Edema is a condition characterized by abnormal amounts of excessive fluid (commonly water and sodium) buildup in the body. Usually the build up of fluid occurs in the intercellular spaces, between the cells.
Edema usually occurs in the extremities, but it can also occur (in very slight amounts) in the brain when it is associated with allergies that cause the brain to swell and manifest as headaches, memory problems, learning disorders, or behavioural changes.
Symptoms of edema include bloating and swelling of the face, fingers, hands, legs, and, in its later stages, the abdomen. Symptoms may be very mild, causing rings on your fingers to feel tight or your face to feel puffy, or they may be severe enough to cause stretching and shininess of your skin, as well as overall weight gain.
Small amounts of fluid buildup can also occur elsewhere in the body, such as the spine (causing low back pain), the lungs (mimicking asthma/bronchitis), and the knees (mimicking arthritis), and should be a considered in a wide variety of health problems that do not respond to the normal treatments.
Caution: If fluid accumulation creates such stretching and bagginess of your skin that pressure into it creating a “pit”—a condition known as pitting edema—a doctor should be consulted immediately as this may be a sign of a very serious health problem.
Edema can be caused by allergies, poor kidney excretion or secondary kidney problems related to protein absorption, vitamin B deficiencies, heart failure, or other liver and kidney disorders. All of these factors must be screened for and, if present, addressed, before long-term healing of edema can occur.
Air travel, travel to a new climate, and/or stress can also aggravate edema symptoms.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Do a full body cleanse to detoxifiy and de-stress the entire body and bring it back into balance. Try the Now BePure cleanse www.nowbepure.com
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment. We suggest several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
*Purified water is essential for any hydrotherapy treatment. The section Remedies for Treating Chlorinated Bath Water offers clear instructions and recommendations.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take a bath every day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. shoppingcartpurehealthysystems.com/?Click=4464
- Take regular saunas to relieve fluid retention.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki is a very powerful healing therapy. It aids in detoxifying the mind, body and spirit. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in reducing stress and healing illness. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go towww.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitionershere
Punarnava is an ayurvedic medicine whichhas good diuretic properties to help reduce edema. Your practitioner may also suggest remedies using: Coriander seeds, mustard oil, apple cider vinegar, neem and tea tree oil, alfalfa, parsley leaves, flaxseed oil and sliced cucumber and potato.
Oil pulling is another remedy that may be recommended (see article and video sections for more info).
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
- Herbs that support the lymphatic system and encourage detoxification such as cleavers and burdock root.
- Acupuncture treatments.
- Qigong exercises to balance energy flow.
Make a massage blend with juniper, rosemary, geranium, or fennel essential oils (they all have diuretic properties) and massage onto the areas of the body that are most affected by fluid build up. Add 12 drops of oil to 30ml of carrier oil and shake well before use to disperse the oils.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
- Apis mellifica – for swelling below the eyes or in the extremities.
- Calcarea carbonica – for swelling around the knees with cold clammy hands.
- Ferrum metallicum – for swelling after fluid loss.
- Graphites – for swelling in those prone to skin problems.
- Ledum palustre – for swollen ankles and feet.
- Lycopodium – for swelling linked to abdominal bloating and digestive issues.
- Pulsatilla – for swelling that is accompanied with feeling weary or heavy.
Diuretic herbs can help alleviate the symptoms of edema. One such herb is dandelion leaf, which is also a rich source of potassium. Dandelion helps replace the potassium that is flushed from the body via diuresis. Take one teaspoon of dandelion tincture three times a day, or an infusion of the fresh leaves three to five times a day. Corn silk and horse-chestnut seed extract can also be helpful.
Juice Therapy: To help reduce swelling and fluid buildup, drink pear, pineapple, watermelon, and cranberry juice. Cucumber, parsley, celery, carrot, and dandelion is another helpful juice combination for edema.
Daily exercise is important in order to get the lymphatic system moving. A perfect choice would be rebounding (bouncing on a mini trampoline) for 10 to 20 minutes each day.
Yoga – The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Alternative Professional Care
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional. The following professional care therapies have all been shown to be useful for treating and relieving the symptoms of edema: Bodywork (Acupressure, Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu), Chiropractic, Craniosacral Therapy, Detoxification Therapy, Environmental Medicine, Magnetic Field Therapy, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathy and Oxygen Therapy (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy). Glossary for descriptions of these Alternative Therapies.)
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing http://blogs.naturalcures.com/traditional-chinese-medicine-ancient-healing-ways/
Qigong exercise for abdomen edema tcmencyclopaedia.com/News/info/20082251_12581.html
Omega 3 and swelling www.livestrong.com/article/485686-omega-3-swelling/
Oil pulling: An ancient panacea acupofkarma.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/oil-pulling-an-ancient-panaceaim-not-pulling-your-leg/
Jump for Joy – Rebounding (October 2012 newsletter)
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) /www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Herbal Cures for Swelling www.ehow.com/video_7462854_herbal-cures-swelling.html
Ayurvedic remedies for edema www.homeveda.com/women-health/natural-ayurvedic-home-remedies-for-edema.html
Oil Pulling – The Underground Cure www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIMm_LI_U7A
Magnets shown to reduce swelling www.tomshardware.com/news/magnets-shown-reduce-swelling-medical-study,4634.html
Further Information (links and books)
Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by Bruce N.D. Fife
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Links: Dandelion Leaf
www.gaiaherbs.com (888) 917-8269
Juniper or Rosemary Essential Oils
www.rivendellaromatics.com (805) 649-2476
Vitamin B complex, Living B Vitamins
www.qnlabs.com (800) 370-3447
Vitamin C, Catie’s Organic Vit C Plus
www.energyessentials.com (888) 456-1597
Pantothenic acid, TwinLab
www.twinlab.com (800) 645-5626
Potassium, Potassium 99-MG Chelated
www.puritan.com (800) 645-1030
Free-form amino acids, Amino Fuel Liquid
www.twinlab.com (800) 645-5626
Whole Food Green Powder, Vitamineral Green
www.livingnutritionals.com (866) 729-3438
Andrea Butje | Aromahead email@example.com – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt firstname.lastname@example.org – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA email@example.com – meditation, stress
judith hoad firstname.lastname@example.org – herbalist.
Kath May email@example.com – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges firstname.lastname@example.org – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika email@example.com – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.