Vein related disorders, such as varicose and spider veins, as well as chronic venous insufficiency are a common problem that affects 50% Americans, and women are at higher risk. Most people try to avoid professional medical treatment as long as possible – after all, at the initial stage varicose and spider veins are more of an aesthetic concern than a serious health issue.
The market is now flooded with various natural remedies and herbal supplements and it is becoming impossible for patients to navigate through the plethora 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 – hawthorn.
Hawthorn, also known as thornapple, hawberry, May-tree or by its Latin name Crataegus, is a tree or shrub native to temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, with thorny branches and small berries. Hawthorn berries are used in various cuisines: in English cuisine mostly to make jelly and wine, in Chinese cuisine to make various kinds of snacks, an in Mexico they are eaten raw or cooked. Most importantly, though, some species of hawthorn are used in traditional medicine: as a digestive aid, and to strengthen blood vessels, cardiovascular function and peripheral circulation.
This is mainly because there are many active ingredients in hawthorn, one of them being flavonoids. Flavonoids, sometimes called bioflavonoids, were formerly referred to as Vitamin P, a term which is no longer used. Flavonoids have a lot of health benefits: they are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antiviral, etc. What’s more, recent studies have shown that flavonoids have a positive effect when treating cardiovascular diseases:
- They relax blood vessels
- They help blood circulation
- They reduce arterial blood pressure
- They reduce hypertension
- They prevent formation of blood clots
- They reduce atherosclerosis
These are all very powerful attributes when fighting vein-related disorders. Unfortunately, the research is currently ongoing and there have not been any official conclusions published yet. That should not stop you from giving hawthorn a chance. Keep in mind though, that if you are experiencing symptoms of varicose and spider veins it is still advisable to discuss it with your physician and have your legs thoroughly examined by a medical professional. After all, varicose veins could be caused by a severe underlying condition that herbal products and natural remedies simply do not have the power to overcome.