Unaesthetic and sometimes painful, varicose veins are a nuisance. Before reaching out to more invasive treatments, you could give natural remedies a chance. There are some great essential oils for varicose veins that can ease up tension. On top of that, they can also improve the aspect of the affected areas.
Here’s a little peak at what you’ll be reading about:
- How aroma oils can help with varicose veins. I will talk about their working mechanism and properties that are so helpful.
- A list with some of the best essential oils for thread and varicose veins. Thread veins are also called spider veins. They can often be seen together, affecting the same areas.
- Best ways to safely use these oils for lighter feeling and more beautiful legs. This small guide will serve as a starting point for your anti-varicose veins natural therapy.
- A list with essential oil recipes for varicose veins improvement. You will find lots of different blends to try as soon as you want to.
- Causes and symptoms of the condition, plus tips to prevent varicose veins.
- Last but not least, find other helpful tips to promote a deeper and faster action of essential oils.
Best Essential Oils for Varicose Veins, Benefits and Recipes
Varicose veins are not a threat to your life but they are a cosmetic issue. Since it affects mostly women, it is also understandable that they’d want to something about it. Of course, there are many treatment options, but they’re invasive and costly.
Essential oils for varicose veins may prove a good alternative. Unfortunately, there isn’t yet scientific research done on their effects on varicose veins.
Nonetheless, there are other studies that support the right effects of oils. The ones we’re looking for when it comes to improving varicose veins are:
- Diuretic and anti-edema.
Essential oils can improve the blood circulation. They can also strengthen the walls of the veins. Thus, the veins would be more permeable (allow blood to flow easier through).
Aromatic oils can also reduce swelling and drain excess water and toxins from the tissue. This is the anti-edema effect.
Some studies have shown that controlling edema can help improve circulation. Some of them also have analgesic (pain relieving effects). They can sedate the affected area and act as anti-inflammatory agents too.
That being said, let’s see which essential oils are the best for varicose veins and why. Make sure you read both their advantages and disadvantages for safe use.
1) Lentisque Essential Oil
Botanical name: Pistacia lentiscus.
- The oil of Lentisque is less known among Aromatherapy fans. It is, however, the French’s number one choice for all circulatory problems.
- The oil has vasoconstrictive effects. This effect refers to the ability of the oil to cause the constriction (narrowing) of a blood vessel opening. Constricting the veins helps to tone the smooth muscle cells. Ultimately, this makes it easier to help the blood flow smoothly.
- The oil can also help drain toxins out of the blood and the blood itself from the veins. This is helpful in preventing pooling in the blood vessels.
- The oil is anti-inflammatory too. It boosts white blood cells activity. Thus, they can face bacteria or viruses that may cause inflammation in the veins. Inflammation dilates blood vessels that increase the risk of varicose veins formation.
- Lentisque oil helps with edema too.
- Avoid using Lentisque essential oil for varicose veins in steam baths or inhalations. It can irritate the mucous membranes.
- Do not use, without medical supervision, if you suffer from asthma.
- In large dosage, Lentisque may induce seizures.
- It is expensive.
Why I like it:
The fragrance of this oil is very fresh and makes for great varicose veins recipes. It can also help with poor circulation in general. Lentisque may be a good ally in skin care blends as well.
2) Peppermint Essential Oil
Botanical name: Mentha piperita.
- Peppermint is another one of the best essential oils for varicose veins. It has tonic and stimulant properties, especially with the heart. Its menthol content has vasoconstrictive effects as well. This helps increase the blood flow and tone up the smooth muscle cells of the veins.
- It improves the circulation and decongests the blood vessels and the lymphatic system. This effect may prevent the apparition of further varicose veins.
- Peppermint essential oil has pain-relieving effects. These effects soothe varicose vein pain with its “cold sensation”.
- The oil also has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Peppermint can also induce seizures.
- It should not be used by people with asthma or other chronic illnesses.
- Avoid using it on large skin areas. There’s a risk of hypothermia (low body temperature).
Why I like it:
I like Peppermint for so many reasons! It can help with varicose veins and thread veins. But it can also help with digestion, hair growth, and skin care. It is an uplifting essence, with a fresh and minty fragrance.
3) Lemon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus limon.
- Lemon oil contains molecules that imitate the action of vitamin P. It diminishes the permeability of the blood vessels. This means that it may lead to fewer edema episodes too.
