Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) Studies done in Europe found that horse chestnut helped to increase blood flow up and out of the legs, strengthen connective tissue, tighten up veins, decrease redness and swelling, and relieve painful leg conditions caused by poor circulation. One of its compounds, Aescin, has been found to close the small pores in the walls of the veins, making them less permeable. This strengthens the vein walls and reduces leakage of fluid into the surrounding tissues. Take horse chestnut capsules containing 50-300 mg of aescin 2-3 times a day, or 1-5 drops of horse chestnut tincture three times a day. Improvement should be within six weeks. Avoid horse chestnut if you have liver or kidney disease or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Unlike diuretics, horse chestnut is unlikely to cause potassium deficiency or other side effects.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Take 20 to 60 drops of horsetail tincture 3-4 times a day.
Pycnogenol, sometimes sold as OPC or PCO, made from pine bark extract, significantly improves symptoms of CVI. Pycnogenol contains flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Several studies have shown their significant benefit for CVI conditions. Start by taking 100 mg three times a day for two months with food or on an empty stomach. Subsequently, adjust the dose to 1 mg for every two pounds of weight for a month, then 20-50 mg daily for maintenance.
Tea Drink a tea several times daily made by combining the following herbs: St John's wort, Yarrow, and Arnica root (we stress the root, as the flowers are not for internal use). For pregnancy, start using this tea several months before delivery as it has been shown to be especially effective for reducing vein problems during and after pregnancy (and other forms of surgery, too). It is also good for ulcerated legs. If you can get tinctures of the fresh herbs, they are stronger. Again, only get the tincture of the Arnica root.
White oak bark Drink 3 cups of white oak bark tea daily.