This summer, a particular conversation I had with my aunt stuck with me. My aunt, who is a nurse, swears that soaking varicose veins in apple cider vinegar will cause them to disappear. Mostly known for appearing on legs, and to be more common among women than men, varicose veins are often an unwanted sign of aging. I’ve heard my family talk about their dreaded veins, and since I’m all about natural remedies, I wondered if my aunt could be right. While these spider-like purple veins are, in some cases, inevitable, can making them disappear be this easy? ACV has a long list of health benefits of course, but can “curing” varicose veins really be one of them?
Varicose veins are caused from an excess of blood collecting in veins and having no place to go.
WebMD, a website that contains medical information, states that “Normally, one-way valves in your veins keep blood flowing from your legs and up toward your heart. When these valves do not work as they should, blood collects in your legs, and pressure builds up.” Varicose veins are relatively harmless, but many people feel self-conscious about the way they look on their legs. They typically become swollen and tend to appear a dark-blue color, which causes them to stand out against skin. While the causes of varicose veins vary—genetics, age, being overweight, constantly crossing legs, and excessive standing/sitting, to name a few—they are all likely to have that same bulging, vein-y appearance. There are procedures to get varicose veins removed, but for those of us who want a natural approach, let’s find out if apple cider vinegar will do the trick.
Apple cider vinegar, being rich in health benefits, is becoming an increasingly popular homemade remedy for various reasons. While apple cider vinegar can be made at home, most stores do carry the vinegar and even some local farm-stands. Top 10 Home Remedies, a website that provides home remedy information, explains that apple cider vinegar “is a natural body cleansing product and it also improves blood flow and circulation,” which might help naturally cause the swelling of the veins to go down. Furthermore, a how-to website, wikiHow, states that “While there is little scientific proof that this works […] The topical application of apple cider vinegar is thought to reduce the size of varicose veins,” however, it is unlikely that they will disappear altogether. WikiHow suggests to “soak a small cloth […] in a little bit of apple cider vinegar. Rub the vinegar over the varicose veins or wrap the cloth around your leg. Let it sit there for 30 minutes to maximize the effect.”
Verdict: Fiction. Although there is belief that apple cider vinegar will work for varicose veins, there is still not enough evidence to deem it as a fact. But, for those of us who still want to give apple cider vinegar a try, Top 10 Home Remedies suggests to apply “undiluted apple cider vinegar on the skin over the varicose veins, and gently massage the area,” every morning and night. If you want more proven-based research on how to lessen these pesky veins, then WebMD and wikiHow both explain that avoiding excessive leg crossing, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise all will help decrease the likelihood of developing varicose veins.