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. WOW...now 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.
Thanks for the follow up!! Good job!!
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
Thanks so much for your post Janet! OMG, what was I thinking? Bacon and pepperoni sticks have now been banished. It will give me a good excuse to order waffles with strawberries and whipped cream next time I'm out for breakfast. he, he.
For what it's worth, nitrates also occur 'naturally' in many foods. I put 'naturally' in quotes because the source is often chemical fertilizer which causes the nitrate levels to be unnaturally high. Celery is a prime example. You'll notice that instead of sodium nitrite they are now often putting celery juice in processed 'uncured' meats. That is because celery juice is high in nitrates, and then bacteria in the mix converts the nitrate to nitrite, and there you have the preservative created naturally - but it is nitrate and nitrite nonetheless.
So, if you are avoiding nitrates (as my wife tries to do) you might want to research which foods are likely to contain high nitrate levels (celery, watermelon, and others). The difficult part is that it often depends on how they were fertilized, so the numbers usually cover a wide range.
With all due respect to Janet, nitrates don't cause edema or swelling. In fact, they're used to TREAT those conditions.
I suspect that the reason her swelling diminished was because the foods she mentions --deli meats, cold cuts, ham, bacon, hotdogs -- are all EXTREMELY high in sodium. Cutting out those salty foods, if you could call them 'foods', will definitely help reduce edema and swelling.
I have used ACV for my plugged ear together with hydrogen peroxide and seems to help.
Also a lady mentioned going grey, well try taking tablespoon black strap molasses 3 or 4 times daily with hot water & milk is what I do it cured my nose bleed years ago and now it is curing my edema in my feet ankles & leg and my hair. I noticed more blond as it used to be and I read people with gray hair getting black hair again. I also use Alovera gel in my hair.
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?
Yes, it must be natural blackstrap molasses, which has many more nutrients that have been lost in filtering to get refined molasses.
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.
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.
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 Also a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin b6. It's an excellent alternative for use as a natural sweetener.
Should only use unsulphured blackstrap molasses which is the third boiling of cane sugar with magnesium, potassium and other minerals.
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.
UNSULPHURED BLACK STRAP MOLASSES isn't good as a sweetener. When I was 19 I took 1 T. in hot water w/ milk for a month. My blood count went from 8 to 13 in a month!!! Lots of minerals
EDEMA: It may help edema since it helps your blood & perhaps circulation. GET OFF SALT & SUGAR, KIDNEYS DON'T LIKE THEM!
(Aiken, South Carolina)
I have been adding blackstrap molasses to my coffee for months now. I like the taste. Will increase to twice a day to see if it makes my ankles go down.
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
According to Dr. Berg, a potassium deficiency can be the cause of edema for some. Blackstrap molasses is high in potassium so that could be the reason it worked for you. We are all a little different and what works for one may not work for all. For this reason it is wise to try different cures and hopefully we will find something that works.
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...
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.
Calcium and Magnesium
Step 1 -Take a daily calcium supplement of 1,200 mg. According to the Mayo Clinic, calcium supplements may reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and help eliminate water from tissue. You should not take extra calcium if you have been diagnosed with any kidney illness, such as nephritis or kidney disease, without talking to your doctor.
Step 2 -Add a magnesium supplement of 200 to 400 mg per day to your diet. The Mayo Clinic reports that extra magnesium may reduce water retention. However, the clinic does advise that magnesium will cause problems for those diagnosed with heart or kidney disease.
Step 3 -Purchase a multivitamin that contains 1,200 mg of calcium and 200 mg of magnesium as an alternative. Check the labels of the vitamins to ensure they offer both minerals in the proper quantities. Do not take two pills to get the right dosage of calcium and magnesium. If necessary, purchase separate supplements of these two minerals to add to what is available in the multivitamin. The Harvard School of Public Health also recommends extra vitamin D for overall health to possibly prevent some of the illnesses that may cause edema.
I tried all other ways to cure edema. The above really worked for me.
Just a heads up, the calcium to magnesium ratio should be as close to 1:1, as possible.
I whacked my leg (attempting to lift it over a steel rod), just above the ankle and it is beginning to look bruised. The swelling is the size of a Ping-Pong ball and it is really painful. I just drank some cayenne pepper. Was this okay? I know I have heard putting ice on an injury like this but I do not agree because I fear clots. I already had a clot in this leg and was using the cayenne to help dissolve it. Mama to Many (I think) said cayenne was good for both ends of the spectrum. Sorry Mama, if I am incorrect. Oh, this really hurts...I want to take some turmeric but don't know whether I should or not.
Immediately fallowing an injury place a strong magnet over the area for several minutes and continue the therapy several times daily for a few days. This will greatly reduce pain & swelling.
I was out of town yesterday and am just now seeing your post. Yes, cayenne should be fine- it does work well for normalizing the blood. Turmeric also should be fine and may help the inflammation.
If you have a fresh onion, a fresh onion, cut up and put into a towel over the area as a poultice, may help. We have used this to prevent "goose eggs."
A charcoal poultice may also reduce the pain and swelling. It would be a very safe thing to try, if you are still in pain.
