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Edema Treatment: Natural Cures for Edema

Last Modified on Nov 19, 2015

Fortunately, edema can be relieved with simple but effective cures. Some of these remedies include dietary changes, compression, therapeutically moving parts of your body affected by the swelling, elevation, and massage. Likewise, for cases of edema limiting how much salt you eat is always advised by doctors. Your doctor may also recommend that you wear compression stockings if one or both of your legs is affected by excess fluid.

What is Edema?

Edema is any swelling of the body where fluid becomes stuck in the tissues within that area. This fluid can build up unnaturally in various body parts and organs, but it is most commonly recognized in the ankles, feet, and legs as well as in the hands and arms. Edema causes include pregnancy, heart disease or heart failure, kidney issues, liver disease, and as a side effect of certain medications.

Home Remedies for Edema Treatment

Discover more than 20 natural cures for edema on Earth Clinic! Start by looking at apple cider vinegar, one of the most widely used home remedies for edema. Our readers have reported that other effective natural cures include the supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Blackstrap Molasses, and Butcher's Broom.

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User Reviews

Alpha Lipoic Acid
  User Ratings

Posted by Janet (Sparta, Missouri, U.s.a.) on 10/24/2012

[YEA]  Thank you so much for your advice about ALA for edema. I tried ALA in 100 mg vcaps and in three days my ankles were back to normal. Earth Clinic is an awsome site, and thank you for posting on it.

Replied by Janet

Update to my post re ALA: While ALA works I did further research regarding swelling in ankles and feet. I scoured this website and took the advice of one of the contributors here and stopped eating anything with Nitrates. I don't take any pills to reduce the swelling because there is none. That means no processed meats, i.e. deli meats, cold cuts, ham, bacon, hotdogs, read the labels folks, if there are any Potassium Nitrates or Sodium Nitrates, DON'T EAT IT. Google Nitrates for further information. And thank you again for this site Earthclinic, it is awesome.
Replied by Paul

Thanks for the follow up!! Good job!!

Posted by Gypsy (Ontario, Ny, Usa) on 07/21/2011

[YEA]  ALPHA LIPOIC ACID, 600mg daily with food, works wonders on painful & swelling feet....... I found myself limping & not being able to wear any of my new shoes & I was furious until I tried this..... WORKS in 2-3 days, slowly made my swelling go away & I'm actually walking good again...... Try it you'll love it!

Apple Cider Vinegar
  User Ratings

Posted by Yesterdaysecho_jen (Collinsville, Oklahoma) on 09/08/2010

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  After going on a two mile walk three nites ago my right leg from knee down to foot swelled, bad. I started taking the two teaspoons of vinegar yeasterday morning and hoping to start on the peroxide treatment as well, but I'm concerned about this swelling... Though it's down some, I'm concerned about the walking now and wondering if whatever's causing this swelling the vinegar will take care of... ? Any response would be so appreciated.

Replied by Glo
Woodbridge, Va

Hi, I've tried ACV, and there is some reduction, but... Your first priority should be to determine the cause of your swelling. Get the appropriate diagnosis from your physician, which will lead you to the proper course of treatment. This could be muscular, and require something altogether different. Some also research their symptoms on the Internet. Either way, start there and then research treatment. I hope this helps. BTW, if you already have a diagnosis, plz include in ur description, and it should help.
Replied by Glo
Woodbridge, Va

Thanks for the suggestion Rita. I will try it! I don't mind trying natural treatments.

Posted by Glo (Woodbridge, Va) on 08/19/2009

[NAY]  Hello.. This is a great site, thanks EarthClinic. I've been suffering from edema (both legs,ankles,feet, hands) now for 2.5 yrs. Doc's just prescribe lasix or other dieuretics. Most of the time I have no success, just putting those drugs in my system. I take 2 tbsps of ACV twice a day, this does not reduce the edema. I have sincerely eliminated salt from my diet as much as possible, even before the edema I was not much of a salt fan. This is so frustrating. does anyone have home remedy suggestions for me?

Replied by Maureen
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

To Glo from Woodbridge, VA, I strongly advise you to try the Inclined Bed Therapy. It is just a matter of putting something like bricks, wooden blocks etc. under the head of your bed so it is elevated 6"-7" depending on the size of your bed. I started 14 nights ago and am seeing a slight reduction in fluid in my ankles. That is pretty amazing for having the problem over 40 years!!!

