If you work on your feet all day, have swollen legs, varicose veins, and difficulty getting to sleep because of pain, it may seem like a fact of life.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are two powerful botanicals that have the ability to strengthen the veins of the legs and help stop the pain and swelling you’ve come to accept. They actually help improve the structure of leg veins, making this problem a thing of the past. Sound good? Well, keep reading, because this combination is the subject of this Terry Talks Nutrition®.
Red Vine Leaf Extract:
Red vine leaf may sound strange, but it is more familiar than you might think. If you’re already aware of the amazing effects of resveratrol from red wine, then consider red vine leaf, its first cousin. The leaves from the red grape plant (Vitis vinifera) also contain some of the same powerful natural compounds that are one of the grapes’ great gifts. In fact, in addition to resveratrol, red vine leaf extract also provides anthocyanins and a range of other protective polyphenols. Best yet, it has been clinically proven to relieve the pain and swollen legs associated with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, individuals with CVI (25 to 75 years old) took either a lower (360 mg) or higher dose (720 mg) of red vine leaf extract, or a placebo. The patients involved in the study were not using any conventional treatments for CVI, including compression stockings that help “push” blood back up toward the heart, or diuretics.
By the end of the 12-week study, red vine leaf extract reduced CVI symptoms, including lower leg volume and circumference (due to less swelling and better blood movement from the legs to the heart) were seen in both treatment groups, although those using the higher dosage saw even more significant improvements. By contrast, those using the placebo saw no improvement in leg circumference: in fact, the mean measurement actually increased!
The study authors consider red leaf vine extract an excellent alternative -- as effective as compression stockings and other conventional methods of treatment.
In another study, individuals with CVI used the higher dosage of red vine leaf extract, (720 mg) for just six weeks. By the end of the study, all of the subjective symptoms, including tired, heavy legs, tingling sensations, tension, and pain were significantly improved. Even in a short time, red vine leaf extract can make a big difference.
And later, another 12-week study, also using 720 mg of red vine leaf extract, showed similar results, reducing leg volume and improving other “subjective” symptoms, as well.
Yet another study examined cutaneous microcirculation – how well the very small blood vessels under the skin – reacted to a 360 mg red vine leaf extract. Like the other research I’ve mentioned, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included patients specifically with CVI. Aside from microvascular blood flow, the study looked at leg edema, and oxygen transport in the blood.
After just six weeks – even at what could be considered a lower dosage – blood flow improved, and leg circumference decreased, proving that red vine leaf extract is a very potent botanical.
You’ve probably already heard of butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus). It is extremely well known for treating varicose veins, other symptoms of CVI, and circulatory health in general.
Clinical research investigating butcher’s broom has found impressive results. One multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial wanted to confirm how effective butcher’s broom extract truly was for CVI. In fact, the researchers very deliberately wanted to use the same standards for butcher’s broom as were used in conventional drugs to treat the same condition.
The study focused on a few parameters, many of the same ones, in fact, as the red vine leaf extract: leg volume changes, circumference of the lower leg and ankle, and subjective symptoms including quality of life, overall effectiveness, and tolerability.
Compared to the placebo, the results were dramatic. Already at 8 weeks, a significant improvement was seen in leg volume, which reduced significantly (16.5 ml), as did ankle and leg circumferences. By 12 weeks, leg volume was reduced even more, (20.5 ml), and the heaviness and tension in the legs had noticeably improved for the study participants, too. Butcher’s broom extract was clearly helping the veins in the legs pump blood back up toward the heart, and because of this, the “subjective symptoms” – the feelings that make CVI so tough to live with – were much reduced.
The key to butcher’s broom effectiveness appears to be the compound ruscogenin. In tests with butcher’s broom alone, or in combination with other ingredients, it helps repair the delicate circulatory machinery that helps our blood vessels work normally. Beyond its ability to fight varicose veins, edema, and thrombosis, it also has anti-inflammatory power.
Due to its strong history of strengthening blood vessel structure, butcher’s broom may help those who suffer from low blood pressure (chronic orthostatic hypotension) that makes them feel dizzy when standing. This condition affects people with diabetes, Parkinson’s and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Keep Your Legs Healthy, Naturally
Aside from red vine leaf extract and butcher’s broom, there are some lifestyle tips I would recommend for anyone dealing with varicose veins or CVI.
1. Stretch. When you work on your feet, raise your legs occasionally, move them, even while you’re standing there. Flex those lower leg muscles to keep your blood moving.
2. Walk. Avoid the temptation to sit down immediately after work -- you’ll actually feel worse when you get up again. Plus, over the long term, it doesn’t do your blood vessels or overall health any good. Take a leg-stretching stroll around the block instead.
3. Get Red Vine Leaf Extract and Butcher’s Broom. It’s important that you get effective ingredients. I recommend a red vine leaf extract that is standardized to take full advantage of its many powerful plant compounds, including polyphenols, anthocyanins, and resveratrol. Make sure your butcher’s broom extract is standardized for ruscogenins – the herb’s key component.
Start on a regimen with these effective botanicals along with moderate exercise. Soon, I think you’ll notice a big difference in how your legs feel during the day when you’re at work, and at the end of the day when you’re ready to rest. With less pain, less heaviness, and better circulation overall, you’ll have healthy leg veins that can stand up to a full day again.
For less pain, less heaviness, and better circulation overall, Terry recommends taking Red Vine (Vitis vinifera L.) Leaf Extract and Butchers Broom (Ruscus aculeatus L.) Root Extract daily.