The Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are swollen, gnarled veins that appear most commonly in the legs and the feet. They can look almost like cords under the skin. Spider veins are typically closer to the surface of the skin and look similar to a spider web (hence the name).
Veins in our body are responsible for getting blood back to the heart so it can re-circulate. Since the veins in the legs have to work against gravity, they have valves so that when blood is traveling upwards towards the heart, it doesn't flow backwards.
Varicose veins happen when these valves are missing or damaged. As a result, blood flows backwards and accumulates in the veins, causing swelling. This swelling is usually higher when you are standing or sitting for too long. While varicose veins aren't typically dangerous or harmful, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly.
Here are some of the typical factors that put you at risk for varicose veins:
- Age: Veins wear down with time and less able to fight gravity.
- Pregnancy: The body produces extra blood during pregnancy, putting more strain on your veins. The added weight also adds stress.
- Weight and obesity: Being overweight adds more stress to your body.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time: How your body spends most of its days (e.g. a job where you have to stand for long periods of time) can increase your risk of varicose veins.
- Family history: If someone in your family has varicose veins, you are also at risk.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Varicose and Spider Veins
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has many health benefits, including treatment of varicose veins.
Treating your veins with ACV: Method #1
- Get a cheesecloth or medical cloth that can be used for a bandage.
- Soak it in apple cider vinegar.
- Tie the bandage around your thighs or lower legs.
- Leave the bandage on for half an hour.
- Remove the bandage, and wash your legs.
Other helpful notes:
Because apple cider vinegar is acidic, you may first want to experiment with a very small area of your skin. Some sensitive skins may develop a rash when using apple cider vinegar.
For better results, lie down on a flat surface and put a few pillows under your ankles to reduce blood flow to your legs.
Another way to use apple cider vinegar is to apply it directly to your legs in the morning and in the evening, massaging it in. However, as I said earlier, you should try it on a small part of your leg to see whether your skin is sensitive to it first.
Drinking ACV for Varicose Veins
You should supplement this external application by drinking apple cider vinegar twice a day. Take two to three tsp of apple cider vinegar, mix it with a cup of water, and drink it before meals. For better taste, you can add one tsp of organic honey to the ACV drink.
The ACV should help by removing the inflammation of veins. Results vary from person to person, but you should be able to see a difference on your skin within a month or two.
Video: Tips for drinking ACV
Choosing the Right Vinegar for Your Veins
The normal white vinegar found in the kitchen is of limited use in treating spider veins and is not a replacement for ACV.
When purchasing, you should look for vinegar that is unpasteurized and unfiltered. This is crucial since only this kind of vinegar has the mother of vinegar, the muddy-looking substance that contains enzymes and essential nutrients. Ideally, it should also be organic.
Make sure you read the label so you know you're buying unpasteurized, unfiltered cider vinegar. Some brands I recommend are:
- Dynamic Health
After purchasing, you should store the vinegar in a dark, cool place to preserve the flavor for longer. It does not need to be refrigerated, and should last up at five years after opening.
Other Natural Remedies for Varicose Veins
Here are some other natural remedies that can help with this condition:
- Garlic: Eat one raw garlic clove a day. Peel a garlic clove, crush it by hand, and then swallow it with water like a pill.
- Cayenne pepper: Mix one tsp of cayenne pepper in a cup of warm water and drink it twice or three times a day. This can help relieve pain in your legs and improve blood flow. Wait 15 - 20 days to see major improvements. After that, drink it once a day to stay healthy.
- Cod liver oil and honey: Mix the oil and honey, and apply it to a bandage. Tie this bandage to your legs and leave it overnight. The mixture should help reduce the swelling.
There are a number of ways to help prevent the development of varicose veins. These include:
- Regular exercise and physical activity, such as walking or jogging.
- Massaging your legs regularly, which helps in improving blood circulation.
- Controlling body weight. Excess weight puts more strain on the legs and their veins.
- Avoiding sitting or standing too long. Take a walk every now and then, even if it means just walking to the printer in the office, or popping out in the backyard.
- Avoiding high heel footwear.
- Using sunscreen while out, since overexposure to the sun can cause blue veins on the face.
- Reducing salt content in the diet.
- Eating lots of veggies and some fruit.
- Eating lentils, or any food that's high in fiber and low in sodium.
- Drinking lots of water and maintaining regular bowel movements. Constipation can worsen blue veins.
- Wearing compressive stockings.
If your condition has reached an extreme and all natural remedies fail, you may want to consider surgical intervention (saphenous vein stripping).
About Saphenous Vein Stripping
Varicose vein stripping is a surgical procedure that is performed to cure varicose veins.
In this surgery, the damaged vein is either tied off or removed completely. This surgery is performed either with general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.
Since the surgery involves removing a vein, it should be the last option you consider while treating spider veins. It should not be treated as a cosmetic surgery, and should be undertaken only if you feel pain in your legs or if you're experiencing blood clots or swelling.
Ruth Mate on October 20, 2020:
This is fabulous, fantastic ideas and very very hlepful. Thanks a million for caring for your audience. Thumbs up
dilip parekh on July 19, 2019:
not use for text copy
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 28, 2019:
Good article, very helpful. Apple cider vinegar is so useful for many things. This is just another to add to the list. Thanks for sharing.