Check Earth Clinic's Inclined Bed Therapy section for information from Andrew Fletcher

That is how I started


Posted by Jodi (La Quinta, CA) on 09/20/2008

[YEA]  Edema, Poor Circulation:

I recently was told by my Naturopath to begin 1Tbsp of ACV before every meal. One of my health complaints has been very swollen ankles ( even legs sometimes) and cold pale feet. It has been a week and among other things, my ankles are very skinny, my feet now have color again and my overall circulation has improved. I also have dropped 5 pounds- but I'm also following the Elmination Diet to identify allergies so I can't completely credit that to the ACV. My whole body seems to have been de-bloated. I notice that after drinking the ACV my appetite wanes, so I do eat less and can definitely feel my food digesting.

One way to know if you are digesting food properly or not is to check your stools. Do you recognize your meals? If you can identify what's there- you are not digesting your food.

I'm thrilled with the results so far and am anxious to see what else happens from my new dosing.

Posted by Carolyn (Winchester, VA) on 09/24/2007

[YEA]  I love this site. I stumbed upon this site about a week and a half ago and started the apple cider vinegar remedy last week. I love the taste, in water. I put 4 tablespoons of ACV in 20 fluid oz and sip it all morning at work. My appetite has decreased as has my taste for sweet things. I am terribly overweight and have had weight problems all my llife, had 4 knee surgeries and have arthritis and edema. My pain has lessened as my edema has and I really feel healthier. This is something I would recommend to everyone! Thank you for this website. My only problem is when I get home I feel suddenly a big decrease in energy, which is not so bad since I have been feeling so sluggish the new energixed feeling I have had is very welcome. I was just wondering if I should drink a tablespoon more of ACV when I get home in order to keep the energy level up. I did not want to over do the ACV as I am new to this. Thanks for any help! Sincerely grateful, Carolyn Wolfe

Apple Cider Vinegar, Oil Pulling
  User Ratings

Posted by Gloria (Weslaco, Tx) on 12/19/2007

[YEA]  I am a 53 yr. woman that has been using ACV and oil pulling for about two months now. One of my problems had been swelling of my ankles wrists, & lymph nodes. Since I have been oil pulling, and using ACV the swelling has decreased alot even when I sit long periods of time. One thing that happened while I was taking blkstrap molasses 1 tbs. a.m. and one before bedtime. I gained weight because of the rich vitamins so I cut down to just 1 tbs. before bed. Oh! and the spider veins are fading around my ankles and legs.

Apple Juice and Olive Oil
  User Ratings

Posted by Daniel (Thailand) on 05/09/2015

[YEA]  Licorice root (one of Ted's remedies for edema) increases my edma dramatically along with Bacardi and coke. Flying also has the same effect, so I tried the apple juice and olive oil programme. drinkin pure apple juice for five mornings straight. On the evening before retiring to bed I mixed 1/2 glass of apple juice and 1/2 glass of olive oil mixing them until the mixture was complete. The swelling stayed away for about 5 months. From this I learned it was my liver the culprit..

Asparagus or Vtamin B6
  User Ratings

Posted by Jgmurphy (Skokie, Il) on 12/15/2009

[YEA]  Edema: A wonderful natural diuretic is asparagus. Some have also had good results with vitamin B-6.

Avoid Sugar
  User Ratings

Posted by Anon (Anon) on 02/02/2013

[YEA]  My mom gets swelling in her hands from eating too much sugar. Try not eating sugar. Sugar is also said to reduce potassium from the body.

Replied by Albularyo
Chatham, Ontario, Canada

Not just sugar needs avoiding, but all carbohydrates, in fact anything requiring Insulin to digest. What happens is that Insulin causes the kidneys to re-absorb salt and thus increases the water contents of the body. Historically humans were hunters and gatherers, they hunted the fattest animal they could find and they ate all of it, with very little else, ... And most importantly were able to live very healthy and energetic lives on that diet. Insulin was only needed for the little bit of fruits and vegetables they ate. Today's diet is the opposite from their's and some of us don't tolerate a mainly carbohydrate diet it all that well and end up diabetic and waterlogged, if not fat as well. The upshot is, it takes only a few days on a NO-Carb diet and your waterlogged legs and feet will go back to normal. It's amazing to say the least.
Replied by Timh Donate

Louisville, Ky, Usa

Also, there is another dietary problem at work here, the severe lack of the micro-mineral Chromium. Chromium deficiency causes an Insulin insensitivity. The cells are trying to incorporate the Insulin so they can burn glucose, BUT the absence of Chromium won't allow this otherwise simple function. I don't know how, but the spice Cinnamon also very much helps the body burn sugars.

The amino acid Taurine helps cells utilize minerals (opens the ion gates).

