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Can essential oils reduce varicose veins?

Varicose veins or spider veins can arise from aging, pregnancy, or sitting down for too long. They also tend to run in families. Along with medical treatments, a person may want to try home remedies for varicose veins, including essential oils.

Varicose veins are larger-than-normal veins that commonly appear in the legs. They are raised and often twisted veins that can be blue, red, or flesh-colored. Sometimes, these veins can ache, swell, or itch.

There are several studies to suggest that essential oils, such as grape vine, lavender, or yarrow, may be able to reduce or shrink the appearance of varicose or spider veins. However, more research is needed in this area.

In this article, we look at the best oils to use and the evidence behind them. We also look at the causes and prevention of varicose veins, and other methods for reducing varicose veins.

Causes of varicose veins

Varicose veins on the leg.

Veins are responsible for returning blood that does not have oxygen back toward the heart. There are tiny valves periodically throughout the veins to stop the blood from flowing backward.

However, if these valves weaken or are damaged, blood can flow backward and pool. The result can be varicose veins.

Varicose veins most commonly appear in the legs because the leg veins are under the greatest pressure to return blood to the heart.

Several risk factors increase the likelihood a person will have varicose veins. These include:

getting older, as the valves in veins start to weaken over time

genetic history of family members with varicose veins

pregnancy, as the growing uterus places extra pressure on a person's veins

being overweight

sitting down for long time periods

sun exposure, which mainly causes varicose veins on the face

Although varicose veins are not usually a major cause for concern, they can be irritating and sometimes painful. Sometimes, a person may experience sores or skin ulcers related to poor blood flow in the legs.

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