Nadia Bailey on July 11, 2018:
I had spider veins on my face and legs. NOT COOL! I now use the Made from Earth Apple Cider Vinegar Toner, both on my face and the spider veins on my leg. Really good for clearing up redness, age spots & minimizing spider veins. Must have for those us over 50 whose skin is starting to change - this neutralizes your skins ph & doesn't leave it overly dry or too oily. I use it about 5 nights a week to clean my face.
The smell is not the best, it does smell like apple cider vinegar. . .but its worth the results!
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on May 06, 2018:
Hi HelioS, thanks for the feedback. Yes, ACV in Mountain Dew might taste awful. Each person will react uniquely to the taste of cider vinegar. It is best to try a few different options, and settle for what works best for you.
chess on May 03, 2018:
Is this really effective? Im 23 and I have spider veins on my legs and i want to get rid of it .. What to do??
HelioS from Indonesia on April 30, 2018:
When I initially began drinking it, I put a teaspoon in my Mountain Dew. Don't suggest that, as I needed to pour the whole drink down the deplete. ACV takes a touch of getting used to, yet the advantages are astounding. Presently, I put a bit in tea and scarcely see it. I don't have varicose veins yet, yet my mom did, so I can presumably have that to anticipate. Extraordinary article.
USA Vascular Centers from New York on February 08, 2018:
This is a very useful information. Apple Cider vinegar hs so many uses. This is just a new one.
audrey on January 23, 2018:
Please can someone help me to choose which product or remedy is best for my spider veins. They are getting extremely bad as i m growing older. I ve had them since I was on my 20s and I feel embarassed wearing shorts or skirts. I have read all the comments and i m still a little not sure which is the best product to choose. Can someone guide me please?
Zully Mouton on July 07, 2017:
I am planning to take a picture of my veins an starts the apple cider remedy for a least four weeks and let everyone know how this product works for me... Today is going to be my first day !!!
Mike and Dorothy McKenney from United States on May 23, 2017:
Isn't it just amazing all of the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. When I first started drinking it, I put a teaspoon in my Mountain Dew...don't recommend that, as I had to pour the entire drink down the drain. ACV takes a little getting used to, but the benefits are amazing. Now, I put a bit in tea and barely notice it. I dobn't have varicose veins yet, but my mother did, so I can probably have that to look forward to. Great article.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 10, 2017:
Thankfully I've never suffered with varicose veins, but this is something I've never heard of before. How interesting!
Chris Pitt on October 17, 2016:
My father was sent to Rhodesia with the RAF during the war. He always took his two teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water at night. He was, however, very particular that it had to be hot water. What are your thoughts on that ??
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 17, 2016:
This is a very useful hub. Apple Cider vinegar hs so many uses. This is just a new one I wasn't aware of. Very well done.
Yvettte on July 19, 2016:
Can I speed walk with varicose veins?
Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 23, 2016:
Very interesting and informative. I didn't know that apple cider can help with getting rid of varicose. I will share this to fb because I have friends who have this problem. Thanks for the heads up ☺
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 21, 2016:
Thanks for sharing the tip Rob.
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 21, 2016:
Liza, it is perfectly OK to drink ACV even if you are already thin. Apple cider vinegar improves digestion, which means your body will be able to absorb nutrients better, and will help you maintain a healthy weight. Regarding your ulcer, please consult a doctor.
Robilo2 on June 19, 2016:
I have tried Braggs Organic ACV added to water and Black Strap Molasses (less sugar than normal Molasses) to increase metabolism which helps burn more calories when I exercise.
liza on June 04, 2016:
I'm from Philippines,I just want to know if I can drink it even iam slim ,how if I try this can my body become little big or I will become so thin,also I have ulcer what can u advice to me and I'm so glad to hear ur help plzzzzz
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on May 30, 2016:
Hi Wendy, the description in this article is for Varicose Veins. By your comment, it seems you don't have varicose veins disease. As such, the treatment described in this article may not be relevant. However, you could drink apple cider vinegar - 1 to 3 tsp in a cup of water - two to three times a day. This should improve digestion and help you feel more energetic. It may reduce the problem of burning sensation in your legs.
FrancyzaLima on May 27, 2016:
I suffer from varicose and spider veins and my last pregnancy made them much worse. In addition to them being horribly unsightly they are extremely painful! Looking into why I have developed these awful veins I learned that are hereditary, from standing, birth control pills and hormones too. I guess since all of these factors are me I should not be surprised that I have them. Treatment is very expensive and not covered by my insurance. So, I guess saline injections, laser treatments, radio frequency or surgery is out of the question! Like most of us these days I took to the internet and found a great product called venorid serum that seems to be providing some relief. This product is a mixture of Herbs, vitamins and minerals that support the tissue and deliver nutrients at a molecular level to promote regeneration. It strengthens both veins and blood flow and has given me great relief. I feel more self confidence and am back to wearing my favorite pair of shorts too!
wendy on May 26, 2016:
Where do I get this particular cider vinegar from in New Zealand.? I have other Apple cider vinegars available. My lower legs are dreadfully painful - burning, stinging pain, but my veins are not protruding or knotted as is explained in description of 'varicose veins'. Please advise if you can - I am really desperate and becoming very sedentary because of the pain.
Eileen from Western Cape , South Africa on May 18, 2016:
Trying this for fungal toenails and hoping for the best
firstname.lastname@example.org on March 29, 2016:
I am from india
I am sufrring frm Varicose veins n Spider veins in my right leg