Can Essential Oils Heal Varicose Veins?
Essential oils, at best, provide only temporary relief from the discomfort of varicose veins. But there are other at-home remedies you can try.
With many people spending much more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, many varicose vein patients are seeking ways to deal with the pain and discomfort of their varicose veins without leaving the house. One such at-home remedy could be essential oils.
Although essential oils are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency classifies the oils as “generally recognized as safe.” Essential oils are plant-based liquids made from the extracts of flowers, herbs, and trees. Common essential oils include lavender, horse chestnut, sea pine, grape vine, yarrow, cyprus, clary sage, lemongrass, and rosemary.
As with any alternative treatment, check with your doctor before taking the product to ensure it won’t interfere with other medications you take or irritate your skin. Although essential oils may provide temporary relief from varicose vein symptoms, they are not a substitute for treatment from a vein specialist if you want to permanently eliminate varicose veins.
Better At-Home Options for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins develop deep within the legs veins when valves tasked with pumping deoxygenated blood back to the heart weaken. This allows blood to pool within the vein, eventually forcing the vein to extend outward into the visible sign of a varicose vein. Topical oils will not reverse this disorder because they don’t treat the underlying cause of the problem.
Yet there are other at-home remedies and self-care treatments you can undertake to reduce the pain, swelling, cramping, and heaviness of varicose veins. Try these four tips while you wait for treatment from a vein specialist:
Exercise. Most gyms are closed because of the pandemic, but you don’t need to go to a gym to maintain your physical fitness and vein health. To keep the blood circulating in your veins, strengthen your calf muscles with low-impact exercises such as walking and biking. These workouts build up the calf muscles so they’re able to support blood flow in the veins, thereby reducing pain and swelling. Avoid exercises like weightlifting and running on hard surfaces that put extra pressure on the veins.
Watch Your Diet. Foods high in salt tend to aggravate swelling, so stay away from sodium-packed processed foods. Instead, plan your daily meals around colorful fruits and vegetables loaded with bioflavonoids that fight inflammation and act as antioxidants. High-fiber foods are also good choices because they prevent constipation, which can strain abdominal veins. Proper circulation depends on hydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Buy Compression Stockings. Compression stockings are made of super-strong elastic fibers that squeeze the leg veins so blood will flow normally instead of collecting in the vein. Compression stockings come in a variety of strengths and styles; your vein specialist can recommend a pair suitable for your needs. You can buy a pair in a drugstore or medical supply outlet, but for the highest strength, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. (An added bonus: The garments maintain vein health during long flights or car rides and while you sit at your desk while working from home.)
Put Up Your Legs. Something as simple as propping your legs on a pillow above your heart can alleviate the discomfort and swelling of varicose veins. When you do this several times a day, you’re counteracting the force of gravity and encouraging the blood to flow upward to the heart.
All of these self-care treatments can ease the uncomfortable side effects of varicose veins. But to completely eliminate varicose veins, you’ll need a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed by a vein specialist.
We’re Here to Help
The doctors at the Center for Vein Restoration offices across the country understand how difficult it is to deal with the discomfort of varicose veins and other venous disorders. We are now open for telemedicine and in-person appointments, and our vein specialists would be happy to discuss ways to reduce the pain of varicose veins with self-care therapies at home.