Varicose veins or spider veins are a common occurrence on the legs and feet, and are usually benign in nature.
However, they may cause pain, heaviness, and swelling in some cases. In the worst-case scenario, the affected veins may even bleed and form skin ulcers.
Hence, once diagnosed, it is best to get medication, adopt lifestyle changes, use compression stockings, and take other measures for treating varicose veins. While the condition may be chronic, different types of treatment can provide relief to a certain extent.
As such, today, we’ll be discussing the most natural and effective way to treat varicose veins, i.e., applying essential oils. And to make things more interesting, we’ve added some DIY recipes for you to kickstart your journey to pain-free legs and healthy blood circulation!
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins/varicosities/varicoses are common, especially among women when the veins dilate or get overfilled with blood. As a result, the affected veins appear large, swollen, or turn bluish-red or purple, and the area becomes painful.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Our veins carry blood throughout the body and contain one-way valves to prevent it from flowing backward. While the veins are highly elastic, they may get damaged, resulting in blood pooling around the area instead of reaching the heart.
And the reason varicose veins commonly appear on the legs is that the veins there are farthest from the heart and more prone to backward blood flow due to gravity. Consequently, some complications that may be caused due to poor circulation include bleeding, ulcers near the ankles, and thrombophlebitis (blood clots).
Some other causes of varicose veins are as follows:
- Old age (over 50 years)
- Standing for prolonged periods
Varicose Vein Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, varicose veins can be easily identified as enlarged, misshapen veins, commonly on the legs. They may even appear like cords; however, they may not be painful.
On the other hand, painful signs of varicose veins include achiness and heaviness, muscle cramps, throbbing, itching, and skin discoloration.
Essential Oils For Varicose Vein Treatment
Apart from smelling great, essential oils provide various health benefits. While some use essential oils as a form of aromatherapy to relieve stress and induce better sleep, others use it as a topical treatment for pain, inflammation, acne, etc.
Notably, lavender essential oil is more commonly used to treat varicose veins due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, in a 2012 study, lavender oil proved to reduce the size and duration of ulcers, a common symptom of this chronic venous disease.
Another common pain-relieving option would be rosemary oil, as its application showed better blood circulation among the participants of a 2009 study.
Choosing The Best Essential Oils
With the skyrocketing demand for essential oils, it is no surprise to see tons of brands offering new types of oils and blends with varied benefits. However, choosing the wrong product or using essential oils carelessly can even cause an allergic reaction.
So, it is always recommended that you conduct a patch test or dilute the essential oil before use. For the latter, you can use carrier oils like olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil.
Other than that, here are some points you must keep in mind before choosing the best essential oils for varicose veins…
- The brand must have enough experience in the industry
- The brand should use pure and organic essential oils without any additives
- The brand should not indulge in chemical distillation as it reduces the efficacy of the oil
- Natural ingredients is to be procured from trusted and certified locations
- The ingredient list should contain botanical names for better transparency
- The brand must meet the industry standards of quality, safety, and cleanliness
- Steps to use the oil and risks/warnings need to be mentioned in the product description
- The essential oil should be packaged in a dark glass bottle to ensure better shelf life
- The essential oil should suit your health requirement, skin type, etc.
Best Essential Oils And Recipes For Treating Varicose Veins
Since different essential oils offer different benefits, a select few are known to improve blood circulation, reduce swelling and skin irritation, etc. So, we have compiled some popular recipes using the said oils.
Let’s take a look…
1. Sea Pine Essential Oil Massage Balm
Boasting a host of anti-inflammatory properties, sea pine or maritime pine oil could reduce leg swelling. In fact, it can be more effective in treating edema than horse chestnut extract, which is often a precursor of varicose veins.
- 30 drops of sea pine oil
- 3 tablespoons of any carrier oil
- Shea butter or cocoa butter
Kickstarting with a short and easy recipe – all you have to do is mix the aforementioned ingredients. You may skip the shea butter/cocoa butter if you prefer a more fluid consistency. Massage the mixture on the affected areas in an upward motion to improve blood flow.
2. Black Pepper Salve
Black pepper is not just a must-have in the kitchen but also an effective anti-inflammatory essential oil to add to your collection. Regular use can actually help shrink varicose veins and increase circulation. Since black pepper oil is analgesic in nature, it may also reduce pain and pressure on the affected area.
- 24 drops of black pepper oil
- 12 drops of nutmeg oil
- 7 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
- 1 tablespoon of beeswax
Use the double boiling method to melt beeswax and gradually add almond oil. Once both the ingredients have been combined and clarified, turn off the heat, and mix all the essential oils. Pour the mixture into an enclosed glass jar and allow it to sit overnight.
The next day, your healing salve is ready for use!
3. Lavender Essential Oil Compress
We’ve already mentioned how lavender oil can reduce inflammation and pain caused by chronic venous insufficiency. So, no DIY treatment guide for varicose veins is complete without a recipe involving lavender oil!
- 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 liter of water
- Warm or cold water (as per your preference)
All you have to do is add the essential oil to a liter of water and soak the cloth in it for some time. Thereafter, you can add cold or warm water and use the cloth on the affected area as a compress. Doing so for 10-15 minutes should ease pain and reduce pressure significantly.
4. Yarrow Essential Oil Bath
Yarrow is another healing extract known to treat leg swelling and improve circulation. It is also an astringent that can soothe enlarged blood vessels, thereby reducing pain caused by varicose veins, rheumatism, and arthritis.
- 7 drops of yarrow oil
- 2 tablespoons of wheat germ oil
Simply mix the essential oils in the bath before taking a dip. Although it depends on your preference, we recommend a warm bath to help soothe your muscles and veins. Indulge in the fragrant and pain-relieving bath for 20-30 minutes.
5. Mixed Essential Oils Blend
Last but not least, we’ve got this all-in-one blend that combines the best pain-relieving essential oils. From helichrysum oil that prevents clotting to cypress oil that eases swelling and discomfort – this recipe is a foolproof method to soothe any type of painful symptoms.
- 3 drops of helichrysum oil
- 5 drops of cypress oil
- 5 drops of lemongrass oil
- Coconut oil
- 7 drops of lemon
Take a small roll-on bottle, add all the oils and top it off with a carrier like coconut oil. Fix the rollerball, and roll the bottle so that the oils can combine.
Now, you can simply roll the nourishing blend on any painful area. We recommend keeping your feet elevated to promote better blood flow.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Tea Tree Oil Help Varicose Veins?
Yes. Tea tree oil is widely used to treat spider veins, a slightly milder condition. You can use tea tree oil as is (with a carrier oil) or mix it with other essential oils and apply it to the problem area.
2. How Do You Dissolve Varicose Veins?
Sclerotherapy is a popular medical procedure for getting rid of spider veins and smaller varicose veins. The affected veins are injected with a salt solution that causes the blood vessels to collapse and form blood clots. Gradually, the resulting scars will fade, and the appearance of enlarged veins will also reduce.
Despite not being a severe health concern, varicose veins can sometimes cause discomfort. So, it is best to get it treated at the earliest or try these homemade remedies to reduce any painful symptoms.
Additionally, it is recommended that you eat healthy and watch your weight, take brisk walks regularly, and avoid standing or sitting cross-legged for long periods. You may even wear compression stockings to promote blood flow.
However, if the condition persists, consult a medical professional immediately.