Massage, herbs & more to manage varicose veins
Do you notice dark blue or purple discolouration in your legs near the calf muscle or in the other lower extremities of your body? If yes, then you are suffering from Varicosis, or varicose veins, tells Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, Director and Principal Consultant of Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore, Little India branch. He goes on to explain that in this condition, the veins become bloated and are predominantly visible in the legs, feet or at times even other parts of the body. “When veins become varicose, the valves in them do not work properly and this causes the blood to flow backwards. The result is engorgement of veins and pain,” enlightens the doctor of Ayurveda.
Dr. Ajith Kumar expounds that this condition occurs due to various reasons like standing for prolonged periods, being obese, having a sedentary lifestyle or pregnancy. Even constipation and bloating can cause this condition, he says. “For some, the condition does not warrant any treatment but for some, the veins may be damaged or have impaired blood circulation and even clotting. These patients suffer from excruciating leg pain and great discomfort. But, both the groups have a cosmetic concern as the veins look engorged and make legs unsightly,” says the Ayurvedic physician.
Ayurveda, the ancient way of treating diseases, calls this illness as ‘Siraja Granthi; (Sira is the veins and Granthi is the inflammation). According to Dr. Ajith Kumar, the condition occurs when the blood vessels are affected by Pitta dosha. Precisely at the place where the bulge occurs, Kapha and Vata dominate. Blood clots occur due to an imbalance of all three doshas.
A varicose vein patient suffers from persistent pain, numbness, fatigue and bulging veins. ‘Don’t hassle’, Ayurveda has a plethora of powerful herbs which are highly beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins, consoles the doctor.
Dr. Ajith Kumar proudly elaborates on the treatment for varicose veins at Ayush, Singapore. Herbal medicines at our centre are best for the veins as they reduce inflammation quickly. Thereby blood circulation improves and strengthens or repairs the veins.
Varicose veins flare up if you are undergoing a stressful period. In such cases, Ayurveda is best, stresses Dr. Ajith Kumar. The herbs used in the treatment detoxify the blood, increase metabolism and promote better heart function by reducing cholesterol and opening blood clots that form due to any valve dysfunction.
Here are some of the most effective ayurvedic treatments for varicose veins:
Panchakarma Raktamokshana – Jaluka Charana
This is a very safe therapy otherwise called Hirudotherapy, where leeches are used to treat the elongated veins that have lost their valvular efficiency, explains Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, the ayurvedic doctor at Ayush, Singapore. It is a very hygienic treatment where 8-10 leeches are used to suck the blood from the affected vein in the legs. The doctor says that the leech saliva has blood-thinning characteristics which prevent the formation of blood clots and also dissolve the existing ones if any. Automatically, blood circulation improves in the body. In our centre in Singapore, the treatment is given every ten days for 2-3 months and patients are closely monitored and followed up for resolving oedema and venous congestion informs Dr Ajith Kumar.
Panchakarma Raktamokshana – Siravyadha
In this treatment, we use a needle to remove unhealthy blood from the vein and this automatically improves blood circulation in the legs. The result is relief from pain and swelling, elaborates Dr. Ajith Kumar. “Many who come to our centre have found this very effective,” he adds.
In this treatment, oil made out of herbs is injected into the large intestine through the rectum. At our Ayurveda centre in Singapore, we allow only experts to do this procedure as it is a highly specialized procedure which reduces inflammation and repairs damaged nerves effectively, explains Dr. Ajith Kumar.
This treatment is all about massaging the affected vein or painful area with Santhwanam oil to improve blood circulation, reduce pain and improve sleep, says the doctor of Ayurveda.
Now we are getting into a serious method of treating the affected veins. This method is part of Shamana Chikitsa, says Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, doctor of Ayurveda, Ayush, Singapore. In this treatment, herbs are used to eliminate the symptoms of the disease. Read on about the various herbs used for treatment:
Gotu Kola: Improves capillary permeability, and heals wounds and ulcers.
Chirabilva, Guduchi, Manjistha: Has a lot of antioxidants and heals wounds and skin disorders.
Garlic, turmeric and onions are useful for treating wounds, and inflammation and improving blood circulation.
At our centre, the patient’s body is pounded all over with a cloth bag containing herbal powder for 45 minutes. This kind of massaging the body with herbs amazingly improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and stimulates the lymphatic system, explains Dr. Ajith Kumar of Ayush, Singapore.
Throwing more light on the other kinds of treatments, Dr. Ajith Kumar says that Pariksheda Sweda also involves a massage where a special herb is warmed and poured all over the body. This is followed by a continuous massage to smoothen the skin and heal wounds.
The Lepanam treatment is a similar one, says the physician of Ayurveda, where instead of a powder a herbal paste is heated and massaged over the varicose veins. Next, the doctor goes on about the Sweda treatment where a thick herbal paste is applied over the affected vein and left overnight for it to be absorbed inside the body. In all these treatments what is addressed is pain, swelling and inflammation, informed Dr. Ajith Kumar.
In addition to all these treatments given at our centre, what can actually help a patient is a healthy diet and lifestyle changes explained the Ayurveda physician. The doctor does not recommend strenuous exercise, long-distance walking or standing for long periods. Avoid bitter, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine, says Dr Ajith Kumar.
Last but not the least, do not hesitate to add citrus fruits such as Amla to your diet as vitamin C in it, is very helpful to energise the tired varicose veins, concludes Dr Ajith Kumar, Ayush Singapore.