- Lemon oil is lipolytic. This means it can dissolve (break down) fats in the arteries and make the blood more fluid. It will thus flow smoother and prevent cholesterol deposits.
- The oil is antibacterial and astringent. The astringent property tones up the vein walls.
- Lemon is a citrus oil. This means the oil is phototoxic and can cause skin burns from sun exposure. After use, you should not expose yourself to the sun for at least 24 hours.
- The oil is very aggressive and should not be used on large areas, and never undiluted.
- Large dosages of Lemon essential oil can induce seizures or epileptic episodes.
Why I like it:
Lemon is a good essential oil for varicose veins. It smells fresh and uplifting and makes any blend a pleasure to use. It is also great for skin care, digestion, hair care, and fungal infections.
All essential oils for varicose veins must be tested for allergies. Simply mix a drop with some carrier oil and massage it on a small skin patch. Leave it alone for a day and watch for any reactions.
Internal use of aroma oils is not recommended unless a doctor gives you permission. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also ask for their doctor’s advice.
Other good essential oils for thread veins and/or varicose veins are:
- Rosemary (ct. cineole)
- Citrus oils
- Clary Sage
- Wild Mint
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils for Varicose Veins
When it comes to using aromatic oils, this can’t be left to chance. It’s important to know how to use them, to enjoy all their benefits in a safe manner.
1. The best way is a topical application.
Mix up to 30 drops of essential oil per Oz (30 ml) carrier oil. 2 – 3 tablespoons of a carrier are the equivalent of an Oz.
Massage the area right next to the bumpy veins, never directly on them. Apply very gentle movements and pull towards the heart to promote blood flow.
The best carrier oils for varicose veins are:
2. The second best way of using essential oils for varicose veins is local compresses.
Whether they’re warm or cold, they’ll act directly on the affected area. This is a non-painful method. A massage though can be more or less painful. It depends on the pressure and method you’re using.
Pour 5 – 8 drops of essential oils on the compress and apply it on the varicose veins for 10 – 15 minutes. During this time, it would be ideal to keep your legs elevated.
3. Another good way of using your oils is through diffusions.
Depending on the area and essential oil, you can diffuse up to 10 drops per session. A healthy diffusion session means 30 minutes on, every 2 hours in a well-ventilated room. Read this article on how to diffuse therapeutic oils correctly.
The oils will affect your nervous and limbic systems. They’ll also influence your mood and well-being. Diffused essential oils for varicose veins can help you face the pain and sleep better.
Natural remedies for varicose veins with essential oils should be used for 2 – 3 months. Improvement should start showing after a few weeks though.
Essential Oil Recipes for Varicose Veins
It’s time to get practical! This is my favorite part as you get to mix and match favorite scents and discover new possibilities. Simply pick whichever recipe you like or the one you can make. Try it on your varicose veins as soon as possible.
Concentrated Varicose Veins Recipe
- Lentisque essential oil: 15 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 15 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 10 drops
- Tamanu oil: 2 tablespoons (1 Oz.)
Pour all the ingredients into a plastic bottle. Shake the blend really well before use and apply 3 times a day. Massage 4 – 6 drops of this blend on the affected area, until the varicose veins disappear.
Heavy Legs Essential Oils Recipe
- Cypress essential oil: 10 drops
- Rosemary essential oil: 10 drops
- Cedarwood essential oil: 10 drops
- Calendula or Tamanu oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Give the blend a good shake to activate the oil molecules. Apply a moderate amount on the arch of the foot, the ankles and go up the leg. Make sure you don’t massage the veins directly.
Improved Circulation and Varicose Veins Recipe
- Lentisque essential oil: 20 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 15 drops
- Cypress essential oil: 15 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 10 drops
- Helichrysum essential oil: 10 drops
- Macadamia oil: 2 Oz (60ml)
Apply a few drops of this blend on both legs and massage it in, 2 – 3 times a day. Start from the ankles up the calves and thighs. Helichrysum oil is great for varicose veins because it has great circulatory effects.
Varicose Veins Compress Blend
- Peppermint essential oil: 3 drops
- Patchouli essential oil: 3 drops
- Lentisque essential oil: 4 drops
Apply it hot or cold (depending on season or preferences), mornings and evenings. Keep your legs elevated for 15 minutes or more.
Hopefully, you’ll find a good essential oil recipe for varicose veins among the ones above. I’ll also be happy to know what other blends you use to get rid of those bumpy veins.
