by Alison Angold | Qualified Aromatherapist | CIDESCO ITEC
While varicose veins cannot be cured by essential oils, they can certainly be relieved by them and by regular use of some of these essential oil blends, you could also prevent the onset of varicose veins and spider veins.
the best essential oils for varicose veins
The best essential oils for varicose veins are;
- Black pepper
Most of these essential oils blend well together, but we shall look at the best blends and recipes, along with how to use them effectively.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins that bulge above the skins surface. Veins are the vessels that return blood back to the heart after distributing oxygen to the body via arteries. Varicose veins are when the walls of the veins have weakened or lost their elasticity, which means the return of the blood is slower and restricted and the blood then pools in the vein.
Varicose veins can be treated with surgery however, using essential oils can help prevent varicose veins from occurring and help relieve pain, inflammation and swelling.
Essential oil recipes for varicose veins
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Anti-inflammatory massage oil blend for varicose veins
- 100ml Jojoba Oil
- 15 drops Lime
- 15 drops Rosemary
- 15 drops Cypress
A blend with good anti-inflammatory properties so good for reduce swelling on the legs and feet, as well as encouraging circulation. Jojoba oil has great anti-inflammatory properties, so makes a good base for this recipe.
Use this oil to perform gentle, upward, massage movements on your legs.
Circulation stimulating massage oil for varicose veins
- 100ml Calendula Oil
- 15 drops Lavender
- 15 drops Neroli
- 10 drops Black Pepper
A good oil for really improving the circulation in the legs. Useful for existing varicose veins as well as preventing new one. Calendula oil has good healing properties.
Protective massage oil for varicose veins
- 100ml Sweet Almond Oil
- 15 drops Lavender
- 15 drops Geranium
- 15 drops Lemon
Epsom salts bath recipes
You can also create a suitable essential oil blend for varicose veins to use in the bath to mix together with bath salts. Epsom salts are very healing and good at reducing inflammations and pain. Add in essential oils and the bath will benefit you even more.
- Take a clean container like a glass mason style jar.
- Add in your Epsom salts.
- Add in your chosen essential oils and mix, with a spoon or spatula.
- Keeping the container tightly closed will allow the essential oils to blend well with the salts, resulting in a fragrant, beneficial bath treat.
Try the following blends for your Epsom salts bath;
Benzoin & Ginger
Warming and soothing, this blend will help encourage the blood flow as well as soothe, aching tired, itchy legs and feet.
Lavender & Lime
Healing and refreshing, this blend will help relieve pain as well as soothing inflammation.
Cooling leg gel
Applying a cooling leg gel regularly is a great way of reducing the chance of getting varicose veins. The cooling ingredients will dilate the capillaries and veins, meaning that the space inside the vessels will reduce, lessening the chance of getting varicose veins.
- Tinted amber bottle with pump
- 100ml of pure Aloe Vera gel
- 20 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops of Lime essential oil
This is the ultimate, DIY cooling, refreshing leg gel! Pure aloe vera, is naturally cool and refreshing, however adding in cooling and stimulating peppermint, and refreshing, anti-inflammatory lime, makes it an ideal treatment for varicose veins, as well as cooling, hot, tired legs. This DIY essential oil foot scrub can also help relieve tired aching and hot feet.
A warm compress applied the varicose veins, will be effective to encourage the circulation, thus relieving the pressure on the veins and preventing new veins from occurring.
- Clean muslin cloths
- Hot water – 50ml
- 10 drops Black Pepper essential oil
- 15 drops Benzoin essential oil
- 15 drops Lime essential oil
Simply add the oils to the water and mix, immerse the clean muslin cloths, or some clean pieces of material into this mixture and apply onto the effected area and leave to soothe.
A cold compress will be helpful when the area is particularly hot, itchy, sore or uncomfortable – perhaps after a day on your feet. The cool compress will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Clean muslin cloths
- Cold water – 50ml
- 10 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops Neroli essential oil
- 15 drops Lime essential oil
Add the essential oils to the water and mix. Immerse the muslin cloths in this mixture and apply to the affected area. You could make several compress at once, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge, so you have them at the ready when needed!
How do essential oils for varicose veins work?
Essential oils are the pure oils that are extracted from flower petals, leaves, fruit or herbs, and are so fine and pure that they have the ability to penetrate through the skin’s surface.
From here, they can enter the bloodstream and travel around the body to have an affect.
Each essential oil has a different property or therapeutic action meaning that it can have an effect within the skin or the body.
Varicose veins, usually more common on the legs, are veins that have lost their elasticity, which results in them looking very swollen, raised and bulging and can be painful, sore, itchy and often the legs can generally feel hot.
Overtime, the veins can loose their elasticity due to pressure on the legs, or weak valves within the veins.
All veins have valves within them, to prevent the backflow of blood. Sometimes the valves weaken and are unable to perform their function effectively. This means that the blood flow that is supposed to be travelling through these veins, doesn’t flow properly or effectively, and can pool in areas of the veins.
This then puts pressure on the walls of the veins, causing them to stretch and bulge, thus causing varicose veins.
What we want to try to do, is reduce the size of the vein, encourage blood flow and ease the pressure on the veins.
The essential oils that we want to look for to treat varicose veins should have the following properties;
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammations – useful for the swelling and ‘bulging’ that often accompanies varicose veins.
- Astringent – contracts and tightens tissues, especially in the skin. This is an effective property as if the vein is swelling, the skin will stretch along with it.
- Cooling – cools the area of application. If someone with varicose veins, spends a lot of time on their feet, the legs can become hot, and feel heavy.
