Cayce Health Database
COMMENTARY ON VARICOSE VEINS
I. Physiological Considerations
When a person is standing, the force of gravity greatly
opposes return flow of blood and lymph from the lower extremities.
Hence in the diseased state varicose veins most often occur in this area.
While the body is in this position, efficient superficial circulation
in the extremities depends not only on the pumping action of the heart
to overcome gravity but also on the muscular activity within the extremities
themselves. The normal flow of blood and lymph is further aided
by and dependent upon smoothly functioning channels through which they
may flow. A thinned out and sacculated vascular wall causes an unequal
pressure in the system, thus allowing for stasis and even leakage into
the surrounding tissues. This unequal pressure in the tissues impairs
the lymph flow in that area, allowing an accumulation of toxic waste products
from the cells which may further suppress or even inhibit the normal activity
of the tissues supporting the vascular walls. This contributes further
to the disease state.
The readings imply that the tendency toward varicose
veins usually develops as a result of mechanical trauma or systemic toxicity,
both of which tend to impair the drainage from the area affected.
Mechanical trauma may exert its effect either through pressures on the
autonomic ganglia and their connections with the cerebrospinal system
as a result of spinal subluxations or through pressures exerted directly
on the venous return from the lower extremities. In reading 1093-
1, a 23-year-old maid sustained an injury to the end of the spine years
before which brought about a gradual slowing of the circulation, resulting
in varicose veins of the legs at an early age. In another case,
trauma occurred more directly to the affected area as a result of standing
after overexposure to the sun.
The present condition as we find arises from too
much of the attempt to create or help the internal circulation from the
sun heat, and standing too much on the feet has tended to increase the
circulation to the portions and not sufficient of that as indicated to
take the circulation from same.
Thus there became the tendencies for the swelling,
as well as the spreading of the conditions through the system. (1541-6)
Childbirth frequently causes varicose veins as indicated
in 5037-1, which is included in the Circulating File on "Varicose Veins."
Other cases are as follows:
Now as we find, there are conditions that are gradually
causing distresses through this body. We find that these have to
do with what may be called after-effects in childbearing, and thus are
rather specific in their nature; but are producing pressures that cause
a disturbance that is gradually cutting off the circulation through the
lower limbs. This will also gradually cause a greater disturbance,
and of a more definite nature, unless some measures are taken to correct
From those conditions or positions that developed
during the periods while carrying the child, there are misplacements.
This also has caused deflected circulation from the pressures in the lumbar
and sacral segments, so that the return of circulation from the lower
extremities is causing the enlarging of the veins. (2867-1)
Q-22. Does the soreness along legs come from overweight, or
A-22. As just given, a pressure in the lumbar axis.
Q-23. Could this be a forerunner of varicose veins?
A-23. It could be, unless corrections are made - or unless there
is the relieving of the pressure by equalizing the circulation.
Q-24. Why does childbirth cause varicose veins sometimes?
A-24. Owing to the pressure as indicated, or as created in the
area just given, by the natural position of the child through the period
of gestation. (457-9)
A second cause of varicose veins is a slowing of the
return circulation to the lower limbs brought about through toxic conditions
originating elsewhere in the body. As the organs that aid in digestion
become unbalanced in their function, subluxations are produced in the
related areas of the spinal column and the resulting pressure on the autonomic
and spinal nerves tends to bring about a slowing of the venous return
from the lower extremities.
The blood supply indicates that there has long
been a disturbance in the liver and gall duct area. Hence toxic
conditions exist that have tended to add to the weight of the body or
there is a glandular reaction from the sources or natures of the suppressions
and subluxations existent in the lumbar, the sacral, as well as the upper
portion of the dorsals.
These slow up the actions, and we have sediments
in the gall duct areas rather than so much of a gall bladder disturbance.
Thus we have also, from the same pressures, a slowing of the return circulation
in the lower limbs. This has tended to produce an engorging of the
veins, or varicose veins along on the inside and on portions of the limbs.
In another case we find that acidity in the system
brought about by improper eliminations plus dietary indiscretions and
excessive strong drink exerted such an influence on the entire digestive
and eliminative systems as to create lesions throughout the spine.
Varicose veins was one of the results of this type of imbalance.
There is irregularity with the eliminations from
the kidneys and bladder, and some distress in this area at times - which
is also indicated by pressures in the lumbar and sacral axis, especially
that produces a slowing of the circulation through the lower limbs and
the dilation in the veins in portions of the limbs themselves.
