Ulcers (Venous-Arterial Ulcers) in Legs and Feet: Causes and Natural Treatment

Ulcers in the legs or feet are caused by skin loss either in all or just a few skin layers.  If they do not heal correctly they could then become chronic.  These leg and foot ulcers affect primarily older adults.
Ulcers (Venous-Arterial) in Legs and Feet: Causes and Natural Treatment

Symptoms of venous-arterial ulcers

  • Local inflammation.
  • Burning and pain.  Pain generally increases when legs are resting and elevated.
  • Trickles of blood leaking out.
  • The ulcer looks exudative, which means that it seeps fluid out of raw skin.  This usually doesn’t hurt unless the ulcer is infected.
  • Feet and legs generally tend to be cold and could look shiny and white or blue because of deficient circulation.
  • Cramps in legs while walking, which could happen because the leg muscles do not receive enough oxygenated blood in order to function properly.  This pain or cramp is known as intermittent claudication and typically goes away when the individual sits still for a few minutes.  (Note: not all individuals with intermittent claudication have leg ulcers.)

Causes of venous-arterial ulcers

  • The most common cause is due to deficient blood circulation.
  • Careless diet high in saturated fats of products that have a high toxin content, like fried foods, packaged foods, or animal fats.
  • Lesions like traumatic ulcers, burns, chaffing, etc.
  • Diabetes.  In this case the ulcers are caused by bad blood circulation or by loss of sensitivity, which causes decubitus ulcers.
  • Skin conditions like vascular diseases, tumors and infections, all things related to life habits, like an insufficient diet and lack of exercise.
  • Emotional causes: like all conditions, emotions play an important role in the entire healing process.  The feeling of not being or having been “good enough” creates a pain or emotional guilt that could cause the appearance of ulcers.  venous ulcers are also related to a lack of circulation, which indicates deficient circulation of true pleasure in life.

Arterial and venous ulcers

Arterial ulcers make up approximately 20% of all foot and leg ulcers, and 70% are venous ulcers.  Arteries are conducts that transport blood from the heart and spread in through all the body’s tissues.  These tissues feed on the oxygen and nutrients brought to them in the blood.

Once the blood is used, it is filled with waste products, like carbon dioxide.  This blood returns to the heart though the veins (venous blood).  When arterial blood does not circulate efficiently because the arteries have stretched, perhaps from arteriosclerosis for example, the blood begins to pool and tissues are affected.  The majority of venous ulcers are caused because the valves that connect superficial veins with deep veins no longer function properly.

Arterial and venous ulcers usually affect the legs, the feet, the heels, and toes, and they can be very painful.

Natural treatment for arterial and venous ulcers

As mentioned in other texts, the body has a surprising healing ability.  It is capable of self-repair, self-balance, and self-renovation, if we just give it the necessary elements for healing.

A lot of times, medications prevent the body from this ability because chemicals do the work that the body and the defense system should do.  They might be able to help control a few symptoms, but they won’t truly cure the cause, which makes the body need more and more medications, or a larger dose for healing.

If you have taken medications, however, and you want to begin a natural treatment, it is not in your best interests to stop using the medication, because this could unbalance your body , which has grown used to reacting with medicines.  It’s best to alternate your medication with natural treatments, and see a naturopath who can help determine when to reduce, or even stop using your medications.

You also need to trust deeply in your body’s healing powers, which will undoubtedly start to respond if you give it the necessary elements.

Diet for healing arterial and venous ulcers

Diet usually varies because a lot of times, when an individuals suffers from ulcers, they generally suffer from other conditions as well.  However, for any individual that suffers from venous or arterial ulcers, we recommend following the dietary recommendations below:

Foods to eliminate from your diet:

  • All foods that are fried, packaged, pizza, animal-milk cheeses, red meat and chicken (fish is all that is recommended), processed foods, refined flour, white sugar (terrible for the body) and its derivatives like soda, cookies, etc.

Foods you should include in your diet:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, vegetable milks and oils, legumes, dried fruit, seeds like linseed, aloe or aloe vera juice, prickly pear, garlic, onion, etc.
  • Citrus fruits are especially important because they contain large amounts of vitamin C which help fight infections and proper cellular regeneration.
  • Eating fresh garlic before breakfast is one of the best cures for ulcers.  Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic.  If you don’t like eating garlic raw, you could mix it with carrot juice and drink it with meals.
  • Drink enough fresh water: this will help to more fluid removal of fats and toxins from the body.

Note: you should void mixing fruits with vegetables or any other food at all times.  Fruits should be eaten by themselves on an empty stomach.  Wait 20 minutes for them to digest before eating any other foods.  This is because the sugar in fruit quickly ferments any other food, which causes alcohol in the body.  This alcohol is damaging for the healing process and keeping the body healthy.

Factors to keep in mind:

Being overweight: If you have venous or arterial ulcers and are overweight, it is very important that you assume a healing diet with juices that eliminate fats and excessive toxins that block the body from restoring itself.

  • It’s recommended to follow a diet for one or two days, eating just papaya, or apple, grapes, or oranges (just choose one fruit) and drink two liters of fresh water, so the body can detoxify and the intestines can loosen waste material that had become stuck.  Then, follow a strict diet in which you consume two or three raw vegetable juices together each day.  Combine them with a diet consisting of vegetable soups, whole grain rice with steamed vegetables, etc.
  • If you are overweight, we recommend following a deep cleansing diet, like the syrup diet, the green tea or grape diet.
  • Do not drink alcohol or smoke during natural treatment.  Alternative aids: reflexology, acupuncture or bioenergetic massage are all fantastic options for supporting yourself during this truly healing process.  Irregardless of whichever process you chose, it will help drain blocked emotions or energies from your body.
  • Liquid chlorophyll is an excellent disinfectant.  We recommend taking 1/2 tsp. in one cup of water before breakfast.  You could substitute chlorophyll with alfalfa sprouts in salads.

Home remedies for arterial and venous ulcers:

Healing poultice: place a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil and oil drop of liquid chlorophyll in some dressing and gently apply to the wound.

Kale remedy: cut the kale into small pieces and mix two tablespoons of kale with one cup of oatmeal tea (boil one tablespoon of oats in one cup of water for 3 minutes.  Strain).  Moisten the kale in the hot tea and after it has cooled, moisten the wound with it.

Healing juice for ulcers: blend 20 well-washed carrots in the blender and two cups of cabbage with one cup of alfalfa sprouts.  Sip the juice slowly while eating.

Green tea or ginkgo infusions will help promote good circulation.  Drink two or three cups 20 minutes after eating.

Healing from the heart

Our body reflects in a very evident fashion, what we have deeply felt throughout our lives.  A healthy heart, a healthy body.  If you have pain in your heart, your body will manifest pain.  If you feel irritation, burning, discomfort, it’s because that’s how your heart feels.  In the case of ulcers, you should not ignore the pain that your heart has repressed; it needs liberation.  A conscious venting of what bothers, pains, or irritates you is recommended, or a release of “what is blocking your happiness”.  Writing about what hurts or irritates you is a good resource, and letting your tears flow is healing for the heart and the body.

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