Last Modified on Mar 26, 2015
What is a Varicose Vein?
Varicose veins are visible, enlarged veins with a knotted look to them, often appearing in the legs and feet though any vein can be affected. Standing and walking upright puts greater pressure on the circulatory system of the lower body, and the veins in the leg must work against gravity to return blood to the heart.
As you age, these leg veins can lose their elasticity or become weak, allowing deoxygenated (blue) blood to pool and enlarge the veins to a visible level. Pregnancy is also a potential cause of varicose veins, as there is an increase in the volume of blood but an increased pressure of the uterus on the lower body. Additionally, being overweight and standing or sitting for long periods of time can affect blood flow and increase the chances of developing varicose veins.
Varicose veins and spider veins are normally just a cosmetic issue; they can be unattractive and quite visible, affecting the way you dress and how you see yourself. Varicose veins are usually no more than what they are, unsightly; however, they can sometimes increase the risk of blood clots forming deep in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT).
Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
Here you can find a number of user submitted home and folk cures for varicose veins. Our most popular varicose vein treatment is apple cider vinegar; and other Earth Clinic readers have suggested and discussed dried basil, horse chestnut and butchers broom herbs, oil pulling, and unflavored gelatin. Let us know if you try a remedy you found here for varicose veins; and if you know of a remedy not listed here, please don't hesitate to let us know.
|Apple Cider Vinegar||6|
|Horse Chestnut and Butchers Broom Herbs||3|
[YEA] I have suffered for months now with extreme swelling of my legs. After many specialists I took matters in my own hands. Unprocessed Apple Cider Vinegar has not only eased the edema, my varicose veins have almost totally disappeared! If I didn't see with my own eyes I would never have imagined. I drink two teaspoons in water twice a day. The best!
Replied by Riley
Replied by Anon
Anon, Anon USA
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Replied by Ladygirl700
[YEA] I have had vericose veins for 39 yrs. Had surgery on them once. Last Friday I came home form work and my left leg was throbbing. My veins had bulged out and I spent the weekend with my leg up and nursing it.
Monday, the 16th, I got on the internet and found out about apple cider vinegar for vericose veins. I rubbed it on my leg followed with a skin , moisterizer, did not have coconut oil. Five minutes later I was Pain free. Am going to follow this through with orally taking honey and acv. Will keep noting my results. A true miracle for me.
Replied by Maria
Moses Lake, Wa
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[YEA] i use apple cider vinegar topically for many things. so far, it has cured my teenage sons pimple out break(we now use it every night as a toner followed by coconut oil), athletes foot, fever blisters, styes, rashes, cleaned my sinks, windows(pretty much the whole house). i also started drinking it. 3 tblsp of acv in 8 oz. filtered water & 1/4 tsp baking soda everyday, 3 times a day. so far, i have lost weight, i have not been sick, i haven't suffered from allergies, i have more energy, and i noticed last week that a y shaped varicose vein is not even a connected v and it is flat (it was very much protruding before). i was pretty ecstatic about that! i am so excited by all the benefits that i tell everyone! my family jokes that i should put some in a windex bottle (they are referring to the father from the movie 'my big, fat greek wedding'. anyway, i now buy small bottles to put acv and coconut oil in. i have given these to my family, friends,& clients as samples. i write down the brands(and specify why) , & also your web site. they have all called me and asked where they can buy more. yeah! they have used it for there blemishes, those with diabetes have said it lowered their sugar levels. a couple of my clients who have eczema and psoriasis have told me they have been very impressed with the acv and coconut oil on their problem areas and for dry skin. wow!!! truly a miracle!!! i was also wondering if the 'nays' are using raw, unfiltered,organic acv? i have bought some in the past that did not work. after doing more research i had come to understand where i had gone wrong. i then bought acv and 'nutivas' coconut oil. what a difference! oh!!!! i use the coconut oil on my woods! it's awesome!!!
Replied by Wendy
Plover, WI, U.S.A.
