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Ayurvedic Treatment for Varicose Veins
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Varicose Veins are swollen, twisted and enlarged veins, that commonly affect the legs and veins.
It is common is people whose work demands long standing hours, like teachers, surgeons, cooks etc.
This condition is generally benign and for most people, it is simply a cosmetic concern. However, in some cases Varicose Veins might cause ache and discomfort and other complications.
In most cases, there is no pain. The signs and symptoms include:
- Veins that look twisted and swollen
- Veins are blue or dark purple
When the condition results into painful symptoms, the patient might experience:
- Aching pain in the legs
- Feeling of heaviness, specially after a stressful activity or at night
- Itching around the affected veins
- In case of injuries, bleeding might take a longer time to stop
- Swollen ankles
- Sitting or standing for a long period of time may worsen the pain
- Red discoloration of the vein
Veins carry the impure or deoxygenated blood from the rest of the body to the heart (except the pulmonary vein). They work against gravity to carry the blood from the legs to the heart. The muscle contractions in lower leg helps to pump the blood and the elastic vein walls return the blood to the heart. The valves in the veins open to allow the blood to flow to the heart and close to prevent them from flowing backward. When these valves become weaker, they can cause the blood to flow backward and in the opposite direction.
The causes of Varicose Veins include:
- Age: As one gets older, the veins lose their elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves become weak which can cause the blood to flow in the opposite direction.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy decreases the flow of blood from legs to pelvis. This can lead to enlarged veins in the leg.
- Constipation: Constipation puts pressure on the abdomen and can cause Varicose Veins.
- Gender: Varicose veins affect women more than men
- Genetics: A person who has a family history of varicose veins has higher risk of developing the condition
- Obesity: Obese people are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins
- Age: The risk increases with the increase in age
- Certain jobs: Jobs which demand standing for a longer period of time increases the risk of varicose veins.
According to Ayurveda, Varicose Veins can be correlated to a condition called Siraja Granthi. In this condition, the blood veins are enlarged and gnarled.
Nidana (Etiology or basic causes):
The basic causes leading to the formation of Varicose Veins are:
- Excessive exertion by a weak and emaciated person.
- Intake of food that obstructs the channels like curd, Lassi, deep-fried food etc.
- Suddenly immersing or washing the lower limb in cold water after walking a long distance.
- Excessive exertion of the lower limb
The valves in the veins become weaker as they lose elasticity. Loss of Elasticity as per Ayurveda is due to increase in Ruksha Guna (dryness) of Vayu (air) and the subtle tissue metabolism.
Ayurveda takes in consideration Prana (life energy that performs respiration, oxygenation and circulation). It governs two other subtle essence Ojas and Tejas. Ojas (the essence of the seven dhatus or bodily tissues) is responsible for the autoimmune system and mental intelligence and is necessary for longevity. Displaced ojas creates the kapha related disorders and decreased ojas creates vata related reactions. Tejas (the essence of a very subtle fire or energy) governs metabolism through the enzyme system. Agni (central fire or energy source in the body) promotes digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Tejas is necessary for the nourishment and transformation of each dhatu. Aggravated tejas burns away ojas, reducing immunity and over stimulating pranic activity. Aggravated prana produces degenerative disorders in the dhatus. Lack of tejas results in over production of unhealthy tissue and obstructs the flow of prana/rakta (blood) in case of Varicose Veins. It is essential to maintain balance amongst the tridosha (three Doshas)—Vata, Pitta, Kapha principles of motion, metabolism, structure, respectively.
- Veshtana: wrapping or covering the limb with a cloth or crepe bandage
- Sira Vyadha: Bloodletting through Phlebotomy
- Basti: Therapeutic enema
Wholesome diet and lifestyle:
- Consumption of cooked, warm and unctuous food
- Whole grains
- Light dairy products
- Sweet fruits
- Having meals at the same time every day
- Daily moderate exercise
- Yoga is one of the most effective ways to deal with Varicose Veins. Inverted Yoga postures help in treating the condition.
What to avoid
- Standing for long hours
- Excessive exertion
- Straining while passing stools
- Refined carbohydrates
- Red meat
- Tight clothing
At AyurVAID, Varicose Veins is approached to regain elasticity of valves by two-fold approach: External and Systemic.
External: To improve the disability caused by torturous veins; i.e pain and inflammation and to improve blood circulation in Pratiloma direction.
Systemic: This approach is done to address the displaced Doshas and Dhatus to regain their function and structure and to prevent the sequel of Varicose Veins i.e Venous/Varicose Ulcers.
Disclaimer: * Outcomes may vary from person to person