Varicose veins is a common health complaint in people like security guards, watchmen, cops, soldiers, vehicle pullers, porters, rickshaw pullers, launderers, drivers, teachers etc. As it is not having a permanent solution, people come to Ayurveda to get the relief of vein engorgement and aching pain. Also, they seek the ways to avoid the occurrence of the complaint.
Ayurveda explains Varicose veins as Siraja granthi. Here, blood veins are enlarged, fibrosed and become tortuous. The vein (which carries blood from legs to the heart), loses its elasticity. Due to longer standing, weight bearing, fatigue and long walk, the veins in the lower limb especially in calf and ankle are tired in re-sending the blood upwards. Thus the veins are swollen, dilated, lose their ability to shrink or re-establish the original status. Thus the condition varicose vein is resulted.
The Ayurvedic view and treatment measures of Siraja granthi is explained in brief here below.
Varicose veins causes as per Ayurveda:
Intake of abhisyandi (which occlude channels) food like curd, lassie, deep fried foods, heavy non veg foods, junk foods, aerated drinks etc etc.
Wrong food combinations
Weight lifting (Bharavahana)
Long walk (adwagamana)
Intake of heavy (guru), mild(manda), cold(hima), unctuous(snigdha) food stuffs etc.
Origin of disease
Origin Of Siraja Granthi (Varicose veins)
Because blood vessels are involved, there is definitive involvement of Pitta Dosha.
Along with Pitta, Vata alone or Vata and Kapha are vitiated in their site of affliction, ie in weight bearing area like calf and ankle.
Ultimately the imbalanced Doshas disturb the vessels and the blood of that particular area (venous blood).
Thus the blood is stagnated due to obstruction of the pathway of the blood vessels. Hence, the veins are dilated in their weak points (limbs) and the Sirajagranthi (varicose vein) is resulted.
Varicose vein symptoms:
1. Aching pain in the lower limb (Toda).
2. Numbness or neuritis (Sada).
3. Heaviness (Gowrava)
4. Tiredness (Ayasa)
5. Tortuous veins (Grathitha sira)
6. Discoloration of the veins or skin (krishnarakta sira)
Varicosity as associated symptom
Varicose vein may be found with itching skin lesions like eczema, ulceration etc. If it ruptures, non healing ulcers are usually caused.
Varicosity may be formed in the conditions like portal hypertension also. Usually it is formed in association with hemorrhoid’s, oesophageal varices etc.
Varicocele (a condition of varicocity formed in the scrotal veins) may lead to infertility in its long run or if not treated appropriately.
Ayurvedic treatment for Varicose Veins – Siraja Granthi
1. As it is a vata dominant diseased condition veshtana (wrapping of cloth or crepe bandaging) gives symptomatic relief in aching pain, heaviness, numbness etc.
2. Sira Vyadha (blood letting through venesection) is found to be effective in its management.
Otherwise, leech therapy can be carried out near the lesion.
3. The line of treatment of gout arthritis (vataraktha chikitsa) is applicable here also. It comprises of Enema treatment (Basti Chikitsa) and oral medicines.
Herbs useful in Varicose veins:
Eranda- Castor roots – Relieves pain and inflammation
Chirabilva- Holoptelia integrigfolia – Extensively used in vein related disorders such as piles.
Mandookaparni- Gotu Kola
Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia – Used in High Pitta conditions and blood vitiation due to Pitta
Guduchi – Giloy – Tinospora cardifolia – useful in relieving infection and inflammation.
Punarnava- Boehirravia diffusa
Sariva- Hemidesmus indica – Like Manjishta, it is also extensively used in high Pitta conditions.
Paranti- Ixora sp.
Ayurvedic medicines useful in varicose veins:
Kaishora guggulu – It acts as – ageing skin health promoter, joint health, natural blood cleanser, useful as supportive dietary herbal supplement in many health conditions such as diabetes, skin diseases etc.
Sarivadyasava – used in the treatment of gout, diabetes and related skin complications, skin infections. It is a natural blood detox product.
Chirabilvadi kashaya – It is used in haemorrhoids, fistula, reduces burning sensation, it relieves bloating, improves digestion power.
Rasnerandai kashaya – It is used in the treatment of Gout, aches and pains related back, lumbar spondylosis, low back ache, etc
Guduchyadi kashaya – used in the treatment of fever with burning sensation, vomiting etc.
Mahamanjishtadi kashaya – used in treatment of skin diseases.
Phalatrikadi kashaya – It is used in the treatment of fever. vomiting and gastritis.
Punarnavashtaka kwatha – used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions like myxedema, ascites.
Ayurvedic home remedies
Easy Home remedies for Varicose veins:
Herbal paste application: The fine powder of the drugs vacha (Acorus calamus), Turmeric and Tulasi (Holy Basil) are taken in equal quantity and mixed well. To this, aloe vera juice is added and fine paste is made. This is applied to the length of the varicose vein. The paste is retained for 1-2 hours. 15-20 days of regular application relieves the aching pain of the varicose vein.
The leaf juice of Karanja (Pongamia pinnata)and castor 10 ml each and 5 ml of honey are taken together and mixed well.
This is taken in empty stomach for 21 days. It helps in the partial correction of the blood circulation in vericosed area.
Rest to the limbs – If your job makes you to stand for long hours, make sure to sit for a while, in between.
Elevated legs – While sleeping, keep a pillow beneath your feet. This will keep the feet elevated and ensures that the blood flow is good in the legs.
Moderate exercise – not only makes your leg muscles strong, it also keeps the blood vessels in pretty good shape.
Wearing Varicose Veins socks, available in medical stores, is a good way of preventing / treating varicose veins of feet and legs.
Varicose vein is a health complaint which causes irritation to the professionals who have to stand or walk for long. It often causes cramps in the legs due to improper blood circulation.The ulcerated varicose lesions make the life miserable in the sufferers. So immediate attention to the beginning itself helps to prevent further complications.
Article by Dr Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar