Leg vein is a condition which is also often referred to as varicose veins. “Varix” is a latin word which means “twisted”. These veins are often enlarged and twisted with a bluish tint. The valves in our veins help to ensure that blood does not flow in the opposite direction but in some people the valves can weaken and cause the blood to collect in the vein causing it to bloat. This condition is most common in the legs of pregnant women because it is here that the veins need to work against gravity to send blood up to the lungs. Standing for an extended period of time can put lots of pressure on these veins.
Treating the condition naturally
There are a number of natural treatments which have been proven to work. Many of these treatments work because they strengthen the vein’s valves instead of removing them like regular medical procedures.
Using horse chestnut extract
This herb which is scientifically referred to as “Aesculus hippocastanum”, and happens to be one of the most widely used natural treatments for inflamed or varicose veins as well as chronic venous conditions. The active ingredient in this herb is known as aescin which according to researches blocks enzymes that damage the veins’ walls. Back in 2006 a group of researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration studied the use of this herb’s extract in addition to a placebo.
The researchers concluded that people who took the drug experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms and visible signs of leg veins receding. People who complained of leg pain and swelling also experienced a significant improvement in the condition. That said it is important to note that horse chestnut is not on the FDA’s safe to use list because it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, convulsions, headache, circulatory problems and respiratory failure.
Pine bark and grape seed extracts
Both grape seed extracts and extracts from pine bark contain oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes also known as OPCs. These chemicals appear to add some strength to the vein’s connective tissue which in turn reduces inflammation. There are numerous studies that show how OPCs help with various vein related conditions. However, grape seed extracts shouldn’t be confused with regular grapefruit seed extract. While the extracts are shown to be pretty effective they do have a few mild yet common side effects like upset stomach and nausea.
It is strongly suggested that people with autoimmune type conditions like multiple sclerosis, arthritis or Crohn’s disease shouldn’t take either grape seed or pine bark extract unless they first consult with a doctor. However, these extracts are safe to use for pregnant women or nursing women. Both extracts shouldn’t be combined with medications that are used to suppress the immune system or even with corticosteroids.
This is a form of bodywork which mainly focuses on your feet. A small study done recently compared reflexology with general rest in around 55 pregnant women. The result was that reflexology reduced swelling in the leg significantly. However, because woman’s pregnancy is slightly different owing to a number of variables it is important to consult a doctor prior to getting reflexology done. There are some experts that believe reflexology should only be done past the first trimester.
A majority of people may want to get rid of visible veins on their legs and hands for mainly cosmetic concerns. However, there are people who are often plagued by pain and swelling, not to mention heaviness each time they move, for people like these treatment is certainly the only option. While surgical treatments are the most effective they can both be painful and cost you a lot of money.
This is why it is best to start with natural herbal cures and if that works you have nothing to worry about. If you have a long standing medical condition or allergies make sure to first consult with your doctor prior to trying any of the methods described in this article. That said the methods detailed here will work for both men and women regardless of age because they all work to strengthen the vein’s walls which is the most common cause of your leg veins also called spider veins being sore and popping out.
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Dr Shobhna Singh is a Cosmetic Physician & General Practitioner with special interest in Cosmetic Medicine at Nitai Medical & Cosmetic Centre. She is a current Member of Australasian Society of Cosmetic Medicine and AGPAL Certificate of Accreditation since 2002.