Phlebitis or thrombophlebitis is nothing but
inflammation of a vein,
usually in one of the legs. There are two types of phlebitis, deep
vein thrombophlebitis (DVT) and superficial phlebitis.
In deep vein thrombophlebitis (DVT), a
blood clot occurs in a deeply
situated blood vessel which ultimately leads to a partial or total
blockage of an artery. This is a life threatening disease as blood
clots may also appear in the pulmonary veins of the lungs and if they break
loose, the blood has direct access to the lungs. DVT therefore needs
urgent medical attention and usually hospitalization.
Superficial phlebitis is the one in which the
veins near the skin get inflamed. Usually the chances of them getting break loose are
minimal and hence the treatment can be carried out with comparative
ease under medical supervision.
natural alternative for the prevention of blood clots includes the
use of herbal and homeopathic remedies. These remedies contain
gentle, natural ingredients, and promote balance in all body
Treatment involves rectifying the underlying causes of body water
retention. A low dose of diuretic (water pill) may be prescribed to
reduce swelling. In more severe cases of water retention, where the
blood vessels are blocked or damaged, surgery may be required.
If a blocked or damaged blood vessel is suspected as one of the
causes of edema surgery may be needed to improve the flow of blood.
Treating edema should include protecting any swollen, edematous
areas of the body from pressure, injury and extreme temperatures.
The skin over swollen areas becomes more fragile over time. Cuts,
scrapes and burns in areas that have edema take much longer to heal
and are open to infection.
Treating phlebitis with natural and holistic remedies can also
provide rapid relief for swelling and improve the blood flow
through the veins. Using homeopathic and herbal remedies is a safer,
gentler alternative that can improve overall health. Herbs such as
Agathosma betulina (buchu) offer effective diuretic and
anti-inflammatory properties and have been used by the indigenous
people of South Africa for centuries. Taraxacum officinale
(Dandelion) and Olea europea help to balance blood pressure, assist
liver and gall bladder functioning and improve circulation.
retention remedies that use herbal and homeopathic remedies are safe
and effective and not as harsh as prescription diuretics.
Agathosma betulina (also known as Buchu) has been
used by the natives of the Western Cape of South Africa
for many centuries. The leaves of buchu contain 1.0 –
3.5% volatile oils as well as flavonoids - compounds
found in fruits and vegetables that have diverse
beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects. Buchu
supports the body’s natural ability to rid itself of
toxins by supporting the secretion of retained water.
Taraxacum officinalis (also known as Dandelion)
was commonly used in Native American traditional
medicine and is found in many parts of the world today.
It contains bitter principles that have a supportive
effect on the liver and digestive system by supporting
the flow of bile. It is also a very rich source of
vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, D, C,
various B Vitamins, iron, lecithin, silicon, potassium,
magnesium, zinc and manganese. Dandelion supports the
routine excretion of retained water and is also
considered to be an excellent cleansing tonic for the
Olea europea (extract of olive leaf) The active
nutrient in the olive leaf is oleuropein, a phenolic
glucoside (structurally classified as an iridoid). The
olive leaf also contains the bioflavonoids rutin,
luteolin, and hesperidin, which work synergistically
with oleuropein to enhance its natural activity. This
ingredient is well known for its supportive action to
maintaining balanced blood pressure, healthy circulation
and balanced blood sugar levels. Components of olive
leaf extract have powerful antioxidant activity and
studies have demonstrated that Olea europea relaxes the
Zinziber officinalis - Ginger is a known
circulatory stimulant and has strong anti-clotting
effect. Ginger is excellent for improving poor
Rosmarinus officinale (Rosemary) - This dilates
and strengthens blood vessels and increases peripheral
and cerebral circulation. Rosemary is an invigorating
herb, relieving depression and imparting a zest for life
often helpful in preventing fatigue and stress. As a
combination between a nerve stimulant and circulatory
tonic, Rosemary is particularly suited to conditions
which cause symptoms of cold due to poor circulation.
doesn’t play a role in this condition as such, as the causes are
generally not created by any food except may be in the case of heart
problems and varicose veins, wherein strict diet control is
necessary. Usually, then, one has to strictly avoid heavy fatty
meals that increase the tendency of blood to clot.
Pain and for that matter the disease itself can be
treated by resting your legs at least 6-12 inches above
your heart and applying warm moist heat on the affected
vein. This can be done even while working, if possible
and there is no need to take bed rest.
= tccclass="t" able>
One has to avoid prolonged periods of inactivity. This
holds true for all the postures; standing, sitting and
resting on bed. One should change one’s position
periodically and if possible take a short walk as it
resumes the normal blood circulation.
Walking is the best exercise for people suffering from
phlebitis every now and then. It keeps the veins empty
thereby stopping the blood to collect, and subsequently
clot, at a single point.
If you have faced this problem in the past, it is very
important for you to take short walks during long
journeys. This applies to plane and train travel as
Women having a history of phlebitis or blood clots
should never use oral contraceptives as they have
to increase the rate of incidence of deep vein thrombophlebitis by more than four times.
Support stockings are beneficial in quite a
few cases but they are not mandatory. One should wear
them only if one finds comfort or gets some relief from
the pain in case of suffering. Sometimes these stockings
might aggravate the pain also.
In case you and your doc can’t find out the reason for
your phlebitis, try
quitting smoking. Although no direct
connection has been found as yet between smoking and
phlebitis, a disease called Buerger’s which is again
characterized by pain and blood clots, usually in the
legs, generally starts as phlebitis only.