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Los Angeles, California
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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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[YEA] Apple Cider Vinegar has cured: varicose veins, weight gain, tendinitis, wrinkles. In April of 2005, I came across a booklet for ACV, at the time I was 50 years old I played sports in high school, a construction worker for 20 years and a mover for the last 15, so I have done a number on my body over the years. My daughter convinced me to start taking ACV... I have taken it everyday since! The health benefits have been many. The first thing I noticed was my hair and nail growth, doesn't seem like much but my hair was white and had no color, but was growing back in blonde! I thought that was amazing! Over all the years of abuse on my feet and ankles I had purple feet from the varicose veins, it really was a severe case, after two months of use my feet started to look clearer to me, but I wasn't sure so I started taking pictures....I now have NO varicose veins on my feet, legs or anything. In April of 2005 I was a size 38 pants, today I am a 32 pants. I have not done any extra exercise to achieve this, It simply melted the pounds away (I also have a six pack again). The ACV has given me a facelift, I do NOT look like I am 51! My wrinkles around my eyes have literally disappeared. My skin is tighter, firmer every where. I feel like a new man. Over the years while abusing my body in my everyday life (working) I developed new and painful body movements, aches where I never had before and eventually the Doc diagnosed me with tendinitis (really painful) in both of my shoulders, being a mover this isn't good for business, it really started hurting my paycheck (then I started the ACV). I really had not realized I stopped taking the naproxen the Dr. had prescribed until I went to see him for my physical. He asked me if I needed a new script, that's when I realized I used to live on those pills everyday and hadn't needed them once since I started taking the ACV, so I told the Dr. about the ACV he was awed, seeing the results for himself he decided to start taking it, in fact my Barber, Boss, Coworkers, Kids, Brothers and sister all now take it with health benefits of there own. I tell you I LOVE ACV it has changed my life and made me a new healthier man. I actually believe I have a long healthy life ahead. The recipe I use everyday is: 2 table spoons of ACV and 1 Tablespoon of honey. Add water to taste. I do this two times a day, everyday. Good luck to all in your journey to a healthier you!
Replied by Sonia
San Diego, CA
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Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
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[YEA] I had 2 really dark vericose veins. I took a rag and rubbed the ACV on the skin and i have done this for two weeks now. Once in the morning and once before bed. You can barely see them now and they were really noticeable.
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And yes, apple cider vinegar really does help varicose veins. Vitamin C taken about 1-1.5 grams per day has also been shown to help. Natural Vitamin E (taken along with the C) seems to help vitamin C be more effective also.
Replied by Lisa
[YEA] Basil helps Varicose Veins, leg cramps/circulation
I drink too much coffee and get tight calf muscles. Also I have small varicose veins. One day I stumbled on this, and it works so well I try to use the basil every day. It makes my legs feel warm and relaxed; I can usually tell when it starts to take effect, as I suddenly notice the sensation. Also, the veins are shrinking. This is what I do, not sure what's most important, but the basil seems to be the thing. I tried just making basil tea, and it didn't seem to work.
1/2 teaspoon basil (dried)
olive oil to grease the pan
pinch sea salt
pinch ground black pepper
cook as usual
fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon basil (dried)
pinch sea salt
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Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA
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Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA
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Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa
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Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa
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Waxahachie, Texas, Usa
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[YEA] Two herbs, Horse Chestnut and Butchers Broom, have been very helpful to me -- they have taken away the sore, aching, tired feeling from my legs. I don't know if the *appearance* of my leg veins has improved or not. They seem less noticeable now, but I've gained a little weight on my legs, so there may be more fat hiding some veins now.
These 2 specific herbs have made such a difference to my quality of life.
Background: I started getting varicose veins, and the aching that goes with them, when I was 16! Sixteen years old with varicose veins! And no, I wasn't pregnant, or obese.
The varicose veins just got worse over the decades.
The aching, TIRED feeling bothered me more than how they looked. I usually wore jeans, slacks, or a long skirt to hide them. And I hate support hosiery. It's so uncomfortable, especially in summer.
A few years ago, I was reading some traditional, conservative woman's magazine, maybe it was Woman's Day or Ladies' Home Journal, but I can't remember. There was an article about several herbal remedies that actually have some scientific evidence for being effective. It said that the herbs Horse Chestnut and Butchers Broom were helpful for varicose veins.
I tried the herbs.
The local natural foods stores sell several brands of capsules with the herbs in them. Affordable.
A couple year's ago, a doctor warned me not to take those herbs for a few days before a planned surgery, and for a couple weeks afterwards. Doctors wisely are cautious about any herb or drug before surgery, that may or may not affect circulation or blood or the speed of bleeding and/or coagulation. Other than that, my physician does not object to the herbs.
