It is not just about the pain and discomfort; varicose veins are not pretty. The term is used to describe veins that have become bulgy and twisted, causing worrisome cosmetic concerns. Its milder companion is called spider veins, due to its web-like appearance. Varicose veins appear on the leg than other parts of the body due to its distance from the heart and the effect of gravity—the legs accommodate a lot of pressure and carry the weight of the entire body. This condition affects more women than men, and this may be attributed to hormonal factors like puberty, menopause, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Reports say up to 50% of women may end up suffering from varicose veins at one point in their lives.
Causes and Symptoms
Varicose Veins happen when there is a disturbance in the free flow of blood from the legs back the heart. When blood circulation is hindered, a condition called blood pooling (blood builds up in veins) happens, causing veins to become weak, enlarged, and twisted. This disturbance is often a result of increased pressure due to weight gain, pregnancy, or an injury. Factors like genetics, poor diet and alcohol worsen the condition.
Signs and symptoms include achy legs, the appearance of spider veins, itchy skin, ankle swelling, cramps, and restless leg syndrome.
Essential Oils and Varicose Veins
Although varicose veins are not life threatening, the discomfort and unsightliness call for a lasting and safe solution. Conventional treatments include endovenous laser treatments, sclerotherapy, elastic stockings, exercise, or a surgical procedure called vein stripping. Essential oils are natural remedies capable of promoting proper blood circulation, which is essential for getting rid of varicose veins. You can use them independently, or blend them with other essential oils. In this article, I have highlighted the best essential oils for varicose veins, best ways to apply them, and possible essential oil blends for varicose veins you could make.
What Are The Best Essential Oils for Varicose Veins Treatment?
The major cause of varicose vein is poor blood circulation. If there is an essential that does a good job of boosting blood circulation, it is Helichrysum oil. The oil is anti-inflammatory and can also help soothe inflamed tissues. Helichrysum works by dissolving coagulated blood in or outside the vein, therefore aiding proper and efficient blood flow. This will not only clear the varicose veins, but it will also avert future occurrences. It is also useful for treating chronic pain, depression, infections and other health conditions.
Cypress essential oil is a vasoconstrictor and a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It calms the mind, deflates swollen blood vessels, improves blood circulation, hinders fluid retention, and relieves pain. It heals varicose veins by strengthening the vein walls. Also, Cypress oil helps with hormonal imbalances – a common cause of varicose veins. Other properties of the oil include antibacterial, antimicrobial, astringent, decongestant, deodorant and diuretic. Besides being an essential oil for varicose veins, it also works for conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, painful menstruation, muscle fatigue and chronic pain.
Over the years, Frankincense has been used as an essential oil for treating arthritis, depression, hepatitis, wrinkles, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases. It works for varicose veins too. It helps improve the strength of the veins, therefore, preventing bulging and twisting. It also lowers blood pressure through improved blood circulation and balances body hormones. Frankincense oil also helps to boost the body’s immune system, improve eyesight and mental clarity. It is one of the best Essential oils for varicose veins in pregnancy.
The use of lemongrass oil for varicose vein stems from its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It improves blood circulation, inhibits blood pooling, and strengthens the blood vessels. It is one of the best essential oils for veins on legs. By ensuring that the blood vessels stay healthy and unclogged, future occurrences of varicose veins can be averted. Many also use Lemongrass essential oil as an insect repellant, sedative, antiseptic and antibacterial.
Geranium oil is useful in the cosmetics world. It is a great essential oil for treating acne, promoting hair growth and for clearing wrinkles. However, it does not end there. Geranium Oil helps to alleviate unsightly swellings of the vein and boosts blood circulation. Besides helping to clear varicose veins, it also helps rejuvenate the skin.
This oil is a popular astringent derived from the lemon plant. It helps strengthen the vein walls and promote proper blood circulation. Apply lemon essential oil to clear up your varicose veins and prevent future occurrences.
Ginger is more than just another culinary item for your kitchen. This oil effectively lowers blood pressure by clearing out blockages in blood’s pathway. Ginger oil is one of the best essential oils for spider veins on the face.