- Refreshing – has a general refreshing effect. Useful for easing pain, swelling, and generally helping the area feel better.
- Vasoconstrictive – reduces the dilation of blood vessels. The walls of varicose veins have stretched so for effective treatment, we need to lessen the space within them.
- Warming – Produces warmth to an area and encourages blood flow. Useful, due to the slow blood flow within the veins.
(I am a fully qualified aromatherapist, and have a good knowledge of the anatomy of the body, however I am not medically trained)
Essential oils for varicose veins
An essential oil that warms the circulation, thus helping to improve the blood flow in the veins. Benzoin also helps to reduce skin inflammations, so could help reduce the inflamed vein on the skins surface.
Warms and increases the circulation, so helps to improve blood flow. Black pepper is a very stimulating essential oil, so use sparingly to begin with.
This oil narrows blood vessels which can help ease varicose veins. Cypress also helps to improve circulation.
(Avoid during pregnancy)
A lovely warming oil that stimulates circulation to help ease problems with blood vessel such as varicose veins.
(Use sparingly on sensitive skin)
A great all round oil that is cooling, so will ease pain and heat in the legs. It is also anti-inflammatory so will help reduce inflammation of the veins and analgesic so will aid with pain relief.
Marjoram improves poor circulation, so will help to increase the blood flow through the veins. Marjoram is also good at relieving pain, so useful if the varicose veins are causing pain.
(Do not use during pregnancy)
Neroli invigorates the circulation, so especially useful improving the blood flow through varicose veins.
Peppermint is a unique essential oil, in that it is both cooling and warming at the same time. It is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it can help reduce inflammations and narrows the blood vessels so will ease the veins. However it is also warming so will improve and increase the circulation, leading to better blood flow through the veins.
(Incompatible with homeopathic treatments)
A good oil for easing puffiness in the skin, so useful for applying to the legs around varicose veins. Rosemary is also a rubefacient oil, meaning that it warms the area of application and stimulates circulation to improves low blood pressure.
(Do not use during pregnancy or if suffering with high blood pressure or epilepsy)
A lovely refreshing oil lime is good for helping poor circulation while also having anti-inflammatory properties.
(Avoid sunlight directly after application)
Also known as lemon balm, Melissa is cooling and anti-inflammatory, so useful for easing any swelling or heat associated with varicose veins.
(Do not use during pregnancy)
best massage oil for varicose veins
Alongside the essential oils recommended for varicose veins, a pure massage oil can be effective too. The best massage oils for varicose veins are;
- Jojoba oil – anti-inflammatory
- Sweet Almond oil – high content of vitamins and essential fatty acids, protective & nourishing
- Rosehip oil – healing, soothing and contains antioxidants
- Calendula oil – anti-inflammatory & healing
When massaging over varicose veins, go gently. The skin over the veins is much thinner, as the veins are raised above the skin. Use gentle, stroking movements, upwards, to help encourage the blood circulation to flow back up to the heart.
precautions of essential oils for varicose veins
- Always dilute essential oils in a carrier substance – never apply them directly to the skin
- Discontinue use if irritation occurs
- Do take note of the precautions of each of the individual oils given above
- If ever in any doubt of the use of essential oils, please consult a medical professional
- If you are unsure or worried about your varicose veins, consult your doctor
- Swelling, lumps and very warm skin might be a sign of something more serious, so if this is the case, always consult your doctor
What are the difference between spider veins and varicose veins?
Spider veins are actually small capillaries that have burst just under the skins surface. A capillary is the smallest blood vessel and is only one cell thick, so when a rush of blood flows through the capillary, the wall breaks and blood seeps through, resulting in the fine red lines we see on the skins surface.
Products for varicose veins
Making essential oil blends and products to apply to your varicose veins, is very easy fun and a great natural way to ease pressure on them, but you can also buy products ideally suited to cooling hot, tired, achy legs, which in turn will help the circulation and prevent or ease varicose or spider veins.
Other ways to ease or prevent varicose veins
Raise your legs and feet
This is particularly recommended if you spend a lot of time on your feet. By being on your feet all day, the blood flow in your veins – that is returning back up to the heart – will be slow and sluggish, as it has gravity against it.
By laying down, or sitting with your legs and feet raised, this gives the blood flow a better chance of returning more effectively, while taking pressure of the veins and your legs.
Ideally, laying with your feet above the heart is the best, for encouraging good blood flow.
Don’t cross your legs!
It’s so easy and natural to cross our legs when sitting down isn’t it?! However by doing this, we are impeding the flow of blood in the veins, on its return journey to the heart. The pressure on the legs at the ‘cross point’ of our legs at the knee area, prevents good blood flow here, which may lead to the ‘pooling’ of blood in this area.
Watch your weight
Unfortunately, the heavier you are, the more pressure there will be on your legs, therefore pressure on your blood vessels. Ensure that you keep your legs and feet up as often as you can to take the pressure of your legs. But, please note, varicose veins can affect anyone – regardless of size or weight.
We all know how important exercise is for the whole of our body, and it can contribute to helping preventing varicose veins by encouraging good circulation through the body including the legs.
By combining the use of essential oil blends and using other preventative measures, the pressure on the legs and veins can be reduced and veins can be eased and new ones prevented. Decide on how your legs feel; tired, achy, inflamed, hot, or whether the veins are actually a current problem or you are aiming to prevent them, and choose your blend and method of application as necessary. Use these methods as often as you like to keep your legs – and blood circulation – at their best!
|About the Author |
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, that has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.