What Are the Different Types of Natural Treatment for Edema?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2019
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Natural treatment for edema, or swelling, includes raising the affected area above the level of the heart or moving the swollen area. Another natural treatment for edema is a change in diet to reduce sodium levels. Some patients may wear tight clothing to lower swelling too. Depending on the cause of the edema, removing the causal factors can be another type of natural treatment.

A patient usually suffers from edema when the capillaries or small blood vessels leak. If the capillaries leak, a person's kidneys may try to retain sodium and water, which ends up making the swelling worse, as there is now too much liquid in the body. A number of conditions can lead to edema, from benign conditions such as PMS to more serious ones such as liver failure or heart disease.

Exercising the affected area may be an effective natural treatment for edema. In some cases, swelling occurs when a person sits or stands for a long period of time without moving. Moving the area, such as lifting the arms or legs up and down, can help get the blood pumping and encourage the fluid to flow back to the heart.


Elevating the affected area above the heart level is another natural treatment for edema. If a person needs to lie down, she can put a pillow under her legs to raise them above the heart so that the blood will flow away from the swollen area. The area should be elevated during sleep and for at least half an hour several times a day for the treatment to work.

Wearing tight clothing, such as compression hose, can help treat edema naturally. Tight clothes press on the area, preventing the fluid from pooling and collecting there. Compression clothing is usually available at drugstores or at medical supply shops. It includes stockings, gloves, and sleeves.

Some patients find that massage is another natural treatment for edema. Just as compression keeps the liquid from pooling in the area, massage helps move the fluid from the affected area. A person can perform the massage herself or see a trained masseuse.

Making dietary changes can also be an effective treatment. Reducing sodium is key to effectively treating the condition, as the body holds onto salt when a patient has edema. A patient may need to cut back on processed foods and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Anyone attempting to change her diet to treat edema should speak with her doctor first.



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