Varicose veins treatment in Ayurveda

Varicose veins treatment in Ayurveda

Varicose veins treatment in Ayurveda unravels a varied perspective of our scholars on Circulatory Complaints. Varicose veins, also known as varicosities, occur when veins become enlarged, dilated and overfilled with blood having bluish-purple appearance. It is a chronic disease; commonly affecting the lower limbs, particularly in older age groups who are engaged in strenuous work, or in prolonged standing jobs. Generally they are found more in women than men. Any condition which puts excessive pressure on legs or abdomen lifting heavy weight etc leads to varicose veins. The most common pressure inducers are pregnancy, obesity, chronic constipation and in rare cases tumors. They are usually located inside the calf or thigh and develop due to weakness of the vein walls and loss of valve function.

Etiological factors of varicose veins are

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Old age 
  • Long standing occupation
  • Bowel habits (chronic constipation)
  • Weight Lifting
  • Excessive or over exercise leads to ‘Sira Granthi’
  • Hereditary

 Pathogenesis

In modern science under normal pathology, blood from the superficial venous system is passed to deep veins and from deep veins the blood is pumped up to the heart by the muscle pump & valves but if  this  mechanism is disturbed by the valves of the deep veins it leads to stagnation of blood and veins become distended and tortuous.

According to Acharaya Sushruta in Ayurveda ‘Siraja Granthi’ is a common clinical condition affecting the lower limbs in which vitiated Vata affects the Sira Prathana (clusters of veins)  and Vata dosha imbalance occur (Prakopa-avastha of Vata),after which sudden constriction of veins occurs, which leads to formation of varicose veins.

Ayurvedic approach in treatment of varicose vein 

The disease management options available with modern medicine are diverse, but none of them provides an easy and assured permanent cure. They advise compression stockings, medicinal treatments, immunity boosting drugs as primary treatment and recommend surgery in severe conditions.  Panchkarma in Ayurveda classics is well known for detoxification of blood. In varicosity of veins one of the Panchakarma procedures called Raktamokshana is best for the treatment. Siravyadha or Leech therapy (Jalauka Avacharana) are major subtypes of Raktamokshana. ‘Siraja Granthi’, Siragata Vata & Vata-Rakta rogas in classics categorized closely to Varicose Veins. Management of diseases through external and  internal medications are  essential for long-term relief of the patient excluding complications. 

Dietary changes and lifestyle modification seem to work after Panchakarma and encourages good venous circulation in the body. The food that contributes to Vata and Pitta impairment in the body in the varicose vein should be avoided, such as salty and spicy food, dry and junk food. 

External Ayurvedic procedures

which should be followed in guidance of qualified Ayurveda doctor are Abhyanga, Svedana and internal medications like herbal formulations and medicines comes under a proper medical treatment plan:

  1. Abhyanga: Regular application of medicated oils around the affected portion helps to minimize discomfort, swelling and improve blood circulation, such as SahacharTaila, PindaTaila etc. 
  1. Swedana: Patrapinda sweda makes the blood flow smoothly in upward direction. 
  1. Raktmokshana (Parasurgical procedures):
  • Siravyadha: (Venesection) reduces local engorgement of the pressure and helps in better blood circulation, and preserves valve competency and elasticity of the vein walls.
  • Jaloukavacharana: (Leech therapy) is a blood-letting therapy with the help of leech application on the affected part. This procedure improves blood circulation. It decreases strain on the veins and the surrounding areas, so that elastic recoiling of veins is maintained and over dilatation also prevented. The leech’s saliva has anticoagulant, anesthetic and antibacterial properties 

Therefore, Ayurveda treatment not only reduces oedema and venous sufficiency but also helps in healing of varicosity of veins. A correct interpretation of etiological factors is necessary to prevent the occurrence of disease, manage it in the early stage,to reduce the complications and support a better quality of life. 

In modern times Ayurveda is not considered as a primary treatment option but Ayurveda is an ancient science which is perfectly capable of treating a variety of diseases even complex and rare ones if a certified and qualified physician is practicing it. There are many instances where Ayurvedic medications have outperformed western medicine especially in chronic diseases such as varicose veins. However one must not confuse Ayurveda drugs with home based remedies as these are quite similar yet different. Hence it becomes imperative to discuss any home based remedy with an Ayurveda consultant especially pregnant women, or people who want to consider Ayurveda to treat their child .So, it is important to know that a better approach in Ayurveda gives quality of life.

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