This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This is an inflammation of the veins. The signs are pain and tenderness in the course of the vessel, which soon becomes cord-like and knotted, by which it may be distinguished from arteritis. There are swelling and redness of the adjacent parts, the redness being in streaks. The limb below the part is swollen, from obstruction of the circulation and effusion of serum. Pus is a frequent production of phlebitis, in which case perfect occlusion of the vein above occurs, with the formation of an abscess, or the pus passes into the heart and produces excessive prostration. Varicose veins are the sequel generally to phlebitis.
TREATMENT. -- The treatment consists in fomentations, leeching, and occasional purging. The alteratives should also be given. The topical application of tincture of lobelia and arnica are also useful. Rest is enjoined. The abscesses and consequent ulceration should be treated upon general principles. If the veins become varicosed, astringent applications, and careful bandaging, should be resorted to.
The best method of curing varicose veins, however, is by elastic stockings. These give an equable pressure, which can be so regulated as to afford any compression desired, on every part of the leg where the varicose veins exist. If the veins are varicosed throughout the whole length of the limb, the full-length stocking should be worn. If confined only to the leg, the stocking represented on the right-hand side of the cut is alone necessary, and in some cases the knee-caps and anklets are only required, depending upon the situation of the varicose veins. These elastic contrivances are not only radical cures, but patients suffering from varicose veins have no idea what ease and comfort they afford. They give a very agreeable support to the limb, prevent varicose ulcers, besides quickly reducing the enlarged veins to natural size. They are made of the best silk, are very durable, and not so expensive as not to be afforded by the poorest sufferer. All those desiring these admirable contrivances are requested to correspond with the author; -- preliminary correspondence as to size, measurement, etc., is in all cases essential to secure that perfect adaptation which is indispensably necessary in order to afford relief and cure. Great harm is done if the elastic appliance is not eligible in every respect, and therefore patients should hesitate before purchasing those inferior, half cotton articles, which are purchasable everywhere; they do not fulfil the conditions required of them, and are capable of doing great injury, owing to the unequal compression they afford. Prices as above.