Do you have varicose or spider veins that are unsightly or painful? There are ways to reduce and even eliminate them naturally.
Varicose veins are quite popular with the ladies these days and not in a good way! They are more common as you age and during and after pregnancy because of gravity and weight gain.
Varicose veins (and their milder counterpart, spider veins) are a circulatory condition that occurs when a vein become twisted and enlarged with an abnormal collection of blood. Any vein can become varicose, but those that bother us the most (and are the most noticeable) are in our legs and feet. Poor circulation contributes to decreased blood flow to the veins making them more pronounced, especially near the surface of the skin.
There are some natural things you can do both internally and externally to help reduce these cosmetic nuisances:
Internally, taking cod liver oil can help improve circulation therefore reducing the size of the veins. Horse chestnut capsules or extract are also known for their effectiveness in improving circulation specifically for varicose veins. (Horse chestnut can also be added to a salve for external use. For more information about herbal preparations and how to use them, go here.)
Externally, calendula and yarrow are wonderful for reducing inflammation when made into a spray with witch hazel and essential oils. This spray is quite fragrant so as you are blending it make sure you like all the scents of the essential oils it calls for because they will be your perfume!
(Note from Faith: I love using this witch hazel for cosmetic needs as well as for clients who are experiencing menopausal hot flashes. Definitely a must-have for any natural medicine cabinet!)
Alternatively or in conjunction with, a salve rubbed externally and directly onto especially large varicose veins can help with blood flow and reduce them. Results are usually seen after continuous use over a 6-week period.
Here’s two recipes to get you started!
Varicose Vein Spray
- 1/2 mason jar calendula flowers
- 1/2 mason jar yarrow leaves and flowers
- or 1/3 of each herb plus horse chestnut (optional)
- witch hazel
- 30 drops cyprus essential oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops helichrysum oil (optional)
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
- 5 drops orange essential oil
- Fill mason jar with half calendula and half yarrow.
- Add witch hazel to cover the herbs.
- Lid and shake well.
- Allow to sit for about 3 weeks, shaking jar occasionally.
- Strain into spray bottles (preferably glass) and and essential oils
- Spray on to varicose veins 3x daily for at least 6 weeks or until improvement is seen.
Varicose Vein Salve
- 1 cup organic olive or castor oil
- 1 oz of yarrow and calendula dried herb blend
- 1/2 oz beeswax
- 1/4 tsp vitamin E
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of desired essential oil blend from varicose vein recipe
- Salve tins or jars
- To make your salve you will need a large glass measuring bowl and a pot (or use a double boiler).
- Fill pot halfway with water and place glass measuring bowl inside the pot.
- Turn heat on medium low.
- Add oil and dry herbs to glass bowl and simmer gently for 3 hours.
- Strain oil through a cheesecloth into a clean bowl and return to pot.
- Add the beeswax and let melt.
- To test for the right consistency, place a pea-sized amount on wax paper and place in freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes. Add more beeswax if not firm enough or add more oil if too firm.
- Remove from heat and add vitamin E and essential oils.
- Mix well (I use a bamboo skewer).
- Pour into tins or jars.
- Let cool and lid.
- Rub on to varicose veins daily
- Make an infused oil by placing the herbs and oil in a jar and let it sit for 4-6 weeks.
- Strain and make salve per above instructions.