I’ve written up a post on the best herbal remedies for varicose veins and thought that a companion article was in order! Cuz’ you can’t have enough remedies for unsightly veins amiright? Granted, I don’t have them all THAT bad, but I still hate to think that my overall vein health is a bit lacking.
Today’s post is going to cover the best essential oils I could find for shrinking varicose veins, reducing their appearance, and preventing recurrence. So let’s get to it!
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged and swollen veins that occur most often in the legs. They are usually accompanied by a dull, aching pain as a result of weakened valves inside the vein which causes the legs to feel heavy crampy. Blood can only go towards the heart in veins, so when the valves that help prevent blood from pooling back down become compromised, blood begins to accumulate and stretch out the vein. This causes spider and varicose veins.
Varicose veins are not considered harmful if the affected vein is near the surface, however, if a vein is deep within the leg, problems such as thrombophlebitis (blood clots), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), stroke, and myocardial infarction (heart attack) can occur. Most of the time though, varicose veins are merely cosmetically unappealing.
Root Causes of Varicose Veins
• Genetic weakness of the veins or venous valves
• Excessive pressure on the veins while straining due to constipation
• Lack of exercise or daily movement
• Poor posture i.e. sitting cross-legged, standing, or sitting all day
Therapeutic Strategy for Treating Varicose Veins
• Eat a diet high in fiber and low in processed foods
• Exercise regularly
• Use tonifying herbs
• Use essential oils
• Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
The Best Essential Oils for Shrinking Varicose Veins
There are many essential oils that can assist in the natural treatment of varicose veins and the best ones will have the following properties:
1. Venous decongestant – will help thin the blood and move stagnation
2. Circulatory stimulant – will increase circulation
3. Astringent action – will tighten, tone, and strengthen vein walls
4. Anti-inflammatory – will reduce inflammation
I’ve listed some of the most efficient essential oils from each of these categories below so that you can formulate your own varicose vein recipes at home with what you have on hand. I’ll leave an asterisk next to the ones I feel are the most potent and have had good results for others.
Venous Decongestant Essential Oils
These oils will help decongest thick and stagnant blood that doesn’t flow easily in the veins which is caused by standing or sitting for long periods of time. This will prevent unnecessary stretching and strain on valves and vein walls.
Some of the best essential oils with venous decongestant qualities include:
• Rock Rose (aka Cistus essential oil)
• Valor (this blend is amazing for de-clumping red blood cells – learn to make your own here)
Essential Oils That Stimulate Circulation
Using warming or cooling essential oils will help dilate and constrict blood vessels and promote healthy circulation. These oils are especially useful for treating varicose veins since they’re most often caused by standing or sitting for long periods of time. Using essential oils with these vaso-dilating/constricting qualities will keep blood moving toward the heart and prevent blood from pooling near the valves. This will reduce the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins.
Some of the best essential oils for stimulating circulation include:
• Black Pepper*
• Juniper Berry*
• Lemon* (be sure to use steam distilled unless the area is covered with clothing while in sunlight)
• Lime (do not expose application area to sunlight)
• Rock Rose
Astringent Essential Oils for Strengthening Veins
These essential oils will tighten surrounding tissues and veins which helps strengthen damaged vein walls.
Some of the best astringent essential oils for toning veins include:
Anti-inflammatory Essential Oils for Vein Health
Controlling and bringing down inflammation not only in the body but in the surrounding tissues of the affected vein will help heal varicose veins faster. When inflammation is high, the compromised valves cannot revert back to a toned and healthy state. You must include an anti-inflammatory essential oil to bring healing varicose veins full-circle.
Some of the best anti-inflammatory essential oils include:
The Best Essential Oil Recipe for Shrinking Varicose Veins
One of the keys to shrinking varicose veins is to alternate formulas so that you get the most benefit. So if one day you use lemongrass and rosemary, the next you would use helichrysum and cypress etc.
The recipe I’ve created below can be split or used as one formula. I realize I’ve used some expensive essential oils in my blend, but they’re honestly worth their weight in gold for so many afflictions that I can’t imagine not owning these oils. Varicose veins are also stubborn little buggers, so you may need to use an especially powerful oil to lessen their appearance. The one oil I would absolutely recommend having is helichrysum essential oil.
Here’s what you’re going to need for a 3% dilution:
• 4oz dropper bottle
• Carrier oil of choice (sweet almond, grapeseed, fractionated coconut oil, etc.)
• 4 drops black pepper essential oil
• 16 drops cypress essential oil
• 8 drops german chamomile
• 8 drops helichrysum essential oil
• 12 drops lemongrass essential oil
• 8 drops peppermint essential oil
• 8 drops rosemary essential oil
• 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
• 4 drops yarrow essential oil
For a total of 72 drops of essential oil in 4oz of carrier oil. This is a 3% dilution and is considered save for most people (do your research!). If you want to strengthen the formula, refer to the table below.
Add all of the essential oils to the dropper bottle one by one and then add the carrier oil up to the shoulder of the bottle. Cap closed and roll between your palms to mix.
I have also made a roll-on version of this formula which you can see below. Aren’t the color of the EOs neat?
Add a nickel sized amount to your palm and apply in a gentle upward motion ABOVE the affected veins morning and night towards the heart. Allow the mixture to absorb as much as possible before dressing. After your veins have improved (which can take anywhere from 3 months to a year), you can apply this mixture once daily thereafter for maintenance.
Why These Essential Oils Work for Shrinking Varicose Veins
Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper is a warming essential oil that stimulates blood flow. It is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is one of the most effective essential oils for reducing and preventing varicose veins. It strengthens blood capillaries, improve circulation, and reduces the aches and pains associated with varicose veins.
German chamomile is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory essential oils. Adding it to this blend will help the other oils repair, tonify, and strengthen vein walls and valves.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helicrysum essential oil is one of the best restorative oils for damaged skin, vein, and tissues. Its anticoagulant properties help dissolve blood clots and reduce blood stickiness. Helichrysum also improves circulation and brings down inflammation when applied topically and is one of the best essential oils for shrinking varicose veins.
Lemongrass essential oil
Lemongrass essential oil dilates blood vessels and increases circulation. It also rebuilds and strengthens capillaries.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint’s cooling action will reduce pain, stimulate good blood flow, and bring down inflammation. Using it in conjunction with a warming oil like I have with black pepper, will cause a synergistic effect that both dilates and constricts blood vessels. This action will help stimulate circulation.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is especially beneficial for promoting arterial and peripheral circulation. Its warming nature helps move blood and thin stickiness.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil decongests the veins, stimulates healthy circulation, and helps shrink varicose veins.
Yarrow Essential Oil
Yarrow is known for its balancing properties. If your body is too far on one end of the spectrum, no matter what ails you, yarrow seems to bring you back to equilibrium. Yarrow is a fantastic stimulant for the circulatory system and moves stagnant blood in the veins to its rightful destination.
What have been your favorite varicose vein blends? Please share them in the comments below!
For more recipe for shrinking varicose veins, check out the articles below:
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