Alternatively Speaking: Go with the flow

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Can you suggest any good herbs which can help with varicose veins?

Alternatively Speaking - Natalie Marx (photo credit: Courtesy)
Alternatively Speaking - Natalie Marx
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Q. Dear Natalie, I suffer from varicose veins and the pain is becoming unbearable. Can you suggest any good herbs which can help?
A. There are several herbal remedies which help improve circulation and varicose veins. Improved circulation will help improve both their appearance, and the painful symptoms that can occur with varicose veins.
Gotu kola is a herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat  the inability of the veins in the legs to get blood back to the heart, which can in turn lead to varicose veins. Gotu kola works by maintaining healthy blood vessels and tissues. You can purchase gotu kola as either a tea or a liquid extract.
Another fantastic remedy is Butcher's broom, a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that also is used to treat venous insufficiency. An extract from the root of butcher's broom works by stimulating the cells of the vein's muscle wall, which causes constriction. This helps move the blood back to the heart, which prevents it from blocking and causing varicose veins. You can use Butcher's broom either as a topical ointment or as a dietary supplement.
Finally, Horse chestnut is a wonderful herb that is known for its excellent benefits to the circulatory system and varicose veins. Horse chestnut improves both blood flow and the muscular tissue of the veins. It is essential that our veins have good muscle tone and elasticity in order to pump the blood to the heart. Horse Chestnut can be found in all good health stores and applied as a topical cream.
Q. Dear Natalie, as a Yoga teacher can you recommend any good yoga postures that can help treat varicose veins?
A. Yoga is a fantastic way to help bring relief to sufferers of varicose veins condition. It also aids in correcting and restoring damaged veins to their former condition. By regular practice of  specific Yoga postures it is possible to save oneself from the pain associated with varicose veins and even prevent further deterioration. Many of my patients have reported great improvement with their symptoms, especially true in earlier cases where the damage is not yet severe.
Yoga exercise helps the circulatory system because as our muscles squeeze and contract, they move blood throughout the body. Yoga's most effective techniques in the battle against circulation issues are the upside down postures. Headstands, handstand, shoulderstand, forearm balance and any posture that raises the legs higher than the heart, helps ease vascular pressure allowing everything to flow. Try beginning with this simple posture( Viparita Karani).
For optimal circulation, place a bolster (or pillow) under your hips, lying on your back with your legs against a wall. The bolster under the hips allows your thigh bones to drop into the hip sockets while supporting the kidneys. You can stay in this position for ten or more minutes (as long as is comfortable). The longer and more frequently we perform these kinds of inversion postures, the sooner we begin to reverse variscosity. For small group or private yoga classes for beginners please call: 054-7337401.
Q. Dear Natalie, are there any vitamins which I should be including in my diet to help beat my varicose veins?
A. Indeed there are a selection of vitamins which you can take daily to help both prevent and treat varicose veins. Begin by trying Rutin, a bioflavonoid that strengthens blood vessel walls and helps improves their function. Rutin can help relieve varicose pain and swelling. I recommended a daily dose of 500 mg twice a day. A good food source of Rutin is buckwheat.
Try increasing your intake of Vitamin C as it is essential in assisting in the production of collagen, which makes collagen and elastin. These tissues are important for healthy veins because they not only treat pain from varicose veins but also help reduce inflammation in the arteries. Vitamin C is also important for helping keep blood vessel walls strong. Make sure you have an adequate amount of B vitamins particularly vitamin B12 and B6, in your daily diet. Vitamin B3 also helps improve blood circulation. Lastly I suggest Vitamin E since it helps to improve overall circulation encouraging a healthy blood flow. Vitamin E helps keep platelets from sticking together and therefore is also essential for helping individuals who are in the high risk category from suffering from blood clots.
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.The most effective way to treat symptoms related to varicose veins is to make an appointment with your natural health practitioner so that a plan can be created specifically for you and your specific symptoms. There are some wonderful homeopathic remedies that can support you. Book your free consultation today: [email protected].