Natural approaches to preventing varicose veins

June 25, 2015

Since varicose veins cannot be undone without medical intervention, prevention is just as important as treatment. Here's how to stop them in their tracks.

Natural approaches to preventing varicose veins

A little old-fashioned advice can at least help keep your varicose veins from getting any worse. Those swollen, darkened veins in your legs can be traced to the faulty functioning of your veins' valves, which causes blood in your legs to accumulate.


  • Avoid standing or sitting for a long time.
  • Don't cross your legs. It can slow circulation to and from your lower legs.
  • Wear support stockings prescribed by a doctor.
  • Sit on a chair, stretch out your legs and repeatedly bend and stretch your feet to activate the vein pumps.
  • Get moving. Activities such as hiking, swimming, bicycling and cross-country skiing promote circulation and prevent blood from pooling.
  • Climbing stairs is active training for your calf muscles — avoid elevators and escalators!
  • Lose weight. Carrying around extra pounds puts additional stress on your circulatory system.

Home remedies

  • Very important: keep your legs elevated as frequently as possible to encourage the blood backed up in the veins to flow out.
  • Stir together 250 millilitres (one cup) of warm water, 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of cream, and five drops of lemon essential oil. Soak linen cloths with the mixture, wring them out slightly and apply to your calves.
  • Massage your legs from bottom to top using a mixture of five drops of cypress, lavender and juniper essential oil with about 50 millilitres (¼ cup) of olive oil.
  • Get a chair that fits your body. When you sit in a chair that is too deep for you, the edge of the seat presses into your legs constricting blood flow.
  • Go low. Low-heeled shoes require your calves to do more work, greatly aiding circulation.
  • Rub your legs twice a day with pot marigold salve.
  • Researchers have found that supplements containing horse chestnut extract (from a pharmacy or health food store) can combat leg pain and swelling as efficiently as compression stockings.
  • Raise the foot of your bed or elevate your feet with a pillow to encourage blood flow.

A cold knee shower

1. Direct a cold stream of water (with the shower head removed) along the outside of the right leg from the back of the foot to a hand's breadth above the knee. Hold it there for 10 seconds.

2. Move the stream downward on the inside of your leg.

3. Repeat the process with your left leg.

4.  Finally, briefly rinse the soles of your feet.

5.  Dry off and put on warm wool socks. Rest for 20 minutes.

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