Traditional methods of treating varicose veins of the lower extremities

Varicose veins of the lower limbs (from the Latin variz - "knot") is one of the most common diseases of the vessels of the lower limbs, according to various sources, affecting 20% ​​to 40% of the adult population in developed countries. One of the main symptoms of the disease is the appearance of varicose veins, the formation of varicose ganglia, thinning of the venous wall, which leads to the appearance of valve insufficiency of the veins and the development of symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). In turn, the manifestation of CVI is accompanied by a whole complex of symptoms such as weight on the legs, edema, fatigue, burning, nocturnal seizures, violation of the skin and soft tissue trophism (dermatocellulitis). Venous insufficiency sooner or later develops in all patients with varicose veins.

Modern medicine has achieved impressive results in the treatment of varicose veins with a good cosmetic effect of the treatment, long-term results, with a minimum frequency of disease recurrences.

However, part of the population is still afraid of surgical interventions and does not go to the specialist. It is to that part of the population that our article is dedicated.

The most common popular methods of treating varicose veins of the lower extremities are hirudotherapy (or treatment of varicose veins with leeches), herbal medicine (herbal medicine), scalding with contrast, all types of ointments and friction and, of course, diet therapy. We will cover each of these methods in more detail.


Leech therapy has long been used by doctors for a wide variety of illnesses. In the mural paintings found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs of the 18th dynasty (1567-1308 BC), there is already information about the treatment with leeches. They were widely used by doctors in Ancient India, Greece, Rome, as evidenced by the work of the classics of ancient medicine - Claudio Galeno (2nd century AD), Antillus (4th century), Avicenna (10th-11th centuries) and many others. The healing properties of leeches are used in atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, varicose veins, inflammatory processes, joint diseases and many other pathological processes.

Leg affected by varicose veins after hirudotherapy

The medicinal properties of leeches are related to their saliva, which, when bitten, enters the patient's bloodstream. Saliva contains about 30 enzymes and biologically active substances, including hirudin, which promotes blood thinning, which, in turn, prevents the appearance of blood clots, improves microcirculation at the site of the bite.

The most common place to put leeches in the case of varicose veins are points that are staggered on both sides of the vein and recede from its border by 1-3 cm. Many hirudotherapists also recommend placing leeches in the areas of the lower third of the leg where the skin has undergone the greatest trophic changes. The number of leeches used is 6 to 10 and depends on the length of the dilated veins and the severity of the local pathological changes. The course of treatment can include 5 to 15 sessions. At the end of the procedure, an elastic bandage or compression mesh should be applied.

Our attitude towards this type of treatment is very skeptical, since the goal of treatment is only to prevent thrombosis that often occurs in varicose veins, but no more. Hirudotherapy only soothes the symptoms of the disease and does not imply the elimination of the main cause of varicose veins - elimination of reflux (secretion) from the blood by pathological veins and, therefore, cannot be considered as the main method of treating varicose veins. In the case of pronounced trophic changes in the patient's skin, treatment with leeches can lead to serious complications, infection and skin necrotization.

Phytotherapy (phytotherapy) for varicose veins

At the moment, herbal medicine as an independent method of treating varicose veins is not seriously considered by herbalists or their opponents. Herbal medicines can be used only as a complement to the main course of treatment or can be recommended as a prophylactic agent. These or those combinations of herbs, with proper and regular use, help to strengthen and increase the tone of the venous wall, help prevent the formation of blood clots and have an anti-inflammatory effect. The most famous and proven herbal medicine, long accepted in classical medicine, is horse chestnut. From flowers, fruits or leaves, various agents are prepared for external or internal use, strengthening the venous wall, relieving inflammation, thinning the blood and decreasing its clotting activity. Verbena and red grape leaves are also among the best known venotonics. Horsetail, knotweed and medicinal lungwort contribute to the strengthening of the venous wall and the normalization of metabolic processes in connective tissue. Dandelion has almost the same properties thanks to the phospholipids that are found in all parts of the plant.

To improve blood circulation in capillaries and prevent thrombosis, plants containing several groups of substances are used - coumarins or salicylates, which reduce blood clotting: sweet clover, toadflax, meadowsweet, raspberry, peony avoidance and others.

In one way or another, almost all of the herbs listed have an anti-inflammatory effect, but this property is most pronounced when using plants rich in tonin and gallic acid: badan root, hawthorn leaf or oak bark.

Therefore, herbal medicine can be used in the treatment of varicose veins, but only as a complement to a method of surgical treatment or other (more or less) radical.

Anti-varicose ointments and gels

If we talk about varicose veins and treatment with ointment or gel, then this dosage form, used to thin the blood, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (analgesic) effect, improves the repairing properties of the skin in the context of chronic venous insufficiency, it is widely usedin patients. Rapid effect, safety and safety of its use are important. Varicose veins treated with ointment may stop or decrease if these topical medications are used correctly. The effectiveness of existing ointments depends on the components that form their base. However, using ointments, you will not be able to completely stop the progression of varicose veins, but you will be able to alleviate the clinical symptoms of the disease. You should not consider any medication and information about it as a direct guide to the elimination of varicose veins; for recommendations, we recommend that you consult a phlebologist.

Diet therapy for varicose veins.

Diet therapy for varicose veins is a very important component for the successful treatment of the disease. If you are overweight, you should definitely lose weight. If your position allows, or rather, money, you can simply delight in seafood, such as squid, shrimp, seaweed and so on. In addition to proteins, they contain many beneficial substances, such as copper and bioflavonoids. Seafood helps to promote the production of elastin. Because it is a substance that strengthens the walls of blood vessels and prevents them from stretching, the vessels, when saturated with this substance, will be more resistant to changes in blood pressure. The diet for varicose veins should also be rich in vitamins, so let's move on to them. Rutin (or vitamin P) is found in chestnuts, hazelnuts and blackberries. It has a very useful property, as it reduces the permeability of the veins, thus reducing the swelling of the legs. Another vitamin that can help in the fight against varicose veins is vitamin C. Its useful property is to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eat more foods with vitamin E, sprouted vegetables, rye and wheat, egg yolk, liver, chives, olive oil, corn oil and soy oil.

In the case of varicose veins, marinades should be excluded from the diet, all rich, spicy and smoked. Coffee, not more than one or two cups a day and with milk, it is better to replace it with green tea. Alcoholic beverages are contraindicated, because due to alcohol the body retains water, which increases the load on the venous bed. You must refuse sweet and starchy foods (any baked goods), be it a cake or bread.

Footbath, contrast shower, physiotherapy exercises for varicose veins.

In varicose veins, as in any vascular pathology, physical activity is of great therapeutic importance. Currently, specialists have developed a set of physical exercises for varicose veins, performed regularly, which can reduce the manifestations of venous insufficiency, delay the development of varicose veins and seriously reduce the risk of developing dangerous complications from varicose veins. Regular exercise will help to strengthen the veins in the lower extremities. All of the above can be fully attributed to foot baths and a contrast shower.

And yet, to conclude, we remember once again that the treatment of varicose veins is a complex of therapeutic measures, whose sequence and volume can only be determined by an experienced specialist. None of the above methods does not guarantee a hundred percent cure for this disease. Avoid complications of varicose veins.