Essential Oils for Varicose Veins: Do They Work?
Essential oils offer temporary relief from the pain of varicose veins, but this alternative treatment is not a cure.
Many people who suffer from the discomfort of varicose veins seek out alternative approaches to treat the condition. One method that has gained popularity is massaging the legs with essential oils. Though not necessarily harmful, these oils only provide temporary relief from varicose vein symptoms and should not be used as a substitute for medical care.
Unfortunately, essential oils cannot heal the underlying cause of varicose veins, which, in most cases, stems from chronic venous insufficiency. This means that the valves in your veins have stopped working properly, and fail to push blood back up to the heart. Blood then pools in the lower extremities, causing the veins to bulge under the skin. Factors leading to varicose veins range from family history, age, excess weight, and pregnancy.
Before discussing more effective treatment options for varicose veins, first let’s explore how essential oils may briefly ease some of the symptoms. Keep in mind, however, that the effect of these oils is short-lived.
Essential Oils for Varicose Veins
Oils typically used for varicose veins include cypress, helichrysum, neroli, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and chamomile. All promise to reduce swelling, ease pain and boost circulation. However, essential oils can neither prevent nor cure varicose veins.
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate essential oils, instead classifying them as “generally recognized as safe.” Therefore, they cannot be considered medication. What essential oils can do–at least, according to some research–is relieve muscle pain when used during massage. Essential oils may have some psychological effects; the pleasant smells the oils emit have a relaxing effect, which may help patients cope with pain and discomfort.
If you do plan on applying essential oils to the body, there are some basic safety rules to follow. These oils should never be ingested, which can lead to nausea and vomiting. Before using the oils, dilute them with another oil like sweet almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. It is also not recommended to use undiluted oil, as this can lead to skin irritation and inflammation. When using a new oil, test a small drop of the oil on your skin to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
Leave Varicose Vein Treatment to the Professionals
If you’re searching for a solution to your varicose veins, it’s safest to consult with a vein professional instead of trying home remedies. Fortunately, patients today have several noninvasive options.
One option is radiofrequency ablation. In this technique, a catheter is inserted into the damaged vein, which then heats it up and seals it. Another choice is sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a medicine called sclerosant into the vein. The medicine is made into a foam that ultimately closes the vein.
Lifestyle changes help prevent the onset of varicose veins as well. Exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and wearing compression stockings all contribute to reducing the risk of varicose veins.
Using alternative treatments like essential oils may not be harmful, but they are not a long-term cure. For long-lasting results, contact the Center for Vein Restoration and set up a consultation with a vein specialist today.