What are Varicose Veins? The Complete Guide

Atrayee De
April 01, 2017
Views : 1595
What are Varicose Veins? The Complete Guide

Varicose veins occur when your vein are not really functioning properly. Veins have this one-way valves that prevents blood from flowing backwards. When these valves actually fail, the blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing toward going in your heart. The varicose veins often affects the legs because they are the farthest from the heart region and the gravity makes it harder for the blood to actually flow upward.

Causes Varicose Veins

Some of the potential causes for the varicose veins include:

  • the chronic heart valve conditions, which are usually quite congenital
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • standing for too long periods of time
  • pressure on the midsection of the body, especially the abdomen area
  • obesity, which adds the weight to the body and also increases the pressure on the legs.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

The primary symptoms of the varicose veins is quite highly visible, misshapen the veins, usually on the legs. You may also have some form of the following symptoms:

  • pain,
  • swelling,
  • heaviness, and
  • Aches in the legs.

In some cases, you can have even have:

  • swelling,
  • discoloration, or even
  • Ulcers around your ankles, too.

Diagnosis of the Varicose Veins

Your doctor will likely examine your legs effectively and the visible veins while you're sitting or even standing to diagnose the varicose veins. They may ask you about any sort of pain or symptoms you're having.

Your doctor may also further want to do an ultrasound to check your blood flow. This is quite a non-invasive test that uses the high-frequency sound waves. It allows your doctor to actually see how the blood is flowing in your veins.

The less commonly known form, as an angiogram may be used to further assess your veins. During the angiogram, your doctor can injects a special dye into your legs and also X-rays are taken of the area. The dye usually appears on the X-rays, giving your doctor a better view of how exactly your blood is flowing.

Tests such as an ultrasound or even the angiogram can help ensure that another disorder like a blood clot or even a blockage which is not causing the pain and the swelling in your legs

Treating and the Preventing Varicose Veins

In general, the doctors are quite conservative when treating varicose veins. You'll probably be advised to make the changes to your lifestyle, instead of actually trying more aggressive treatments.

Lifestyle Changes

Here are a list of following changes that can actually help prevent varicose veins from forming:

  • Avoid standing for on long or for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid having excessive sun exposure.
  • Lose weight or even try to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise to actually improve your leg strength.
  • Refrain from crossing your legs for more time or extended periods of time.

If you already have the problem of varicose veins, you should take the steps above to actually prevent the formation of new varicose veins. You should also try and elevate your legs whenever you're resting or sleeping.


Your doctor may also advise you to wear the special compression pantyhose or even stockings. These place pressure on your legs in a rather good way, so that the blood can flow more easily to your heart.

The level of the compression varies, but most types of the compression stockings are available in the drugstores or even medical supply stores.

Some Home Remedies for Varicose Veins.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful treatment for the varicose veins. It is a natural body cleansing product and it also improves the blood flow and circulation. When the blood starts flowing naturally, the heaviness and also the swelling of varicose veins will decrease to a great extent.

Apply the undiluted apple cider vinegar on the skin over the varicose veins and then gently massage the area. Do it every day before going to the bed and again in the morning. Follow this remedy for a few months to actually reduce the size of varicose veins.

Add around two teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar to a glass of the water and stir well. Drink the mixture twice a day for at least around one month to see positive results.

Cayenne Pepper

The Cayenne pepper is considered as a miracle treatment for the varicose veins. Being a very rich source of the vitamin C and the bioflavonoids, it increases the blood circulation and it also eases the pain of the congested, swollen veins.

Add around one teaspoon of the cayenne pepper powder to a cup of hot water and then stir it well.

Drink this mixture around three times a day for one or two months.

Olive Oil

Increasing the blood circulation is quite essential to treating the varicose veins. Massaging with the olive oil can actually help increase the circulation, thereby reducing the pain and also the inflammation.

Mix equal amounts of the olive oil and the vitamin E oil and also warm it slightly. Massage the veins with the warm oil for around several minutes. Do this twice daily for around one to two months.

You can also mix around four drops of the cypress essential oil in the two teaspoons of warm olive oil and massage with this mixture.


Garlic is an excellent herb for reducing the inflammation and the symptoms of the varicose veins. It also helps break up the harmful toxins in the blood vessels and even improves the circulation.

  • Slice up around six garlic cloves and put them in a clean glass jar.
  • Extract the juice from the three oranges and add it to the jar. Also add around two tablespoons of the olive oil.
  • Let the mixture sit for about 12 hours.
  • Shake the jar and then actually put a few drops of the solution on your fingers. Massage the inflamed veins with the solution in a sort of the circular motion for 15 minutes.
  • Wrap the area with a cotton cloth and then leave it on overnight.
  • Repeat it daily for several months.
  • Also, include the fresh garlic in your diet.

Butcher's Broom

The Butcher's broom is very helpful for relieving the aches and the discomfort of varicose veins. This herb contains the compounds known as the ruscogenins that help reduce the inflammation while constricting the veins due to its anti-inflammatory and the anti-elastase activity. Take 100 mg of the butcher's broom supplements three times a day. Created from the roots and the seeds of the plant, butcher's broom supplements have the vitamins B and C along with the calcium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, silicon and zinc.

