Edema (Dropsy, Swelling, Water Retention)
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Tissues hold water when they are damaged through inflammation. Using anti-inflammatory and vulnerary herbs on injuries can prevent or reduce swelling and aid repair. When water retention is general, it is usually a problem with lymphatic drainage and kidney function. Occasionally, it is also a cardiac problem, which is why some cardiac remedies are also listed.
There are two major classes of diuretic herbs. The first are those that stimulate the kidneys to work harder. These could also be called irritating diuretics. Juniper berry is one of the stronger herbs in the class. Other stimulating diuretics include buchu and uva ursi. Formulas with this action include Kidney Activator, Chinese Kidney Activator, Kidney Drainage and JP-X. These formulas are contraindicated when the kidneys are inflamed.
Another class of diuretics are herbs that nourish and improve kidney function without stimulating kidney activity These are known as non-irritating diuretics. They include nettles, goldenrod, horsetail and cornsilk. These remedies are useful for kidney inflammation and problems where the kidneys are not filtering wastes from the body very effectively. Potassium Combination, Urinary Maintenance and KB-C are combinations that have more of this quality.
Another cause of edema is problems with the heart.
Hawthorn Berries, Co-Q10, L-Carnitine, Magnesium, Solstic Cardio and other supplements that aid the heart can be helpful here.
Believe it or not, drinking more water and using all natural sea salt can actually help to relieve water retention. Detoxification of the liver and bowel can also help.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
For details and ordering simply copy a product's name in the search box above or click on the bold name.
Therapies: Cleansing Programs, Exercise and Hydration
Herbs: Blue Vervain, Cornsilk, Golden Seal, Juniper Berries, Parsley, Uva Ursi and White Oak Bark
Herbal Formulas: Chinese Kidney Activator, Cranberry & Buchu, FCS II w/ Lobelia, JP-X, Kidney Activator, Kidney Drainage, Lymphatic Drainage and NF-X
Nutrients: Co-Q10 and Vitamin B-6
Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin B-Complex
Nutraceuticals: Potassium Combination and Urinary Maintenance
Essential Oils: Geranium, Lavender, Patchouli, Pink Grapefruit and Thyme
Foods: Sea Salt