Herbal Health Information on Varicose Veins

Veins carry blood back to the heart, but unlike the Arteries, Veins do not have elastic walls, so if they go saggy they cannot pull themselves together again. It is the surrounding muscles that the Veins pass through that provide support for them and also supply a muscle pump to keep the blood moving through them back to the heart. Veins have valves internally which normally prevent the back flow of blood, but the valves can get damaged, causing blood to collect in the vein. This results in weak, protruding, knotty vessels and aching legs.

Constipation and Pregnancy are the main causes, but they may also be caused by ovarian cysts and abdominal tumours so if they are unexplained do go and get the Doctor to check your abdomen.

For our purposes we will assume they are either post pregnancy or caused by constipation. If you have Varicose Veins and are still pregnant, then I’m sorry but you can’t use Herbal Medicine at the moment as the herbs that tone up the Veins may also have a tonic effect on the uterus which may stimulate it and are therefore best to avoid during pregnancy.


It is important not to stand still too long if you have Varicose Veins. If you do have to stand still, then go on to your tiptoes every now and again to keep the muscle pump pushing the blood upwards through the veins. I am reliably informed this is what Guards outside Buckingham palace do, but I don’t know any to check it out. If you have to sit for long periods of time, keep your feet elevated. At regular intervals, pull your toes up towards the front of your legs and then point them downwards, again this keeps the blood flowing well through the Veins.


It is important that you eat a diet high in fibre, to avoid constipation. But make sure it is a good mixed diet containing plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as cereals. Cereal bran can be irritating to some peoples’ gut linings so it is advisable to get fibre from all sources not just high fibre cereals.


These concentrate on toning the Veins both internally and externally.

Internally, a tincture containing liver stimulating herbs, to ensure bowel movements are easy, as well as Vein toning herbs.

For the liver the bitter herbs such as dandelion, burdock and blue flag root are effective in treating Varicose Veins.

Vein toning herbs are Yarrow, Hawthorn and Horsechestnut.

A typical mix may contain:-

Hawthorn which is an excellent circulation supporting herb and seen in the West Rise Marsh video.

Horsechestnut (small amounts) is the herb of choice for varicose veins. It is anti inflammatory, astringent (toning) and protects blood vessels.

Blue flag root I would choose this for its laxative effect as well as having anti inflammatory and astringent properties

Horsetail is an herb high in silica which encourages all damaged body tissue to heal itself.

We have horsetail growing profusely in the rough ground at the harbour where I live, but I have not got around to videoing it this year so that will be a next year treat to look forward to. From fossil records, it is known to be one of the oldest plant species.

Externally a cream containing Horsechestnut and yarrow would tone the Veins up and soothe aching legs.

I have had good success treating Varicose Veins, although it takes patience and perseverance, especially if the condition has existed for some time.

If you would like to see me in clinic please click here or on the clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

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