We find that these are the effects, then, of this
toxic force that is produced by the pressure existing in the distribution
of energies and circulation in the lower extremities, from the 9th dorsal
downward - as well as from that which has been and is a part of the condition
by an excess of carbonated forces upon the system itself, combined at
times with a toxic condition produced by strong drink.
These we find are the sources of this condition.
The acidity is producing disturbances more and more
through the digestive system, as well as those influences upon the liver
itself This is causing a lesion in the upper dorsals and lower cervicals
that is a part of the whole general condition.
The affectation is to the organs as indicated -
the liver, the assimilating system, the colon, the activity of the kidneys,
and those conditions in the superficial circulation; or the plethora in
the veins - or varicose veins are showing their effect, which tends to
make for slowing of activities through the body. (2461-1)
II. Rationale of Therapy
Any system of therapy designed to restore and maintain
normal function to the circulatory systems in the area of the varicose
veins must concern itself with relieving the localized congestion as soon
as possible, reestablishing and maintaining adequate venous and lymph
drainage, and instituting measures designed to correct the underlying
causes and resultant mechanical defects. In general, it may be said
that patience and persistence are the key factors in application of treatment
to assist the body in its correction of the diseased state.
Reestablishment of the normal circulation is assisted
through frequent elevation of the affected part and applications of local
medication; to relieve congestion of the tissues, massaging of the area
using stimulating oils and supporting the weakened vessels through elastic
stockings or bandages while standing or walking. Caution is given
that prolonged standing or sitting is harmful, whereas walking is in general
beneficial to the circulation. Of course, any complications such
as infection, thrombosis, hemorrhage or ulceration must first be dealt
with adequately. Caution must be used in making a concerted effort
to deal with the underlying problem if such treatment might have an adverse
effect on the presenting complications. In case , surgery
is advised if the patient cannot stay off his feet for adequate lengths
of time or if rupture of the veins occurs.
Osteopathic manipulations designed to relieve pressures
on the involved nerve pathways is considered to be one of the first treatments
necessary in most cases. Likewise, any direct pressures obstructing
the circulation should be alleviated as soon as possible. Any systemic
toxicity that might have a bearing on retarding venous return must be
dealt with. Usually this therapy consists of improving eliminations
through the bowels and kidneys and improving the diet so as to reestablish
the acid-alkaline balance. Mullein tea is often prescribed as a
means of promoting better eliminations and improving the coordinations
between the organ systems.
Take internally mullein tea not more than three
times a week, but make it fresh each time it is taken. Prepare a
tea made from mullein. For uniformity, preferably use the dry mullein,
a pinch between thumb and forefinger. Put into a teacup and pour
boiling water on same. Let this stand for 30 minutes, strain, cool
and drink. This is a reaction to the liver, the lungs, the heart
and the kidneys, as to produce coordinating activity in circulation.
It works with each of these and also makes a better condition through
the alimentary canal. (5148-1)
(In the 1960 edition of The Herbalist, by Joseph E. Meyer, under
"Mullein" the properties and uses of mullein are listed as demulcent,
diuretic, anodyne, and antispasmodic.)
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
Therapy is directed toward correcting the underlying
causes of the condition while relieving congestion in the affected area
and restoring adequate circulation. Rest, with the feet propped
higher than the head, is necessary to promote better drainage from the
Keep off of the limb as much as possible.
Keep off of the feet as much as possible, and when reclining keep the
limb elevated a little above the normal, so that the circulation is tended
toward the body-forces themselves. (1541-6)
It is frequently advised that elastic stockings or
bandages be worn when walking or standing. Walking is prescribed
as an excellent exercise, especially if there is a tendency toward varicose
veins while pregnant.
As we find, in the main, conditions are developing
nominally. However, the body should take those precautions about
being on the feet so much and not using them. Standing is hard on
the body, as is being indicated by the swelling in the limbs - which will
tend to make very bad circulation, and produce varicose veins unless there
are some activities taken to prevent same. Either walk or don't
stand on the feet so much! Walking is the best form of exercise
for the body.
If there will be the walking, and not merely standing
or resting, and the taking of a small quantity of mullein tea every other
day, these will disappear - and this disturbance will disappear.
