Nutrition and Healing
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  • Ditch the long pants and get your legs ready for summer

    Q: Is there anything I can do about the varicose veins on my legs. They’re not painful, but they’re so ugly I don’t want to wear shorts in the summer. What would you recommend that doesn’t involve surgery?

    G.R.: If you’re 65 or older, you have a greater than 75 percent chance of developing the bluish, swollen lines in your legs that signal you have varicose veins. Spider veins — the varicose vein’s smaller and more superficial cousin — are equally as common.

    Both of these unsightly conditions can occur anywhere from your upper thigh down to your lower leg and ankle.

    And that can make wearing anything but long pants — even on hot summer days — a little embarrassing.

    As you probably know, varicose veins are a circulation problem. Your heart has to work against gravity to pump blood from your legs back to your upper body. To help it do that, your blood vessels have tiny valves that prevent the backflow of blood.

    But, over time, the walls in your veins can weaken… the valves can fail… and the blood can start to pool in your veins.

    And that’s when those blue “spider webs” start appearing on your legs.

    Varicose veins are rarely dangerous, but for some unlucky women, they can be uncomfortable. The swollen veins can become warm and sore and, in some situations, downright painful.

    But there’s an amazing Mediterranean cure you can pick up for a few bucks at any health store: butcher’s broom.

    It’s a shrub that grows in the Mediterranean region of Europe and has been used for centuries to battle inflammation and improve circulation to the extremities. Butchers once used twigs from the shrub to sweep their shops.

    Butcher’s broom contains compounds called saponins that constrict and tighten those worn-out veins, improve circulation, and make your capillaries less likely to “leak.”

    Europeans have understood the healing powers of butcher’s broom for centuries. They used to boil the roots of the plant and drink the concoction to battle pain and inflammation!

    Fortunately, butcher’s broom is available in capsule form right now and you don’t need to go through all that trouble. In fact, you can usually pick up a bottle for less than $10. I typically recommend taking 40 mg of it, twice daily.

    Any time you can avoid surgery, it’s usually a blessing — especially when there are proven natural cures that could help improve your circulation and get those legs looking and feeling better than ever!

    I should note that if you’re carrying around some extra pounds… or if you smoke cigarettes… you’re at a higher risk for varicose veins.

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