Can Vinegar Cure Varicose Veins?
Apple cider vinegar is one of many alternative therapies recommended for varicose veins. But does it really work?
The pain and swelling of varicose veins prompt many people to explore alternative, non-medical therapies for the bulging blue and purple ropes on their legs. And if you’re one of the millions of people who deal with varicose veins on a daily basis, you may have read about one miracle cure — apple cider vinegar.
Like other purported natural remedies for varicose veins, apple cider vinegar has become a popular antidote splashed across the Internet for treating this painful venous disorder. Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar won’t permanently free you of varicose veins. Only medical intervention can do that.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar Isn’t a Cure for Varicose Veins
Apple cider vinegar derives from the juice of mashed apples with yeast added to it. The yeast combines with the sugar in the apples to ferment the liquid into alcohol and then eventually into vinegar. The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, but it also contains other nutrients, such as vitamins B and C. Because of those nutrients, apple cider vinegar is promoted as an antioxidant that destroys free radicals in the body. It’s also said to improve circulation, which is likely why the potion has been proclaimed as a cure for varicose veins.
Promoted as an elixir to lower blood sugar levels and manage weight, among other benefits, apple cider vinegar can be purchased in either liquid form or pills. Applying a gauze pad soaked in apple cider vinegar on swollen veins, drinking the liquid version of the solution, or taking a pill is sometimes recommended as a remedy for the pain and swelling of varicose veins.
One 2016 study concluded that applying apple cider vinegar to varicose veins eased discomfort in 120 subjects. However, the patients had elevated their legs at a 45-degree angle while the apple cider vinegar was applied. Raising your legs above your heart often helps reduce the pain and swelling of varicose veins because the action forces the blood to flow in the right direction and not pool within the vein. So it’s possible elevating the legs had more of a positive effect than the application of the apple cider vinegar.
Although apple cider vinegar, like many other alternative remedies, isn’t harmful, it’s not going to rid you of varicose veins. That’s because varicose veins are caused by a malfunction within the veins. The veins in the legs contain tiny flaps, or valves, that close up to allow blood rushing down from the heart to return to the heart. When the valves weaken, blood doesn’t move and instead accumulates in the veins, enlarging the vein to the point where it emerges from under the skin and becomes a visible varicose vein. A topical liquid or a pill cannot offset that defect deep within the vein. In fact, applying a highly astringent liquid on the thin, delicate skin covering varicose veins may cause a stinging sensation. The only proven cure for varicose veins is one of several safe, minimally invasive surgical procedures performed by a vein specialist.
Get Real Treatment for Your Varicose Veins
The specialists at Center for Vein Restoration understand how the pain of varicose veins affects your daily life. We are here to help you with safe, proven treatments that will have you living pain-free once again. Contact us today for a consultation.