Replied by Susan Nimerowski
Ct., US

About cinnamon -- for some individuals, the coumarin in cinnamon can cause liver damage. As soon as it arrives in the mail, I'll be trying Cinnulin PF, which is safe.

Beets, Alpha Lipoic Acid
  User Ratings

Posted by Shirley (Long Beach, Ca) on 04/18/2015

[YEA]  I started using beets and Alpha Lipoic Acidd (ALA) and within 2 days had reduced my edema by 95%. I just peel the fresh beets with an apple for flavor in the blender. It's kind of like red applesauce. For over 10 years I've suffered with severe edema. This is the miracle I have been looking for. I can wear real shoes again and walk without pain and throbbing in my feet and legs. I eat the fresh beets and apples and take the ALA every and I will never stop.

Replied by Karen
Kansas City

Want to know how much of the acid and beets are needed. I have been using no meds and cayenne pepper for the past few days. My pressure is wonderful.


Blackstrap Molasses
  User Ratings

Posted by Norman (Metro Cebu, Philippines) on 05/27/2010

[NAY]  Sir or Madame,

I'm a Man. 66 yrs now. I'm in Philippines and so not the same is always available here. I have been a black strap molasses user for about oh 7 yrs and for a daily nose bleeding problem which it cureed very well. by a tblspn a day with a mug of hot water, sometimes I add milk.
But I've had a swelling edema problem in my feet & ankles & legs for 5 yrs already & have worn compression socks which I hate and they don't solve the problem anyways. I have upped my molasses intake to at least 3 tblspns daily for aprox a wk now and don't see the results I hear people write about yet I'm very hopeful. With this The molasses does not say black strap though, Is that a problem?

Replied by Christine

Yes, it must be natural blackstrap molasses, which has many more nutrients that have been lost in filtering to get refined molasses.

Posted by Norman L (Abbotsford, BC) on 03/16/2008

[YEA]  I had serious swelling of ankles, feet & legs. And all doctors could suggest is poor circulation and one way valves in leg not working properly and would have to wear pressure socks for the rest of my life, but I was not willing for this and kept searching and trying all sorts of natural things but when finally I went back to blackstrap molasses, which I used to take for nose bleeding & cured that and after some time of use I ran out of it, & forgot to replace it and got swelling problems, but never connected it to molasses. But after 2 yrs for some reason I tried blackstrap molasses again and after some time I noticed something, less swelling to happen and gradually dissapeared and not even swelled during the day anymore and so it must be the molasses that played a part in circulation for me in my legs. I will continue taking it for this is a much better cure than wearing pressure socks, which did not go to fix the problem anyways. Thank You.

Replied by Lenny

How much did u take per day?
Replied by Nicole

How much do you take?
Replied by Julie
Iowa, US

I have seen this molasses post in a few places elsewhere. And always without evidence. I seriously doubt consuming SUGAR would resolve edema. if anything it would make it far worse.
Replied by Debra

It's not the sugar that is a concern. Blackstrap molasses has a very low glycemic index and has many minerals needed by the body. Without proper minerals the body is unable to properly assimilate vitamins. it's Aldo a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin b6. It's an excellent alternative for use as a natural sweetener.
Replied by Lisa
Thomasville, Ga

Should only use unsulphured blackstrap molasses which is the third boiling of cane sugar with magnesium, potassium and other minerals.
Replied by Amy
Charlotte, Nc

[YEA]   I have tried the Black Strap Molasses remedy and with less than a week, my edema in my ankles and lower leg have gone away!!! One TBS in the am and in the pm.

Butcher's Broom
  User Ratings

Posted by Chrissy (Manahawkin, NJ) on 01/30/2013

[YEA]  I have been using Butchers Broom for months now. I ran out if it and the edema came back. So I started taking t again and I have reduced swelling again. It works very well for me. Good Luck...

Posted by Gabrielle (Pottsville, PA) on 06/11/2009

[YEA]  Butcher's Broom for ankle/feet swelling:

I've been suffering off and on with swollen feet/ankles for many years. Most of the time it has passed within a short amount of time with little effort (such as drinking more water and elevating my legs/feet on pillows). Recently the swelling came on after being laid off from work for a couple months - spending too much time at my computer! I tried the pillows several times to no avail. Every time I put on shoes and took a walk to help circulation, the swelling in my feet would simply move up worse into my ankles. I researched online and in the many books I have for herbal remedies and came to the conclusion that Butcher's Broom was the most recommended of anything. I went and got some at my local natural food store and took the regular dose (two 500 mg) and within just a couple of hours I realized I could once again see the veins on the tops of my feet and the swelling had reduced by at least half. I could feel a huge difference and the relief -both physical and mental- was immense.