Published: 05/09/2016 - Updated: 01/24/2016
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
It’s summer, and you want to show off your legs but you have varicose and spider veins, and other bothersome things that only get worse with the heat from the season. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can be useful against these issues.
Some natural ingredients contain highly recommendable properties for these problems, and they are usually quite accessible.
These are caused by difficulties in blood returning to the heart through the blood vessels. This causes certain areas of the veins to dilate, making them visible and often times painful. They appear when the blood pressure against the walls of the veins increases.
During periods of hot weather, vasodilation increases because of the temperature, potentially causing painful varicose veins.
SPIDER VEINS: Also known as telangiectasias, look like small red or bluish blood vessels that appear on the surface of the skin. They don’t stick out, but rather form clusters. Usually they do not cause any discomfort.
VARICOSE VEINS: Veins are affected when their diameter and length are stretched, they generally pop out and appear in the shape of knots or curls. They are usually painful.
Plants for relieving tired legs and varicose veins
You can find helpful plants in nature that provide relief for these conditions.
GINGER: This is one of the most popular roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Ginger has beneficial properties for the legs and other conditions. It is antiseptic, a natural anti-inflammatory, a stimulant and astringent. Drinking one cup of ginger tea a day could help you fight the discomfort caused by varicose veins. Prepare an infusion with one teaspoon of ginger root in one cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes, then drink to relieve leg pain.
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ALOE VERA: This is a healing plant that is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Take one aloe stem and peel back the skin, cutting out thin strips of the pulp. Apply the strips to your legs and the areas that you have varicose veins. Gently massage the gel into the skin on your legs, then wash with warm water.
HORSE CHESTNUT: This is a rich source of vitamin K, tannins and flavonoids. It is a venotonic and vasoconstrictor. It also promotes good circulation. It is useful for preventing varicose veins, and also provides relief to tired legs.
PARSLEY: Adding a bit of parsley to your daily diet could be helpful against tired legs. This is because it is a diuretic, fighting fluid retention which often times happens during hot weather. It also contributes to good circulation.
RED GRAPES: This small fruit is rich in tannins and B complex vitamins, along with vitamins A and C. They are great for making capillary veins healthy, and they also help improve varicose veins and spider veins. They even help fatigued legs.
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WITCH HAZEL: This plant has been used since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties. It is also atringent. It is an excellent tonic for the veins, and is also a vasoconstrictor. It can be used in compresses with witch hazel oil to alleviate heaviness and fatigue in the legs.
Advice for caring for your legs
It’s hard to fight varicose and spider veins when you don’t have them. But you can prevent them, which is why we recommend following this useful advice:
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, as this could make it difficult for your blood to return to the heart.
- If you have to stand a lot because of your job, try to use comfortable shoes, and limit your use of high heels. Do not go over 4 cm of height in heels.
- Use good socks, there are special socks that prevent varicose veins, that have different compression levels throughout the leg.
- After a long day of work, try to apply a special cream to your tired legs, and gently massage it in with your fingertips, from your ankles to your hips, making gentle circular movements.
- Raise your legs for about 10 minutes to rest them.
- Perform some sort of impact exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. Swimming is excellent for this.
- If work makes you stand for long hours, try to exercise your legs every half hour. Move your legs, making circles moving from inside then out. Do 3 reps per leg, then rest until the following half hour.
- If you have to sit for longs hours at your job, try to get up for 5 minutes every hour. Try not to cross your legs, as this position makes circulation more difficult, affecting primarily the lower legs.
Essential oils for your legs
One good tip for tired legs is to take advantage of essential oils. Prepare a mixture using olive oil (50 mL), 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 drops of Ylang Ylang, and two drops of mandarin oil. Apply 10 drops to your hands before going to bed, then gently massage your legs. You’ll wake up with fresh legs.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 01/24/2016
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