Varicose and spider veins are a common problem and most people keep postponing treatment for years. Occasional cramps go away, swollen ankles are not that bad; we take some pills to kill the pain. And many of us run to the store every now and then to try out some new miraculous products that are completely natural, over-the-counter and would keep us from visiting a doctor’s office as long as possible. There are so many of these ‘natural wonders’ these days that it’s becoming increasingly hard to navigate through the flood of teas, ointments and tablets. That’s why we’re quickly going to look into one product that has been recommended for varicose veins for decades, and see if it’s worth all the fuss – horse chestnut.
Horse chestnut is a large tree whose seed, bark, flower and leaves are used to make supplements in the form of pills and creams. It has been researched since the 1960s to understand its effect on vein diseases of the legs, such as inflammation, swelling, cramping, varicose veins, and poor circulation in general. The results concluded that the bark of horse chestnut contains high amount of aescin – an active chemical compound which has many medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory effects. It is said that aescin in horse chestnut is a great natural support for healthy blood circulation and a natural treatment for inflammation and edema, all of which certainly come in handy with varicose veins.
Now, here’s the downside. All the research performed has been rather inconclusive. There are no existing studies or ongoing trials that would officially confirm positive results of horse chestnut on developed varicose or spider veins. Some patients who have tried horse chestnut won’t hear a word against it. Some patients, on the other hand, ended up with skin irritation and indigestion instead of smooth healthy-looking legs.
In conclusion, if you suffer from minor venous insufficiency, I would just go and try horse chestnut. The side-effects are very rare and it’s not going to cost you a fortune you would later regret. But here’s one thing I know for sure – if your varicose veins have already developed and you’re in pain throughout the nights, horse chestnut will not make it magically go away. I would seriously recommend that you at least consult your problem with a doctor. After all, varicose veins could be caused by a much more severe underlying condition that herbal products and natural supplements simply do not have the power to overcome.