Hello Sarah and Antony
I think the mechanism for varicose veins is pressure in the veins (through prolonged standing up), which widens the veins over time, which then means the valves cannot close (the vein is a greater diameter then the valve), which puts greater pressure in the veins, hence, even wider veins. I'm sure genetics has a lot to do with it as well. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle and work demands means we are prone to varicose veins. Aesculus (Horse Chestnut) is claimed to "strengthen" the veins, but I believe it only works to maintain good veins or those that are weakening but not yet varicose. I am curious whether varicose veins could be avoided, or whether the evil day when they deteriorate is put off if people had better muscle tone in their legs, sat down and put their feet up more frequently, or even exercised their legs occasionally when standing, in order to pump the blood back up the leg.
Do you dry your horse chestnuts before making them into a tincture
I come across Butcher's Broom in the wild occasionally, but it is generally shaded in woodland. I can't recall ever seeing it in full or even partial sun. A lady in our village planted a few sprigs in her thick hedge 20 years ago and they are still alive, but still sprigs, so not fast growing!