Causes and Symptoms of Varicose Veins, Safety and Tips
Varicose veins affect both women and men. Women, however, are 2 to 3 times more affected than men are. 1 in 5 adults has varicose veins and at some point in their lives, about 20% of the population will experience them.
What are varicose veins?
They are dilated and swollen veins that are damaged by a poor circulation. A varicose vein is permanently dilated and it prevents the blood from getting back to the heart. This turns the veins blue and in more severe cases, they become bulged.
The veins have valves that help the blood flow upward (in one direction). When these valves don’t work properly, blood starts building up in the affected veins.
Varicose veins cause pain and they’re not at all like spider veins. Spider veins affect the superficial, thinner and smaller veins under the skin.
Take a look at how a varicose vein looks like compared to a normal vein.
The symptoms of varicose veins:
- Spasms and cramps in the calves.
- Swollen ankles and feet.
- Feeling your legs heavy.
- Feeling pain in the lower half of the legs.
What are the causes of varicose veins?
The main culprit for varicose veins is a bad circulation, otherwise known as chronic venous insufficiency.
What does this mean? It means that the venous system has serious problems returning the blood to the heart. The veins that go up the leg are affected by varicose veins in most of the cases.
This result may be one of the following causes or a combination of:
- Family history.
With legs, the blood has to flow upward. That is against gravity and it’s a harder process for the blood, which has to reach the heart again. That is why the legs are the most affected by varicose veins or clots.
Our veins and arteries have smooth muscle cells that help carry the blood. As you can imagine, the arteries have a much better-developed muscle tone.
When you’re in a very hot environment for a very long time, the venous smooth muscle starts to lose its tone. That makes it harder to push up the blood to the heart.
Overweight and pregnancy can weigh down on all blood vessels. The lack of exercise or standing still for a long time doesn’t put enough pressure on your veins. Thus, their smooth muscle cells become “lazy” and lose tonus.
Family history here refers to being born with weak valves and vein walls. Luckily, they can be strengthened through diet and essential oils for varicose veins.
All these factors promote varicose veins. Damage to the venous system happens when:
- The vein walls are weakened,
- The muscle tonus is low,
- The permeability of the veins is also low. This refers to the ability of veins to allow the passage of blood through their walls.
Where do varicose veins locate?
Generally speaking, they affect the lower part of the legs (calves). But they can also go up and affect the thighs. Check the video below for a visual of the veins.
How to prevent varicose veins formation?
There are a few good things you can do to prevent varicose veins or at least improve the aspect of the existing ones. They are not proven methods, but they can help ease those existing symptoms.
- Move around and avoid sitting still or standing for too long. Ideally, you would take a small break every working hour and walk or do some leg exercises to put blood into motion.
- Keep your legs elevated as long as you can, whenever you can. If possible, try sleeping with them a bit more elevated than normal.
- Maintain a healthy weight for your age and height.
- Exercise regularly to improve circulation. Walk on foot, take the stairs or do a few squats daily.
- Avoid keeping your legs or ankles crossed for too long.
- Avoid sugar or salt excesses. They promote water retention.
- Alcohol, smoking and an excess of red meat are known enemies that promote varicose veins.
- If needed, invest in a pair of stockings.
- Eat lots of fish meat, which is rich in Omega 3.
- Finish your baths or showers with a jet of cold water.
Tips to Promote a Deeper Essential Oil Action
Essential oils can act on a deeper level with a bit of help.
- Brush off dead skin cells with a loofah or an abrasive enough (not too abrasive though!) sponge.
- Apply your varicose veins blend right after showering. That’s when the skin is most receptive as the pores open up.
- Keep your legs warm after a massage. The heat promotes a deeper absorption of oil molecules.
- Test each new bottle of oil for allergic reactions. Their chemical composition may vary from batch to batch and an irritation or rash etc. will do your varicose veins more harm.
Varicose veins, though not a health menace, they don’t look good either. Bumpy and swirly, they can be pretty painful too. Luckily, you have many treatment options.
Most of them are very invasive and painful, however. But before considering those options, you have a non-invasive one right at hand.
Essential oils for varicose veins can be used at home. You can use them, either as a unique treatment or as a complementary one. They have many useful abilities and can help with the pain, the circulation, and overall aspect.
How do you manage to deal with your varicose veins naturally? Which oil would you use first?