The usual common sense caveat: Of course you should talk to your doctor about any herbal remedies that you are thinking of trying. Because (1) I'm not a physician, and (2) each person's body and health are different, and (3) natural herbs can still have side effects and/or interactions with other drugs/herbs.
The Horse Chestnut and Butchers Broom herbs have worked like a miracle for me, so I'm surprised that they are not well known.
Replied by Bmilush
Bronx, Ny, Us
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[YEA] We would like to share our remarkable experience with Horse Chestnut. My 80-year-old husband has had varicose veins in both legs for 40 years, having previously worked at a job which required standing for most of the day. Normally the varicosities weren't painful. But recently he had an exacerbation of varicosities in one leg. The veins were visibly red and bulging, and he complained that they were painful. He was already on long-term vitamin E therapy, which didn't seem to help the condition of his veins.
We purchased him an elastic compression stocking costing about 7 Euros, the type which starts just below the knee and extends to just above the ankle. He wore the stocking throughout the day and removed it at night to sleep. In addition, he took one 300-mg capsule of Horse Chestnut in the morning and one in the evening. As the bottle of Horse Chestnut contained 100 tablets, we continued this therapy for 50 days until the bottle was empty, and then discontinued the Horse Chestnut.
Now, 55 days later, my husband's legs look normal again and his veins are pain-free. He had had bulging, unsightly veins in his legs for so many years, we had assumed they would never shrink. We were wrong. Horse chestnut and an elastic stocking did the trick for my husband.
Replied by Wortti
[YEA] Linseed oil (refrigerated), Tyrosine and Echinacea cures wrinkles, arthritis, varicose vein pain, Parkinsons Disease, fibromyalgia. 5 tablespoons Linseed oil and 2 echinacea tablets 3 times a day. Don't take calcium, evening primrose and glucosamine if you have any of the above conditions. Just try to eat less meat and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Fresh vege juice is very good also try 1 clove of fresh garlic a day. Tyrosine stops the shakes of Parkinson's very quickly. You will feel so much better.
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Vancouver, British Columiba, Canada
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Ted indicated use of Magnesium Supplement in Vericose Vein Remedies. It was mentioned that use of Magnesium supplement 500 mg helps relax heart muscles and enables normal circulation. I wish to know whether this will also help to restore Vericose vein to normal state. I will be happy to know experience of any Earth Clinic Members on this.
Replied by Anonymous
It could be that a viral infection like hepatitis causes varicose veins by making the blood sluggish, or to back up in the veins, there's a section on hepatitis in this site. Someone suggested Chanca Piedra and digestive enzymes to clear enlarged capilaries; if blockage is the problem it may work for varicose veins. Vitamin B6 was suggested for hemorrhoids to strengthen the walls of blood vessels. Rutin was also suggested. Candida infection was said to be a cause of hemorrhoids, may also cause varicose veins? Try eating several garlic cloves a day or another antibiotic. Try alkalizing body; eat fresh fruit and drink green vegetable juices. Or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach mix in a tall glass of water 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, not baking powder) and 1 teaspoon psillium fiber, drink immediately (take more potassium if needed). Consider pelvic inflamatory disease as a cause?
[YEA] Mince/smash two or three cloves of garlic and swallow it with water. With it take vitamin C and maybe some potassium. I also add iodine. This seems to reduce the pain and improve circulation. It also lessens the heaviness. Take it on a relatively empty stomach. You should stop drinking coffee, taking aspirin, and eating chocolate. Consider increasing your lysine, reducing arginine, and taking milk thistle, too.
[YEA] I'm not sure exactly what's working but the varicose veins are looking more like spider veins now. I started making wheatgrass/quackgrass juice a few times a week. Also take chlorophyll, MSM-Glucosamine-Chrondroiten combo, fish-flax-borage oil, evening primrose oil, fresh lemon juice, plain oatmeal, raw coconut oil, dandelion root tea, plain yogurt, no gluten, no coffee, no chocolate. I quit taking the horse-chestnut a few days ago, the veins improved since then, took it again today for heavy feeling in the legs. I suspect it's the juice and the oils that are shrinking the veins. Scrambled eggs with cheese, onion, basil and garlic seems good for the legs, too. Maybe there is liver congestion or kidney congestion causing vein problems.
[YEA] An 80 year old healthy male resolved his varicose veins by using nattokinase supplement. Follow directions on the container. I would also recommend citrus bioflavinoids taken as directed on the container. Both are available in capsule form at health stores.
Replied by Lise