Edema is a common medical problem that is characterized by swelling of certain body parts including hands, legs and ankles. The swelling is largely due to water retention caused by either high intake of salt or due to hormonal changes in the body. Almost 90% pregnant women suffer from edema during the last trimester.
Edema is not a dangerous condition but it must never be left untreated especially during pregnancy. There are many ways of curing edema including exercising and eating a low sodium diet. Increasing water intake can also reduce water retention. However, these methods may not work in extreme cases of edema. In such cases, herbal remedies can help cure edema.
There are some excellent herbs known to man that act as diuretics and therefore help fight water retention.Some of these herbs are dandelion, licorice, elderberry, corn silk tea and many more.However, before consuming these herbs it is important to consult your doctor. Some of these herbs are better avoided if you are pregnant or nursing.
In some medical conditions, these herbs are known to have worsened the problem. It is also important to increase your intake of potassium when consuming some of these herbs as they can make the body lose potassium. The UMMC advises the use of bilberry, grape seed extract and dandelion for curing edema. Even parsley and hawthorn are considered safe diuretics.
Dandelion capsules can be bought from any ayurvedic store. Taking two capsules of dandelion every day for a period of seven days is known to cure edema completely. Drinking two cups of dandelion tea every day will ensure that you don’t suffer from water retention ever.
To prepare dandelion tea, take a teaspoon of dried dandelion root and put it in a cup of very hot water. Allow the concoction to stand for two minutes. Add a dash of lemon to the tea for flavor. Do not add honey, sugar or milk to the tea. Strain and drink the herbal tea while it is still warm.
Drinking dandelion tea will not only help you deal with water retention but also provide you with high dosage of essential vitamins A and C. dandelion tea is also rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium. It also contains traces of manganese, silicon, copper and chlorine.
Comfrey and coltsfoot are two herbs that are being used for the treatment of water retention since times immemorial. In olden days, pregnant women were applied herbal poultice prepared using the two herbs for curing swelling of ankles and legs. Even today the herbs are an excellent remedy for curing edema in pregnant women and in people who cannot consume herbs because of certain medical conditions.
To prepare poultice of comfrey and coltsfoot, boil four cups of clean water. Lower the flame and add two teaspoons each of comfrey and coltsfoot to the boiling water. Leave for two minutes and then turn off the flame; steep the flames in the water for three minutes more. Strain the concoction. Take a dry and clean cotton towel and dip it in the treated water. Wrap the affected area with the towel leave it for 15 minutes. This treatment should be done at least four times during the day for at least a week.
Lavender essential oil is very helpful in the treatment of edema. Mix 5ml of lavender essential oil with 2ml of olive or almond oil. Massage this combination of oil on the affected areas. This treatment should be done twice a day for a period of five days. Pregnant women can do this treatment every day up to the time they deliver.
This herbal remedy is excellent for avoiding water retention during pregnancy. Drinking two cups of lavender tea every day will also help keep edema at bay. But this treatment should be done only on the advice of your doctor especially if you are pregnant.
Parsley is an herb that is easily found in all grocery stores and herbal stores. Drinking tea made from parsley is an excellent cure for many ailments including edema.
To prepare parsley tea put two tablespoons of fresh or dried parsley in a cup of extremely hot water. Allow the herb to steep in water for five minutes. Strain the concoction and drink the tea while it is still warm. Drink three or four cups of the tea everyday to cure and avoid edema.
Corn silk is a very powerful herb that must be taken with caution. It is mainly a diuretic that is known to cause imbalance of essential nutrients and minerals in the body. This imbalance can adversely affect the body and disturb the normal functioning of the organs. To prepare corn silk tea, add a teaspoon of the herb to 200 ml of hot water.
Steep the herb in the water for not more than three minutes. Drink the tea first thing in the morning on empty stomach. Take another cup of the tea in the afternoon after lunch. Do not drink more than three cups of corn silk tea during the day.
Grape seed extract has proven to be a good cure for edema. It helps eliminate extra water from the body thus helping reduce the swelling caused by water retention. However, grape seed extract should not be used as a long term solution for edema. Long term use of the herb can lead to headaches, high blood pressure and an itchy scalp in some cases.
Cucumber is eaten as a vegetable but not many people are aware that it is used extensively in herbal remedies since it has excellent healing properties. Cucumber has high quantity of water that helps eliminate edema causing toxins from the body. Eating two cucumbers every day will alleviate the symptoms of edema and also keep the swelling at bay.