Over the years, the painful and irritating symptoms of varicose veins have prompted folks to look for a variety of different approaches for relief. Some have speculated that apple cider vinegar is helpful in treating varicose veins, among other things like tomatoes and yoga.
Why apple cider vinegar? The influence of the substance, derived from the juice of mashed apples and yeast, has been investigated as a remedy for various illnesses for hundreds of years. In fact, it was first used about 5,000 years ago, long before modern medicine when people turned to herbs and other natural remedies.
How can apple cider vinegar help veins?
Due to its antioxidant properties, apple cider vinegar may possess the ability to improve blood flow and circulation in the body. It is also speculated it may help to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins and free radicals. There is a growing body of literature on the overall role of the gut microbiome in all aspects of health including cardiovascular health. We expect to learn more about this potential avenue of benefit in the coming years.
Is apple cider vinegar a natural remedy to help reduce painful symptoms of varicose veins?
Some patients report apple cider vinegar can help. The most common use of apple cider vinegar in relation to varicose veins is as a topical applied directly to the affected area twice daily (this should be avoided if there are any open wounds). Alternatively, proponents also recommend adding two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water twice daily.
One 2016 study published by the National Institute of Health examined 120 patients with varicose veins. Participants in the study applied apple cider vinegar on their varicosities for 30 minutes twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one month. The study found that participants had fewer symptoms related to varicose veins, including swelling, aching, and itching.
However, participants in the study were also instructed to elevate their legs at a 45-degree angle while the apple cider vinegar was applied. Elevation has been shown to reduce symptoms of varicose veins because it forces blood to flow properly instead of letting it pool within the veins. It is likely that elevating the legs also had a positive effect in addition to the apple cider vinegar. This speaks to an all of the above approach including exercise, elevation, compression, a well-balanced diet and remedies such as this as well as possible avenues to seek benefit.
The most effective way to treat varicose veins
Although apple cider vinegar isn’t generally considered harmful by most health authorities, it will not directly get rid of varicose veins. Once varicose veins have developed, it is unlikely that natural remedies will make them disappear. Fortunately, there are more effective ways to treat varicose veins directly in an office-based setting using a local anesthetic such as RFA, Venaseal or Varithena.
For those seeking treatment for varicose veins, the doctors at Inovia Vein Specialty Centers can help you consider the best option for your specific situation. If you are interested in learning more about minimally-invasive, in-office procedures for varicose veins, contact us today!