Venous insufficiency arises when veins in the legs don’t allow blood to flow back up to the heart. Typically, the valves in the veins make sure blood flows back towards the heart. However, when the valves don’t work well, blood can also flow backward. This can cause blood to pool in the legs.
Herbs aren’t going to necessarily cure the issue, but they can help.
Here are my top suggestions for this condition that can ease some discomfort and offer optimal support.
Some common suggestions are:
- Weight loss, if overweight, even a small loss can make a difference.
- Compression socks
- Getting up and moving if you are stationary a lot during the day.
- Adding daily walks, swims, or other activities can help with the condition.
- Reduce and manage stress.
Foods rich in color are a great guideline to follow.
I suggest adding beets, leafy greens, citrus fruits, walnuts, peppers, tomatoes, berries, ginger, and turmeric. The more color in your diet, the better!
Venous Insufficiency herbs for this condition are:
Billberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Some studies have indicated that the anthocyanosides in bilberries can strengthen blood vessels, improve circulation, and in other parts of the world, it is used to treat venous insufficiency. This is one of my favorite herbs for this condition, varicose veins, eye issues, etc… But, I will be honest with you, one of the reasons I love it so much is because it tastes so good. When I drink the tea or eat the berries, I feel the power of the plant.
Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus aculeatus)
Contains ruscogenins, strengthening collagen in blood vessel walls, and improving circulation. In addition, Butcher’s broom is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that support blood vessels and reduce the fragility of capillaries. In addition, the herb contains substances that stimulate receptors in the body known as alpha-adrenergic receptors, which cause veins to constrict.
Vitamin C is helpful for this condition. This herb is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is good blood circulation, serving to keep the immune system healthy and functioning correctly. It also facilitates the manufacture of the collagen your veins need to retain their elasticity. As a potent antioxidant, it safeguards cellular membranes against destructive free radicals and strengthens vein walls. Besides their exceptionally high vitamin C content, rose hips also contain antioxidants E and K.
Horse Chestnut- (Aesculus hippocastanum)
This herb is a broadly used herbal for varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. The active constituent found in horse chestnuts is the compound aescin. Studies have indicated that the seeds include active compounds called aescin that have been stated to enhance proper blood circulation and encourage vessel health; aescin stimulates blood circulation because it improves the walls of the veins and hinders blood flow restrictions. Besides improving blood flow, horse chestnut helps prevent inflammation inside the veins, leading to many ailments such as chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins.
Let me share with you a tea I love for this condition.
In a quart jar, add 2 cups boiling water.
To that, add 2 tablespoons of dried bilberry and 1 tablespoon butcher’s broom.
Allow this to steep for an hour.
Add 2 tablespoons rosehips.
Allow this to steep overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and drink throughout the day.
Before you use any herbs make sure they are safe for you to use.
Heart of Herbs Herbal School Master Clinical Herbalist Certification Course Book
Cleveland Clinic. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) treatment options. Updated 2019. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16872-chronic-venous-insufficiency-cvi
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Butcher’s broom. September 11, 2015 https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/butcher-broom
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