When you think of varicose veins, the first thing that comes to mind is pain and discomfort. But that is not all.
Truth be told, varicose veins are not pretty. They can very much lower your self-esteem, and make your confidence go low.
The term describes veins that have become bulgy and twisted, causing worrisome cosmetic concerns.
When faced with varicose veins, the condition that affects mostly women, they ask what they can do 1.
For starters, make some lifestyle changes, and then try some alternative medicine methods, like essential oils for varicose veins.
Yes, surgical options and procedures are always an option 2. But that should be your last resort.
Varicose veins appear on the leg than others part of the body due to its distance from the heart and effect of gravity. Simply put, our legs accommodate a lot of pressure and carry the weight of the entire body.
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Causes and symptoms of varicose veins
The main reason you experience varicose veins is that there is a disturbance in the free flow of blood from the legs back to the heart. When the blood circulation is hindered, blood pooling happens.
This is a condition in which blood builds up in veins and causes the veins to become weak, twisted, and enlarged. This disturbance can happen due to increased pressure because of weight gain, injury, or pregnancy.
Factors like genetics also play a role, as well as diet and alcohol.
The symptoms of varicose veins are very easy to spot, and they include achy legs and appearance of spider veins, ankle swelling, cramps, itchy skin, and restless leg syndrome.
And while they are not life-threatening, they cause discomfort and pain. And maybe the most important aspect for women, they are visually unpleasant.
Conventional treatment for varicose veins includes laser treatment, elastic stockings, exercise, and surgical procedures. On the other side, you can try using essential oils for varicose veins, as a form of natural remedy capable of promoting proper blood circulation.
With that in mind, which are the best oils to use?
Best Oils for Varicose Veins
This is the best essential oil for promoting blood circulation. In addition, helichrysum oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with inflamed tissues 3.
The oil works by dissolving coagulated blood in or outside the vein, which helps to aid proper and efficient blood flow. Applying this oil will help you clear the varicose veins and prevent future occurrences.
One of the most popular oils when it comes to blends of essential oils. Cypress work good enough on its own as well by being a powerful anti-inflammatory agent 4.
Cypress oil can help you deflate swollen blood vessels and improve blood circulation. An underrated aspect is cypress oil hinders fluid retention, which can also be a cause of varicose veins.
Not only does the oil help you heal varicose veins, it also helps strengthen the vein walls.
This oil has a long and storied history of helping with a number of conditions and diseases. In the past, frankincense has been used to treat arthritis, depression, hepatitis, wrinkles, multiple sclerosis, and many other diseases 5.
In terms of varicose veins, frankincense helps by improving the strength of the veins and preventing bulging and twisting.
When you think of ginger, you think of that culinary item and spice in your kitchen. But ginger is much more. You can use ginger as an essential oil to lower blood pressure and clear out blockages in the blood’s pathway.
Ginger essential oil is very effective in treating spider veins appearing on the face 6.
Chamomile oil pops up in almost every list for natural and home remedies. The reason for that is chamomile promotes blood circulation and reduces inflammation.
These two key aspects help clear ou varicose veins in no time 7. In the same time, chamomile essential oil strengthens the blood vessels and prevents varicose veins from spreading.
One of the most commonly used oils in the world of cosmetics 8.
Geranium is great for treating acne, promoting hair growth, clearing wrinkles, and many other skin problems. But the oil also boosts blood circulation and helps rejuvenate the skin after the varicose veins are gone.
Lemon oil will help you strengthen the vein walls and promote proper blood circulation.
The popular astringent derived from the lemon plant can be applied topically to clear up varicose veins, but also prevent future occurrences9.
How to use essential oils?
There are a couple of methods you can use essential oils for varicose veins.
Let’s break them down.
You can try using either cold or warm compress. Both work effectively for varicose veins, as they promote blood circulation and reduce the swelling.
For this method, pour one liter of cold or warm water into a bowl, and then add five drops of your preferred essential oil.
Dilute it with one teaspoonful of carrier oil before adding to the water. Soak a clean cloth in the water, and then wring the excess water.
Apply the compress directly over the affected area for 15 minutes. Make sure your legs are elevated during the treatment
The most popular way of using essential oils is a massage.
Rub any essential oil over the affected area to improve blood circulation. Before you apply the oil, dilute it with a carrier oil. Always massage upwards in the direction of the heart, and repeat the treatment two times per day.
The simplest, and probably easiest way to use essential oils is with a warm bath. All you need to do is fill a bath with water. Once the bathtub is filled up with water, add the essential oils. Soak yourself in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
Blends for varicose veins
As mentioned previously, you can use essential oils on their own, or blend them together for a more potent solution.
Here are a couple of recipes you can try.
- 10 drops of neroli oil
- 5 drops of cypress oil
- 10 drops of geranium oil
- 4 teaspoons of carrier oil
Mix the ingredients and store in a glass bottle. Massage onto the affected area. Start from your feet, and then move upwards the heart. Remember, keep the feet elevated while massaging
- 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
Combine the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, and then start massage on your ankles. Rub upward towards the heart, but make sure not to rub directly over the varicose veins.
You can repeat the process two times for treatment and prevention of varicose veins.
- 15 drops of geranium oil
- 10 drops of basil oil
- 15 drops of cypress oil
- 40ml carrier oil
Mix all the ingredients, and then massage the blend around the bulging veins. Do not apply directly over the veins.
Risks and warnings
Generally speaking, diluted essential oils are considered safe for use externally 10.
However, if you apply undiluted essential oil to the skin, you might experience inflammation and irritation to the skin. While they are safe, essential oils have potential to cause an allergic reaction.
Therefore, it is always recommended that you dilute essential oils with carrier oils before applying topically.
If not, you might experience allergic reaction symptoms like:
- Skin burning
- Skin irritation
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
In order to be sure, it is a great idea to test the diluted mixture on a small patch of skin.
This will help you determine whether you might experience an allergic reaction or not. If your skin doesn’t react poorly, it is safe to apply the mixture on a larger area.
However, if you experience an allergic reaction, you should not use and stop using the essential oil.
Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should not use essential oils without the supervision of a doctor or a trainer aromatherapy practitioner.
Other treatments for varicose veins
In addition to using essential oils for varicose veins, you can also make small lifestyle changes that will help you.
You can get relief by implementing just several easy lifestyle changes.
- Avoid prolonged sitting
- Avoid prolonged standing
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
- Avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the waist and legs
- Elevate your legs higher than your head when possible
- Exercise regularly
- Wear compression stockings
- Incorporate high fiber foods in your diet
- Consume more antioxidants, and source them from berries, chia and flax seeds
- Avoid or reduce consuming alcohol, as it causes vasodilation of your blood vessels
- Drink plenty of water