If you suffer from unsightly veins that can be a cause of concern in terms of physical appearance or as a source of aching, swelling, itching, and pain, there’s a high probability you have varicose veins. A number of reasons can cause varicose veins, but they typically require medical treatment to be resolved completely.
However, while staying on track with your medical treatments, you can also introduce some natural supplements to speed up the recovery process as certain extracts, oils, and herbal remedies are suggested to improve the appearance of varicose veins. We have rounded up 6 of the best natural supplements for varicose veins for your convenience and will also be taking an in-depth look into the cause and prevention of these veins.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins or varcoses are enlarged, swollen, and twisted veins that are superficial in nature as they are often visible on the legs and feet. These swollen blood vessels appear on the skin as clusters of blue or purple veins, and they are even sometimes surrounded by spider veins which are prominent small blood vessels that are located near the surface of the skin.
Veins typically function by using one-way valves that help keep the blood flowing in one direction towards the heart. If the valves become weakened or damaged, the structural integrity of the veins can be compromised, and blood can back up and pull in your veins, thereby causing them to swell and become distorted, which leads to varicose veins.
Varicose veins can appear anywhere; however, they are commonly found on the legs and the pelvic area. These veins are typically closer to the surface of the skin, but deeper varicose veins can also occur that are not physically visible to the human eye. Deeper varicose veins might not be visible, but they can cause the skin above them to swell, resulting in a darkening of skin and even pain.
Symptoms of varicose veins usually appear before the age of 40, and these veins can appear on swollen ankles, legs, and feet while also causing muscle cramps, leg soreness, itchiness, discoloration, skin ulcers, and pain that often gets worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time.
The occurrence of varicose veins is also heightened with age as the walls and valves of the veins become weaker due to natural wear and tear, thereby increasing the chances of developing varicose veins. There is also a genetic element associated with the emergence of varicose veins, as you are more likely to have it if a parent or family member has them. Another major cause is lack of exercise and weight gain that can place pressure on the legs, making it difficult for blood to flow effectively through the veins resulting in varicose veins.
How Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?
There is no surefire way of preventing varicose veins, which is why you need to focus on maintaining your overall health by incorporating exercise and a healthy diet in your routine. Some possible methods of preventing varicose veins are:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight by exercising and having a balanced diet
- Partaking in cardio exercises such as brisk walks can improve circulation and promote healthy blood flow to all parts of the body
- If you are genetically predisposed to developing varicose veins, you can even benefit from using support stockings that provide a suitable amount of pressure and compression that keeps blood flowing effectively through your limbs
- Wearing loose and flowy clothing that is not tight around areas such as your waist can restrict blood flow to your legs
- Reduce salt intake as it can lead to swelling and bloating
6 Best Natural Supplements For Varicose Veins
1. Horse Chestnut Extract
Horse chestnut extracts, also known as Aesculus hippocastanum L., can reduce leg pain, itching, and heaviness associated with chronic venous insufficiency, a condition in which the venous wall or valves don’t allow blood to flow back to the heart effectively and a cause of varicose veins.
Horse chestnut seed extract contains aescin, which works by thinning the blood, making it more difficult for the fluid to leak out of veins. Aescin also acts as a diuretic by allowing excess fluid to escape the body through the urine, reducing swelling and having anti-inflammatory properties. Horse chestnuts also contain procyanidin A2 and esculin, which protect vascular walls and inhibit the functioning of certain enzymes that damage vein structure. Horse chestnut also increases venous tone as it allows the smooth muscle in vein walls to contract, which makes them stable. The extract can be applied topically or consumed orally to obtain its benefits. Here are some of our top picks for horse chestnut extract:
- Planetary Herbals Horse Chestnut Cream – Tonifier for Tissues and Vein Appearance(ASIN: B0009EXMTI)
- Absonutrix Horse Chestnut Extract Aesculus hippocastanum(ASIN: B083BK27QH)
- Nova Nutritions Horse Chestnut Seed Extract Tablets(ASIN: B07TR4VKCH)
2. Grape Seed Extract
Grapes can be used in a number of ways as medicine, considering the fruit, its leaves, and sap have many benefits. Grape seed extract pass previously been used to treat symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, which is a precursor to varicose veins. The grape seed extract is associated with improving circulation and reducing pain and swelling linked with varicose veins.
The flavonoid compounds in grapeseed extract assist in treating cardiovascular problems in addition to counteracting the inflammatory process in cells to improve the appearance of varicose veins. They also strengthen the walls of blood vessels and prevent blood from pooling and causing varicose veins. Here are some of our top picks for grape seed extract:
- NutriBiotic The Original Grapefruit Seed Extract Premium Concentrate with Bioflavonoids(ASIN: B0002JHZO8)
- com Grape Seed Extract Powder – Vein Support Supplements(ASIN: B00GW5KB10)
- Zazzee Grape Seed Extract Vegan Capsules(ASIN: B01JX5KT8A)
3. Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark extract or pycnogenol is sourced from species native to the Mediterranean region, such as Pinus Maritima and Pinus Pinaster, which are associated with reducing leg swelling or edema that can arise due to varicose veins. The extract from pine bark contains plant pigments known as bioflavonoids which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Certain compounds in pine bark and also reduce the production of certain enzymes that break down cartilage and weaken the walls of blood vessels.
