Are There Essential Oils For Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins can be caused by a variety of factors including age, pregnancy, genetics, or a general lack of blood circulation. The dark purple or blue lines twist or bulge across the body, most typically on the legs. In addition to cosmetic concerns, varicose veins can be painful and uncomfortable, as they may cause swelling.
Are you looking for a natural remedy to help reduce the appearance of your varicose veins?
Although most topical creams cannot cure varicose veins, some essential oils may help to reduce their appearance when diluted and applied topically to the affected area.
In this short guide, we’ll go over the best essential oils for varicose veins and provide you with a recipe for DIY body butter.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Before we get into treatment, let’s look at the root of the issue. The Mayo Clinic explains why our legs are so prone to varicose veins:
Our hearts pump blood to our extremities via the arteries, and veins return blood to the heart.
The veins in our legs work in opposition to gravity, pumping blood upward. This puts more wear and tear on these veins than most others in our bodies
Veins can weaken thanks to poor nutrition, lack of oxygen from exercise and age.
Blood then pools in weakened or damaged veins, causing them to stretch or twist. This blood pooling is evident on the skin’s surface in varicose veins.
Throughout every person's life, hormonal changes and aging can put them at increased risk for developing varicose veins. However, there are some actions that can help mitigate this risk: exercising, losing weight and elevating your legs may be able to prevent and treat these swollen veins. You can also:
Try wearing compression stockings or socks
Massage the affected area to improve blood circulation
In addition to these simple actions, there are a number of over-the-counter creams and balms that purport to treat varicose veins. While not all are effective, anti-inflammatory essential oils can help some men and women to manage discomfort and reduce the appearance of their enlarged veins.
Our Favorite Essential Oils For Varicose Veins
1. Helichrysum- italicum
Helichrysum- italicum essential oil comes from the yellow flower of the Mediterranean curry plant, a member of the daisy family. This oil is frequently used in cosmetics thanks to its skin-nourishing properties.
With a long history, this plant is mentioned in most Greek and Roman medical texts, where it is touted as a cure for treating burns, wounds, joint stiffness and other topical uses.
In recent years, new scientific studies have helped us understand this plant’s effects:
Famed Italian scientist Leonardo Santini experimented extensively with Helichrysum and noted its efficacy for treating varicose veins.
Molecular studies of the plant show that it is rich in arzanol, an anti-inflammatory compound comparable to turmeric in terms of potency.
It also contains ursolic acid, a popular additive to cosmetics that is thought to help restore the skin’s collagen structure.
How does it work? By improving elasticity and reducing inflammation, Helichrysum may be able to help heal damaged blood vessels.
Its sweet, musky aroma and uplifting effects can help lower your stress levels after a long day on your feet and can help you relax.
2. Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile has countless benefits. You’ve probably had more than one cup of soothing chamomile tea, with an aroma that instantly puts you at ease. Chamomile is also a frequent additive to skincare remedies and muscle balms since its anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce redness, discomfort and discoloration.
Recent research suggests that this powerhouse herb may be helpful for varicose veins, too.
A 2017 study in Translational Biomedicine shows that chamomile capsules and ointments may help reduce the appearance of varicose veins. The researchers explain that Chamomile can help:
Strengthen vein walls
In this study, researchers applied a balm with Chamomile essential oil as the central ingredient. When tested on 250 patients with mild to moderate varicose veins, the researchers observed some diminishment of enlarged veins within four to eight weeks.
This also indicates the oils’ potential to reduce the appearance of your varicose veins.
Bright Geranium is another essential oil with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. What’s more, Geranium is a traditional and folkloric cure for varicose veins in several cultures:
Drawing on her knowledge of Traditional Chinese medicine, Doctor of Acupuncture Emma Suttie recommends Geranium aromatherapy for varicose veins.
Plants from the Pelargonium (Geranium) family are used in Libya to strengthen aging veins.
Geranium is also used to soothe sore muscles, which makes it ideal if your varicose veins are painful due to swelling.
While less well-studied than other essential oils that may treat varicose veins, Geranium is frequently used in skin care products to reduce inflammation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
As researchers learn more about this essential oil and its benefits as a natural remedy, we may come to understand the specific cellular actions that may help improve vein health and discoloration, too.
Herbaceous, earthy Lemongrass oil is:
It’s no wonder that it’s been used to treat everything from varicose veins to regenerating connective tissue. A folkloric cure for varicose veins, it may work by increasing blood flow through blood vessels.
This makes intuitive sense—if your veins need to work a little bit less to return blood to the heart, it may reduce blood pooling and free up energy for the body to repair itself. Likewise, because Lemongrass is analgesic, it may help relieve any pain associated with your varicose veins.
While there are no specific studies on Lemongrass for treating varicose veins, this uplifting aroma could be a good addition to homemade massage oil.
DIY Varicose Vein Body Butter
Ready to try out these potent essential oils for yourself? Our on-staff aromatherapists formulated this homemade cream for varicose veins so that you can beautify and properly moisturize your skin.
Glass jar (at least 6 oz)
2 oz Hemp Seed carrier oil
1 oz Jojoba carrier oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
20 drops Helichrysum
20 drops Chamomile
20 drops Geranium
2 oz shea butter
In the double boiler, melt the shea butter, stir in Hemp and Jojoba carrier oils, along with vitamin E.
Allow the mixture to cool by removing it from heat, then add essential oils.
Refrigerate for a few hours.
Use a hand mixer to blend the product until it looks whipped and creamy. It should be smooth to the touch.
Store in a glass container and keep at room temperature. If it starts to melt, you can keep it in the fridge.
For this varicose veins treatment with essential oils you can simply apply it like you would body butter, or give yourself a longer massage to increase blood flow.
Are you interested in trying several of these oils to improve your varicose veins or meet another wellness goal? Create your own essential oil set of three, six, twelve, twenty-four or fourty-eight and experiment with your own DIY remedies!
- “Varicose Veins.” The Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/symptoms-causes/syc-20350643
- Appendino, Giovanni et al. “Helichrysum italicum.” HerbalGram 105 (2015). https://www.bioelicriso.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HG105-Helichrysum-PROOF.pdf
- Hamidpour, Rafie and Luay Rashan. “A Unique Natural Remedy that Alleviates Varicose Vein.” Translational Biomedicine 8.3 (2017). https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Luay_Rashan2/publication/320447356_A_Unique_Natural_Remedy_that_Alleviates_Varicose_Vein/links/5a0d5cf3a6fdcc39e9bfdd6d/A-Unique-Natural-Remedy-that-Alleviates-Varicose-Vein.pdf
- Suttie, Emma. “Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins.” Chinese Medicine Living. November 12, 2017. https://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/acupuncture/natural-remedies-for-varicose-veins/