The therapeutic reaction is to better circulation - through the kidneys,
especially as related to the lower limbs. (457-13)
The site for osteopathic adjustments to relieve pressure
on the involved nerves varies from case to case and depends on correction
of the lesions found. In general, lesions are found most often in
the lower dorsal, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal areas, although in more
than one case lesions occurred as high as the lower cervical and upper
dorsal areas. Treatments are usually given in a series and often
in cyclic fashion with periods of rest in between. At times deep
osteopathic manipulations are stressed.
Q-1. How often should the osteopathic treatments be given?
A-1. During this particular siege or period, as we find about
twice a week - and four should be sufficient; and then they may be much
farther apart - for the general correction.
This will require deep osteopathic manipulations in lumbar and sacral
area, and with special reference to the locations for the sciatic centers.
Mullein stupes or poultices are used either directly
over the affected area or above the area of swelling if obstruction due
to edema is present. The amount of congestion present determines
the frequency with which the mullein stupes are applied. To prepare
Gather the mullein leaves, bruise these and pour
boiling water over them (in an enamel pan or glass container, not aluminum
or tin). Then place over the affected areas. (5037-1)
We would apply the mullein stupes now more to those
areas that are the sources from which the limbs receive their circulatory
activity, and those portions about the limb to reduce the swelling.
Apply these about once a day, and for about an hour...
Q-1. Should the mullein at any time be applied to the back?
A-1. As has been given, apply it from the sources! or apply it
to the sources from which the limbs obtain their circulatory activity!
Does this mean from the toes or from the hips? (1541-6)
Mullein tea is also to be taken internally from two
ounces to one cupful daily. (Instructions for preparation have already
been given under "Rationale of Therapy" in this commentary.)
Massaging the limbs and at times the entire body assists
the circulation and prevents swelling. Various oils are frequently
prescribed for this purpose. This should be done with caution or
not at all in those cases where massage might have a deleterious effect
on such complicating factors as thrombosis, phlebitis, or severe cardiac
disease. These cases need individual professional evaluation.
A mixture of olive oil, tincture of myrrh and compound tincture of benzoin
is used in one instance (reading 1093-1). In another olive oil and
myrrh are used (reading 1956-4); and in still another, peanut oil.
For the local condition - that is, in the veins,
where the larger or varicose veins are indicated - we would massage same
at least each day, toward the body, with peanut oil.
If these still cause distresses, then we would use
- if it becomes necessary the elastic stocking for the preventing of the
filling of the veins. But these should gradually disappear entirely,
with these corrections being made as indicated. (2867-1)
Do use an equal combination of olive oil (heated)
and tincture of myrrh to massage in knees, limbs and feet, right after
these have been bathed in hot water. Massage these oils well into
Do these and we will find improvements for this
Importance is also placed on eliminations. In
many instances it is stated that the bowels should be kept moving a little
above normal. Enemas, as well as a variety of laxatives, are prescribed
in various readings.
Occasionally the enemas are preferable to too much
of cathartics of any kind. And even when cathartics are taken, the
enemas are well so that there is not the inclination for such to become
reabsorbed in the system. Remember, poisons are accumulated by the
infectious condition, and when there is swelling or inflammation these
need to be eliminated. (1541-6)
Senna tea or compounds containing senna are one of
the more frequently prescribed laxatives. For more complicated conditions
various laxatives in the form of both salts and oils are prescribed on
some occasions. If it is felt that a more harsh laxative in a particular
case is indicated, the prescriptions for same as well as some precautions
may be found in the Appendix of this book. Strong purgatives are
to be taken frequently only when individual evaluation of the particular
case so indicates.
A balanced diet as well as certain foods are also
advised to help maintain the eliminations.
Just a regular diet for this body would be well.
Keep the well-balanced diet. While not too much fats nor yet too
much of starches, but a well-balanced diet here will keep the body in
the better conditions.
Do use plenty of those that are of the bulky nature,
or that tend to be laxatives - that is, plenty of figs, plenty of prunes,
plenty of pieplant and of such natures as portions of the diet.
But a well-balanced diet for this body. For, those combinations,
so far as the chemical forces are concerned, are very good in the body;
else we would have had - with this particular sort of disturbances great
deal more distress through portions of the system. (2867-1)
Again it should be emphasized that persistence of
treatment is of foremost importance in effecting improvement of this condition
[Note: The preceding overview was written by Frederick D. Lansford, Jr.,
M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook,
Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis
or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional
for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health