Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Any Advice for Spider Veins or UTIs?

Q: Lately, I have noticed spider veins forming in my legs. I am afraid they will turn into varicose veins. Are there are any herbs that may help improve this condition?

A: Spider veins, which are very common, often lead to varicose veins. This is considered a venous disorder because the vein wall is weakened or damaged causing the blood flow to be slow, thereby pooling in the vein. Fortunately, the best method of treatment is prevention and early intervention.

Horse Chestnut seed extract helps tone and strengthen blood vessels and inhibits the action of enzymes that can damage capillary walls. It also helps speed the blood flow through the veins. Horse Chestnut should not be used by individuals with existing kidney, liver or bleeding disorders. It does act as a blood thinner so use with caution if taking other blood thinners.

Butcher’s Broom has been successful in treating vein disorders because of its vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also very beneficial to take Vitamin C and bioflavonoids to help strengthen the collagen structure in the veins.

You can find all of these important supplements in a combination designed specifically for varicose veins.

Q: I tend to get frequent urinary tract infections. Do you think that drinking cranberry juice on a daily basis can really help deter the infections?

A: Absolutely. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and overactive bladders are very common problems in both women and men. They are caused by bacteria or germs that live in the large intestine. The urinary tract gets infected when the germs make their way into the urethra. If this is not treated, the germs can attack the bladder and kidneys, causing a much bigger problem. Cranberry products have been shown to be extremely beneficial in the prevention of UTIs. The substances within the cranberries keep the bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls. I prefer cranberry pills over the juice because you get a higher concentration without the extra calories or sugar.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.
Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.