These nutrients will help to tighten, strengthen and then decrease inflammation in the veins as well as to improve blood flow up the legs.

Note: People with the high blood pressure or benign prostate hyperplasia should not take this herb without consulting a doctor.

Witch Hazel

The Witch hazel is a very effective herb for strengthening the blood vessels and hence can reduce the symptoms of the varicose veins. Apart from being an astringent, it also contains the gallic acid and several essential oils that can help reduce the swelling as well as the pain.

Soak a washcloth in the witch hazel and place it on the affected area. Do this two or three times a day for one or two months.

Alternatively, also fill a tub with the lukewarm water and add about 10 to 20 drops of the distilled witch hazel. Soak your legs in the solution for at least 15 minutes. Then wash your legs with the clean water and pat them dry. Follow this remedy once daily for one or two months.

Horse Chestnut Seeds

  • The seeds of the horse chestnut have been used for the ages to treat varicose veins. Horse chestnut seeds have the anti-inflammatory and the anti-swelling properties that can successfully increase the 'venous tone' and in turn reduce the appearance of the varicose veins.
  • Horse chestnut seed extract has a compound called the aescin that improves the elastic strength of the veins and prevents the release of the enzymes that damage the capillary walls.
  • You can also take horse chestnut supplements, they are also a good initiative. The most common dosage is around 300 mg twice daily. Do not take the raw horse chestnut as it contains large amounts of a toxic compound known as the esculin.

Note: Pregnant or the nursing women should not use this remedy.


The Parsley is rich in the vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that encourages the production of the collagen and that aids in cell repair and reproduction. It also contains the rutin, which plays a key role in strengthening the capillaries and hence is very useful in reducing the symptoms of varicose veins.

  1. Boil around a handful of chopped fresh parsley in one cup of water for around five minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, the cover and allow the solution to cool to lukewarm. Then strain the solution.
  3. Add around one drop each of the rose and marigold essential oils.
  4. Put the solution in the refrigerator for around several minutes.
  5. Using a cotton ball, apply the solution to the affected area.
  6. Do this daily for about several months to see positive results.

Also, try to eat the raw parsley as often as you can.

Grapevine Leaves

The Grapevine leaves have a good amount of the flavonoids, which help keep the veins healthy. The leaves also have the astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and the homeostatic properties that are very helpful for treating the varicose veins.

  1. Boil one cup of the grapevine leaves in four cups of water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow it to steep for around several minutes until it is lukewarm.
  2. Pour it into a bucket and then soak your feet in the solution for five minutes.
  3. Then put your feet in another bucket filled with the cold water for 10 seconds.
  4. Do this three or four times at a stretch, ending with the cold water soak.
  5. Afterward, then massage your legs in an upward direction with the castor oil.
  6. Finish by putting your legs in an elevated position for a few minutes.
  7. Marigold

The beautiful marigold flower is also a rich source of flavonoids and the vitamin C that stimulate the production of the collagen and aid in the cell repair and the reproduction. It also helps improve the circulation, thus helping alleviate the various symptoms of the varicose veins.

  1. Boil one cup of the marigold flowers in four cups of water for five minutes.
  2. Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and then place the cloth on the affected area. Leave it on until it completely cools.
  3. Repeat it several times a day for a few months until you notice the improvement.

You can also eat the fresh marigold petals.


If the lifestyle changes aren't working or even if your pain is severe, your doctor might also try a more invasive procedure.

Vein stripping is usually a surgical operation that requires the use of anaesthesia. It has a recovery time of about three to six weeks.

During the procedure, your surgeon may also remove your varicose veins through the incisions. It's done only if the varicose veins are actually causing a lot of pain or actually damaging your overall health. The vein-stripping surgeries are rather less common today because newer, less invasive options are available.

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathy is a great way to treat this problem. So if you are looking for a more natural treatment you could opt for homeopathy. Here are some of the commonly known homeopathic medicines for the varicose veins-

Other Treatment Options

Other treatment options for the varicose veins includes the use lasers or radiofrequency to actually either remove the veins or to seal off blood flow. Such procedures may cause some amount of bruising or even swelling immediately afterward. But with time, they improve and so does the appearance of the legs. You should always talk to your doctor about which of the treatment options suits you and the risks before choosing a method.

The varicose veins normally get worse over time. This is true even if you make the necessary lifestyle changes to control them and also to manage your pain. While they may be quite unsightly, they usually don't really cause any long-term medical problems.

In some cases, the varicose veins can lead to the following:

  • ulcers or
  • sores on your legs,
  • blood clots, or
  • chronic inflammation.
  • If you have a severe case, your veins could rupture.

You should consider seeing your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms. They may then suggest of taking a more aggressive approach, such as going surgery or even laser treatments.

Atrayee De

Atrayee De

Hello everyone, I am a law student, I love reading, researching and singing. Apart from these I also love to dress up, and stay updated with the on going fashion and beauty trends of the glamour industry!

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