Famous for swelling, edema is a disease that is caused by fluid retention in one body, mostly on the ankles, arms, feet, legs, hands, and knees. In some cases, edema can appear on the chest, face, or abdomen.
What causes edema?
Edema can appear in two cases. The first is from a particular medical condition, and the second is from different agents, such as injuries, posture, or intake of high salt.
Diuretic foods and herbs
There are numerous foods and herbs that can help with swelling associated with edema. These types are most known as natural diuretics.
These natural diuretics work by increasing the urine volume and frequency of urination, done by reducing the amount of salts that are reabsorbed by the kidney in the blood. With removing the excess fluid from the body, this action can be done.
Note that when you urinate very frequently, you can lose some minerals, such as sodium, calcium, water, and potassium. But, if you want to stay away from losing those minerals, you must pick the natural diuretics very careful.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic that is very famous because it contains potassium, so you can use dandelion to prevent yourself from losing potassium. Dandelion contain phytochemicals called sesquiterpene lactones, responsible for the diuretic properties of the dandelion. By increasing the frequency of urinating, dandelion can improve the function of the kidneys and the liver.
Another natural diuretic for this is Corn silk. Also, it contains potassium and can replace the potassium in the body when it is being washed out through increased urination.
Like dandelion, the corn silk also has phytochemicals cryptoxanthin and tannins, which increase urination by cutting down the sodium and chlorine.
Despite these natural diuretics, in this group is included one well-known herb called Horse Chestnut. This herb has two essential phytochemicals called aescin and aesculin, responsible for its diuretic property.
Aesculin promotes the extraction of potassium, body fluids and sodium, and aescin is good for the veins and protects them from inflammation. In addition, aescin helps reabsorb the fluids back into the circulatory system and prevents them to not be at the vein walls.
Not only these herbs but also the artichoke or green tea can be very useful for this problem.
Tomato, watermelon, grapes, cucumber, or cranberry, also prevent water retention, so they can be also useful. These fruits also provide the body with various vitamins and minerals.
Compression stocking for edema
An exceptional elastic cloth essential for preventing edema are compression stockings, which can prevent and protect you from problems with veins. These stockings can be very useful when your legs, feet, or ankles are swollen.
Prolonged inactivity may cause swelling, so people who must sit or stand all day can use compression stockings because they are very practical on these conditions. These stockings are made to put up force on the veins and blood in the legs.
The biggest physical force from the stockings can be found in the ankles, and the lowest can be found in the knees and thighs. This high pressure in the ankles stops the fluid pooling, and the physical force in the legs makes a pressure for moving the fluids through lymph nodes.
You must know your Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) before using of the compression stockings, but this is not a big problem because these stockings have low pressure and are very important is you suffer from edema. People who have 1.0 ABI must not use compression stockings!
And furthermore, the patients who have some arterial diseases or heart failure, don’t need to use compression stockings.
Hydrotherapy for edema
Hydrotherapy is a type of therapy, which involves the use of water as a crucial element throughout healing. In hydrotherapy, the water may come from ice or liquid. In times when lower limbs are swelled, you can use hot water for the feet for 5 minutes and a cold water for 30 seconds. This procedure should be repeated three times to be effective.
Hydrotherapy also recommends drinking a lot of water. Also, this therapy helps in stopping the pooling of fluids in the legs. When you mix hot and cold water, it is helpful for improving circulation.
When people drink a lot of water, it is a signal for the body to use more and more water, and to excrete it. It is like some system – drink more water to not dehydrate.
There is another form of hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, which is used by putting on an ice pack to the part that is swollen. This can help in improving leg swelling.
This edema massage is a type of manual drainage of the lymph, and it works when the lymphatic system is activated through the pressure, and the pressure, on the other hand, is applied to the heart. Edema massage includes drainage of fluid in different body areas. This therapy improves the blood flow.
For this massage you have to know the lymphatic system better. And also, have in mind that bodyparts that are closer to the heart should be massaged first. That is like that, because when we start from the heart it is better for stopping the flow of fluids while you massage the extreme parts of the body.
After the massage, that part of the body that is affected by the edema, should be wrapped with a bandage. If you want to massage the legs, you should put your legs on a pillow or a stool, above the heart level.
If you want to massage the arms or hands, you should massage a few times in the direction of the armpit.
This massage can be done actively or passively, but in both ways you will get the wanted result.
But, have in mind that those patients who have widespread edema should not practice this massage, because it would cause worse results.
This is a type of alternative medicine is based on one principle – the disease can be cured by a substance that can cause that disease in a person who is healthy.
Medicinal drugs used for homeopathy are plants, animals, or mineral sources, without side effects. People believe that homeopathy is working by encouraging the natural power of the body to combat similar symptoms.
Homeopathy remedies chosen for curing edema are those similar to retention of the water and swelling.
For lower extremities, you can use:
– Ledum palustre
– Apis Mellifica
– Ferrum Metallicum
– Calcarea Carbonica
For other body parts, you can use:
– Natrum muriaticum
– Kali Carbonicum
On the labels of the remedies is written how much you should take. If you don’t reach your expectations, and there is no effect, you should increase the dose.