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 Queensland Australia 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 Queensland Australia 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
My age is 52 years Male
I Want Natural or Herbal Treatment
PLEASE HELP ME
& Guidence me
Thank you Brothers n Sisters
Yolanda Canales on February 05, 2016:
Since purchasing the Dermalmd Varicose Veins serum for the second time, I have notice that my legs look so much better after only 3 weeks! I definitely see the spider veins disappearing; however, the varicose veins is taking a little longer, but I can see it still working. I also started doing exercise to strengthen my legs and adding antioxidants in my diet (hopefully) to prevent them from coming back.
Germayne Palipti on January 08, 2016:
I have been using Dermalmd Varicose Vein Treatment serum for over a month and have noticed that my visible veins have faded even though I am not always consistent in using it everyday
flyfin on December 19, 2015:
What about ACV and spider capillaries/veins on the face? I have a ton. And purple veins (tiny) all over. ACV can help?
Jacquel on October 31, 2015:
I have varicose veins for 12 years. I suffer with pain and itching and heaviness after a long day of work. I hope this apple cider works. Its expensive for treatment dont have that type of money i hope this works. If it does i would recommend to everyone that want to treat there varicose veins naturally. I will give try for 2 months to see how it works.
Isabela Stumpf on October 13, 2015:
I really like DermalMD Varicose veins Serum. I have started using on my grandson's arms, as he has pimples on his arms that I could not get rid of. I have tried all kinds of prescription medications, and none work I just started using this on his arms, and they seem to be making a difference. I use it on my skin as I take prednisone, and bruise easily. It helps heal my bruises quicker. So far I really love it.
Linda on October 05, 2015:
Yes, it does work on toe nail fungus, I've tried it and as you said the fungus dies and turns black/brown, your toe nail will grow out and wala!! no more toe fungus...yippie= hello sandals.
AntonioAdzaga on September 07, 2015:
Love venorid for best for varicose, has wonderful effect
paulette on August 10, 2015:
i am very embarrass about my veins and will surely try acv hope it works
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on August 01, 2015:
Hi Dted, increasing the frequency of bandage may not result in faster recovery. It will take time. One or twice a day should be enough.
Yvonne on August 01, 2015:
I have varicose veins and I hate it.. Don't wear shorts anymore!! Will be trying acv hopefully it work because I was told surgery was an option but prefer to try something natural instead.. Thanks !!!
dted on July 30, 2015:
How often should you put the bandages on you legs? I need quick results.
Paula on July 27, 2015:
OK. Thank you for answering me. I will tell her about this treatment and tell her to ask her doctor if she can follow it or not.
Have a nice day.
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on July 27, 2015:
Hi Florypaula, if your sister is pregnant, it is advisable that she consults her doctor before introducing any medical treatment to her routine.
Paula on July 25, 2015:
I really had no idea apple cider vinegar can help in the treatment of varicose veins. My sister has this problem, but she is pregnant now, can she apply the bandage on her legs? Or should she wait until after she gives birth? In case you have this information.
Have a nice day.
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on July 25, 2015:
Hi Rose Lane, you are right. Apple cider vinegar is vinegar and therefore must be diluted.
Rose Lane on July 22, 2015:
I read that although drinking acv has many benefit it must be diluted properly because it is also hard on your liver and can cause liver cancer...
isha on July 06, 2015:
hi am already started the apple cider vinegar program and am hoping it really works. I really hate seeing those ugly things on my legs i hope after their gone i can wear my dress above my knees again.
andile masinga on July 05, 2015:
h there peeps i am going to try that apple cider that people are recommending to use it i am tired of veins and spider veins i will be back after 5 to 7 months and tel you how did its work thank you so much
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 29, 2015:
Hi Faith, limited research is available on the effectiveness of pills vs liquid.
faith on June 25, 2015:
can apple cider vinegar pills work ? cause i cant stomach to drink it pure
Meghan Alex on June 23, 2015:
Well, I have to say, venorid serum does work. I bought the products and yes after the first week there was not much change to be noted. I did however notice a change after the second week as my spider veins started to disappear.
I am on my feet almost all day and now I can also wear my mini-skirts again without having to worry about the veins making my legs look like road maps.
I will most positively recommend this product to anyone who has a problem with veins. It is filled with natural healthy vitamins and herbs to reduce the appearance of veins and works.
Pam4626 on June 19, 2015:
@Songitor @Estella ~ I just today got my first order of VenoRid. To buy it you can google "venorid" and it will show their web site. My order came from NR Tech,
P.O. Box 160143 Miami, FL 33116
I'm a bit nervous....it arrived in a regular manilla envelope, NO protection for the glass bottle!, NO paperwork of any kind...no instructions. Would love to hear from anyone who has actually used it. I don't need the "recipe" for it....but would like an idea of ingredients!
The (crooked)label says only: VenoRid Advanced Vein Treatment Contains 5% VenoRid Extract. That's it !?!
zeL on June 06, 2015:
Thankyou.i learned a lot...
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on May 31, 2015:
Hmm, interesting. I hadn't heard of using ACV to ease the swelling of veins. Might have to try this!
Estela on April 03, 2015:
Where can i get veno rid?
mel on March 30, 2015:
Hi...i have lots of varicose veins all over my legs both red and green and some are almost about to burst from my skin and i feel hopeless for i have no enough budget fir surgery until i found this article... thank you so much for the advice...i will surely try this
Michelle Gore on March 13, 2015:
My wife has constant pain in her legs. But since she has been using DermalMD the pain has stopped. The pain used to keep her up at night, now no more.
Songitor on March 11, 2015:
Where can one get the Venorid from?
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on February 13, 2015:
Hi Erorantes, thanks for sharing your positive feedback.
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on February 13, 2015:
I like your article on how to fix varicose veins. I try anything to keep then down. It is not an easy thing to avoid them. The older we get the more it shows. I try your idea with the apple cider vinager. It works. I exercise and elevated them for many years. I used stokings everyday for work for over 30 years. Every little thing we do helps. Thank you for the advice. I like your hub. Swimming is good too.
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on February 03, 2015:
Hi Rhea, please go through the article which describes in detail how to use apple cider vinegar to treat varicose veins.
Dondi Pantano on February 01, 2015:
Totally recommend venorid serum . I have tried so many things, broken veins on my thighs, which were most unsightly. I was embarrassed yo wear skimpy clothing, as you could see them . I've been using venorid serum and within a week, there's a big difference . My veins have shrink and are less noticeable . I'm more confident . Please try this product.
rhea on January 21, 2015:
Hello,,I have varicose veins,,how I used this apple cider venigar,, my veins are already big,,thank you,,
Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on November 18, 2014:
Hi Jennifer, breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor about drinking apple cider vinegar.
Drew DeGuzman from united kingdom on November 18, 2014:
Well i am using veno rid serum for Getting Rid of Varicose Veins and really trust i got amazing result with 1week.
Jennifer on November 17, 2014:
Hi!im jen..can i take apple cider vinegar? im a breastfeeding mom...is that any effect to my baby once i take it?
kirem on October 31, 2014:
Kiren but really grate good we knw now about a cv thank u