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My 30 year old, Type A+ daughter has real problems with varicose veins in the back of her legs. She is expecting her second child which makes it even worse . Her problem is that the veins, which are high up on the back of her thighs, are making it painful for her to sit for long periods of time. Is there anything she can take safely or do , now and while she nurses her newborn, to alleviate the symptoms? Any ideas would be so appreciated, as she is really suffering.
One of the best treatments is the use of the herb Collinsonia canadensis (Stoneroot) which I wrote about for type A in ER4YT. Although recommended by the old Eclectic physicians, Scudder and Lloyd for "venous congestion," there is not a lot of modern research on the plant. I wrote about its amazing abilities to help excessive mucous conditions typical of type A, including sinusitis. Homeopathic physicians have traditionally used Collinsonia for pharyngitis (sore throat), hemmorhoids and varicose veins. It can be used topically in combination with topical applications of Witch Hazel (Hamamelis). Witch Hazel usually works best if applied chilled, before retiring at night. Witch Hazel's effects are principally due to the astrigent quality of the tannins contained in the plant, though it may also possess anti-inflamatory activity as well. Most health food stores stock Collinsonia, and Witch Hazel can be found in virtually every pharmacy.
Varicose veins show a dramatic increase in the levels of mucopolysaccharides, which act to denature collagen, thereby destabilizing the vein. This is due to the increase in uronic acids and of lysosomal enzymes (beta-glycuronidase beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase and arysulfatase). The herb Centella asiatica has also been extensively studied for varicose veins. Its effects seem to be through the inhibition of mucopolysaccharide synthesis by inhibiting these enzymes. In one published trial, the results provided indirect confirmation of regulatory effects of Centella asiatica on metabolism in the connective tissue of the vascular wall. Another demonstrated increased collagen synthesis.
Procyanidolic oligomers, typically derived from grape seed extracts, have also shown dramatic effects in healing varicose veins. One study examining venous perfusion (blood flow) showed significant improvement when this medication were administered. Another study showed the herb Ginkgo biloba to have preventive effects effects when taken for varicose veins.
As for surgical treatments, they are numerous, very traumatic, and only exceptionally indicated.