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Varicose veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that lie just under the skin and usually occur in the legs. It is a common condition caused by weak or damaged vein walls and valves, mainly poor circulation. Aging, pregnancy, smoking, and obesity increase the risk of them since those factors contribute to weaker circulation. Poor circulation is also the main cause according to TICM and we call that Blood Stasis. In TICM, we take it one step deeper and correlate varicose veins to weakened Spleen energy, which essentially means weak digestion and poor distribution of nutrients from the food we eat to the rest of the body. Our Spleen produces Blood, governs muscles and Spleen energy holds Blood in the vessels. If the Spleen energy is weak, there will also be poor absorption, so the Spleen will not be able to make enough Blood. Once there is not enough Blood, the circulation will be compromised. If you are smoking or overweight, it would be recommended to get those factors under control. Do not sit or stand for too long. Make sure to walk around and use compression socks if needed. Ginger can dissolve fibrin, a protein that encourages clotting inside blood vessels, and supports circulation. Dissolving fibrin is difficult for people with varicose veins. You can have ginger powder tea daily, use ginger extract orally and topically on the veins.

Horse chestnut also known as Qi Ye Shu is a traditional remedy for leg vein health as it is said to tone and protect blood vessels. It is available at most health food stores.

Practice tiptoeing several times per day. Another exercise is to lift your legs against the wall while you lie down.

Hawthorn fruit is great for the Blood and vitamin C supports healthy circulation.


Sit down as shown with your hands supporting you, put your leg straight out and flex your feet. Hold each flex for a few seconds. Repeat 8-15 times. You can do one leg at a time or both together. Stand up with your hands to your sides. Raise yourself up on your tiptoes. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat 8-15 times. These exercises squeeze on the Blood in your legs and allow the Blood to easily pass and go back to the Heart. Practice while at your desk and when you get a free moment every day. All the channels become stimulated which increases circulation. With better circulation, Blood stagnation dissolves.

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