Phlebitis is a term used to describe a swollen or an inflamed vein. Phlebitis can occur in both venous systems of the body, superficial and deep systems. It can also occur anywhere in the body, though one of the most common sites where it can occur is the legs. Phlebitis has many causes, though one of the most important causes is blood clots blocking the blood from flowing in the vein, therefore causing venous inflammation as well as causing insufficient blood to reach tissues drained by these veins. Phlebitis due to blood clots is known by the term “thromboembolism”. Phlebitis is a very common condition which can range from mild to deadly, depending on its cause and location. Deep system thrombophlebitis is known to be one of the worst forms of phlebitis, which can cause fatal complications, that’s why early treatment of phlebitis is of great importance to prevent these complications from occurring. There are some cases where phlebitis can be effectively treated using home remedies, however, this condition should always be evaluated by a health care professional no matter the type you have, since someone who has one kind of phlebitis can develop any of the other serious forms. There are many signs and symptoms of phlebitis but the most common are swelling, pain, skin irritation, superadded infection, low-grade fever; warm, hard or tender skin; a long thin red area or “streaking” along the skin; lumps or a swollen spot on your skin; throbbing or burning at the site of affection; itchy or swollen skin; redness or irritation that follows the structure of the vein; a section of rope, or cord-like lumps you can feel under the skin. These symptoms are usually worse when you are getting out of your bed, flexing the nearest joints, or having your leg lowered instead of elevated. You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from phlebitis before you start using some of the home remedies mentioned below.
Phlebitis treatment at home
Blueberries: Blueberries are known to have vasodilating properties . They contain flavonoids that are perfect for conditions related to poor circulation, such as arteriosclerosis, varicose veins, and phlebitis. Blueberries also have anti-inflammatory properties which mean that it can help to reduce the swelling in the damaged area faster . The best and easiest way to consume blueberries is by drinking them as juice.
Horsetail: Horsetail is a plant with many health benefits, and it is mostly notable for its anti-inflammatory action and being excellent for cardiovascular health where it can improve blood circulation, and prevent hardening of arteries . You can consume it by drinking one to two cups per day. Also, you can add the same preparation to your bathwater, and then take a relaxing bath for about twenty minutes. If you have chosen to use it in the drinking form, then you should know that it can cause side effects in some cases. There are some groups of people who must avoid using it as a drink, such as patients taking anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin or diuretics; people with low potassium levels, cardiac problems, low blood pressure or diabetes; people with heart or kidney failure; patients with gastric ulcers; pregnant and lactating women.
Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo biloba has high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids that can improve blood circulation, and help prevent clotting by protecting the vascular walls . If you want to get all of its benefits, you should prepare it by adding a handful of dried ginkgo biloba leaves to one cup of boiling water, then letting it stay there for five to ten minutes, straining it, and then drinking it. It is not recommended to consume more than two cups of this home remedy per day. This home remedy is not recommended for people following a specific drug treatment; people with epilepsy; women with heavy periods; patients with ulcers or large wounds; patients who are taking anticoagulant medication; pregnant and lactating women. You need to talk with your doctor before you start using ginkgo biloba.
Natural cures for phlebitis
Horse chestnut: It is also called buckeyes, and its scientific name is Aesculus hippocastanum. It is used in extract form to help improve the circulation for people who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, swelling, and itching .
Arnica: Arnica is a very effective home remedy that can help improve the blood circulation as well as give relief from the symptoms caused by phlebitis. Arnica is a floral plant native to Europe and America. It is highly prized due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties . Also, it has powerful rubefacient, or vasodilatory, effects meaning it can help in reinstating the blood flow to the affected areas. That’s why using arnica oil is really effective in phlebitis. This oil is available in health food shops or in special shops selling natural products. You should apply it on the affected area by gently massaging it towards the heart. Before you apply the arnica oil, you must be sure that you do not have any open wounds or injuries on your skin because it is not advisable to use the oil in these circumstances. There are also other oils which are good for stimulating circulation, and they can be used in the same way, including sesame oil and rosehip oil.
Stay active: Regular activity or exercises can help in preventing blood clots, therefore eliminating the cause of phlebitis as well as preventing disease progression [7, 8]. Many doctors advice their patients to increase their activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, stretching, frequent walks, etc. You should also avoid standing for long periods or sitting for more than one hour, even on the plane or at work. When you are sitting, you should keep your legs in motion. You should change your position, and stretch frequently. You can also tighten and release your calf and thigh muscles regularly while you are sitting. You should raise your lower toes with your heels on the floor as well as the opposite by raising and lowering your heels with your toes still on the floor. Most people who suffer from phlebitis are encouraged to stay active, but there are rare cases where the patient is prohibited from moving much, such is the case in early cases of deep venous thrombophlebitis where the patients are put on bed rest to prevent the clot from breaking down into small pieces which can go and block blood vessels in other organs, therefore worsening the condition of the patient. However, in these cases, a physical therapist is usually consulted for the patient in order to help them to exercise their arms and legs safely without the associated risks.
Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats contain omega-3 fatty acids that can prevent the formation of blood clots . You can find these fats in vegetable oils, avocados, walnuts, wheat germ, flaxseeds, and fish.
Fibers: You should include high-fiber foods in your diet, such as seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Wild pansy: This is a component in some traditional remedies used for phlebitis. However, there are not many studies that can support the use or safety of its use for phlebitis.
Whole grains: You should add whole grains in your diet as well. Some of the best whole grains to use in case of phlebitis are quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur, brown or wild rice, barley and oats.
Compresses: One of the main recommendations for phlebitis, when it has occurred in the superficial veins without any serious risks, is to apply alternating hot  and cold compresses, each for a period of ten minutes. This simple solution is excellent in generally improving the condition of the patient through reducing the swelling in the affected area as well as promoting relaxation. You should avoid placing hot compresses directly on your to avoid burns. You should also try to constantly keep your leg slightly elevated to maintain good blood circulation. Taking hot bathes is also very effective in case of phlebitis since theses bathes can give a relief from the symptoms as well as reduce the inflammation.
Butcher’s broom: Its scientific name is Ruscus aculeatus. This is a plant used in traditional medicine to treat varicose veins, itching, leg swelling, poor blood circulation as well as many other health problems. Butcher’s broom has anti-inflammatory effects, and it can be effective for treating chronic venous insufficiency [11, 12]. However, the chemicals in this plant’s roots can cause blood vessels to narrow, so that’s why you need to talk with your doctor before you use it.
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