October 1


Do These Alternative Varicose Vein Treatments Really Work?

By Dr. Edward Mackay

October 1, 2018

Do These Alternative Varicose Vein Treatments Really Work? 

Varicose veins are a common blight among many Americans. In fact statistics show that upwards of 20 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. As with any common health complication home remedies abound, but are these home remedies medically sound?


A YouTube video which made claims that following some simple home remedies one can get rid of their varicose veins. Are these remedies too good to be true? Here are our thoughts on the matter. 

1.Compression on the Veins

Compression stockings are very effective and medically proven to prevent or reduce the speed at which varicose veins form. Not only that, but they are also great at bringing relief to the symptoms cause by these unwanted veins.


These stockings work by giving the failing veins added support to keep blood flowing against gravity. Varicose veins form when the vein walls lose their ability to push blood back towards the heart. They only have to be worn during the day which makes them fairly easy incorporate into your daily life. They are also growing in the variety of patterns and lengths that can be found on the market.  


2. Essential Oils on the Veins 

As essential oils grow in popularity it is no surprise that they are making their way onto the varicose vein treatment scene. And with good cause. Essential oils are known to help with ailments of all sorts, so why not varicose veins?


The idea is to rub essential oils onto your legs where your varicose veins are located, primarily cypress oil and also witch hazel. While there is no medical proof or studies to back up this claim the video states that the rubbing of the oil will decrease these veins by increasing circulation.

So does it work? We know that varicose veins are the result of veins that have collapsed or become enlarged due to their inability to pump blood back to the heart against gravity effectively. Therefore, the only known medical way to treat these veins is to correct the issue at the cause.  

These oils are good for reducing inflammation, containing antibacterial properties and making the affected skin tighter. Because of this they may be effective in reducing the appearance of varicose veins, but to say that they cure them would be a stretch.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet 

Again, the claim that diet has an impact on varicose veins is being made. It is being stated that avoiding high processed foods, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol may help to reduce the painful effects of varicose veins.


4. Get Physical 

Exercise has many beneficial side effects and Dr. Axe makes the claim on his YouTube video that exercise can prevent you from developing varicose veins. This claim may be a bit of a stretch, but it does make sense physiologically. Exercise helps to reduce weight and excess weight is known to increase a person’s risk of developing varicose or spider veins.


Not only does a light frame help prevent you from forming varicose veins, but exercise can also increase circulation. Since we know that varicose veins are a circulation issue at their core it is easy to see how exercise pumping blood through the body efficiently can increase circulation and therefore reduce varicose veins from forming.


5. Flavonoids on the Veins 

What are flavonoids? That’s a legitimate question. Flavonoids are the plant chemicals that give many fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. They are also known as phytonutrients, which are gaining popularity in their ability to bring about an abundance of health benefits. And in this case they are great without even ingesting them!


The varicose vein sufferer is directed to place a red or green tomato that has been sliced on the veins to be treated. Promotors of this remedy suggest doing so several times a day. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are thought to be the driving force being their remedy for varicose veins.


While this claim sounds believable and makes scientific sense, there have not been any studies or medical proof showing that this remedy actually works to reduce varicose veins. There is a medical cream, Dermaka, that is plant-based and has been enriched with vitamins. It is used to reduce bruising, inflammation, and swelling of the skin after a major or invasive procedure. This is the only effective method known to treat veins from a plant-based perspective.

6. Antioxidants & Fiber 

Diet plays a surprising role in the prevention and treatment of varicose veins. Here we go back to the work of flavonoids. This time, however, the focus is on consuming these phytonutrients not just placing them on the skin. When the veins become inflamed it leads to damage to the vein walls and flavonoids prevent this swelling inflammation. This reduces both the occurrence and the pain associated with varicose veins. Along with flavonoids, resveratrol and bioflavonoids are also powerful antioxidants that have the same impact on veins. These nutrients can be found in blueberries, dark chocolate, strawberries, cranberries, and peanuts just to name a few.  

Vasculera is a product that has been approved by the FDA to treat varicose veins. It contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants for the veins just as if it were coming from a food source. 

7. Collagen & Bone Broth 

Another claim that may possibly be true is drinking 8 ounces of bone broth per day. This consumption is shown to provide support for collagen in the connective tissue which will help to get rid of varicose veins. If you currently have varicose or spider veins then you will still need to have surgery to remove them rather than relying on this method. This is merely a prevention method, not treatment. 

8. PRP 

Also known as, Platelet-Rich Plasma, is a concentration of your own platelets made from your blood. It is used by applying it directly to the skin, in this case to the varicose veins. It is not known that this is a medically effective way to treat or reduce varicose veins, but at this point there has been little research in the area. Perhaps in the future this will be medically proven to be effective.

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