Edema, which is also known as dropsy, when fluid is stuck in the tissues in any part of the body, that particular area starts to swell. This condition is defined as edema. Although edema can occur in any part of your body, it usually affects the hands, ankles, legs and feet. Common signs and symptoms of edema include swelling, puffiness, stretched or shiny skin, and dimpling of the skin after being pressed for a few seconds.
Edema may be caused by inflammation or an injury, such as a twisted ankle or bad bee sting. It may also be related to a few such as heart disease, low albumin, allergies, critical illness, kidney disease, liver disease, or blood clots. Sometimes if you are standing for a long time or walking for hours, edema can show up in the feet or toes. Pregnant women also often get swollen feet, which is another form of edema.
Edema is not dangerous in itself, but it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, you can consult a doctor for it. However, provided the condition is not extreme, edema can be relieved with simple but effective cures. Some of these remedies include dietary changes, compression, herbal and massage. Here are the top 8 home remedies for edema.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Numerous people consume apple cider vinegar as an everyday tonic. It can likewise help with edema. Being high in potassium, it helps replenish potassium levels in the body and reverse fluid retention. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory property helps reduce swelling and pain. Mix 1 or 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Drink it 2 times a day to avoid edema. Another option is to soak a towel in a mixture of equal amounts of warm water and apple cider vinegar. Wrap the towel on the affected area for several minutes. Do this a few times daily.
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Tea Tree Oil
If edema is caused by insect bites, then tea tree oil is the best method for treating it. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties helps in reducing inflammation caused by an insect bite or stings. According to a 2002 study published in the official journal of European Histamine Research Society, the components terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol in tea tree oil can regulate edema. Take few drops of tea tree oil and apply on the affected area with a cotton ball. Leave it for a few minutes before washing it off. Repeat it 3-4 times daily. You can add tea tree oil to any carrier oil for mild edema condition.
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Dandelion is one of the powerful natural remedies for edema. Being a natural diuretic, it helps to get rid of unneeded water and salt through the urine. Thus, prevents the accumulation of fluids in your body. It is one of the few diuretics that doesn’t create a potassium deficiency. Dandelion is best taken in tea form, just take 1 tablespoon of dandelion root and pour over 1 cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 minutes and strain the liquid before drinking. Take this three times a day and it is not advise-able for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Avoid dandelion if you have gallbladder problems.
Massaging the Affecting Area
Massaging is another great way to treat edema condition. Massaging on a regular basis will reduce swelling and pain caused by edema. Massaging with gentle strokes creates pressure on the affected skin and muscle areas. This activates the lymphatic system and the fluid drains away naturally. Take any oil such as mustard, olive or coconut oil and warm it a little bit. Massage this warm oil gently on the affected area for a few minutes. Massage 3-4 times a day to get rid of edema.
Epsom Salt Bath
Another option you can add to your bathwater or a bucket to soak your feet is Epsom salts. Epsom salt helps to reduce inflammation, pain and swelling caused by edema. It also prevents water retention and is also useful for detoxifying your body. To epsom salt bath, mix 2 cups of Epsom salt in warm bathwater. Soak in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat up to 3 times a week.
If one of your limbs is affected by edema, your doctor may recommend you wear compression stockings, sleeves or gloves. Compression stockings are special hosiery intended to prevent or stop the progression of venous disorders such as edema, thrombosis and phlebitis. Compression stockings are prescribed for a number of conditions, including edema, pregnancy, and diabetes. The stockings are known to effectively reduce mild leg swelling. They should be worn during the day but taken off at night.
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Exercise and Physical Activities
The best way to get excess fluid out is by being physically dynamic. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to edema. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema may help pump the excess fluid back to your heart. Swimming helps in reducing edema more than any other exercise because the pressure of the water in the pool forces the excess water in the tissues to leave the body via the bladder. In addition, do some yoga daily to help improve your circulation and prevent edema. Note: Pregnant women should be very careful with exercise.
Mild cases of edema are often caused by consumption of excessive salt. Thus, the first change that you should make to your daily diet is a reduction in salt intake. Avoid food rich in salt contents and replace your caffeinated drinks with herbal tea such as green tea, peppermint tea etc. Restrict salt intake to below 2100 mg of sodium per day. Make sure that you drink plenty of water every day. This will help in cleansing your system by flushing out toxins. It also gets rid of excess fluid in the body. Your daily water intake should be at least 8 to 10 glasses.