Choosing the best herbal treatment for varicose veins depends primarily on personal preferences as well as any potential sensitivities to specific herbs. A doctor should be consulted before using herbal therapy because some supplements may interact negatively with certain medications. Some of the herbs that are frequently used to treat varicose veins include witch hazel, butcher's broom, and horse chestnut. Calendula or St. John's wort may also provide benefits to those suffering from this affliction.
Witch hazel is a common herbal treatment for varicose veins due to its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. This herb can be taken internally or used topically to reduce symptoms associated with varicose veins. There are few side effects associated with the topical use of witch hazel, although some people may experience mild skin irritation. Oral supplements may cause digestive disturbances or liver damage, especially when taken in large doses.
Butcher's broom is thought to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation, making it a popular herbal treatment for varicose veins. This herb can also be made into a tea and applied directly to the affected area for an immediate soothing effect. Nausea is the most common side effect of butcher's broom.
Horse chestnut is believed by many to be the most effective herbal treatment for varicose veins. The tincture form of this herb is typically recommended, and it is applied directly to the affected veins. Some people may develop allergic reactions when using horse chestnut, and internal ingestion is considered toxic.
Calendula may help to reduce inflammation and is sometimes used as an herbal treatment for varicose veins. For the best results, this herb can be used both internally and externally to reduce swelling of the veins and surrounding tissue. Those who are allergic to ragweed should not use products containing calendula, as these plants belong to the same family. Pregnant women should avoid this supplement as well, as it has been known to induce miscarriage.
St. John's wort is reported to ease discomfort and reduce swelling associated with varicose veins. Available as a tea, tincture, or dried herb, St. John's wort is normally applied externally and consumed orally. Vivid dreams, insomnia, and headaches may develop as a result of taking this supplement.
Before choosing an herbal treatment for varicose veins, it is important to consult a doctor or certified herbalist to discuss possible side effects and safety issues. Some over-the-counter or prescription medications may not work properly when combined with certain herbs and may even lead to life-threatening complications. Herbal remedies should never be used as a substitute for proper medical care.