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I have bad veins in my left leg, and have had some stripping done many years ago but continue to have problems. I have read that horse chestnut can help...has anyone actually used this for veins, and has it helped? Side effects? Some days it seems that the compression stockings just make my leg feel worse...

 

~Kirsten

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Kirsten, I haven't tried it, but have heard and read that it can help in several places. Here's all the info I have. I assume that you're talking about varicose veins. I have info on that (below). I also have info on spider veins, which I can post later if you wish. I like vitacost.com and amazon for most of my supplements. The reviews are often helpful.

 

Varicose Veins are veins that are widened, distended, and, in some cases, twisted. More common symptoms include dull nagging aches and pains and a feeling of heaviness in the legs.

 

EAT MORE

Consume a diet that’s high in fiber.

Try sticking to a low-sodium, high-fiber diet

 

Eat more ginger, garlic, and onions. These foods help to break down the fibrin surrounding the varicose vein. People with varicose veins have a decreased ability to break down this substance. Garlic and onions have an anti-clotting factor.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.

 

Bromelain (found naturally in pineapples) aids in activating a factor that promotes the breakdown of fibrin. Bromelain also prevents the formation of blood clots.

 

Dark-colored berries (cherries, blackberries, and blueberries) contain anthocyanins and proanthocyandins which may help to strengthen the venous wall and increase the muscular tone of the vein.

 

Cantaloupe is a source of beta-carotene (healing properties) and has an anti-clotting factor.

 

Kale, parsley and collard greens are rich in beta-carotene, a healing nutrient.

 

EAT LESS

Excess salt can cause swelling

 

SUPPLEMENTS

Horse Chestnut

300 mg twice daily – be sure the herb is standardized to contain 50 mg escin per dose.

Horse Chestnut Extract – you can take horse chestnut extract containing 10-20 mg of escin three times a day, or apply a salve with 0.5-1.5% escin topically.

Horse Chestnut seals leaking capillaries and improves the elasticity of veins.

 

Gotu Kola tones the vascular system and improves circulation. Look for an extract that provides a daily dosage of 30-60 mg triterpenic acids.

Gotu Kola has reduced cellulite in 80% of the people who tested it.

The participants took a gotu kola extract containing 30 mg of triterpenes three times a day.

 

Both of the above have been used successfully for varicose veins as well as for cellulite.

 

Butcher’s Broom contains anti-inflammatory and vessel-constricting compounds.

Use an extract standardized to contain up to 11% ruscogenin at a dosage of 100 mg 3 times a day.

 

Bromelain supplements if pineapples are not a possibility -aids in activating a factor that promotes the breakdown of fibrin. Bromelain also prevents the formation of blood clots.

 

Vitamin E is a healing nutrient. Only take d-alpha, not dl-alpha (the synthetic form).

 

Zinc is another healing nutrient.

 

OTHER TIPS

Exercise regularly

Maintain a healthy weight

Avoid crossing your legs, which puts pressure on veins

Avoid standing in one place too long.

Wear support stockings if you need to.

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Wow, thanks, Negin! I do have the bulgy, varicose veins along with the spider veins. I have a bad one down my thigh and some bulgy ones on my calf and behind my knee. Ugh! I just hate them. I got them when I was pregnant with my second child, and they are getting worse I think as I get older (I'll be 50 in less than 2 weeks).

 

I do follow all of the tips that you put at the end; my weight is good, I do strength training and put 2-4 miles on my treadmill 6 days a week, don't cross my legs (it is uncomfortable for me to do with my left leg anyway), have been trying to wear support stockings, and if I need to be in one spot for long I try to sit and elevate my feet for a while.

 

I was unaware of the other suggestions regarding the foods to eat. I do eat a food amount of fiber and blueberries, I cook with a fair amount of onions and garlic, and use little to no salt (and don't eat salty snacks). I have been taking extra vitamin E, but now that I look at the label, it says dl-Alpha, so I guess I need to look for a good brand that is d-Alpha instead. I didn't even know there was a difference!

 

I looked at some horse chestnut and some of the brands contain butcher's broom and the gotu kola...do you think it is better to take it all separately, or do you know of a brand that combines them all in the appropriate amounts?

 

I have been to a vein doctor, but my insurance doesn't want to cover the treatment that he wants to do, so I would like to see if I can at least stop my leg from getting any worse. Some improvement would be awesome if that is possible! I have also seen that there are topical applications...do you think the oral suppplements are the best way to go?

 

Thanks for all your help!

Kirsten

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Kirsten, you're most welcome. Hope that these things help. Seems like you're doing a lot of good things already. :)

 

I do have the bulgy, varicose veins along with the spider veins.

Here's some info on spider veins, most of it very similar to the tips for varicose veins. Haven't had time to fully organize all my notes yet.

 

Horse Chestnut Extract - that contains 50-90 mg of aescin, 2-3 times a day. Avoid if pregnant, or suffering from liver/kidney disease. Horse Chestnut Extract prevents and treats varicose veins. Aescin tones floppy vessels.

500 mg once a day

 

Eat a diet rich in Vitamin C and bioflavonoids (found in the white pith of citrus fruits). Or take 1000 mg 3 times daily, to strengthen blood vessels and capillaries. Purplish-blue fruits, such as blueberries and plums are especially rich in natural antioxidants. Can also supplement with grapeseed extract, citrus bioflavonoids, or vitamin C.

 

Elevate your legs above your heart regularly throughout the day.

 

If you experience any pain or tenderness in the veins, see your doctor to rule out the possibility of vein thrombosis (blood clot), which could break loose and block blood flow to vital organs like the lungs, heart, or brain.

 

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose

 

ViparitaKarani_248.jpg

 

Foods rich in Vitamin K – dark leafy greens – spider veins can signal a vitamin K deficiency

 

Dry body brushing helps with circulation, regular massage and rebouding should help also. I try to dry body brush every single morning - either before showering or exercising - whichever comes first.

 

CAUSES:

Prolonged standing

Too much sun exposure

Pregnancy

Menopause

Heredity

 

About 40% of women suffer from varicose veins. Regular aerobic exercise several times a week will get the muscles working and blood pumping through the tiny valves to make the condition much less noticeable.

 

Some say that taking supplemental vitamin K-2 can help the varicose veins from developing and it will also help to protect the veins that are already there while starting the repair process.

 

I looked at some horse chestnut and some of the brands contain butcher's broom and the gotu kola...do you think it is better to take it all separately, or do you know of a brand that combines them all in the appropriate amounts?

I honestly don't know. I would look at reviews, etc. Plus, see how much is included. Personally, I would go for the highest dosage to get maximum benefits. I don't think that anything with a low dosage will make a difference.

 

I have also seen that there are topical applications...do you think the oral suppplements are the best way to go?

Personally, I would go with both - supplements and topical application.

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