When valves inside the veins are weak or absent, or return of blood from congested areas is inefficient, veins may become enlarged and swollen—and aching, itching, tenderness, and muscle cramping may occur. Varicose veins are most often seen in the legs, although they also occur in other areas. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in the rectum; varicose veins in the legs and vulva often develop during pregnancy. Homeopathic remedies often help to relieve discomfort that comes with varicose veins, and may help to prevent their worsening. Individuals with serious cases may benefit from a constitutional remedy, prescribed by an experienced homeopath.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?
Arnica montana: When this remedy is indicated, the legs look bruised, or black and blue, and the swollen veins are very sore to touch. The legs feel deeply sore all over and are also worse from motion. Lying down may bring relief.
Calcarea carbonica: Varicose veins that hurt while the person is standing or walking may respond to this remedy. People who need this remedy often have poor circulation, with clammy hands and feet, and a general feeling of chilliness. They may have weak or flabby muscles, and be easily tired by exertion. Weight problems, cravings for sweets and eggs, and a tendency to feel anxious or overwhelmed when overworked are other indications for this remedy.
Carbo vegetabilis: Poor circulation with icy coldness of the extremities, and mottled skin with distended veins and a bruised or “marbled” look, may indicate a need for this remedy. The person’s legs feel weak and heavy, and often itch and burn. Poor digestion, a feeling of faintness, and a craving for fresh or moving air are strong indications for Carbo vegetabilis. This remedy is often indicated for older people, or those who are slow to recover from an illness.
Hamamelis: This remedy can help when varicose veins are large and sore, and very weak and easily damaged, with a tendency to bleed. Pain is sore and bruiselike, and the legs look bruised and purple. A stinging feeling may be felt in the irritated veins. The muscles of the legs feel tired and are often cold. People who need this remedy may also develop varicose veins in the genital area or have a tendency toward bleeding hemorrhoids.
Lycopodium: When this remedy is indicated, drawing or tearing pains are felt in the legs, sometimes with a numb sensation. Symptoms are worse when the person is keeping still, and the legs may cramp at night in bed. People who need this remedy may have a worried facial expression along with digestive problems, sluggish liver function, and poor circulation.
Pulsatilla: Swollen veins in the legs, and sometimes even in the arms and hands, suggest a need for this remedy. Varicose veins in the legs feel hot and painful at night, with heaviness and weariness. Symptoms are worse when the legs are hanging down without support, and worse from warmth. Cold applications, motion, and cool fresh air may help. Pulsatilla is often helpful for varicose veins that develop during pregnancy.
Zincum metallicum: When this remedy is needed, the legs are fidgety and restless, with weakness in the muscles, crawling sensations, and a tendency to twitch. Large varicose veins may develop, with pain and soreness that are worse from touch. The person may feel worse from alcohol, especially wine.
Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.
Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.
If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.