Varavein is a dramatic new innovation combining powerful horse chestnut extract with pycnogenol and maritime pine bark extract that can aid the body in the treatment of problems such as varicose and spider veins and hemorrhoids. Varavein's horse chestnut extract is 22% beta escin—the highest potency on the market today. Horse chestnut is an astringent and has anti-inflammatory properties, which increases the strength and tone of the veins in particular.
Varicose veins appear just under the skin, most often in the leg below the knee.
Not only do varicose veins look unattractive, but they can throb, itch, cramp, ache, burn, and feel heavy and uncomfortable, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, an office of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The legs may swell, too; varicose means "swollen."
Normally, oxygen-carrying blood travels through our veins, back to the heart. Valves in the veins keep blood from flowing backward. When the valves don't work or are weak, blood pools in our veins, the NIH says. These pools stretch the veins, which become swollen.
Horse chestnut appears to be the only known cure for varicose veins. Exercise helps boost circulation, while elevating the legs during rest relieves discomfort, the NIH says. Women can wear support or compression stockings to help push blood toward the heart. Other traditional options include surgery, injecting a solution to diminish the veins or zapping them with lasers for cosmetic improvement.
In Germany, Commission E, which is the equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves standardized horse chestnut for treatment of conditions of the veins of the legs, including varicose and spider veins, a sensation of heaviness, nocturnal cramping of the calves and swelling. This condition is described medically as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Symptoms of CVI include edema, enlarged veins near the skin surface, and fatigue in the legs. Standing or walking aggravates symptoms. Sitting and elevating the feet usually helps.
Horse chestnut is popular throughout Europe for the treatment and prevention of those conditions, and for hemorrhoids, which are no more than varicose veins of the anus and rectum. Horse chestnut is also used to soothe sports injuries, such as strains and sprains. Some research indicates that horse chestnut is valuable in the treatment of wrinkles, hair loss, cellulite, backache, and arthritis.
Pycnogenol contains flavonoids, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. These qualities are thought to alleviate some of the symptoms of CVI such as leg pain and swelling by improving circulation and strengthening capillaries in the legs. Flavonoids may also reduce the bronchial inflammation and swelling that trigger asthma.
Several European studies have documented Pycnogenol's ability to alleviate the symptoms of CVI, including the swelling in the legs that leads to varicose veins. In a study published last year in Phytotherapy Research, 40 patients with CVI were treated daily with either 360 mg of Pycnogenol or 600 mg of horse chestnut seed extract (Aesculus hippocastanum), another herbal remedy commonly used to treat CVI. After four weeks, those taking Pycnogenol experienced a 50 percent decrease in leg pain and cramping and a 33 percent decrease in nighttime leg swelling. Patients taking horse chestnut seed extract experienced far less relief.
Similar results were found in a double-blind study published in an Italian journal in 2000. In the study, 40 patients with CVI took either 100 mg of Pycnogenol three times daily or a placebo. After 60 days, the Pycnogenol group reported 64 percent less leg swelling and leg pain. The placebo group experienced no significant reductions.
VARAVEIN with Horse Chestnut, Plus Pycnogenol and Maritime Pine Bark Extract, 60 capsules, 210 mg