Did you know that almost 25% of adults deal with varicose veins, the raised, swollen, and often purplish-blue twisted veins that most frequently appear on legs? In case you didn't know, this condition occurs when blood pools in your veins instead of heading toward your heart. However, we're happy to report some good news: You can treat them the all-natural way with the right essential oils for varicose veins. Before we tell you how this remedy is effective, it's worth explaining why the condition is most prevalent on one area of your body. Because your legs are one of the furthest spots from your heart, gravity makes it a challenge for the blood to flow up toward your chest. Makes sense, right?
Other than the veins being an eyesore, their symptoms can prove to be uncomfortable, too. "The main symptoms are heaviness, aching, tightness, fatigue, tiredness, swelling and often itching, burning, numbness, cramping, and restless legs," Jeffrey G. Carr, MD, medical director of the Vein Center of East Texas, told Women's Health. And women are more prone to this ailment than men, especially when they are pregnant.
Other than undergoing medical treatments like vein stripping or laser removal that sometimes still allows the veins to grow back, it may be worth taking a gentler approach. With the seven essential oils for varicose veins, you can actually improve your blood circulation and movement to reduce both inflammation and irritation of the veins. Go on—keep reading to see which oils will do the trick (and why).
Cypress oil comes from the evergreen tree of the same name that grows tiny cones. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, recommends rubbing five drops of this oil on the affected area two times a day for a few weeks. "One of the best [oils] for specifically treating vein problems is cypress oil, which has the ability to increase circulation and support the circulatory system," he explains on his site. Basically, cypress oil contracts your blood vessels, which forces your blood to start flowing properly.
Other than just naturally calming you with its scent, lavender oil can also be used in the treatment of varicose veins. When used in aromatherapy, it mitigates pain and inflammation caused by the condition. If your varicose veins have also caused skin ulcers (a common side effect), a study actually showed that lavender oil helps to calm them. (Skin ulcers are sores that form due to poor blood circulation.)
The ancient Greeks revered the rosemary plant for its various health benefits, but nowadays, it's mostly used to help with memory loss. It works in this instance because the herb increases blood flow due to the fact that it's a stimulant. Fortunately, this is also beneficial when it comes to getting rid of varicose veins since the herb in essential oil form gets your blood moving again. And, as we already mentioned, when your blood is circulating properly, it doesn't pool in your veins and thereby cause these pesky veins to form.
Helichrysum oil comes from the steam distillation of blooms from the plant of the same name, and it has serious healing properties. It's less well known than other essential oils, probably because of its price—a small bottle will cost you somewhere around $35 (it's definitely not inexpensive). With that being said, it's revered as one of the most effective at shrinking varicose veins since it not only helps with circulation but also lessens inflammation. Furthermore, it works to eradicate blood clots and helps with blood stickiness (stickiness can be responsible for poor circulation, so it's all related).
Frankincense is one of my all-time favorite essential oils for my diffuser because its calming scent helps me fall asleep at night but also somehow has this way of invigorating my mind in the morning. (It's actually uncanny how well it works.) These amazing benefits mean that I'm not at all surprised to hear frankincense also improves the circulation in your lower part of your body. Plus, the oil strengthens your veins so they are less likely to twist or bulge and cause sores.
Yes, lemon oil has similar properties to the above oils. It aids in regulating the proper blood flow in your body. But, when it's applied topically to your legs, lemon oil also works to tighten your vein walls. Why is that? The sour fruit's oil is also an astringent, which means that it has the ability to constrict. When your vein walls constrict, blood flows easier to your heart.
Apparently, the Egyptians used geranium oil to give themselves glowing complexions. Now, it's still used to treat acne but also stimulates hair growth. In addition to improving blood circulation, the oil helps to heal your varicose veins (it gets rid of any accompanying wounds or sores). Sounds like a win-win.
Now that you know all about essential oils for varicose veins, it's time to choose your favorite and use it in a hot or cold compress, as a massage oil, or even in the bath. Take your pick.