Varicose veins are blue, bulging, swollen veins typically occurring in the legs. Spider veins are smaller, either red or blue, and occur in patches of connected lines like a spider web. More than just a cosmetic problem, varicose veins can be painful and are a sign of impaired circulation. Hemorrhoids is a painful condition caused by varicose veins occurring at the rectum. Several herbs have been found effective in the treatment and prevention of varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
Horse Chestnut is a popular herbal remedy for these conditions. Seed extract from this tree reduces inflammation, improves venous wall tone, increases blood flow, and reduces capillary permeability. Precautions – avoid horse chestnut extract during pregnancy and breast-feeding; monitor blood sugar if diabetic; and avoid if taking lithium or blood-thinning drugs. The herb Butcher’s Broom and extracts of Pine Bark (pycnogenol) and grapeseed are also used for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
Two bioflavonoids, hesperadin and diosmin, both from the white of citrus rinds, are proving effective for these conditions. These two extracts work together to:
• reduce swelling and inflammation
• strengthen blood vessel walls which reduces bruising
• improve venous tone and elasticity in Chronic Venous Insufficiency
• increase capillary circulation of blood
• speed healing of leg ulcers due to poor circulation (common in diabetes)
• improve lymphatic drainage
• and often take two to three months to achieve full beneficial effects.
Diosmin reduces stickiness of blood platelets so it is important to consult your physician if you are on blood thinning meds as they may need to be reduced. As a precaution, check with your health care practitioner before using while pregnant or breastfeeding.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.