Conkering Varicose Veins

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With summer in full swing and many of us jetting off to beaches afar, it’s likely then to assume that many of us will – at some point – be sporting a pair of shorts this summer. Varicose veins affect three in ten people at some point of their life, but the cause is often unknown. However the tendency to develop varicose veins increases with age and appears to run in families too. It seems to be more common in women, partly due to the pressure on legs during pregnancy, while those on their feet for long periods of time, shop workers for example, will have an increased risk of developing varicose veins.

In a healthy leg vein, blood flows smoothly upward towards the heart and backflow is prevented by a series of valves. However, veins can lose their elasticity and start to bulge, damaging the valves and allowing blood to pool in the lower leg. The veins are then under increased pressure and swell in an unsightly manner.

With all that in mind, A.Vogel Herbal Remedy‘s nutritional therapist, Alison Cullen, shares her three top tips for varicose vein sufferers.

  1. It’s essential to avoid standing up or sitting in the same position for long periods – make sure that you move and lift your feet regularly. Flexing the calf muscle powers blood back up the leg to the heart.
  2. Avoid red hot baths because this causes blood vessels to dilate, potentially making the condition worse. Instead give your legs a cold shower to exercise the blood vessels.
  3. If you’re sitting for long periods of time, flex your feet (pulling your toes back up away from the floor) to exercise the calf muscle. This helps to get the blood back up the leg and take the pressure off the veins. Veins need daily movement, whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling, or even something gentler such as yoga. When possible, lie with your feet elevated above the level of the heart (e.g. on a pillow) for 20 minutes daily.

The A.Vogel range now has Venagel Horse Chestnut Gel, traditional herbal medicinal product for the relief of symptoms associated with varicose veins, such as tired, heavy legs, pain, cramps and swelling. The Gel is useful for long journeys or if you’ve been on your feet for long periods. It can also be used during pregnancy. Massage a small amount of gel onto skin before and after tiring shopping trips or nights out on high heels!