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Varicose veins are meandering, dilated veins that are mainly on the legs or The causes of varices (varicose veins) are varied. Tired, heavy and swollen legs are typical side effects. The symptoms usually worsen when warm and after long periods of standing or sitting.
Smoking, high-heeled shoes, lack of exercise, long periods of sitting, the contraceptive pill and obesity: all of this means stress for the veins. In times of hormonal changes (e.g. during pregnancy and menopause) women are particularly at risk of varicose veins. Problems with the veins should be clarified by a specialist (phlebologist). Simple home remedies often help, especially if they are used at an early stage.
With varicose veins, the legs should be put up as often as possible. It should be noted that the feet are higher than the head. If you want to have it a bit more comfortable, get a special venous pillow. The whole thing can be supported by cool calf wraps.
Anyone who does a sedentary job should get up again and again, walk around for a few minutes, alternately walking on tiptoes or on the heels. To support blood flow, moving the feet helps when sitting. Let your feet circle, stretch your toes and then pull them up.
Activities such as regular walking, cycling and hiking also have a preventive effect and are an effective measure if varicose veins already exist. Crossing the legs together hinders blood flow and is therefore unhealthy. Also, calves with varicose veins should never be massaged. A gentle rubbing with rubbing alcohol before going to bed brings relaxation to the legs overnight.
Daily care with a lotion or tincture that contains horse chestnut is a blessing. This cools, promotes blood circulation and has a decongestant effect.
Too much heat is counterproductive for varicose veins. A visit to the sauna, especially if there are severe vein problems, should be discussed with the doctor beforehand.
Wraps - envelopes for the calves
Put your legs up and a wrap around your calves - that takes away the heaviness and the swelling. In the following, we present some proven envelopes against varicose veins.
Danger: In all applications, it is essential to ensure that the legs are always positioned higher than the head.
Soothing help from cool water
A cold water wrap is quick and effective. A kitchen towel is dipped in cool water, wrung out and then placed around the calf. The envelope stays on the skin as long as it is perceived as cooling. As soon as it has warmed up, it is removed and repeated if necessary.
Wraps with essential oils
Essential oils such as juniper, cypress, lavender, lemon, yarrow and lemongrass are effective for varicose veins. These can be used as a mixture or individually.Instructions for oil wrapping:
- Fill a bowl with cool water
- Put a drop of each desired oil in a little cream
- Stir the mixture into the water
- Now a cotton cloth is soaked in it and wrung out
- Apply the wrap to the affected area for about 30 minutes
- The application can be carried out up to twice a day
The well-known curd wrap is an ancient home remedy that is also helpful for varicose veins. The curd cools and relieves the swelling. This is applied to the middle of a tea towel, then fold in the other two sides and place the envelope with the thin side down around the calf. The wrap stays there until it no longer releases cold.
Retterspitz is a traditional remedy that has become modern again because its ingredients are extremely effective and helpful in a wide variety of problems. These include swelling, strains, fever, pain and varicose veins.
- Mix 25 milliliters of Retterspitz with 25 milliliters of cool water
- Soak a cotton cloth with the solution
- Wrap it around the affected leg
- The envelope is removed after about an hour
Envelope with essence of calendula
Calendula essence (calendula = marigold) is mixed with water in a ratio of 1: 5. The cloth soaked in it is placed around the calf (s). The marigold has a healing and decongestant effect.
Wraps with marigold tea
With half a liter of water, a tea is made from a tablespoon of marigolds, which should brew for at least ten minutes. Once it has cooled down a bit, it is put in the fridge and used as soon as it is cold enough for an envelope.
Water applications: prevention and relief
Water is a very simple home remedy for varicose veins. If done correctly and daily, hydrotherapy can help preventively and provide relief for existing problems. In the case of severe symptoms and / or massive varicose veins, the water applications should be discussed with the doctor beforehand. After the castings, thick socks may be necessary.
The knee cast
The upper body remains clothed when the knee is cast. Starting at the right foot on the outside, the warm water jet is guided up the calf, around the knee and then down to the foot. Then the left leg is on. Then the whole thing is carried out with cold water. The colder the water, the quicker the shower. The whole process can be repeated several times.
The thigh cast is an increase of the knee cast variant. Here the upper body is also dressed, only the water jet does not end at the knee but at the hip. Otherwise the procedure is the same.
Alternating showers against varicose veins
Alternating showers harden, stimulate the immune system and strengthen the veins. Accordingly, this application is a good way to do something for the overloaded vessels every day. Important: Make sure that you always start with the right arm.
Kneipp water treading
Kneipp water treading can be done at home. First, however, the body should be accustomed to the cold water through the above mentioned pouring. For the Kneipp cure in your own bathroom, the bathtub is filled with cold water at calf height.
