Varicose veins are a sign that your superficial veins are becoming weaker. They are, unfortunately, quite a common problem affecting 3 people in ten, most of whom are women. The job of the veins is to collect blood from the peripheral areas and return it to the heart. In contrast to arteries, veins do not have muscles in their wall, but only inner valves to prevent blood flowing backwards. The muscles in your legs, every time they contract as you walk, help greatly to push the blood in the right direction.
There are many reasons why the vein wall and valves may become weaker, including genetic predisposition, being overweight, hormones, jobs which involve excessive standing, general lifestyle, smoking etc.
Over time the valves no longer expand and separate properly. This serves to increase the pressure in your veins and causes your blood to pool. This may then lead to swollen, twisted veins and symptoms including “heavy” legs, cramps, blue purple lumps, swollen ankles or, in the latter stages, dermatitis, eczema, ulcers or thrombophlebitis.
From a “natural” point of view there is a lot you can do in the early stages of the formation of Varicose Veins. First of all, you should start by trying to control your weight: the less weight our legs have to sustain the better. Secondly, you should take regular physical exercise, especially walking, in order to strengthen your leg muscles and use their pump action to send the blood back towards your heart. Try to avoid standing up too much but, if there is no other choice, raise yourself regularly up on to your tiptoes when standing. Never cross your legs when sitting down, and wear compression stockings, especially when flying. Wash your legs using alternatively cold and warm water, as this will help to stimulate your blood circulation.
Take regular doses of Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (1 gram per day), eat plenty of fresh berries (strawberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, are all particularly beneficial), rich in anthocyanins to protect the vein wall, or take one or a blend of the following herbal tinctures: witch hazel, horse chestnut, gotu kola, bilberry.
A good antioxidant (astaxanthin and blackcurrant from Higher Nature, 2 capsules daily) will help both the veins and your general wellbeing. Massage your legs regularly, from the bottom to the top, with an organic balm with astringent properties like Inlight Organic Foot & Leg Balm.
Dr. Mariano Spiezia