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Edema is the abnormal swelling of any body part due to excess fluid retention. This increase in extracellular fluid volume may occur in a localized area, or become generalized throughout the body.

Ascites and hydrothorax, excess accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and pleural space respectively, are considered specific forms of edema.

Edema is not a disease in itself but a symptom of another disorder. For example, edemas may be involved in damage to mitral heart valves and rheumatic fever.

Best treatment for edema is to identify the underlying cause, especially since this condition may be life threatening. Treatment can consist of the use of a Mild Sodium Restriction Diet, Moderate Sodium Restriction Diet or Severe Sodium Restriction Diet and diuretics.


Primary Factors
Edema occurs when the veins fail to maintain pace with the arteries, so outward blood flow is less than inward blood flow.

Predisposing Factors
Standing too long causing swollen feet or ankles
Restrictive garments
Weak leg muscles, especially the calf muscles
Excessive salt consumption
Hot weather
Certain medications such as beta-adrenergic blocking agents
Lowered colloid osmotic pressure of plasma
Starvation and undernutrition, causing hunger edema
Severe protein deficiency
Varicose veins
Premenstrual syndrome
Use of oral contraceptives
Liver disease, especially cirrhosis
Congestive heart failure
Cerebrovascular disease
Acute pancreatitis

Kidney disorders such as:
Acute postreptoccal glomerulonephritis
Chronic renal failure
Mineral change glomerular disease
Nephrotic syndrome

Pulmonary disorders such as:
Increased pulmonary capillary pressure, most common cause
Increased capillary permeability
Aortic valve disease
Acute myocardial infarction
Increased blood volume
Administration of salt solutions
Arrival at high altitudes
Decreased plasma protein
Negative intrapleural pressure

Signs & Symptoms

Swelling of affected area
Painless Swelling of the eyes, lips, and tongue which is a symptom of angioneurotic edema
Puffiness, often affecting the entire face and eyes in general edema
Unusually snug-fitting clothes, shoes, rings, etc.
Change in color, thickness, and sensitivity of the skin
Pitting and/or cyanosis

Pulmonary Edema
Rapid and shallow breathing
Difficulty speaking because of need to breath
Coughing up white or pink frothy sputum

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Circulatory Support

General Supplements

Bioflavonoids500 - 1,000 mg
Calcium200 - 1,000 mg
EPO1 - 3 g
Kelp500 - 1,000 mcg
Magnesium400 - 800 mg
Vitamin C1,000 - 3,000 mg

* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

The form of calcium recommended is: Calcium Pantothenate.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

The nutritional management of edema should be mindful of the dietary considerations prescribed for the underlying disease.

In the absence of contraindication, a Mild Sodium Restriction Diet, Moderate Sodium Restriction Diet or Severe Sodium Restriction Diet can decrease water retention and minimize symptoms.

Diuretics should be avoided because they alter the body's electrolyte balance. Potassium supplements or potassium-rich foods should be ingested if diuretics are taken.

Homeopathic Remedy

1. Digitalis purpurea - 15C
2. Aceticum acidum - 15C
3. Apis Mellifica - 15C
4. Arsenicum Album - 30C

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.


X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Tissue Salts

Nat. Sulf.

Herbal Approaches



Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Chamomile Essence,Cypress Essence,
Eucalyptus Essence,Lavender Essence,
Lemon Essence,Petitgrain Essence,
Rosemary Essence,Wintergreen Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Acute pancreatitisCerebrovascular disease
CoughHeart disorders
HypertensionKidney disease
Liver diseaseMalnutrition
Oral contraceptivesPregnancy
Premenstrual syndromeRheumatic fever
Varicose veins



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