It is important that there is a non-slip surface in the tub. Then you can start walking up and down. With each step, the foot is pulled completely out of the water.
Help - from the inside
Treating varicose veins only with home remedies would be too little. Rather, it is important to support the body from the inside with the appropriate means. Here the tea blends listed below offer a good approach.
Danger: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should definitely consult a doctor or therapist about the use of all the teas mentioned.
Buckwheat supports the vessels
Buckwheat herb is used for prophylaxis of atherosclerosis, has an anti-inflammatory effect and has a positive influence on the vessels, which is very important for varicose veins.Recipe for buckwheat tea:
- Warm two teaspoons of buckwheat herb with a quarter liter of water
- Let the mixture boil for a minute
- Take the infusion off the stove and let it cover for ten minutes
- Strain the tea and drink in small sips
- A tea cure with two cups daily over a period of 6 weeks strengthens the veins.
Attention: The ingredient fagopyrin can make the skin sensitive to light.
Tea blend: stone clover, yarrow, witch hazel
Stone clover has a positive effect on the lymph, improves the flow properties of the blood and helps with thick legs.
Yarrow is not only used as a home remedy for diarrhea and for menstrual problems such as Ovulation pain used, but also has a vascular toning effect. This can have a positive effect on venous complaints such as varicose veins, swollen feet and circulatory disorders.
The witch hazel, also called witch hazel, has an anti-inflammatory, astringent effect and is often used for hemorrhoids.Tea mixture against varicose veins:
- Mix stone clover, yarrow and witch hazel in equal parts
- Pour 250 milliliters of boiling water over a teaspoon of it
- Let the infusion steep for five to six minutes before straining
Application: Drink three cups of the tea a day, preferably in the form of a cure for a period of six weeks. Then you have to take a break.
Lapacho tea is made from the bark of the Lapacho tree and has become a popular home remedy of the modern era. The tea is said to have a variety of positive active properties. Lapacho tea is said to have an effect on varicose veins and their prevention.
Field horsetail has an antispasmodic effect (spasmolytic), lowers a high uric acid level and strengthens the connective tissue. The latter is particularly important in the case of vein problems, since the formation of varicose veins is usually also linked to a weak connective tissue.Recipe for field horsetail tea:
- Put two teaspoons of ground horsetail herb in a saucepan
- Pour two cups (250 ml each) of boiling water over it
- Let the mixture cook for about five minutes
- The infusion should steep for ten minutes before straining
- Drink two to three cups of the tea daily
Strengthen the connective tissue
The connective tissue of varices should always be strengthened. Silicon, a trace element contained in silica, can help. Silicic acid is found in cereals, fruits and vegetables, especially millet and bananas. If you want to do something more, brown millet is available in the health food store, which is simply sprinkled over the cereal or the curd. Another option is silica gel, which is also available in the health food store. The body can absorb this particularly well thanks to the gel shape.
Proper nutrition for varicose veins
Vitamin C is very important for healthy veins and venous valves. This is mainly found in rose hips, sea buckthorn, black currants, gooseberries, parsley, kale, bell peppers and Brussels sprouts. Onions, garlic and ginger reduce the coagulants in the blood and should therefore be used regularly in cooking.
Food should be high in fiber because it prevents excessive blood clotting. Make sure you have a sugar-free and low-fat diet as well as an adequate hydration, preferably in the form of still water.
It is important to pay attention to the "right" clothes. This includes comfortable footwear. High heels are not suitable. Under no circumstances should the clothing be constricting. Support stockings are recommended for long periods of sitting, for example on a train or plane.
Always see a doctor for pain and swelling
Varicose veins are a serious problem, especially if they are accompanied by pain and / or severe swelling. Do not treat yourself here, but always consult a doctor first, because “simple” varicose veins can also cause phlebitis or thrombosis. (sw, nr)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Ursula Uhlemayr, Dietmar Wolz: "Wraps and conditions: advice, selection and application", Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 2015
- Hildegard Kreiter-Schweigkofler, Helene Roschatt: Kneipp: water, nutrition, herbs, lifestyle, exercise, Kneipp Verlag, 2016
- M. Buzzi F. de Freitas M. de Barros Winter: Therapeutic effectiveness of a Calendula officinalis extract in venous leg ulcer healing, 2016 (access: 30.08.2019), Mag Online Library
- N. Ihme, H. Kiesewetterm, F. Jung, et al .: Leg oedema protection from a buckwheat herb tea in patients with chronic venous insufficiency: a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 1996 ( Retrieved: August 30, 2019), Springer Link