Varicose veins are damaged and dilated veins in which blood stagnates and circulates poorly. People with varicose veins suffer from chronic venous insufficiency.
This means that your venous system has difficulty ensuring the return of blood.
Photo Christina Morillo in Pexels
This causes stasis (blood stagnating instead of circulating) and thickening of the blood in the veins. This stagnant blood causes the wall to relax and create a varicose vein.
Women are 2 or 3 times more affected than men.
In 95% of cases, varicose veins affect the saphenous veins, that is, the superficial veins that go up the leg, and their collateral veins.
They can also appear for the most common ones:
- in the region of the vulva (varicose veins)
- of the scrotum (varicoceles)
- of the rectum (hemorrhoids)
Initially, the symptoms of venous insufficiency: heaviness in the legs, swelling in the ankles and feet, tingling in the legs, night cramps, cold feet. These signs are aggravated when standing or sitting for a long time, due to the heat.
In a second stage, the appearance of varicose veins
Several complications may arise:
- Appearance of bruises: Venous insufficiency promotes permeability of blood walls. The blood escapes and invades the surrounding tissues creating bruises.
- Dermatitis ocheris: The rupture of small blood vessels causes blood to leak and invade nearby tissues. The released blood gives the skin areas a color ranging from yellow to brown.
- Varicose Ulcers: Very painful ulcers can form on the skin, often near the ankles. The skin turns brown. Seek medical attention immediately.
- Appearance of a blood clot A blood clot in a vein (or phlebitis) can cause local pain if the affected vein is a superficial vein. This is an important warning sign because more advanced venous insufficiency can lead to deep phlebitis and pulmonary embolism.
The medical causes are:
- Weak muscle tone in the legs: muscle contraction promotes venous return.
- Deterioration of the vein walls: their elasticity, rigidity and tone are factors that influence the effectiveness of venous return.
These factors favor the appearance of varicose veins:
- Stand or walk.
- Crossed legs
- Lack of exercise
- Obesity: Excess weight increases the pressure on the venous system of the lower limbs.
- Exposure to heat (sunbathing, very hot baths, etc.)
- Atherosclerosis and its causes
- Compression of abdominal veins: pregnancy, constipation, premenstrual period
The land causes
- Nervous system
- Hormonal system
An altered liver can predispose to varicose veins. In fact, this organ has an important role in blood and its circulation in Chinese medicine, as well as in naturopathy:
- It is responsible for the return flow of venous blood. When the liver is congested or deficient, all the upward circulation can be altered: the legs but also the small pelvis. Thus, a congestion of the small pelvis can lead to varicose veins.
- It is strongly involved in the quality and viscosity of the blood. It is the liver that filters and purifies the blood, recycles its waste products into the bile, which will allow the digestion of fats, the copious meals, and will promote the transit… In women, menstruation is a way of purifying the body’s blood. Estrogen is filtered by the liver.
Certain factors may prevent the liver from circulating properly:
- hard-to-digest foods: fatty and/or sweet foods, too many dairy products
- certain drugs
- lack of exercise
- Excess iron: promotes blood thickening.
- contraceptives that prevent menstruation
- Cold feet
The Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system causes a contraction of the abdominal veins (digestive organs, small pelvis, sphincters…) and at the same time a vascular dilation of the brain, heart, lungs.
A weakened sympathetic system (due to chronic fatigue, stress) can lead to less effective contraction of the veins, favoring venous insufficiency.
The Hormonal System
It is recognized that the pituitary gland has an effect on the quality of the vein walls.
On the other hand, an excess of estrogen slows down the function of the pituitary, resulting in a loosening of the smooth fibers and ligaments.
Chinese medicine attests to the importance of the adrenal gland, through sex hormones, in relation to the pituitary gland as a source of energy in the genital sphere. It balances the stagnation of venous blood in this area. Anthroposophy also emphasizes the importance of this gland in the venous system.
During menopause and pregnancy: Varicose veins that occur during these periods may be related to excess estrogen.
The emotional context of the appearance of varicose veins is illuminated by Chinese medicine and anthroposophy.
