Varicose Veins

Increased blood volume and hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect venous blood flow. A larger volume of blood and the relaxation of the muscular walls of the blood vessels can lead to a more difficult return of blood from the lower body. The varicose veins that appear can be painful, itching and unsightly. They can appear in the legs, vulva or rectum (see haemorrhoids). Often the problem is hereditary.

  • Exercise regularly to increase circulation.
  • Avoid standing for long periods.
  • Avoid crossing your legs as this inhibits circulation.
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing.
  • Rest your legs regularly with your feet higher than your waist.
  • Raise the foot of your bed 5-10cm.
  • Exercise the pelvic floor and inner thigh muscles.
  • Massage can help prevent varicose veins though once they have developed, massage should only be carried out above the varicose area.
  • Herbs such as chestnut, nettle, yarrow, St Johns Wort help improve blood flow.
  • When you are standing practise squeezing your leg and buttock muscles to encourage venous blood flow (towards the heart and head).
  • Take the herb White Oak Bark
  • Self-help homeopathic remedy Bellis Perennis 30C. If caused by bowel pressure, then Nux Vomica will help.
  • Ointments of comfrey, yellow dock root or yarrow can help reduce discomfort, reduce swelling and stop bleeding.
  • Alternatively, wrap icecubes in a clean handkerchief and hold it against the affected area.
  • Sometimes the vitamin B6 can help.
  • Reflexology is useful to improve blood flow.

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