Healthy veins contain one-way valves inside that stop the blood from remaining stagnant or flowing backward. Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins that occur when these valves are damaged or weakened, allowing the blood to flow back through and accumulate in the one spot. This creates a tell-tale bulge on the surface of the skin that can look twisted or lumpy and be dark blue or purple in color. Factors that contribute to varicose veins are family history, obesity, birth control pills, hormonal changes or occupations that require a lot of standing up.
The majority of people affected by varicose veins don’t need medical treatment, as varicose veins generally don’t pose problems to circulation or health. However, varicose veins can be uncomfortable, and can cause pain, fatigue, restlessness, burning, throbbing, tingling or heaviness in the legs.
Here are 10 home remedies to reduce the symptoms and appearance of varicose veins.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has long been used for many different purposes, whether around the house, in cooking or for various health issues. By far the most popular choice is apple cider vinegar, and it’s purported to have multiple health benefits like weight loss, relief from heartburn, improved bowel irregularity, relief from joint pain, and can even be used in pet care to control fleas.
The two-step process to make vinegar is similar to how alcohol is made. The first step involves introducing yeast to crushed apples (or apple cider), which ferments the sugars in the apples and turns them into alcohol. Then, bacteria is added to the solution which causes further fermentation and turns it into acetic acid, which is the main active compound in vinegar.
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains only three calories, so it’s a perfect addition to a healthy diet. It’s also been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and better insulin function, which may be an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes. A study published by the American Diabetes Association shows that vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity to high-carbohydrate meals for those with diabetes or a resistance to insulin.
Because apple cider vinegar is a natural cleanser, it’s a great way to treat varicose veins at home. Simply massage undiluted apple cider vinegar over the varicose veins, gently rubbing it in. Ensure you do this morning and night for the best effects. Ingesting apple cider vinegar can also reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Mix two teaspoons in with some water and drink twice a day.