Natural Remedies and Herbal Supplements for Varicose Veins: Fact or Myth? It seems to be a current trend now that we try to resolve our ailments and health issues with natural remedies rather than using chemicals of the scientific medicine – and varicose veins are no exception to the rule. We always want to try out anything available over-the-counter and easily applied before making an appointment with a specialist. The question is, though, are these supplements and natural products effective, or are they just a tool to pull money out of our pockets? Let’s first look into some of the herbal supplements and creams on the market which claim to effectively treat varicose veins…
Horse chestnuts – this is a plant, whose seed, bark, flower and leaves are used to make supplements in the form of pills and creams. According to some sources, horse chestnuts contain active chemicals that support blood circulation.
Butcher’s broom – this is a plant, whose root is used to make supplements that supposedly support blood circulation. Its actual effect on smoothing your veiny legs has not been confirmed, though.
Grape seed – grapes contain flavonoids, which supposedly work as antioxidants, help blood circulation, and relax blood vessels. However, no actual studies on the effects of grapes on varicose or spider veins have been carried out.
Marigold – just like grapes, marigold contains flavonoids, which are believed to be beneficial in treating varicose veins by strengthening the vein walls and thus making them less susceptible to degeneration.
Gotu kola – this is a small annual plant native to Asia and used largely in Ayurvedic medicine, and traditional Chinese and African medicines. It is supposed to relieve the sensation of heaviness in your legs and reduce swelling, fatigue and pain.
Sweet clover – this is an herb, whose leaves and flowering branches are used to make supplements to relieve poor blood circulation and cramps.
Pycnogenol – this is a product, whose trademark is registered in the US and is made from the pine bark of the Pinus pinaster tree. Sold in the form of pills or creams, it is supposed to act as an antioxidant and improve blood flow.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) – this is a chemical found in humans, animals and plants. It is described as a supplement for a number of health conditions, one of them being poor blood circulation. However, no studies have been carried out and results drawn that this substance has any effect on varicose or spider veins.
All these herbal supplements are available over-the-counter in pharmacies or various natural health shops. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these herbs and products is only known from old traditional medicines or subjective customer reviews as likely effective or possibly effective and there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that these products have positive results on treating varicose veins. They mostly function as a prevention of varicose veins, but once a varicose vein is formed, these remedies have little effect on it, and there are no existing studies, research or ongoing trials that would confirm positive results. In other words, if you want to treat your varicose veins and get actual results, it is more effective – and eventually cheaper – to rely on modern medicine! Or do you think otherwise? Let us know in your comments!