Pine bark extract is also linked with pain reduction due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the compound procyanidin oligomers, which reduce swelling in the lower limbs, specifically the feet and ankles, to relieve the pain from varicose veins. Pycnogenol also prevents leaky blood vessels, and the extract Contains flavonoids called taxifolin and catechin, which stimulate the body’s nitric oxide production that improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels. Here are some of our top picks for pine bark extract:
- Nugenix Essentials Pine Bark Extract Capsules(ASIN: B07Q38XCG3)
- com Pine Bark Extract Powder(ASIN: B00F7VZIDG)
- Pine Bark Tincture Alcohol-Free Extract(ASIN: B06Y2GZXK6)
4. Butcher’s Broom Root
Butcher’s broom originated in the Mediterranean region, and it is an evergreen shrub that is a member of the lily family. The root is mainly used for its medicinal properties, and the butcher’s broom root extract is also known as Ruscus aculeatus, and it is known to calm leg swelling associated with varicose veins. The active compounds known as saponins in the butcher’s broom root cause the blood vessels to constrict to retain a strong and steady blood supply, improving circulation in the extremities and preventing blood from pooling in the veins. The saponins have stimulating properties that improve the construction of blood vessels and allow the blood in the veins to flow back to the heart more efficiently.
Butcher’s broom also contains antioxidants, essential oils, and glycosides that are not only used as a diuretic but also as a vein strengthening agent. The anti-inflammatory properties of the butcher’s broom assist with the management of varicose veins as well while improving the general health of the circulatory system and relieving symptoms such as cramps, itching, swelling, heaviness, and pain. Here are some of our top picks for butcher’s broom extract:
- Sunflower Botanicals Butcher’s Broom Extract(ASIN: B00AROFIKG)
- Swanson Butcher’s Broom Capsules(ASIN: B00068U470)
- com Butcher’s Broom Extract Powder – Vein Support Supplements(ASIN: B01BKYS6Q4)
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Also known as maidenhair, ginkgo biloba is a tree with fan-shaped leaves that are used in medicinal remedies, and they are the basis of the extract used in supplements. This tree is native to China, and it is used particularly in Chinese medicine due to its medicinal properties. Ginkgo biloba contains a bioflavonoid known as rutosides or rutin that possesses anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antioxidant properties. It can also strengthen the walls of veins and capillaries that can prevent varicose veins from occurring. Additionally, they can also be used to treat swelling in the lower limbs, specifically the ankles and calves, due to its anti-inflammatory nature.
Ginkgo biloba has the ability to increase blood flow to different parts of the body, as research suggests there was an increase of nitric oxide in the blood of those who consume ginkgo, which is linked with dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow. This improvement in circulation combined with ginkgo’s ability to make the blood less sticky allows an improvement in the visibility of varicose veins. Here are some of our top picks for products with ginkgo biloba:
- Naturevibe Botanicals Ginkgo Biloba Extract Powder(ASIN: B08HL3NYR5)
- Panax Ginseng + Ginkgo Biloba Tablets – Premium Non-GMO/Veggie Superfood Tablets(ASIN: B081JBM8G3)
- Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Liquid Extract(ASIN: B07HZ6FVPP)
Not only does lavender smell heavenly, but it can also even help banish those pesky varicose veins if you use it regularly. Lavender oil is shown to have reduced the life cycle of skin ulcers associated with varicose veins, and the oil also has sedative and analgesic properties that assist with the accompanying discomfort or pain of varicose veins due to its calming effect. When applied or rubbed in areas with varicose veins, lavender oil is a potent anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling and pain.
Lavender oil can be used for pain relief through aromatherapy as well, where you can use a diffuser to let the scent disperse in your immediate environment to produce a relaxing effect which contemporary relief some symptoms of varicose veins. When using lavender oil, you can also dilute it with carrier oils or water before applying it topically as a remedy for varicose veins as in their raw form; essential oils can often be harsh on the skin and cause skin irritation. Here are some of our top picks for products with lavender extract:
- Lavender Pure Oil Extract Soft Gel Capsules(ASIN: B01MSRCN5O)
- Laru Lavender Body Butter(ASIN: B098RFX8GP)
- MAJESTIC PURE Lavender Essential Oil(ASIN: B00TSTZQEY)
Our Final Thoughts
Varicose veins can be present due to reasons such as genetics, hormones, and weight. While they are not typically a cause of concern, a medical diagnosis and treatment plan can significantly reduce the effects of varicose veins, even though there is no absolute way to prevent them from forming. Our list of the best natural supplements for varicose veins can help reduce the effects of these veins as long as it is approved by your doctor and you are also following a medical treatment plan and routine.