6. Witch Hazel
Butcher’s broom is a shrub, also known as Ruscus aculeatus, that has been used for many years to treat various ailments and is a favorite in Ayurvedic practices. It’s an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean, and its common name came from the fact that butchers would frequently tie the twigs together as makeshift brooms to sweep their chopping blocks with.
Butcher’s broom has many health benefits. It’s been thought to improve circulation, and can treat the symptoms of bad circulation like cramping, tension, itching, swelling and pain. It’s suggested to improve swelling of the legs, carpal tunnel syndrome, and provide relief from hemorrhoids. Traditionally, it’s also been used as a treatment for bladder and urinary tract infections.
Butcher’s broom is a very popular choice for the treatment of varicose veins. It helps tighten blood vessels and capillaries by activating receptors that stimulate release of noradrenaline, a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland, which acts to constrict blood vessels. This can help get the blood moving and reduce pooling that can contribute to varicose veins. Butcher’s broom also promotes healthy microcirculation and capillary flow, while strengthening the connective tissues.
Butcher’s broom can be eaten, but it’s easiest to take it in the form of a supplement. It’s recommended to avoid taking it for longer than three months, as long-term studies have not been done. Side effects of butcher’s broom are rare but can include nausea and an upset stomach. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid butcher’s broom in any form.
7. Horse Chestnut Seeds
Horse chestnut seeds come from the horse chestnut tree native to the Balkan Peninsula and found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The seeds, leaves, bark and flowers have been used for hundreds of years to address various health problems, and are commonly used in phytotherapy. Tea can be made to treat stomach problems, and the seeds are used to relieve hemorrhoids.
Horse chestnut is also known as buckeye and Spanish chestnut and contains a compound called aescin, which has several suggested benefits. Aescin holds very strong antioxidant properties, and can relieve redness and swelling without suppressing the body’s natural immune response. It’s also a saponin, which can support the vascular system by strengthening the capillaries and making them less fragile.
Horse chestnut seeds have been shown to be extremely effective in treating varicose veins as it provides similar effects to compression socks, another popular way to reduce varicose veins. Studies have proven that horse chestnut seed extract can improve the symptoms of varicose veins and other chronic venous insufficiencies. Though more research should be undertaken, evidence so far suggests that horse chestnut seed extract is a safe and successful short-term solution to treating varicose veins.
Horse chestnut seeds can be purchased in a gel form, and can be used twice daily on the affected areas. Regular use can reduce swelling and pain significantly. There are also daily supplements that can be taken, usually containing around 300 mg of horse chestnut seeds. Avoid ingesting raw horse chestnut, as it can contain large amounts of esculin, a compound known to be toxic. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using this remedy.
Parsley is one of the most popular herbs to use as a garnish. Scientifically known as Petroselinum crispum, it’s native to the Mediterranean region and used commonly in Mediterranean, East European and American cuisine. There are several different types of parsley grown across Europe and all contain various antioxidants and other disease preventing properties.
Parsley is a low-calorie herb, with zero cholesterol and fat, but rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. It’s been shown to help control cholesterol levels, and contains an essential oil called eugenol that is an anesthetic and antiseptic and can reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics. Parsley contains many beneficial polyphenols like luteolin and myricetin, phytonutrients that has been shown to have potential cancer preventative properties.
Parsley also contains minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium, and is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin E, and various other antioxidants. It’s an effective treatment of varicose veins due to the large amounts of vitamin C found in it. To use parsley as a remedy for varicose veins, add it to your meals wherever you can.
You can also create a topical ointment out of parsley, water and essential oils. Take a handful of fresh, chopped parsley and boil it in one cup of water, then allow to cool before straining the solution through a sieve. Add a drop of rose and marigold essential oils and then put the mixture in the fridge until chilled. Apply to varicose veins using a cotton ball. Don’t apply parsley essential oil directly to the skin, as it can cause rash and irritation. It’s advised that pregnant women avoid consuming extremely large amounts of parsley either as a garnish or a supplement, as the essential oil in the root, leaf or seed may lead to uterine stimulation and preterm labor.
9. Grapevine Leaves
Grapevines are found all over the world in different climates, growing in the wild, twisting and climbing up bushes and other trees. It has no solid trunk, and can grow so well it can completely cover other plants. They’re an edible leaf with dozens of different species, and grow higher and thicker than other vines. Grapevines bloom tiny while flowers in the early summer, followed by hard, green grapes which develop into dark purple grapes in early fall.
Grapevine leaves are popular in culinary practices as a type of wrap in which you can fill with different foods and ingredients. The leaves vary depending on the species, as well as the climate and the maturity of the vine. The younger leaves are generally more palatable than older leaves as they tend to become fibrous and tough in texture. Grapevine leaves contain impressive amounts of tannin, and is more effective when pickled or fermented. This process also makes the leaves more digestible, which allows the phytonutrients and polyphenols to be digested easier.
Grapevine leaves hold many antioxidant flavonoids including glycosides, glucuronides, quercetin and catechin, and healthy acids such as gallic, malic and oxalic acids. When treating varicose veins with grapevine leaves, be sure to use red leaves as they have a much higher content of phenols. Studies have shown that red grapevine leaf extract was able to improve symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, one of which is varicose veins. Grapevine leaves also contain omega fatty acids, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.
As grapevine leaves also have astringent properties, they’re an effective treatment for varicose veins. Simply boil a cup of grapevine leaves to four cups of water, for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to steep until warm, and soak your varicose veins in the solution for five minutes. Then massage your legs in an upward direction with an oil like castor, olive or coconut. Afterwards, elevate your legs for a few minutes.
Marigolds are a cheerful yellow flower that is notoriously easy to grow. It’s also known as the “flower of rain”, as the flowers won’t open if it’s raining. There are around 50 different marigold species but they generally fall into one of two genuses, Tagetes and Celandula. They come in various shades of yellow and orange and have a strong scent, used commonly in cosmetic treatments. The name Marigold stems from “Mary’s gold”, and the scent can keep insects at bay.
Marigold is believed to be an extremely effective herb to treat skin issues, like inflammation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, cysts and other lesions. Marigold ointment is an excellent way to repair mild skin damage like sunburn or broken capillaries. The petals or flowers are used for numerous medicinal reasons and are a rich source of flavonoids and vitamin C. It’s an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in treating eczema, bruising and allergic reactions.
Marigolds contain lycopene, a carotenoid that is considered one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world and holds potential cancer-suppressing properties. Marigold can effectively treat varicose veins as it’s able to promote growth of new blood vessels and skin tissues, and when consumed it can also relieve inflammation of the digestive system. Use marigold to treat varicose veins by boiling the flowers and soaking a cloth in the mixture, then placing it over the varicose veins. You can also eat fresh petals, and juice the flowers to make marigold tea. Though side effects are rare, they may include allergic reactions and interaction with medications.
Varicose veins can be unsightly, and can cause you to be self-conscious. However, they are treatable and you can improve the appearance of them by following remedies like these. It’s also important to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, as this will keep your body weight and blood pressure down, both of which can contribute to varicose veins.