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Varicose veins are twisted, bulging and widened veins that show up in bluish colour on the skin. The condition may not always produce troubling symptoms and it usually affects legs. This is because the veins in legs contain one-way valves to maintain blood flow. Valves are tissues that open on only one side. In leg veins, valves ensure that blood goes upwards,  towards the heart, and opposite the force of gravity. However, when these valves fail, the blood flows back into the veins, causing pooling of blood and widening of the veins due to increased pressure. Continued pressure in the veins causes the development of varicose veins and patches of discoloured areas on the legs. 

There are two types of venous system in the legs, both of which can become varicose:

  • Superficial veins: These are present right under the skin.
  • Deep veins: These veins are present deeper in the skin. Deep veins are squeezed by the leg muscles during walking or any physical activity so that the blood is pumped back to the heart.

Varicose veins are known to have a hereditary predominance and are more common among women. Common risk factors for varicose veins include standing for long periods of time, ageing, obesity and leg injuries. Hormonal factors such as pregnancy, menopause, puberty and the use of birth control pills also affect the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins are common in the first three months of pregnancy. Due to an increase in hormonal levels during pregnancy, the blood volume increases which causes the veins to enlarge. Also, the growing uterus puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within 3 months of delivery. However, with repeated pregnancies, these varicose veins may continue to persist. 

Symptoms of varicose veins include: 

  • Visible, swollen veins
  • Pain and discomfort with heaviness in limbs
  • Pain worse on standing and at the end of the day
  • Swelling in the ankles
  • Itching and skin discolouration around the varicose veins

Common complications of varicose veins include 

  • Phlebitis or inflammation of veins leading to pain
  • Bleeding varicose veins 
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Varicose ulcers 

Conventionally, varicose veins are treated through self-care and methods to reduce pressure in veins like compression stockings. Ablation therapy is done in some cases to destroy the affected veins.

Homeopathy provides excellent results in treating mild to moderate cases of varicose veins. These medicines act in a gentle and safe manner to reduce swelling, pain and varicosities. Homeopathy also helps in treating varicose ulcers, even in those who require surgical intervention. 

Some of the homeopathic medicines used in the treatment of varicose veins include aesculus, arnica, arsenicum album, belladonna, calcarea carb, carbo veg, causticum, crotalus, hydrofluoric acid, hamamelis, lachesis, lycopodium, pulsatilla, sulphur and vipera.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for varicose veins
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a patient with varicose veins as per homeopathy
  3. How effective is homoepathic treatment for varicose veins?
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for varicose veins
  5. Takeaway
  • Aesculus Hippocastanum
    Common Name:
    Horse chestnut
    Symptoms: Horse chestnut has a marked affinity for the venous system and the legs. Symptoms that can be addressed with this remedy are:
    • Purple varicose veins
    • Backache 
    • Pain and soreness in legs
    • Pain with very little bleeding
    • Enlarged blood vessels
    • Distended veins in throat 
    • Blind piles with bleeding

The complaints are worse in the morning and afternoon, after meals, from any kind of motion, or while standing for a long time. Symptoms get better in cool and open air. 

  • Arnica Montana
    Common Name:
    Leopard’s bane
    Symptoms: Arnica montana is a good remedy for injuries and blunt trauma. It has marked action on the blood and is used to treat bleeding disorders. This remedy helps in treating varicose veins that present with the following symptoms:
    • Pain and soreness in legs
    • Feeling that everything the person lies on is too hard
    • Black and blue discolouration of legs
    • Rheumatism that begins in the lower legs and travels upwards

All symptoms worsen in damp and cold environment, on touching the affected area, and on consuming alcohol. The patient feels better on lying down with their head low.

  • Arsenicum Album
    Common Name:
    Arsenious acid, arsenic trioxide
    Symptoms: It is a good remedy for symptoms of varicose veins associated with intense burning, restlessness and tremendous exhaustion. Other symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:

The symptoms worsen after midnight, in rainy weather, and on consuming cold food and drinks. Symptoms improve from heat and on taking warm drinks. 

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Belladonna is useful in the management of varicose veins that are accompanied by extreme redness, heat and throbbing. It also helps treat the following symptoms:
    • Swollen joints with red streaks on skin
    • Jerking of legs with limping
    • Shooting type of pains in legs

Symptoms worsen in the afternoon, with the slightest movement, on touching the affected area and on lying down. They get better when the patient sits in a semi-erect position.

