What is a Varicose Ulcer?

A venous ulcer, also known as a varicose ulcer or a venous stasis ulcer, is a leg wound caused by the leg veins failing to flow blood back toward the heart. This is a vascular ulcer. Blood can pool in the veins, putting pressure on the skin and causing an open sore to occur.

Venous ulcers typically develop on the lower side of the legs, above the ankle, and below the calf. They are slow to heal and frequently reoccur. They might get larger and cause more leg issues if not treated properly.

What is Varicose Ulcer in Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, the varicose ulcer is correlated with Sirjanya Vruna, a type of Dusta Vruna. It is caused due to vitiation of doshas in the body. This prakupit Vata dosha compresses, elevates, and squeezes the vein network and is regarded as Krichh sadhya vyadhi (curable with difficulty) in the early stages and asadhya in the late stages, harming the important portions of the body.

Because blood vessels are implicated, there is a clear involvement of Pitta Dosha.

Along with Pitta, Vata alone or Vata plus Kapha are afflicted in their site of affliction, i.e., the calf and ankle. Finally, the unbalanced doshas disrupt the arteries and blood of that specific location.

As a result of the restriction of the blood vessel channel, the blood becomes stagnant, and veins in the weak areas are dilated.

Vata becomes vitiated in the body due to various Vata vitiating factors, and this vitiated Vata Dosha obtains sthansanshraya (i.e., localization) in various sections of the body. According to Acharya Sushruta, vitiated Vata dosha accumulates in one portion or one dhatu, causing the symptoms, such as shotha (inflammation), shoola (painful), and so on. If the vitiated Vata dosha is not properly managed at the same time, it spreads to other bodily areas and, if left untreated, causes numerous ailments such as siragranthi (i.e., varicose veins).

Causes of Varicose Ulcers in Ayurveda

  1. Intake of abhisyandi foods like lassi, curd, deep fried, non-veg food, junk food, aerated drinks, etc. 
  2. Shramatiyogat – excess work
  3. Bharavahana – weight lifting
  4. Adwagamana – long walk
  5. Consumption of heavy, mild, cold, unctuous foodstuffs.

Ayurvedic management of varicose ulcers

Dusta Vruna- specifically varicose ulcers are treated with Shodhana (purification) and Samana (pacification) therapies. This includes therapies of,

  1. Taila Pana (oleation therapy)
  2. Upanaha (Poultice)
  3. Basti Karma (Enema)
  4. Siravyadha (Bloodletting)

Bloodletting (i.e., siravydha) is a primary or half-treatment of ailments in Shalyatantra, according to Sushruta. So it is apparent that people with varicose veins can be treated with siravedha and avoid further complications. As siragranthi is a disease caused by vitiated Vata and rakta dhatu, when blood-letting is conducted, the pathogenesis of siragranthi is broken.

A Modern Perspective on Bloodletting or Leech Therapy for Varicose Ulcers

The pathophysiology of varicose ulcer begins with venous valve malfunction, resulting in venous pressure and vein stretching. As a result, blood proteins might leak into the extravascular area. It isolates the extracellular matrix molecule and the growth factor, preventing them from aiding in wound healing. 

Similarly, fibrinogen leakage and a lack of fibrinolysis cause fibrin to accumulate around arteries, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching cells. This also blocks the vessels, resulting in ischemia surrounding the area and a delay in wound healing. Furthermore, venous insufficiency causes leukocytes to collect in tiny capillaries, causing inflammatory substances to be released and chronic wound development.

Leech therapy, proposed by Acharya Sushruta, is one of the most effective methods of bloodletting. It is beneficial for Pitta dushit Rakta illnesses, many skin ailments, and other forms of inflammatory conditions since it drains dirty blood.

Herbs used in varicose ulcers

  1. Brahmi- It gives the necessary nutrition for appropriate vein toning and makes them less torturous.
  2. Garlic- It has the ability to break down protein in the body and distribute it uniformly. This enhances the delivery of protein to the lower limb area.
  3. Ginger- It also effectively breaks down proteins and distributes them in the body. 
  4. Onion- Onion aids in protein absorption and distribution in the human body. It provides inner strength.


An Ayurvedic perspective on varicose ulcers connects body type, daily lifestyle, and treatment in line. Ayurveda tends to heal this condition in natural and non-surgical ways. Along with the treatment, Ayurveda recommends a healthy lifestyle and eating habits that may boost the healing process and also keep the condition away for a long time. 

Elite Ayurveda is a multi-specialty hospital that deals with varicose ulcer conditions. We employ effective ayurvedic treatments to reverse the condition permanently. Our team of experts shall assist you from getting on a consultation session with our doctors, to getting treatment started. 


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