It promotes a deregulation of blood circulation:
- Uncontrolled emotions, hypersensitivity, permeability to other people’s emotions. Feeling that you are experiencing situations instead of creating them.
- Constant cravings for food, for filling. People who always want more because they are not satisfied.
- Problems with the ability to love myself and receive all that love. Feeling that I am giving much more than I receive in return I feel that I am carrying a great weight, like the prisoner who has to drag his ball and chain constantly.
- A strong mind, with a strong need for control over your life, to feel safe. I live in the “must be”, the feeling of being obligated, which keeps me from being myself and doing things for me.
The hygiene of life
Move. Exercises involving the legs (walking, swimming, and cycling) are essential to improve venous return. Contraction of the leg muscles helps the venous system to bring up the blood.
Avoid overweight. Weight puts pressure on the leg veins, which does not help the venous blood rise.
Lift his legs. For 15 to 30 minutes put your legs up, at a higher level than your heart. Repeat the exercise 2 or 3 times a day if necessary.
The position of the candle is particularly indicated.
The posture. Avoid standing or sitting for a long time. Change position, stretch, walk from time to time. Sitting down, avoid crossing your legs.
Avoid tight clothing. Elastics for socks, belts, shoes: all these elements can compress locally and prevent good circulation.
Avoid heels. They contribute to the sinking of the arch of the foot and do not favour the circulation.
Wear support stockings. They are essential when in a static or stomping position, positions that do not favor venous return. On the other hand, when worn in excess, they are less conducive to the involvement of the blood return mechanisms (by the muscles).
Breathing: The diaphragm moves during breathing. It creates alternating pressures in the abdomen, like a pump that helps blood flow upward. This effect is enhanced during exercise.
For circulation, give preference to a naturist diet.
The low salt intake helps prevent swelling caused by water retention.
Eating foods high in fiber can help prevent constipation. It is important to know that forcing a bowel movement can increase pressure on the venous system.
Flavonoids are good for circulation:
- Pollen, carrot
- Pro-anthocyanidins (PCO): Grape seed
- Routine: grape skin, apple, buckwheat
- Citroflavonoids: citrus fruits
Foods that affect blood circulation: garlic, lemon, etc.
One monodiet a week soothes the liver, which has a role in blood circulation.
Varicose veins are permanent. You can not “cure”, but it is possible to relieve the symptoms associated with them and avoid the formation of other varicose veins and problems that may arise from them.
We must never lose sight of the fact that what we see in the legs is only a very small and visible part of the circulatory problem, which is global and affects all the vessels of the body, which explains the need to restore a global circulatory balance and not just treat the lower limbs.
The rebalancing of the terrain requires time and several steps and revolves around the venous insufficiency :
Specific natural remedies for varicose veins
Veinotonic: continuous or 1 month/2>If it is edema, add plants for retention of
water>If it is swelling, add plants for lymphatic circulation
>If it is capillary fragility, add plants for the capillariesAntioxidants: continuous or 1 month/2
3 weeks of healing
2 times a yearExternal applications: 1 to 2 times
per day, 1 to 4 weeks per month depending on the heat
Field Remedies for Varicose Veins: Drain
the liver twice a year (spring and autumn). Support the hormonal sphere if necessary.
The emotional sphere if necessary.
Support the nervous system if necessary.
Specific remedies for varicose veins
These venotonic plants are astringent (squeeze the veins): witch hazel, horse chestnut, red vine and fragona (small holly).
Other plants have twenty-tone actions but also other properties of their own:
- cypress: lymphatic circulation: (edema, cellulite, swollen and heavy legs)
- Smelling clover: lymphatic circulation and calming effect and reduces small sleep disturbances.
- Chrysanthemum: hepatoprotective (very useful for liver inflammations, excess alcohol, toxic substances harmful to the liver)
- Centella asiatica: lymphatic circulation, adaptogen (to improve anxiety and memory), hypotension.
- Ginkgo: lymphatic circulation, promotes blood flow, memory
- Blueberry: promotes blood flow, antioxidants, vision
- The Chinese angelica or Dong Qai: regulates and strengthens the hormonal sphere of women
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