Varicose Veins: Do Natural Remedies Work?
Written By: Emma Squillace
If you search the internet for natural remedies for varicose veins, you’ll see quite a few results. With about 30 million people suffering from varicose veins, it makes sense that so many people would be looking for the easiest and most efficient way to cure these bulging veins. Today we’ll give you an overview of some of the ‘varicose vein natural remedies’ we see on the internet, and our professional opinion of them.
Apple cider vinegar
Several sources say that rubbing apple cider vinegar on varicose veins will make them shrink. It may not surprise you to hear this is a suggested natural remedy, because in the past few years apple cider vinegar has been touted as a cure for anything from obesity to yellow teeth and arthritis. While there are some medical areas in which apple cider vinegar shows promise, treating varicose veins is not one of them. Neither rubbing apple cider on your legs, nor drinking it, will get rid of visible veins.
Losing weight is recommended as a cure for varicose veins, and this is an interesting suggestion to consider. After all, carrying extra weight is one factor that makes varicose veins more likely to develop. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can rid yourself of varicose veins by losing weight. The good news about losing weight is this can help prevent varicose veins from getting worse, and can lower your risk of developing new varicose veins in the future. Losing weight may also lessen some symptoms from your varicose veins. However, your weight loss will not actually help you get rid of those visible veins. Once a varicose vein has formed, you’ll need a more substantial treatment.
Because exercise helps improve blood flow, it is another popular recommendation for treating varicose veins. Exercise, especially walking, is great for getting your circulation flowing well, reducing your chances of developing varicose veins in the future, and has many other health benefits. Despite the benefits of exercise, there is no way to “exercise away” a varicose vein. Like with weight loss, exercise can help to reduce some of the symptoms of these veins, but it’s usually only medical treatment that can effectively get rid of a varicose vein.
There is at least one popular source on the internet that refers to cayenne pepper as “a miracle cure” for varicose veins. This type of misinformation is not only misleading, but potentially dangerous for people who may follow the advice. Rubbing cayenne on your skin and drinking glasses of cayenne & water multiple times a day can lead to skin irritation and ulcers. This is not a remedy for varicose veins.
Some sites recommend compression stockings as a varicose vein cure. This is one of the only non-invasive recommendations that works in some cases. Especially if your varicose veins are small and in the early stages of development, it can be worth trying specially made compression garments to see if these can improve blood flow and minimize the veins. Larger varicose veins, and ones that have been visible for a while, tend to be less responsive to compression stockings.
Some of the suggested “natural remedies” for varicose veins are positive suggestions – for example, losing weight and exercising more. But the reality is these lifestyle changes will not cure varicose veins. Compression stockings are one of the few methods that is worth trying in some scenarios. Recommendations like using apple cider vinegar or cayenne pepper to get rid of varicose veins are not helpful. In fact, you may cause more problems by trying remedies that don’t work. In general, if a home-cure sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best way to get rid of varicose veins for most people is with a minimally invasive treatment like sclerotherapy or laser treatment. If you want to talk to us about varicose veins, we’d be happy to answer your questions. You can reach us at (855) 690-0565.