- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Get Rid of Varicose Veins with Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment
The Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are swollen, gnarled veins that appear most commonly in the legs and the feet. They can look almost like cords under the skin. Spider veins are typically closer to the surface of the skin and look similar to a spider web (hence the name).
Veins in our body are responsible for getting blood back to the heart so it can re-circulate. Since the veins in the legs have to work against gravity, they have valves so that when blood is traveling upwards towards the heart, it doesn't flow backwards.
Varicose veins happen when these valves are missing or damaged. As a result, blood flows backwards and accumulates in the veins, causing swelling. This swelling is usually higher when you are standing or sitting for too long. While varicose veins aren't typically dangerous or harmful, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly.
Here are some of the typical factors that put you at risk for varicose veins:
- Age: Veins wear down with time and less able to fight gravity.
- Pregnancy: The body produces extra blood during pregnancy, putting more strain on your veins. The added weight also adds stress.
- Weight and obesity: Being overweight adds more stress to your body.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time: How your body spends most of its days (e.g. a job where you have to stand for long periods of time) can increase your risk of varicose veins.
- Family history: If someone in your family has varicose veins, you are also at risk.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many health benefits, including treatment of varicose veins.
Treating your veins with ACV: Method #1
- Get a cheesecloth or medical cloth that can be used for a bandage.
- Soak it in apple cider vinegar.
- Tie the bandage around your thighs or lower legs.
- Leave the bandage on for half an hour.
- Remove the bandage, and wash your legs.
Other helpful notes:
Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, you may first want to experiment with a very small area of your skin. Some sensitive skins may develop a rash when using apple cider vinegar.
For better results, lie down on a flat surface and put a few pillows under your ankles to reduce blood flow to your legs.
Another way to use apple cider vinegar is to apply it directly to your legs in the morning and in the evening, massaging it in. However, as I said earlier, you should try it on a small part of your leg to see whether your skin is sensitive to it first.
Drinking ACV for Varicose Veins
You should supplement this external application by drinking apple cider vinegar twice a day. Take two to three tsp of apple cider vinegar, mix it with a cup of water, and drink it before meals. For better taste, you can add one tsp of organic honey to the ACV drink.
The ACV should help by removing the inflammation of veins. Results vary from person to person, but you should be able to see a difference on your skin within a month or two.
Video: Tips for drinking ACV
Choosing the Right Vinegar for Your Veins
The normal white vinegar found in the kitchen is of limited use in treating spider veins and is not a replacement for ACV.
When purchasing, you should look for vinegar that is unpasteurized and unfiltered. This is crucial since only this kind of vinegar has the mother of vinegar, the muddy-looking substance that contains enzymes and essential nutrients. Ideally, it should also be organic.
Make sure you read the label so you know you're buying unpasteurized, unfiltered cider vinegar. Some brands I recommend are:
- Dynamic Health
After purchasing, you should store the vinegar in a dark, cool place to preserve the flavor for longer. It does not need to be refrigerated, and should last up at five years after opening.
Other Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
Here are some other natural remedies that can help with this condition:
Garlic: Eat one raw garlic clove a day. Peel a garlic clove, crush it by hand, and then swallow it with water like a pill.
Cayenne pepper: Mix one tsp of cayenne pepper in a cup of warm water and drink it twice or three times a day. This can help relieve pain in your legs and improve blood flow. Wait 15 - 20 days to see major improvements. After that, drink it once a day to stay healthy.
Cod liver oil and honey: Mix the oil and honey, and apply it to a bandage. Tie this bandage to your legs and leave it overnight. The mixture should help reduce the swelling.
There are a number of ways to help prevent the development of varicose veins. These include:
- Regular exercise and physical activity, such as walking or jogging.
- Massaging your legs regularly, which helps in improving blood circulation.
- Controlling body weight. Excess weight puts more strain on the legs and their veins.
- Avoiding sitting or standing too long. Take a walk every now and then, even if it means just walking to the printer in the office, or popping out in the backyard.
- Avoiding high heel footwear.
- Using sunscreen while out, since overexposure to the sun can cause blue veins on the face.
- Reducing salt content in the diet.
- Eating lots of veggies and some fruit.
- Eating lentils, or any food that's high in fiber and low in sodium.
- Drinking lots of water and maintaining regular bowel movements. Constipation can worsen blue veins.
- Wearing compressive stockings.
If your condition has reached an extreme and all natural remedies fail, you may want to consider surgical intervention (saphenous vein stripping).
About Saphenous Vein Stripping
Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure that is performed to cure varicose veins.
In this surgery, the damaged vein is either tied off or removed completely. This surgery is performed either with general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
Since the surgery involves removing a vein, it should be the last option you consider while treating spider veins. It should not be treated as a cosmetic surgery, and should be undertaken only if you feel pain in your legs or if you're experiencing blood clots or swelling.