  • Calcarea Carbonica
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of lime
    Symptoms: Calcarea carbonica is one of the most suitable remedies to treat varicose veins. It can also help manage the following symptoms:
    • Swelling of leg joints
    • Pain and cramps in calves along with cold knees
    • Weakness in legs
    • Coldness and damp feeling of feet at night, as if wearing wet stockings
    • Sour-smelling foot sweat that makes the soles raw
    • Tearing pains in muscles

Symptoms worsen on climbing stairs, with exertion, in moist weather and while standing. All complaints get better on lying on the painful side and in dry weather. 

  • Carbo Vegetabilis
    Common Name:
    Vegetable charcoal
    Symptoms: This remedy has a strong affinity for blood and capillaries and is used to treat the tendency to bleed. A few other symptoms of varicose veins that can be treated using this remedy are:
    • Paralysed feeling in limbs as if they have gone to sleep
    • Numbness and sweating in feet
    • Shin pain
    • Skin is blue-black and cold and covered with swollen veins
    • Cramps in soles and swelling in toes
    • Sudden feeling of coldness in the back
    • Moist skin with immense itching
    • Ulcers that don't heal; varicose ulcers
    • Persons who still have some lingering effect and haven't completely recovered from some old medical condition

Symptoms worsen in damp weather, in the evening at night, and in open air. Symptoms get better in cold weather and on fanning oneself.

  • Causticum
    Common Name:
    Hahnemann’s tincture acris sine kali
    Symptoms: This homeopathic medicine is useful in the management of the following symptoms:
    • Tearing pains in joints along with a burning sensation
    • Numbness in limbs with paralysis of one part
    • Soreness of skin between thighs
    • Old injuries that open up
    • Contracted tendons

Symptoms worsen in clear weather and on exposure to dry and cold winds. Symptoms get better in damp weather and with warmth. 

  • Crotalus Horridus
    Common Name:
    Rattlesnake
    Symptoms: Crotalus horridus is an effective remedy in the management of bleeding disorders. It is also used to treat the following symptoms:
    • Legs going to sleep easily
    • Swelling and discolouration of the skin with sensitiveness
    • Paralysis in the right legs
    • Skin eruptions surrounded by purplish discolouration of skin
    • Cold, damp feet
    • A sensation of soreness in the skin that is relieved by the application of pressure 

Symptoms are worse on the right side; they aggravate in the morning and evening, in warm weather, during the spring season and on exposure to open air.

  • Fluoricum Acidum
    Common Name:
    Hydrofluoric acid
    Symptoms: Thie remedy is quite effective in the treatment of varicose veins. It can help in treating the following symptoms:
    • Swelling in joints of fingers
    • Varicose veins and varicose ulcers with red edges
    • Destruction of bones
    • Bleeding with an offensive odour
    • Person is forced to move about vigorously

Symptoms worsen in the morning, and with warmth but get better while walking and in cold weather. 

  • Hamamelis Virginiana
    Common Name:
    Witch hazel
    Symptoms: Witch hazel is an excellent remedy that acts on the venous system and is used to treat conditions like haemorrhages, varicose veins and piles. Some of the other symptoms treated by this remedy are:
    • Relaxation of the venous system leading to passive bleeding
    • Tired feeling in the legs
    • Bruising pain in the affected parts
    • Muscle soreness
    • Small bleeding spots under skin
    • Varicose ulcers

The symptoms worsen in warm moist air. 

  • Lachesis Mutus
    Common Name:
    Bushmaster or surucucu snake
    Symptoms: Lachesis mutus is an effective remedy for patients who have sepsis, leading to bleeding and spotting under the skin. Other symptoms treated with this remedy are:
    • Right-sided sciatica
    • Hot skin with bluish discolouration
    • Varicose ulcers with black edges
    • Swelling in veins
    • Cellulitis (infection of deeper layers of skin)
    • Inability to bear anything tight on any part

The symptoms are worse on the left side. They aggravate after sleep, on taking warm baths and applying pressure on the affected area. They get better with warm applications. 

  • Lycopodium Clavatum
    Common Name: Club moss
    Symptoms: Club moss is primarily used for treating pain and symptoms associated with varicose veins. It can also help manage the following symptoms:
    • Numbness, drawing and tearing in legs and arms, especially at night
    • Increased sweating of feet
    • Pain in heels on walking
    • Right-sided sciatica
    • Varicose veins with itching
    • Offensive sweat, especially of feet and armpits
    • Abscesses under the skin that ulcerate
    • Thick and hardened skin
    • Right foot feels hot, left cold 

All the symptoms aggravate between 4 pm and 8 pm and from warmth. They are worse on the right side. The patient feels better after midnight and on moving about.

