Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What Can I Do For Spider Veins & Poison Ivy?

Q: Summer is coming and I can’t wait to wear shorts. However, I am starting to notice several spider veins forming in my legs. What can I do to 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. If you are just now seeing the spider veins, now is the perfect time to try one of the following supplements.

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 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: What can I do for poison ivy? I seem to get it every summer.

A: There is a great homeopathic remedy called Rhus Tox. This is like getting a vaccination against poison ivy. It desensitizes your body from the poison ivy. It can either keep you from getting it, or greatly minimize the effects. Just take it when you know you are going to be exposed to the poison ivy.

A blood purifier such as Burdock can also be very helpful. If you do get poison ivy, you can apply some aloe vera to help relieve the itching and burning. Jewelweed is a fantastic thing to use on the rash. You can find it in soaps or in a salve. Tea Tree Oil applied directly to the rash helps to dry it out and keep it from spreading. Also, take 3,000 – 8,000 mg of Vitamin C daily to prevent infection and spreading of the rash. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine that reduces swelling.

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.