Veins are thin-walled vessels through which the impure blood is carried back to the heart. They usually have valves which regulate the flow of blood towards the heart. Varicose veins are a condition in which veins become enlarged, dilated, or thickened. This condition can occur in any part of the body but generally appear in the legs.
Causes and Symptoms
The first sign of varicose veins is a swelling along the course of the veins. This may be followed by muscular cramps and a feeling of tiredness in the legs behind the knees. In some cases, the normal flow of blood towards the heart may be reversed when the patient is in an upright position. This results in veinous blood collecting in the lower part of the legs; the skin becomes purplish and pigmented, leading to what is known as varicose eczema or varicose ulcers. Both these conditions cause severe pain.
A varicose condition of the veins results from sluggish circulation due to various factors such as constipation, dietetic errors, lack of exercise, and smoking. Standing for long periods and wearing tight clothing can also lead to sluggish circulation. Pregnancy may cause varicose veins due to increased pressure in the pelvis and abdomen, which slows down the flow of blood from the lower extremities to the heart. Women usually suffer from this condition in the early years of child-bearing. Obesity can also cause varicose veins.
Marigold: The herb marigold is valuable in varicose veins. A compress of this herb should be applied externally in the treatment of this disease. The flowers of this plant can also be applied externally over varicose ulcers with beneficial results, as they are an excellent remedy for inflamed or ulcerated conditions of the skin.
Vegetable Juices: Raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice in combination with spinach juice, have proved beneficial in the treatment of this disease. The formula proportions considered helpful in this combination are 300 ml of carrot juice and 200 ml of spinach juice.
Nutrients: Certain nutrients, especially vitamins E and C have also been found effective in the treatment of this disease. The patient should take vitamin C in therapeutic doses up to 3,000 mg and vitamin E in therapeutic doses from 600 to 1,200 mg daily. This will relieve him of pain and leg cramps associated with varicose veins.
For proper treatment of varicose veins, the patient should be put on a juice fast for four or five days in the beginning, or on an all-fruit diet for seven to ten days. Thereafter, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on grains, seeds, nuts, raw vegetables, and fresh fruits. All condiments, alcoholic drinks, coffee, strong tea, white flour products, white sugar and its products should be strictly avoided. A short fast or an all-fruit diet for two or three days may be undertaken every month, depending on the progress.
During the initial juice fast or an all-fruit diet, a warm-water enema should be administered daily to cleanse the bowels and measures should be taken to avoid constipation. An alternate hot and cold hip bath is very valuable and should be taken daily. The affected parts should be sprayed with cold water or cold packs should be applied to them. A mud pack may be applied at night and allowed to remain until morning. A hot Epsom salts bath is also very valuable and should be taken twice a week.
Sunbathing and deep breathing exercises are also helpful. Certain inverted yoga postures such as viparitakarani, sarvangasana, and shirshasana are beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins as they drain the blood from the legs and reduce pressure on the veins. They help to relax the muscles and allow the blood to flow freely in and out of the lower extremities. Padmasana, gomukhasana, vajrasana, and shalabhasana are also beneficial.