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.