Suffering from edema, better known as water retention? Cut out added salt. Edema is a problem often caused by eating too much salt and not drinking enough water. Persistent edema is usually linked to kidney, liver, bladder, or circulatory problems.
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Edema can also be caused by kidney and bladder infections, heart problems, oral contraceptives, hypothyroidism, adrenal exhaustion, protein and B vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, climate changes, allergies, poor circulation, potassium depletion, drug reactions, obesity, constipation, or lack of exercise. Medicinal herbs can help get rid of excess fluid and help heal underlying problems.
Symptoms include swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, and stomach. (Edema is actually a symptom of underlying causes and is not considered a disease.) Edema may be a symptom of many serious conditions including congestive heart failure.
Causes of edema must be addressed before considering any herbal treatment. This is especially important if you experience sudden swelling, swelling in just one leg, or pitting (after pressing on the area it remains indented). In these cases please seek professional advice as soon as possible or even consider a visit to the emergency room.
Parsley, dandelion, lavender, hawthorn, bilberry, Echinacea, burdock, cornsilk, and juniper are herbs that help get rid of excess fluid. There are many herbal remedies that help relieve occasional fluid retention. Parsley leaves, dandelion root, and lavender essential oil are very helpful. Other herbs to try include hawthorn, bilberry, Echinacea, burdock, and juniper. These herbs may be used in tea or purchased as extracts. Bloating is usually caused by gas and can be relieved by taking a spoonful of fennel seeds.
Corn silk tea is a powerful diuretic, and like the herbs listed above, they should be used with caution. All diuretics can cause imbalances in the body affecting the available salts and minerals required for good health. Never use strong diuretics if you have heart problems unless advised to do so by your healthcare professional.
A simple recipe for corn silk tea is as follows: Steep 1 tablespoon of dried silks in a cup of just boiled water for 5 minutes. Take three times a day but not before bedtime or you will be getting up throughout the night.
An excellent herbal blend consists of 2 teaspoons of dandelion root, ½ teaspoon of nettle leaf, ½ teaspoon of oat straw, ½ teaspoon of fennel seed, and ½ teaspoon of dried corn silks. Add to one quart of boiling water, turn off heat, and steep for 20 minutes. Drink up to two cups per day to relieve occasional fluid retention.
There are many ways to help edema. Adding fresh salads with cucumbers, parsley, celery, and alfalfa sprouts to the diet is a great way to improve symptoms of water retention. Avoid caffeine and drink eight glasses of water a day. Potassium supplements may be required.
Water retention may also be relieved by taking 20 minute saunas. Saunas help rid the body of toxins. They also help increase metabolism which improves circulation. Other things to try include getting some form of daily exercise (swimming is perfect), elevating the head and shoulders when sleeping, and elevating the legs when resting.
Edema is aggravated by sitting for long periods, standing too long in one place, and tight, restricting clothing. Always take time to stretch and exercise leg muscles throughout the day. When sitting, get up and move around every hour!
* Avoid remedies containing dandelion if taking blood pressure or heart medicine. Always consult with your healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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