Naturopathic Treatment for Varicocele

A low fiber, highly refined diet—one that relies heavily on white flour products, sugar, and processed foods rather than fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruits—is thought to be a contributing factor to varicocele formation. A lack of dietary fiber may slow down the bowels and contribute to constipation by hardening and drying the stool. Constipation stresses the pelvic floor by putting pressure on the veins when the bowels move. This repeated pressure strains the vessel walls and may damage vessel tissue.

Another contributing factor to varicocele formation is the lack of flavonoid-rich foods. Flavonoids, which are found in abundance in fresh vegetables and fruits, have been shown to contribute to the structural integrity of blood vessels.

Varicocele & Diet Recommendations

  • Include: Eat a "whole foods" diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits (lots of richly pigmented berries to strengthen vessel walls); whole grains; fish and poultry; flax seed oil or other EFAs (essential fatty acids) found in fish oil, olive oil and nuts; and drink plenty of fresh water. Choose organically raised foods when possible.
  • Avoid: Processed foods, fast foods, junk foods, animal fats, hydrogenated oils and margarine, sugar and white flour products, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Extra fiber: Add 1 tablespoon psyllium seed husk fiber and/or 6 to 8 tablespoons flax seed meal and/or a cup oat bran daily to diet. Remember to increase water intake to 2 to 3 liters daily.

Varicocele & Supplemental Nutrition

  • Bioflavonoids: 1000 mg daily
  • Vitamin C: 1000 mg 3 times a day with meals
  • Zinc: 30 mg daily
  • Vitamin E: 400 IU daily

Varicocele & Herbal Therapeutics

Herbal remedies usually do not have side effects associated with regular use at the suggested doses. Rarely, an herb at the prescribed dose causes stomach upset or headache. This may reflect the purity of the preparation or added ingredients such as synthetic binders or fillers. For this reason it is recommended that you use only high quality, standardized extract formulas.

If possible, consult with a natural health practitioner such as a holistic medical doctor or licensed naturopathic physician before starting any alternative treatment plan. As with all medications, more is not better and overdosing can lead to serious illness and, in rare cases, death.

The following herbs may tone, strengthen, and improve the function of veins:

  • Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) – 50 mg escin standardized extract daily.
  • Butcher's Broom (Ruscus aculeatus) – 10% ruscogenin standardized extract, 100 mg 3 times a day.
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) – 25% anthocyanoside, 150 mg 3 times a day.

Varicocele & Physical Medicine

Kegel exercises are recommended to improve blood flow and muscle tone.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 10 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 06 Jun 2011