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FACT CHECK: FALSE claim on tomatoes for varicose veins revived


Applying tomato juice on the skin thrice a day for two months removes varicose veins.



Applying tomato juice on varicose veins is not among the treatments practiced by health institutions in the United States

Jun 14, 2024

VERA Files


2-minute read

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A five-year-old health tip about applying tomato juice to treat varicose veins has reappeared on Facebook (FB) Reels. This is false.

The claim carried by the Reels video was taken from a YouTube video dated May 29, 2019, featuring naturopathy practitioner Arturo “Doc Atoie” Arboleda. He advised people:

“Kung gusto niyong matanggal ang inyong varicose veins eto ang inyong gagawin… kumuha ng dalawang kamatis. Tapos iju-juicer niyo po iyan. At wag niyong tatangalin yung buto. Pag na-juicer niyo na ho ‘yung kamatis, i-a-apply ninyo doon sa mismong affected area… at gagamitin niyo po ‘yung tatlong beses araw-araw sa loob ng dalawang buwan.

(If you want to get rid of your varicose veins, here’s what you should do… get two tomatoes. Put those in a juicer. Don’t remove the seeds. After putting the tomatoes in the juicer, apply it in the affected area… and you will do this thrice daily for two months.)

But the United Kingdom’s National Health Service says: “If your varicose veins are not causing you discomfort, you may not need to have treatment. Treatment of varicose veins is usually only necessary to ease symptoms and treat complications.”

VERA FILES FACT CHECK - THE FACTS: Applying tomato juice on varicose veins is not among the treatments practiced by health institutions in the United States.

Wearing compression stockings, elevating the feet, and avoiding long periods of standing are some of the ways to keep varicose veins from getting worse, according to Stanford Medicine.

Various treatments are also available for varicose veins, according to Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medicine:

  • Thermal ablation / Laser therapy: inserting a laser fiber and closing the varicose vein;
  • Ligation and vein stripping: tying off (ligation) and removal (stripping) of said vain;
  • Phlebectomy: several tiny cuts are made to remove the varicose vein; and
  • Injection therapy (sclerotherapy) – a doctor injects a chemical or salt solution to close varicose veins

The practice of using tomato juice to treat varicose veins does not appear as an entry in the Philippine Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Health.

The erroneous claim, which reappeared last March 24, continues to gain traction. It has garnered a total of over two million plays from FB page Top ideas tv and over 76,183 interactions from YouTube channel Health Forum with Doc Atoie.

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