An NCBI study suggests that 2o% of all adults are estimated to suffer from varicose veins at some point in their life. Though it is such a prevalent problem, many people don't know enough about it. Owing to this lack of awareness, most people who have varicose veins suffer silently. If ignored for a long time, Varicose veins can cause complete immobility.
Here we will discuss Varicose Veins, its causes as well as Ayurvedic treatments for it.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose Veins is a condition wherein the veins of the lower body, especially the legs are enlarged, dilated or overfill with blood. This causes the veins to swell & often visibly protrude over the skin in bluish-purple or red colour. The condition can be very painful for the sufferer.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins
The most common symptom of Varicose Veins is the visible appearance of blue-purple or red protruding veins on the legs. Besides this, the patient can experience multiple other symptoms like-
- Pain in the legs
- Feeling of heaviness
- Burning or itching sensation on the skin over or around the veins
- Swelling in the feet & ankles
In more serious cases, the following symptoms can be seen.
- Swelling on the entire leg
- Pain in the calf
- Discolouration of skin around the veins
- Thinning or scaling of the skin
- Prolonged bleeding time in case of injuries
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are caused when the veins fail to perform their functions properly. Normally veins work as a single directional valve for blood & avoid it from flowing backwards.
Veins typically work to carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart. To maintain this unidirectional flow of blood, they have valves that avoid the blood to flow backwards. When these valves become weak, the blood starts flowing backwards or overfill with blood, which causes a dilation.
A number of conditions can be responsible for this including-
- Excessive pressure on the legs & abdomen due to excessive weight gain or pregnancy
- Weakening of the body due to age
- Hormonal disorder
- Extended periods of standing which create extra pressure on the legs
- Lack of exercise
- Engaging in exercises that put excess pressure on the legs
- Genetic predisposition
- Diseases like vein thrombosis
- A serious injury or surgery of the leg
Though not a cause, factors like constricted clothing can worsen the condition for most people.
Ayurvedic treatment for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins can be successfully treated with the right Ayurvedic treatment. This treatment is four-fold & comprises medication & herbs that help in healing along with home remedies & lifestyle advice to aid the healing process.
A helpful Ayurvedic medication for Varicose veins is Kaisora Guggulu.
Kaisora Guggulu strengthens the body, aiding the healing of varicose veins. It strengthens joints as well as the veins, thus eliminating the cause of varicose veins. It also cures the external symptoms of varicose veins on the skin.
Other benefits of Kaisora Guggulu:
Besides Varicose, Kaisora Guggulu can-
- Help treat joint conditions
- Help cure skin conditions
- Promote healing, especially in diabetics
- Treat diabetes
- Improve inflammatory conditions
- Treat Inflammatory arthritis
- Act as a natural blood cleanser
- Treat Rheumatoid arthritis, gout
- Delay ageing
The suggested dosage for Kaisora Guggulu is 1-2 tablets twice a day after meals. It is strongly recommended that you consult an Ayurvedic doctor before resorting to medication.
A number of Ayurvedic herbs and kitchen ingredients are found useful for the treatment of varicose veins. Some of them are mentioned below:
Regular use of Garlic can help cure varicose veins successfully, as mentioned in a Researchgate study. Garlic has anti-inflammatory as well as rheological properties. It enhances blood fluidity in the legs while reducing inflammation. It is also antithrombotic, which avoids the possibility of blood clots, while its vasodilating properties ensure seamless blood flow through the lower body.
Garlic can increase protein supply to the lower limbs by breaking down the protein content in the body & distributing it evenly.
Brahmi can reduce varicose veins, by reducing their tortuousness, i.e. by straightening the twisted veins in the legs. It also aids the circulatory system, ensuring proper blood flow to the lower limbs. It provides useful nutrients that help soothe veins in the legs, thus minimizing varicose veins with minimal scarring. It has skin-repairing properties, which help in smoothing the excess cellulite on the legs. A study on medicinal plants has proven the benefits of Brahmi in curing Varicose veins.
Regular consumption of onion strengthens the body’s immunity, helping cure varicose veins. It also helps in protein assimilation & distribution in the body, strengthening veins, ensuring the unidirectional flow of the blood, and helping heal varicose veins.
Various studies over time have evidently shown the healing properties of Gotu Kola in curing Varicose veins. It can cure symptoms of varicose veins like pain & swelling. Besides this, regular usage of Gotu kola also reduces fatigue, heaviness & even fluid leakage from the veins. It strengthens the connective tissues in the lower limbs.
Also known as Giloy, Guduchi is used in multiple Ayurvedic medicines to cure Varicose veins. It is an integral part of the Ayurvedic management of varicose veins. It has nutrients that soothe the tortuous veins in the legs, reducing twisting & accumulation of blood. It has anti-inflammatory properties too & can relieve skin infection that often follows varicose veins.
Manjistha is popularly used as a part of an Ayurvedic paste or ‘Lepa’ to treat varicose veins. According to NCBI, Manjistha is highly effective in curing various symptoms of this disease. It reduces inflammation & improves blood flow in the legs. It is a potent blood purifier used for detoxifying & thinning the blood, ensuring smooth blood flow through the legs. Its antioxidant properties soothe the toxic effects of the disease.
Better known as Mimosa or the Shameplant, Lajjalu is brimming with healthful properties. Its anti-inflammatory & antiseptic properties help in healing varicose veins. According to a study, Lajjalu strengthens the veins to avoid the backward flow of blood. It soothes the inflamed muscles by shrinking varicose veins.
A few home remedies can enhance the healing process. Here are a few proven home remedies that are sure to help you heal better.
Massaging your leg with herbal oils can enhance blood flow while also reducing pain. You can talk to your Ayurvedic doctor about this & use the suggested massage oil. Oils of Brahmi & Shatavari are highly beneficial for this purpose. Gently massage your legs with the oil once every day, avoiding areas directly over the veins that could aggravate your condition.
A part of Balneotherapy, mud packs are a great way to reduce pain & inflammation in the legs due to varicose veins. A study has proven it to be a good way to deal with the condition. It helps by reducing vein enlargement and pain in the legs. All you need to do is apply clay like Fuller’s earth (Multani Mitti) on your leg, keep it overnight & wash in the morning. You can also buy an Ayurvedic mud pack for the same, but do consult an Ayurvedic physician before opting for this remedy.
Hot & cold hip bath
Hip-bath is a home remedy that has shown positive effects on patients with varicose veins. Where the hot hip-bath helps in dilating the veins, ensuring proper blood flow to the limbs, the cold hip-bath reduces inflammation in the legs due to varicose veins. Taking hot & cold hip-baths on alternate days can help relieve you of varicose veins.
Leg elevation ensures proper blood flow in the legs reducing the risk of varicose veins. All you have to do is put some pillows below your legs while sleeping. Even while resting, you can sit with your legs elevated at a higher angle. But make sure your legs aren’t elevated too steeply since that can put excess pressure on the hips. Elevating your legs at alow angle for a while will work just fine.
Also known as reflex massage, reflexology concentrates on massaging the various pressure points in the feet to relieve the patient from the anomalies. A study confirms the efficacy of reflexology in the treatment of varicose veins. Reflexology is especially beneficial for pregnant women suffering from varicose veins.
Besides medicines & home remedies, a few changes in your lifestyle can go a long way to both heal varicose veins & also prevent it.
Here are a few lifestyle changes you should incorporate in your daily life.
- Give at least 30 minutes every day to Yoga & exercise. This will enhance blood flow in the veins of the limbs. Beneficial yoga poses include Virasana, Sarvangasana, Kapotsana, Bhujangasana, Shavasana and Halasana.
- Try to get enough sleep every night & avoid stress, since these can aggravate your condition.
- Opt to eat a protein-rich diet of whole grains, citric fruits & legumes. Eating eggs & meat can also help you.
- Include high flavonoid foods like onion, garlic, spinach broccoli, etc. in your diet as they can relax the veins in your legs, alleviating the condition.
- Do not wear tight, restrictive clothing like jeans as that might worsen varicose veins. Instead, opt to wear loose clothes. You can also try the Varicose Veins socks, made especially for the purpose.
- Try to rest your body as much as possible. Do not overwork.
- Avoid standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time. Instead, try to take a short break every 1-2 hours & walk a little. This will avoid constricted blood flow in the legs, healing varicose veins.
Varicose veins can be very painful & if left untreated can cause serious problems including difficulty in movement or immobility. If you suffer from it, get a diagnosis as soon as possible. Incorporating the above-given home remedies & lifestyle changes in your life can help you get rid of varicose veins permanently
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