Spider veins are very small, but they are still unsightly. They are smaller than varicose veins, but the effects on self-esteem are similar. When compared to varicose veins, spider veins are closer to the skin’s surface and they are called spider veins because they can mimic the look of a spider web because they are comprised of jagged and short lines.
They are usually blue and red in color and they can cover large or small areas, usually on the face or the legs. Common causes are sun exposure, hormonal changes and injuries, as well as blood getting back up. In the United States, up to 45 percent of men and 55 percent of women experience spider veins at some point in life.
Horse Chestnut Extract
Horse chestnut extract contains aescin and this seems to stop the release of the different enzymes that can cause damage to the walls of capillaries. Studies were reviewed by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2006 that show that this extract is effective in improving chronic venous insufficiency, a condition similar to spider veins. Whole horse chestnut should not be consumed, so those using this remedy must make sure to use an extract and that it is safe for them.
Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract
Both of these extracts contain antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes. These complexes seem to strengthen blood vessel connective tissues and they appear to decrease inflammation. Studies on those with spider veins show that these extracts may be helpful in minimizing them and preventing more from occurring. Those taking corticosteroids, those taking immune-suppressing drugs and those with autoimmune conditions should not take either of these extracts.
Butcher’s broom comes from the lily family and it contains ruscogenins that are thought to strengthen the blood vessel walls by improving the strength of the collagen within them. These are also thought to improve circulation. These effects come together to tighten up vessels that are stretched or weakened. Butcher’s broom should not be taken by those with benign prostate hypertrophy or high blood pressure, or by those taking MAO inhibitors, blood pressure medications or benign prostate hyperplasia medications.
Basil is an herb that contains a significant amount of vitamin K, a vitamin that plays a major role in blood vessel health by keeping calcium flowing. This may help to prevent blood from backing up so that spider veins do not occur. The vitamin K present in this herb also helps in thrombin production. This clotting protein helps to keep blood flowing into healthy veins so that damaged veins do not get blocked up with blood. A study done at Maastricht University found that adding basil to daily meals may help to fade and shrink spider veins in about one and a half months.
German chamomile is best known for its sleep aid benefits, but it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. This type of chamomile also appears to have significant antiplatelet properties which means that it can fight against unnecessary blood clotting. Due to this activity, those with clotting disorders and those taking medications to prevent clotting should exercise caution and talk to a doctor before consuming German chamomile. Consuming this herb is easy and you just need to get the dried flower and add two teaspoons to a cup and add hot water. As this is steeping you want to keep the cup covered so that the volatile oils that provide the anti-inflammatory effects do not evaporate.
Massage the oil into the area of the spider veins, making sure to also work the area a few inches around the spider veins. Doing this once a day can help to alleviate swelling and it helps to improve circulation to the area. Since backed-up blood can cause these veins, getting the circulation to flow freely may help to alleviate the issue.
Evening primrose is often very helpful for spider veins, especially when they are new. This herb is known to help promote a healthy circulatory system because it works as a natural anticoagulant, meaning that it helps to reduce clotting. It also helps to impede inflammation in blood vessels and it keeps the vessels flexible and dilated. This helps to prevent the backup of blood so that spider veins resolve and new ones do not form. Taking this along with vitamin E can improve absorption to help make it more effective. It is important to note that those with epilepsy should avoid taking evening primrose.
This herb reduces the size of spider veins and it can reduce the formation of new ones due to improving circulation. This herb also works to increase diuresis which helps to cleanse the blood and body, and it helps to reduce inflammation. You can create an infused water and drink this throughout the day by taking two to two and a half teaspoons of dried leaves and combining these with a liter of water. Those with fluid retention related to kidney failure or heart failure should not use black currant.
Rutin and Hesperidin
Rutin helps to dilate the blood vessels and it works to prevent fragility of the capillaries. It is usually recommended that it is taken along with quercetin and hesperidin because the effects of each complement each other, making this a more powerful remedy for spider veins. Hesperidin is well-known for its ability to protect capillaries, ensuring greater health for the small blood vessels of the body and these are the vessels that result in spider veins.
Bay leaves are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can be combined with extra virgin olive oil to extract the nutrients from the bay leaves and moisturize the skin during application. To create a topical solution, use a low heat to warm the bay leaves in olive oil. Allow this to cool, strain the leaves and then apply this to your troublesome spider veins.
Toning the blood vessels may help to ensure better circulation and alleviate spider veins. Rose hips have powerful astringent properties to support surrounding tissues and improve circulation. Gently massage a rosehip oil into the area of the spider veins and the surrounding area. If you prefer not to massage, you can create a compress with this oil and apply it directly to the affected area.
Ginkgo biloba is rich in bioflavonoids, a natural compound with the ability to strengthen blood vessels. Consuming bioflavonoids benefits the veins so that they are more resilient to issues that can cause spider vein formation. This herb also helps to improve circulation and tissue oxygenation.
A Ginkgo Biloba supplement can be added to your day and to determine the right dose, you should consult your physician. This herb is not for everyone and those with bleeding disorders and those taking blood-thinning medications may not be able to safely use this herb.