinegar has other concrete health benefits, it is not the easy cure for varicose veins that people hope it will be. Your existing veins will not disappear or reduce in size with this treatment.
Supplements. A variety of supplements are touted as natural remedies for varicose and spider veins. Horse chestnut is the most popular of these, though gingko Biloba and bilberry are also supposed to produce a positive response. Other common recommendations are turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garlic, all of which are supposed to improve your circulation. Many of these remedies are based on outdated beliefs about how the body works. Cayenne pepper, for example, is recommended based on the outdated belief that spicy substances can improve your blood flow. Like apple cider vinegar, these supplements may have some positive health benefits, but they are certainly not going to cure your veins.
Witch Hazel. Another commonly promoted remedy is witch hazel, which like apple cider vinegar can be applied topically to the veins themselves. Witch hazel has properties that can benefit your skin, including shrinking pores and soothing redness. But it does not have any effect below the top layers of skin and will do nothing to help your varicose or spider veins. While the initial coolness of witch hazel might offer momentary comfort when it is applied, that relief is short-lived and will have no lasting benefits.
Remedies That Can Help
While there is no home or natural remedy that will cure you of varicose or spider veins, there are some steps you can take at home to help prevent the creation or worsening of varicose veins in addition to potentially helping with the symptoms. These include a healthy, low-sodium diet, movement and exercise to improve circulation, and compression stockings. Your doctor can advise you about these “home remedies” — they will not reverse your existing veins, but can still have benefits.
The unfortunate reality is that there really is no home treatment that will reverse or erase existing varicose veins. For most patients, apart from those who are pregnant, surgery is the only option. It is only through surgery that your existing veins can be reduced or removed. There are a number of options available, many of which are minimally invasive. If you have varicose or spider veins and are interested in investigating treatment options, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment.