Aromatherapy has become a popular way to treat a wide range of conditions, including the pain associated with varicose veins. Varicose veins are inflamed, ropy blue veins that can cause aching, burning, swelling and itching. Using essential oils for varicose veins may provide a bit of relief from these symptoms.
A vein’s primary job is to carry blood back to the heart, which means they need to work against gravity. To do this effectively, there are tiny, one-way valves inside each vein to keep blood from flowing backward (refluxing) and pooling inside the veins. When these valves become weakened or damaged, pressure builds up inside the vein and results in varicose veins.
Five essential oils for varicose vein pain
Here are five essential oils that can be used to increase circulation, reduce swelling and ease the pain associated with varicose veins:
According to Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a peer-reviewed open-access medical journal covering alternative medicine, smelling lavender has been shown to help reduce pain. Applying lavender to the skin may also reduce the pain and size of ulcers related to varicose veins when massaged on the affected areas.
2. Horse chestnut
Horse chestnut seed extract (HCSE) may improve venous tone by improving blood flow in your legs. Five clinical trials showed that topical applications of HCSE helped reduce swelling, pain, itching and heaviness associated with varicose veins, according to an article published in the journal Advances In Therapy.
3. Sea pine
According to the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, sea pine oil may help reduce swelling (edema) and inflammation related to chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins.
Grapevine essential oil may help reduce swelling related to varicose veins and increase blood flow when applied topically.
Yarrow is a circulatory stimulant that supports blood circulation, reduces blood stagnation and helps to tone vein walls with its astringent properties.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any of these home remedies to confirm there will not be an interaction with any medication you are currently taking.
How to use essential oils for varicose veins
Here are a few ways you can safely use essential oils topically for varicose veins:
- Create a warm or cool compress by soaking a cloth in a blend of five drops of your preferred essential oil and one liter of water. Elevate your legs above your heart and apply the compress directly to the affected area for about 15 minutes.
- Combine up to 30 drops of essential oil with three tablespoons of carrier oil (e.g., grade seed, coconut or avocado oil), shea butter or cocoa butter. Gently massage the mixture to the affected area in the direction of your heart.
- Dilute 8-10 drops of essential oil in a small amount of carrier oil. Add the mixture to warm bath water and soak for 15-20 minutes.
- For hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the anus), add up to eight drops of diluted essential oils to a sitz (warm, shallow) bath.
While these essential oil homeopathic treatments may provide temporary relief, winter is a great time to fully treat your varicose veins because the weather is colder (which helps reduce inflammation), and treated areas are less likely to be exposed to the sun. Get ready for next summer by visiting a Virginia Vein Care location near you today. We offer several minimally invasive vein treatment options including endovenous radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy.