The veins that are enlarged, twisted or engorged are known as varicose veins. Varicose veins can develop in any part of the body but most commonly appear in the legs and feet. Varicose veins in the legs develop as a result of pooling of blood due to improper functioning of valves in the veins of the legs. Varicose veins can be well-treated with natural medicines. The top homeopathic medicine for varicose veins includes natural medicines like Hamamelis Virginiana, Pulsatilla Nigricans, and Calcarea Flour.
Homeopathy for Varicose Veins
The conventional treatment for varicose veins usually involves techniques like sclerotherapy, laser surgery, micro sclerotherapy, endoscopic vein surgery and endovenous ablation therapy.
Sclerotherapy involves injecting a liquid or foam through a chemical injection to redirect the blood to a healthier vein. Microsclerotherapy is a similar procedure.
Laser Surgery employs the use of light energy to block off a vein.
Endoscopic Vein Surgery uses a small scope with a light that is inserted into the vein through a small incision to block it off.
Endovenous Ablation Therapy uses radiofrequency waves and heat to block off a vein.
These treatments tend to have some very common side effects that include nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, wound complications like skin infections, blood clots, vascular injuries, scarring and staining of the skin.
Also, despite an invasive surgery, the chances of recurrence of the problem are common. Homeopathy has an excellent scope for treating varicose veins.
The symptoms like pain, cramping, tiredness, a sensation of heaviness in the legs are well-managed with homeopathy medicines. Homeopathy for varicose veins works at strengthening the valves of veins in legs, reducing the blood engorgement and aid in the symptomatic management of the varicose veins. The benefits of using these remedies for varicose veins are as follows:
1. No Side-Effects
Homeopathy for varicose veins cause no side effects, unlike conventional treatments. These medicines for varicose veins are made of natural substances and are highly diluted, yet potent, and they work to prevent the backflow of blood in the vein.
2. Simple and Effective
Homeopathy works to restore the internal healing mechanism of the body. This helps address the condition naturally and effectively, and invasive procedures like surgery can be held off.
3. Natural Medicines are Safe
Made from natural substances, homeopathy helps treat the condition on a long-term basis. Once a treatment for varicose veins has been successfully administered, the chances of the condition recurring are slim to none. Unlike conventional treatment, homeopathy offers long-term relief from the symptoms of varicose veins.
Top Homeopathic Medicines for Varicose Veins
1. Hamamelis Virginiana – For Tiredness/Aching in Legs
Hamamelis is prepared from a plant commonly named witch – hazel. This plant belongs to family Hamamelidaceae.
Hamamelis Virginiana is a highly effective remedy for varicose veins. Its most prominent symptom indication is tiredness or aching in the legs. Along with this, a tense feeling in the legs may be present. The varicosities may look like hard and knotty swellings in the legs. A dragging sensation in the legs may be present. Pain in varicose veins from the slightest motion is another feature. Soreness of varicose veins may also arise. Hamamelis Virginiana can help to reduce the engorgement of blood in veins and its related symptoms. Deep-rooted, circular ulcers with stinging, pricking pain and high sensitivity are another prominent features for using the homeopathic medicine Hamamelis Virginiana.
Key Indications for using Hamamelis Virginiana for Varicose Veins:
– Tiredness or aching in the legs.
– A tense feeling in the legs.
– Varicose ulcers with stinging and pricking pain.
2. Pulsatilla Nigricans – For Varicose Veins that are Painful
Pulsatilla Nigricans is a natural medicine prepared from plant “windflower”. The natural order of this plant is Ranunculaceae.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is an excellent remedy for varicose veins that are painful. Heaviness or weariness in the legs along with pain, a tensed and drawing sensation in the legs, cramping in the legs (mostly in the evening) are the symptoms highly indicative of Pulsatilla Nigricans.
Hanging down the lower limbs worsens the complaints. Along with these symptoms, restlessness in the lower limbs may also appear. Pulsatilla Nigricans is indicated for varicose veins in women when the symptoms worsen during menses and for varicose veins on lower limbs, forearms, and hands.
Key Indications for using Pulsatilla for Varicose Veins:
– Presence of painful varicose veins.
– A tensed and drawing sensation in the legs.
– A cramping sensation in the legs.
3. Calcarea Fluor – For Hard, Knotty Varicose Veins
Calcarea Fluor is a highly recommended remedy for varicose veins. It is a biochemic medicine for varicose veins that work wonderfully in reducing the engorgement of blood in veins and improving blood circulation. Few indications for using Calcarea Fluor are enlarged veins, hardened veins, knotty veins on lower limbs. The attending features are dry, cracked skin on the legs.
Key Indications for using Calcarea Fluor for Varicose Veins:
– Presence of hard varicose veins.
– Presence of knotty varicose veins.
– Dry, cracked skin on the legs.
Other Important Medicines for Varicose Veins
1. Calcarea Carb – For Painless Varicose Veins
Calcarea Carb is an excellent remedy for varicose veins. It is useful for varicose veins that are painless and appear only as prominent veins on the legs. Burning sensation in veins may be present in a few cases. A marked coldness in feet, excessive sweat on feet (sour smelling) and varicose veins on the legs and thighs are well-treated with Calcarea Carb.
2. Fluoric Acid – For Varicose Veins worsened by Warmth
Fluoric Acid is a valuable remedy for varicose veins treatment. The most characteristic feature to use Fluoric Acid is painful varicose veins in the legs that are made worse by warmth. Fluoric Acid is used to treat long-standing, obstinate cases of varicose veins. Apart from the above symptoms, Fluoric Acid is useful for varicose ulcers with red margins. Pain in ulcers is intense, and warmth worsens the pain while cold application relieves the pain.
3. Apis Mellifica – For Stinging Pains
Apis Mellifica is a remedy for varicose veins where there is a stinging pain present in the affected area. Burning sensation and sensitiveness on the leg may be present. In a few cases, lower limbs feel tired, bruised and heavy as lead. Swelling in the legs may also be present with inflamed veins.
4. Graphites Naturalis – For Varicose Veins with Itching
Graphites Naturalis is a highly recommended remedy for varicose veins attended with itching. Itching in most cases gets worse at night time. Little pimples may be present on the surrounding skin surface (affected by varicose veins). Skin dryness may also be there to a high degree. Other attending features are restlessness, heaviness, and tensed feeling in legs. The tensed feeling gets worse upon extending the legs. A congested feeling in legs and feet on standing may also be present. Graphites Naturalis is also a helpful remedy for swelling in the legs with peculiar shooting pain as well as for varicose eczema.
5. Vipera Berus – For Bursting Sensation in Legs
Vipera Berus is a well-indicated remedy for varicose veins with a marked ‘bursting’ feeling in the legs. A pain of unbearable nature that gets worse on hanging down the legs is present. Elevating the legs brings relief. Severe cramping pain in the legs is also present. Swollen, tender veins and blueness of overlying skin are highly indicative of using medicine Vipera Berus.
6. Millefolium Achillea – For Varicose Veins during Pregnancy
Millefolium Achillea is prepared from a plant named yarrow of the family Composite. Millefolium Achillea is an effective remedy for varicose veins arising during pregnancy. It works well in cases of both painful and painless varicose veins. A drawing pain is most prominently present in the legs. Millefolium Achillea is also suitable for varicose veins that break and bleed easily.
7. Lachesis Muta – For Varicose Ulcers
Lachesis Muta is an important medicine for treating varicose ulcers. People needing Lachesis Muta have ulcers with bluish-purplish surroundings. There is a thin, offensive discharge from the ulcers. Pus discharges may also be there in a few cases. Bleeding may arise from the ulcers, and an intense burning sensation may be present. There is extreme pain and high sensitivity to touch on the ulcer. Applying warmth to the ulcers helps relieve the pain. Itching that gets noticeably gets worse after sleeping is another characteristic feature.
8. Zincum Met – For Varicose Veins that are Very Large
Zincum Met is an effective medicine for large varicose veins on the legs. A tight, full, congested feeling in the legs is prominent. Tearing pain in the legs and formication (sensation like insects crawling over the skin) are also present in a few cases. The person requiring Zincum Met also complains of uneasiness and heaviness in the legs with constant motion of the legs. Burning sensation and sweat on lower limbs are also common. Apart from varicose of legs, Zincum Met is also indicated for varicose veins in the genital organs.
9. Arsenic Album – For Varicose Veins that are Inflamed
Arsenic Album is a remedy for varicose veins that are inflamed. The symptoms indicating the use of Arsenic Album are swollen legs, burning sensation, and uneasiness in the legs. The uneasy feeling in the legs makes the person change the position of the legs frequently. A burning sensation in most cases is worse during the night. Warm applications over the legs may offer relief. Fever, extreme weakness, and stabbing pains on the legs are other symptoms. Arsenic Album is useful for varicose ulcers with a gray crust and inflamed borders.
10. Carbo Veg – For Spider Veins
Carbo Veg is a prominently indicated remedy for spider veins. The veins appear reddish bluish. The skin feels cold and sweaty, and the person may experience itching that gets worse during the evening. Varicose ulcers that bleed easily also indicate the need for Carbo Veg.
11. Arnica Montana – For Varicose Veins with Soreness
Arnica Montana is prepared from the plant ‘Leopard’s Bane’ which belongs to the natural order Composite. Arnica Montana is a valuable remedy for varicose veins accompanied by extreme soreness. Fear of touching the legs is present as a result of the soreness. Exertion worsens the complaint. An aching, bruised sensation in the legs is also there in few cases. Bruised feeling in the legs as if beaten may also accompany in some instances .may also be present. The skin of the legs may also be swollen, red and hot.
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins may not cause any symptoms in most of the cases and only appear as dark/purple-colored prominent veins in the leg. General symptoms include aching, tired or heavy feeling in the legs, throbbing and cramping in legs, and worsening of pain from sitting or standing for extended periods.
Color changes, swelling/inflammation, and ulcers on the legs may be indicative of severe changes like phlebitis (inflammation in a vein) and venous ulcers and should be addressed promptly.
Varicose Veins – How Do They Develop?
The veins in our legs contain one-way valves. These valves of the veins in the legs allow only one-way blood flow (from the legs to the heart) when the muscles squeeze the veins in the leg.
When the muscles contract, the valves open and blood from the legs pushes upwards to reach the heart. When these muscles relax, the valves close to prevent reverse flowing of blood back in legs. In case these valves don’t function properly, it results in a reverse flow of blood and stagnation of blood in the leg.
This causes the veins to become enlarged, twisted, engorged, and they are known as varicose veins.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins
A physician can usually diagnose the varicose veins by looking at them and asking questions. An ultrasound of the lower limbs is recommended to check and locate any damaged valves. It also helps rule out the presence of any blood clot. Other investigations include Color Duplex Ultrasound scan and Venograms (X-rays of the area taken after injecting a special dye).
Factors that Contribute to Varicose Veins
Obesity: Obese people often develop varicose veins without any knowledge, as the veins are not visible beneath the layers of the skin (due to accumulated fat). With time, the pressure from the leaking veinscauses damage on the surface of the skin, and the problem becomes visible. This also puts many overweight people at a higher risk of developing leg ulceration.
Standing/Sitting for a Long Time: Sitting or standing for long durations causes leads to poor blood circulation in the legs. When we sit, it becomes harder for the veins to move the blood to the heart. Over time, this can cause swelling in the ankles, blood clots, and varicose veins. Sitting with the legs crossed or bent for long durations can make the problem worse.
Old Age: With age, the veins lose elasticity and cause them to stretch. This causes the valves in the veins to become weak. As a result, the blood that should be moving towards the heart starts flowing backward.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, it is very common for a woman to develop varicose veins since the volume of blood in the body increases, but overall, the flow of blood from the legs to the pelvis decreases. Varicose veins often develop or become worse during the later stages of pregnancy since the uterus starts to exert increased pressure on the veins in the legs. This condition often improves post pregnancy within three to twelve months.
Age: The chances of developing varicose veins increase with age. Aging causes the wear and tear of the valves in the veins, allowing blood to flow back into the veins where it gets collected.
Gender: Females are more likely to develop varicose veins due to hormonal changes they experience throughout their lifetime. Pregnancy, pre-menstruation, menopause, hormone replacement therapy and the use of birth control pills all cause hormonal changes in a woman’s body. Female hormones are known to relax the walls of the veins.
Family History: A family history of varicose veins makes a person susceptible to developing the condition.
Complications Related to Varicose Veins
The complications of varicose veins include bleeding, venous ulcers, varicose eczema, superficial thrombophlebitis and DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Bleeding: Veins that are close to the skin may rupture and bleed. The bleeding may occur spontaneously or be the result of a minor injury. Spontaneous rupture occurs with the weakening of walls of the veins. This happens when the veins stretch due to enlargement over time. In addition to this, the pressure inside the veins is already high due to the pooling of blood. The weak vein walls and high pressure inside the veins can lead to a spontaneous rupture of veins.
Venous Ulcers: A venous ulcer is a painful sore that develops on the leg near the ankles in case of varicose veins. Venous ulcers heal slowly. The pooling of blood in the veins builds up pressure. If not treated in time, the increase in pressure can cause the skin around the ankle to break and form an ulcer. The varicose ulcer usually develops on the skin of the inner side of the leg, immediately above the ankle. The base of such an ulcer is generally red and has uneven borders. The skin around the ulcer is discolored, dark, and hard.
Swelling of the leg, ankle, and heaviness in the leg, foul-smelling discharge from the ulcers, itching, burning, and pain of varying intensity may be present. A high fever may also be present in cases of infection.
Varicose Eczema: Varicose eczema (also known as stasis / gravitational eczema) is another complication of varicose veins. It affects the lower legs, where the skin gets dry, red, itchy, scaly, and flaky. The affected skin looks shiny and may be painful and tender. In some people, a brown discoloration of the skin may be present.
Superficial Thrombophlebitis: Superficial thrombophlebitis refers to an inflammation of the vein near the surface of the skin caused by a blood clot. The symptoms include intense swelling, redness, warmth, pain, and tenderness on the legs. Hardening of vein and darkening of the skin on the vein is a common characteristic. It is usually a short-term condition that resolves itself in about 2 – 3 weeks without any complications in a majority of cases. Rare complications if arise in minority of cases includes cellulitis and DVT.
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis): Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) refers to the development of a blood clot within vein deep inside the body (usually in the leg). It causes swelling and warmth in the affected leg. Other features are a pain in the leg, redness/discoloration of skin on the leg. DVT may lead to severe complications like pulmonary embolism (when blood clots in vein break and travel via the bloodstream to lodge in the lungs). Common symptoms of pulmonary embolism include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse, and spitting of blood.
Spider Veins are Not Varicose Veins
Spider veins are dilated clusters of tiny (<1mm diameter) superficial blood vessels developing close to the surface of the skin. They are also called telangiectasias. Spider veins appear as thin, red, blue, purple lines or as weblike networks of blood vessels on the surface of the skin. These look like a spider’s web. They mostly appear on the face, legs, and feet. They don’t usually cause any problems and are mainly considered to be a cosmetic issue. These are generally common in older adults.
Managing Varicose Veins
There are certain diet and lifestyle measures one can follow to prevent and manage varicose veins:
Get the Blood Flowing with Exercise
Regular exercise offers a host of benefits. Exercise can help increase the blood flow throughout the body and also reduce inflammation. Staying in one position for too long makes it harder for the veins to pump blood back to the heart. Also, poor posture, like sitting with the legs crossed, increases the pressure on the veins.
Exercise also helps lose or maintain an ideal weight, balance the hormones and lower the blood pressure. All these factors are known to contribute to the development of varicose veins but can be effectively managed with exercise.
Certain exercises, like calf-raises, side lunges, and leg lifts help stretch and strengthen the veins around the legs. Other low-impact activitieslike bicycling, walking and swimming also help alleviate pressure from the veins in the legs.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
People who are overweight are more likely to develop varicose veins, especially overweight women and older adults. Carrying excess body weight puts higher amounts of pressure on your veins and can contribute to inflammation or reflux, especially in the largest superficial veins, such as the saphenous vein in the legs.
Habits to Change
It is common for people to remain seated for long hours in today’s time. Sitting and standing for long hours should be avoided, and gentle stretches and exercises should be incorporated in everyday life to keep the circulation up.
Additionally, sitting or lying down with the legs elevated is an important preventive measure.
One should avoid wearing high heels for long durations.
There are various compression stockings available that are recommended for use. These stockings squeeze the leg muscles and help them move the blood efficiently.
Foods to Eat to Manage Varicose Veins
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Foods that help improve blood flow and reverse inflammation can be consumed to speed up the process of healing varicose veins. These foods also help prevent future episodes of varicose veins. Some anti-inflammatory foods that help reduce varicose veins include:
Foods with Antioxidants
Flavonoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C are important oxidants found in berries, green vegetables, and citrus fruits. These foods help fight inflammation, improve the health of the arteries and strengthen the veins. Vitamin E acts as a natural blood thinner and prevents blood clots, while vitamin C works on the health of the skin and serves as a potent anti-inflammatory.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
Some of the most common signs of electrolyte deficiencies like magnesium and potassium are issues with blood pressure, leg cramps and pooling of blood. Foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, cruciferous vegetables, bananas and leafy vegetables contain these essential electrolytes and should be added to the diet.
Foods High in Fiber
Fiber found in food helps improve the heart function as well as the functioning of the digestive system. Lack of fiber can cause constipation, which leads to increased pressure on the veins near the abdomen and legs.
High fiber foods like flaxseeds, fresh fruits, chia seeds, sprouted legumes, vegetables and ancient grains.
Foods that are Spicy
Spicy foods like curries and cayenne peppers heat up the body and increase blood circulation. They also help control the appetite and weight.
Diuretics to Reduce Water Retention
Foods with diuretic properties help increase urination to reduce water retention in the body. Cucumber, fresh herbs like parsley and basil, asparagus, fennel, and celery are natural diuretics.
Foods to Avoid incase of Varicose Veins
A poor diet leads to weight gain, low circulation, hormonal imbalances, blood pressure issues, and in some cases, arterial damage.
Some foods to avoid include sugar, alcohol, trans fats, caffeine and processed foods. Such foods also tend to contain large amounts of sodium, which (when taken in excess) dehydrates the body. These foods may also contain toxins that can make the swelling in the varicose veins much worse.