The term “varicocele” refers to the occurrence of varicose veins within the scrotum – the pouch of skin that contains the testicles. This typically occurs due to poorly functioning valves within the veins. This can lead to decreased sperm production and quality which can lead to reduced fertility. It can also lead to testicular atrophy (shrinkage). If it occurs early in life, it can lead to a failure of the testicles to properly develop. Typically, varicoceles are easy to diagnose and don’t usually require any treatment. When the condition is symptomatic or is severely impacting one’s fertility, a patient may opt for inguinal surgery known as varicocelectomy to correct the varicocele. This surgery can cost between $4000 to $6000. However, there are other clinically-proven remedies that can help solve the problems associated with varicoceles. We’ll be discussing those in this article.
While most cases have no symptoms, occasional, a patient may experience pain. This pain may worsen when one does any sort of physical exertion or stand for long periods. Other symptoms include:
– The appearance of varicose veins on the scrotum (more often on the left side)
– Relief of pain upon lying down
– Enlargement of the veins from time to time
On examination, a varicocele may present like a “bag or worms”. It can both “feel” like a bag or worms as well as “look” like it.
The exact cause of a varicocele is not yet known. However, issues with varicose veins may be a risk factor. In my experience, I have found a correlation between excessive masturbation and the occurence of a varicocele.
Remedies for a Varicocele
1. Horse Chestnut
Horse Chestnut is a common remedy for treating varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for various conditions including circulatory issues and infections. The key chemical constituent in Horse Chestnut that is responsible for the benefits of the herb is known as “Escin”.
In a clinical trial, this substance was found to be effective for improving sperm quality in patients with varicocele-associated infertility (see study). It has been used in various studies for treating varicose veins (see study). Keep in mind that Escin(s) are poorly absorbed. Therefore, Horse Chestnut must be taken together with a bioavailability enhancer such as black pepper, ginger, long pepper, or a piperine supplement.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid derivitive that has a primary function of transporting fatty acids into the cells. It is typically used for weight loss, low energy levels, improving muscle function, and brain disorders such as autism and ADHD. It appears to improve blood flow, blood pressure, and erections. In terms of varicoceles, L-Carnitine has been found to be just as effective as a varicocelectomy for improving sperm count, motility, morphology, and volume (see study).
3. Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola is a powerful Ayurvedic herb that is used for circulatory and brain problems. It has been well studied for its medicinal properties and is found to be highly effective in treating chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins in clinical trials (see study). While there have been no studies on varicoceles specifically, Gotu Kola does work for varicose veins in general. Keep in mind that Gotu Kola is often misused due to the lack of proper information on the internet. The recommend doses on supplements are not the same as a “clinical effective dose”. Always use this herb and its formulations under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.
It’s important to note that diet and nutrition are the foundation of health. In order to rebuild the artery and vein walls, it is essential that a person produces enough collagen. This is dependant on trace minerals, vitamin C, and protein. Other important nutrients for the veins and arteries include Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Vitamin B12, B6, and B3.
Out of all of these nutrients, the only ones that may need to be supplemented are Vitamin D3 and Trace minerals. Most nutrients can be acquired from consuming more nutrient-dense foods such as kale, organ meats, salmon, seaweed, sardine, dark chocolate, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. Antioxidants are also important for preventing further damage and supporting structural integrity. Antioxidants can be count in blueberries, brazil nuts, raspberries, strawberries, apples, red color seafood, etc.
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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