In almost every natural remedies for diseases, Chamomile essential oil pops up. It promotes blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and clears out varicose veins in no time. Chamomile Oil strengthens the blood vessels and promotes healthy constrictions.
Yarrow Oil comes in very handy for women who experience menstrual cramps, irregular periods and hot flashes. Its ability to promote proper blood circulation and balance body hormones makes it an efficient natural remedy for varicose veins. When blood can flow freely in the veins, it won’t pool – pooling makes the blood vessels bulge and twist.
You can also use Clary Sage Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Basil Oil, Calamus Oil, Lime Oil and coconut oil for varicose veins.
How to use Essential Oils for Varicose Veins
Compress: Both cold and warm compress works effectively for varicose veins. It will promote blood circulation and reduce the swelling.
Method: Pour one liter of cold or warm water into a bowl, and add five drops of your preferred essential oil. I suggest you dilute the essential oil with one teaspoonful of carrier oil before adding it to the water. Soak a clean cloth in the water and wring out excess water. Compress directly over the affected area for at least 15 minutes, with your legs elevated. Repeat this every evening.
Massage Oil: You can also rub essential oils over the affected areas to improve blood circulation in the area. Make sure you dilute the oil first with a carrier oil. Massage upwards in the direction of your heart. Repeat this twice daily.
Warm Bath: To improve circulation and deflate bulging veins, you can use essential oils with your bath water. Allow your bathtub to fill up before adding the essential oil. Soak yourself in the water for 20 -30 minutes.
Essential Oil Recipes for Varicose Veins
Recipe 1 – Simple Massage blend for varicose veins
- 10 drops of geranium oil
- 10 drops of neroli oil
- 5 drops of cypress oil
- 4 teaspoons of carrier oil (coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed, etc.)
Usage: Mix the ingredients and store in a glass bottle. Massage onto the affected area. Start from your feet (elevated) and massage upward towards your heart.
Recipe 2 – Massage oil for varicose vein prevention
- 10 drops of geranium oil
- 10 drops of cypress oil
- 5 drops of peppermint oil
- 5 drops of lemon oil
- 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the ingredients. Massage the blend on your ankles, and rub upward toward your heart. Ensure you do not rub directly over the varicose veins. Elevate your legs after the massage and repeat the process at least twice daily.
Recipe 3 – Gentle massage
- 15 drops of cypress oil
- 15 drops of geranium oil
- 10 drops of basil oil
- 40ml carrier oil
Usage: Mix the ingredients and massage the blend around the bulging veins. Make sure you do not apply directly over the veins.
Recipe 4 – Bath blend
- 5 drops of cypress oil
- 5 drops of geranium oil
Mix the oils together and infuse 5 drops of the blend with your bath water. Soak yourself in the bath and massage your legs.
Recipe 5 – Hot and Cold footbath blend
- 3 drops of lavender
- 3 drops of geranium
- Two big bowls/tubs, large enough to fit both feet within
Fill each of the bowls with hot and cold water respectively. Add lavender oil to the cold water and geranium oil to the warm water.
First, soak your feet in the cold water for five minutes, then place your feet in the hot water for another five minutes. What cold water does is constrict your blood vessels while the hot water dilates them. This will contribute to easing blood circulation.
Other recommended lifestyle adjustments for varicose
- Diet: Incorporate high fiber foods, berries, cayenne pepper, flax and chia seed, and vitamin E into your diet. Foods high in antioxidants are good for you. You should avoid trans-fat, sugar, caffeine, refined and processed foods.
- Weight Loss: Obesity is one of the leading causes of varicose veins. Losing weight can also help.
- Exercise: It does not have to be intense. Studies have shown that walking can improve blood circulation and improve cardiovascular strength.
- Try not to sit or stand for long durations at a stretch. Walk and stretch at intervals.
- Avoid alcohol. It causes vasodilation of your blood vessels and can worsen your condition.
- Drink plenty of water.
Following the suggested course of treatment consistently will help clear varicose veins in no time. Ensure you dilute essential oils with carrier oils to reduce irritation, especially on sensitive skins. If you have any health condition, ensure you consult a medical expert before using essential oils.