Edema or Fluid Retention: Self-Care

Edema or Fluid Retention: Self-Care
Julie Doherty Naturopathic Physician Hackham, SA

An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more

Edema, or otherwise more commonly known as fluid retention, is a condition whereby the body accumulates excess fluids.

The cause to this can be underlying health problems. The sooner you begin to implement the changes below to improve and reduce this problem, the sooner you will be improving your general health.

I am about to share with you some important changes that you can begin to implement into your daily life. These will not only reduce your edema, but also improve your health and any associated risks.

You will find that due to your edema that you may be suffering with increased stiffness of your joints, elevated blood pressure, and increased weight.

Some Causes of Edema

Medication - Certain medications have a detrimental effect on the kidneys and liver. This has a negative effect on the body eliminating excess fluid.
Lack of physical activity - This prevents the flow of lymph. Lymph transports the toxic substances out of your body, decreasing agility and muscle tone.
Excess salt - Eating a diet consisting mostly of processed, pre-packaged or fast foods, or one that includes cakes, biscuits, breads and pastries. Excess salt is also a causative factor to Hypertension, or High Blood Pressure.
Nutrition - Vitamin deficiency occurs when a diet is void of fresh whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, and legumes. If there is vitamin deficiency, then the body has great difficulty in performing its everyday functions to keep you well and healthy.
Environmental Factors - These are known to accelerate the problem of edema. However it is vitally important that underlying health factors are addressed.
Health problems - Thyroid problems, poor circulation, liver damage, cardiovascular, heart problems, hypertension, dehydration, and kidney problems can all lead to edema.

11 Ways You Can Reduce Edema and Improve Your Health

  1. Parsley - This is one of the well-known remedies when it comes to fluid retention. But how do I get it into my daily routine? A cup of parsley either in your lunchtime salad or a green smoothie. Otherwise, you can use dried parsley to make a tea - 2 teaspoons of dried parsley, 2 slices of lemon in a cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for 10 mins. Three cups a day will definitely help.
  2. Apple cider vinegar - This is beneficial to help regulate sodium levels within your body. As I have mentioned sodium/salt actually is one of the causes of edema/fluid or water retention. Add a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water. Drink 2x a day. Adding a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your bath or foot spa will actually help to prevent not-so-good body odor.
  3. Cranberry juice - This is known for its health benefits to the kidneys and treatment of urinary tract infections. Cranberries help by stimulating the urinary tract. They also have an abundance of calcium, potassium and magnesium. It provides essential nutrients for healthy heart function and muscles. Drink a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice once a day.
  4. Dandelion - This is a wonderful herb that has been used for years to support healthy liver function, heart and circulation. It is rich in potassium, meaning that it is beneficial in regulating sodium levels. Also rich in magnesium, dandelion once again benefits healthy heart and muscle function whilst reducing PMS bloating. Dandelion is available in health shops as a tea. Drinking one to two cups a day will definitely help not only reducing your edema but your heart and circulation as well.
  5. Onion - Onions are well known for their ability to cleanse the blood. Onions are also excellent to support healthy urine secretion and preventing the formation of kidney stones. Onions are easy to add to your daily diet either in a salad, soup or cooking your favorite meal. Always remember eating raw onion has great health benefits.
  6. Fennel seeds - These are number one when it comes to supporting healthy digestion. They have powerful antioxidant and diuretic benefits. Add a tablespoon of these wonderful seeds to your meal at night, your smoothie, on your sandwich, or in your salad.
  7. Epsom salt and essential oil baths - Add a cup of Epsom salts to your bath and three to five of drops of either geranium, cypress, or juniper oils. Enjoy this bath ritual three times per week. Not only will you find it relaxing; your skin will improve, it will detoxify you, it will help reduce abdominal bloating, and of course it will help with fluid retention. It will also help to reduce pain from inflamed joints and muscles.
  8. Herbal teas - Stinging nettle root tea is available in the health shops and is a natural diuretic. Earlier, I was mentioning the flow of lymph. This is the removal system for toxins and chemicals. Stinging nettle also improves the flow of lymph. The added benefit to this is that it improves your immune function. It also supports healthy kidney and allergies.
  9. Lemon juice - You have heard the saying "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away". It is also well known that a lemon a day can also keep the Doctor away. One lemon squeezed in a glass of hot water first thing in the morning will help with the elimination of excess fluids and toxic substances. If you are new with starting a lemon drink, then you may wish to add a teaspoon of organic honey. Enjoy this every morning. It is high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids necessary for healthy digestion.
  10. Foods - Celery, cucumbers, cabbage, watermelon, bananas, pineapples, apples, pears and watercress
  11. Filtered Water - Yes I know; don't forget your water. Dehydration not only will make your edema worse, but it is also responsible for many other health complaints. As water is your transport system for nutrients to your blood stream, nourish every organ and function within your body.

Health doesn't come "naturally", but with the correct fuel, it is definitely obtainable.

Empowering You To Optimal Health: Julie Doherty N.D