For healthy legs, the veins must defy the laws of gravity! The feeling of heaviness appears in fact when the blood circulating inside the veins no longer manages to return efficiently to the heart. The reasons ? Excessive dilation of the veins whose wall has lost tone and elasticity, a malfunction of the small valves which, inside these “muscular” pipes, prevent the back flow of blood downwards, or even the lack of physical exercise. In short, this network sometimes, even often, lacks resilience.
Also called “witches’ hazel”, witch hazel is a good veinotonic. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also recognizes its traditional use against heavy legs. It grows naturally in North America and is now cultivated in Europe. We use the leaves, stems and twigs, as well as the bark of the shrub. They contain a multitude of tannins (more than 10% of assets), as well as flavonoids, two highly protective families of the veins.
Witch hazel strengthens the lining of the veins
Witch hazel, thanks to its tannins and flavonoids, increases the resistance and elasticity of the vein wall. Vasoconstrictor, it promotes venous return. “It is thus indicated in the event of heavy legs and chronic venous insufficiency”, observes Dr. Patrick Aubé, doctor-phytotherapist.
The user manual : in oral, drinkable form, 20 drops 3 times a day before meals, or in powder form, 2 to 4 capsules per day. Cure of one month maximum.
Witch hazel improves the trophicity of the skin
When blood stagnates in the ankle, the surrounding tissue suffers. They are less well oxygenated and besides the heaviness and pain, the skin reddens and receives less nutrients. When the venous insufficiency is important, we heal less well. Here again, witch hazel is of great service. It improves the trophicity of the skin. It can even cure minor skin lesions consequent (bruises).
The user manual : “In the oral, powder or drinkable form, we can locally associate a gel based on witch hazel for circulatory purposes”, suggests Dr Aubé.
Witch hazel helps reduce edema
By reducing the permeability of the venous wall, witch hazel prevents the leakage of fluid into the extracellular space, one of the major components of heaviness in the legs. It is useful on painful legs, swollen at the end of the day, symptoms accentuated by jobs that require trampling (hairdresser, cook, waiter …).
The user manual : infusion is preferred here. The recipe: 2 g (1 tsp) of dry plant in 150 ml of boiling water. Infuse at least 4 minutes, then drink over the day. In cure of 15 days every 3 months. “The use is safe, just a few digestive disorders if the infusion, too long, lets out a high concentration of tannins”, indicates the specialist.
Witch hazel: what contraindications?
There is no official contraindication to the use of witch hazel. But considering the lack of data, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
In addition, the tannins it contains can decrease the absorption of iron. It should therefore not be taken at the same time as medicines or iron-based food supplements.
The products selected below correspond to the dosages and uses recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):
- Drinkable form. Fresh witch hazel plant extract, by Ladrôme. € 7.95 per 200 ml bottle. In organic stores, pharmacies and drugstores
- In capsules. Witch Hazel from Arkopharma, 870 mg of powder for 3 capsules. € 6 for the box of 45 arkocaps. In pharmacies and drugstores.
- Full. Light legs Santarome, organic Fluidiveine, red vine, hazelnut, viburnum, witch hazel… € 17.50 for a box of 20 ampoules. In pharmacies and drugstores.
- To be applied on the skin. Freshness gel for light legs natural Fleurance, witch hazel floral water, red vine extract… € 14.90 per 150 ml tube.