Venous disorders, such as chronic venous insufficiency, varicose and spider veins are becoming an enormous problem, affecting up to 50% of the American population. Formerly, mostly women and older people were at risk of developing varicose veins, but with our current lifestyles of constant sitting and driving, instead of walking and moving around, more and more male and younger population have their legs marred by bulging, rope-like veins. Especially younger people affected by a vein-related disorder try to postpone going to a doctor for professional treatment as long as possible because they consider varicose and spider veins mainly a cosmetic concern rather than a serious health issue.
Current market offers a variety of over-the-counter herbal supplements and natural products, and it is becoming increasingly hard to navigate through the flood of teas, ointments and tablets. That’s why we are going to look into one specific natural remedy recommended for varicose veins and see if it is worth trying out – Gotu Kola.
Gotu Kola, also known as centella asiatica, Asiatic or Indian pennywort, is a small annual plant, native to Asia. It has been used in traditional African and Chinese medicines for a very long time, as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. Gotu Kola is a member of the parsley family, with similar leaves and stems and almost no flavor. Supposedly, the plant has many beneficial health effects, including:
- Swelling reduction
- Healthy blood circulation
- Wound healing
- Joint pain reduction
- Reduction in anxiety symptoms
- Insomnia reduction
In the past this plant was also used to treat stomach ulcers, diarrhea, fever, asthma, hepatitis, syphilis and epilepsy. Gotu Kola is sold in various forms, including dried herb, powdered herb, tincture or standardized extract.
The health benefits seem overwhelming, but unfortunately there haven’t been any valid results published or approved by the FDA about the positive effect of Gotu Kola on varicose veins or venous insufficiency. Trying out this natural remedy won’t do any harm, although there some mild side-effects and limitations you should certainly look into before you start using Gotu Kola. However, if you are experiencing typical symptoms of varicose veins, such as heavy and tired legs, swollen ankles or bulging veins, it is advisable to make an appointment with a medical professional to have your legs thoroughly examined and discuss potential treatment options. Varicose veins can be a symptom of other, serious conditions that require medical attention.