Varicose veins are the most common condition of the veins. They are basically large, engorged vessels that are visible and prominent under the skin. They form when blood is stagnant and not moving through the veins properly, usually due to weakening of the valves (that are supposed to prevent blood from going backwards). Varicose veins show up in the legs, ankles and feet because standing up and moving around increases the pressure on the veins in those places, and they find it harder to move blood back to the heart.
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but are not as bulging or as large. With either type of venous problem, you may suffer associated symptoms, such as aching, tender or heavy legs, swelling in the feet or ankles, breaks in the skin, itching near the vein, or ulcers near the ankle (this last one is a serious complication).
Women are more likely to have varicose or spider veins than men, and pregnancy, age, hormonal changes, long periods of standing, obesity and a family history also increases the risk.
So what are the natural remedies for conditions like varicose and spider veins? There are a number. Bioflavonoids, such as Herbs of Gold Quercetin Complex, Rutin and Hesperidin and Vitamin C are essential for the health and strength of blood vessels - Herbs of Gold Vitamin C 1000 + Zinc and Bioflavonoids contains a nice mix. Studies show that certain flavonoids such as these may reduce aching and pain from varicose veins. Oligomeric proanthocyandin complexes (known as OPCs) are specific bioflavonoids found in Grapeseed (Thompson's Grape Seed 19000) and Pine Bark - scientific research suggests a role in reducing swelling of the legs due to leaking from veins.
Nutra Life Circulation Support contains the herb Horse Chestnut. The active constituent of this is known as aescin, which may help to relieve a number of the symptoms of varicose and spider veins. Butcher’s Broom is also known for its role in helping to tone the veins. Witch Hazel is an astringent that may help when applied topically as Herb Valley Witchhazel Lotion or Martin & Pleasance Hamemelis (Witch Hazel) Cream.
Research Updates - June 2011
Krzyściak, W & Kózka, M (2011), ‘Generation of reactive oxygen species by a sufficient, insufficient and varicose vein wall’, Acta Biochim Pol. 58(1), pp:89-94.
The exact way that varicose veins develop has never been entirely clear, but new studies are shedding light on what may be behind some of the changes. This research suggests that high levels of free radicals in the area are generated from trapped white blood cells, and that these damage the tissues.
For natural therapists, this might suggest why antioxidants like Vitamin C are so useful for the condition.
Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following products for Varicose and Spider Veins:
|1. Nutra Life Circulation Support (50 Tabs)||1 x 2 daily with meals.|
|2. Herbs of Gold Quercetin Complex (60 Tabs)||1 cap 2 x daily|
|3. Wonderfood Vitamin C & Hesperidin Powder (200g)||1 tsp 2 x daily|
|4. Herbs of Gold Vitamin C 1000 + Zinc and Bioflavonoids (60 Tabs, 120 Tabs)||1 tab x 3 daily with meals.|
|5. Thompson's Grape Seed 19000 (60 Tabs)||1 tab x 1 daily.|
|6. Herb Valley Witchhazel Lotion (250ml)||Apply to area x 3 daily.|
|7. Martin & Pleasance Hamemelis (Witch Hazel) Cream (20g, 100g)||Apply to area x 3 daily.|
|8. Schuessler Tissue Salts Calc Fluor (100 Tabs)||4 tabs x 3 daily before meals|
NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements. Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.
For more information on Veins, Circulation or the health of the Blood vessels, or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.