A varicose vein is most commonly found in the calf and thighs and appears as blue-tinged lumps or streaks. These are vessels that have become abnormally dilated and tortuous due to a weakness in their walls or, more commonly, the valves within their lumen. The outcome is that blood that is being gendy returned to the heart under low pressure falls downwards due to gravity, pools and stagnates. The expansion of the vein makes it visible and, because of the loss of surrounding tissue, it is more prone to being injured and thereby becoming inflamed. If the blood flow is stopped then a clot may occur leading to a venous thrombosis. Strictly speaking, haemorrhoids are varicose veins also.

Statis and clotting are generally not problems in superficial veins but can be fatal if they occur in a deeper vein. This condition has its own section .

The cause of varicose veins is generally multiple. A hereditary weakness is usually exacerbated by long periods of standing or increased abdominal pressure through pregnancy or heavy lifting. Poor protein intake may weaken the wall structure and toxins that affect the structure of surrounding tissues may be relevant.

Although varicose veins are principally an anatomical defect, alternative or complementary medical treatments may be of benefit.


Increase the fibre in the diet along with vegetable proteins to ensure good muscular wall and surrounding tissue strength.

Avoid the possible causes of increased abdominal pressure, such as straining, standing and compression on leg veins through sitting with the legs over a hard edge.

Increase any exercise that involves the leg muscles, particularly the calf muscles, which encourages squeezing of the veins and the upper movement of blood flow.

The herbal intake ofAesculus may be beneficial because it has anti-oedema and anti-inflammatory properties. Take the extract of the root three times a day at a dose of 200mg per foot of height.

Bioflavonoids from blueberries, cherries and other blue/red-coloured berries may be beneficial. Supplements at a dose of 150mg per day per foot of height in divided doses with meals will increase the strength of the vein walls.

Bromelaine three times a day but not with food reduces fibrin breakdown. Fibrin is one of the proteins that holds veins within their tissues.