  • Pulsatilla Pratensis
    Common Name:
    Windflower
    Symptoms: Pulsatilla pratensis is an effective remedy for varicose veins. It can be used to treat the following symptoms:
    • Shifting pain in legs
    • Lack of thirst
    • Pain in thighs along with restlessness
    • Heaviness in legs
    • Redness and swelling of feet
    • Leg pain that gets worse when the leg is left hanging (as when sitting in a chair)

Symptoms worsen in the evening and in hot, wet weather. Symptoms get better in open air and with cold applications.

  • Sulphur
    Common Name:
    Sublimated sulphur
    Symptoms: This is a great remedy for varicose veins that are associated with intense burning and heat. Other symptoms that can be treated with this remedy are:
    • Stiff joints
    • Burning sensation in the soles at night
    • Pimple-like eruptions
    • Skin complaints that show up after using local medications
    • Severe itching 

Complaints get worse in the morning, when the person is at rest, with warmth, on taking alcoholic stimulants and after bathing. Symptoms get better in dry, warm weather. 

  • Vipera Berus
    Common Name:
    German viper
    Symptoms: Vipera is an excellent remedy for swelling of veins and burning sensations. Other symptoms that can be managed with this remedy include:
    • Unbearable pain on hanging legs down; the patient keeps their legs elevated to avoid the pain
    • Severe inflammation
    • Leg cramps
    • Skin is livid
    • Sensitiveness and bursting pain in legs
    • Skin peels off in large patches

Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted preparations which can easily lose their potency upon coming in contact with certain external substances - strong scents and perfumes for example.

To get the maximum benefits from treatment, homeopathic physicians recommend their patients to consider the following lifestyle and dietary guidelines along with taking medications:  

Do’s: 

  • Eat nutritious and healthy foods.
  • Stay in a clean and hygienic environment.
  • Include physical exercise in your daily routine.
  • Maintain personal hygiene

Don’ts: 

  • Do not consume foods and drinks which are known for their medicinal properties.
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages or drinks that have a strong odour.
  • Do not use strong perfumes.
  • Avoid extreme emotions like anger and grief that may lead to overexertion of mind.
  • Avoid staying in humid and unclean rooms.
  • Avoid all excesses in foods, including excess of salt, sugar and spices.

Homeopathic remedies are holistic in nature. They contain diluted natural substances, which are prescribed on the basis of individual traits (along with disease symptoms)

There are many remedies in homeopathy which can be used in the management of varicose veins. These medicines help in enhancing blood flow and muscle tone, especially in the legs. Along with improving blood flow, they also reinforce the valves in the veins so that the blood does not stagnate in the legs. Experts say that with continued homeopathic treatment, even the bluish discolouration and swelling in the veins disappear.

A pilot study done in Germany suggested that arnica has some benefits in reducing pain and hematoma after varicose vein surgery.  

In another study, complementary treatment with homeopathic medicines was found to be more beneficial than placebo in relieving symptoms of varicose veins. 

However, more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of varicose veins. 

Homeopathic remedies are diluted natural products. The dilution renders them free of side effects but does not affect their medicinal properties.

These remedies are considered to be safe and effective in a vast population. However, it is always best to ask your doctor before taking any medicine on your own. An experienced homeopathic doctor has the best knowledge about the composition of these remedies and will prescribe the most suitable medication based on your symptoms and individual traits.

Varicose veins are a common medical condition encountered in clinical practice. The condition mostly affects legs and does not cause any symptoms in most cases. However, some people experience aching and discomfort in the legs with swelling in the ankles. Varicose veins are conventionally treated by reducing the pressure in veins, which is the cause of the condition. Homeopathic treatment of varicose veins includes symptomatic management along with the improvement of overall health. Along with medicines, homeopathic doctors also suggest lifestyle management, diet and exercise for the treatment of varicose veins. Do not take any remedy without talking to a qualified doctor first.

References

  1. The European Comittee for Homeopathy. Benefits of Homeopathy. Belgium; [Internet]
  2. Rakesh Hooda, Mohit Tripathi. Role of homeopathy medical system in remedy of varicose vein ulcer. ISSN: 2616-4493
  3. William Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1
  4. Circulation Foundation. Veins. Lichfield, England; [Internet]
  5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Varicose Veins

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