I will be away from home all day again today but will check this evening to see if I have heard from you.
I hope you are feeling better, soon.
Thanks for the information Timh...we don't have any magnets handy and besides, I couldn't touch it. I had to remove my below-the-ankle sock because of the pressure, swelling was throbbing. It was the ankle on the inside. Sometimes as I walked, I kept kicking myself.
Thank you MtM...I took the cayenne about every two hours and after the third dose I took turmeric, ginger and black pepper. I had to prop a pillow under my calf when I went to bed so it wouldn't touch anything.
Today it is better...still a knot and wide-spread bruise. Still taking the cayenne, etc. I've been taking vit.C too. I take that all the time anyway. Do you think that would cause too much conflict, because of taking the cayenne? I see you must have read my Sept. 2 post? Love, KT
Have you looked into the DMSO stuff to reduce the swelling? == Noprescriptiondrugsforme
Good Morning, MtM
My bruise is colorful and I measured it... about 4" at the widest, spread over my arch and it looks like I have a double ankle! There is also a bruised strip going up the the back of my leg just above my heel. I have an appointment for a "well visit" to my PCP tomorrow so I'll show it to him.
I had jerry-rigged an oven rack and an old refrigerator rack to put on top of our wood stove for our pot of water. I literally "poked" the area just above my ankle with the raw end of the rack when I tried to gracefully swing my leg over it when it was on top of a wash tub on the floor. I have been unable to get any charcoal and I'm not so sure about the DMSO...I looked it up once after seeing posts about it but that's as far as I got with that.
MtM, please let me know if you read my reply to you Sept. 2 (gave John 5:19 as a ref.). I think It was contained in a thread about something from Thailand. I can't remember whether it was turpentine or something else...this has been prepared peicemeal because I can't sit here long...Thanks for your concern...Love, KT
(Naperville, Il, Usa)
Hello to Mama to Many,
Community is blessed by people like you. I get swelling on my ankle and toes often. If I were ankle socks, I feel very uncomfortable after sometime and I realise that it is because of tight socks. I feel slight pain in my feet sometimes. When I get up from a restful sleep, I still notice some swelling on my toes. I do not go for my yearly check up because I am afraid. When swelling goes away, my toes look wrinkled. Sometime my feet is perfect. I do not eat much salt. Can you please give me some remedial suggestions?
My first thought when I hear of edema is Dandelion. It is a great herb, indicated for edema. I believe in part because of its effect on the liver and blood (helps with cleansing them.) You could drink several cups of strong tea daily. (Though maybe one cup the first couple of days and work up to three.) You can add peppermint leaf to it to improve the flavor and a little honey if you like.
Directions for Brewing Medicinal Teas
Do you have any other health issues? How is your diet?
You say you limit salt. Interestingly, one of the cures listed for edema is salt. Definitely the sodium in fast foods and processed foods is a culprit for edema, but use of a high quality salt (Celtic Sea Salt, for example) may be helpful, unless you personally have found otherwise. (If you try it, start with a small amount first.)
General Health and Wellness Tips
Let me know how it goes!
~Mama to Many~
Earlier this year I was reading John Briffa's book about the diet trap in which he says lack of salt, or very little salt, can cause edema. Of course he was referring to good sea salt or pure rock salt and not the supermarket table salt with all the additives. My sister rang me and told me she had swollen legs and ankles and was worried about it and I mention Briffa's comments. She said she'd dramatically reduced her salt intake because she'd read salt caused high blood pressure and her BP was a bit raised. A couple of days later she emailed to say she'd increased her salt intake and legs were much improved! Have you also tried body brushing where, with a firm but not harsh bristled brush, you brush from your feet up towards your heart several times covering all areas of the body. This not only helps the lymphatic system and hence the edema, but gets rid of old dead skin and leaves skin feeling smooth. Best done in the morning as it can be too stimulating at bedtime. I imagine that herbal teas like nettle etc would help too as they flush out the kidneys and help the body excrete toxins and are generally a good tonic.(Susun Weed has an interesting blog on this). You might also want to do a bit off research into Chinese or Ayurvedic ideas about different body types or doshas( Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and what foods suit or unbalance each one. For example Kapha is inclined to be lethargic and so needs spicy foods to stimulate their organs etc Good luck!
CBD (Cannibis Oil)
I have been diagnosed with venous insufficiency where only two out of six veins in one leg are working properly, causing Edema swelling. I suspect that my veins were damaged due to knee replacement surgery.
I have found CBD (cannabis oil) to be very effective in eliminating the swelling in my leg due to Edema. I first took it in the form of large gummy candies purchased from a licensed dispensary. After three days of taking one gummy candy per day I was surprised to see that the swelling in my leg had completely disappeared. I have since switched to the CBD tincture which is the much stronger liquid form dispensed from an eye dropper at .5ml per dose. After just three days of taking the tincture once a day I noticed that the pain in my foot was also starting to disappear.
I will continue with the same dose of CBD as long as my condition continues to improve and will provide an update in a few months.
Good luck with the cannibis- I will be back to hear your progress. I am not sure I can purchase it but will find a way. I've suffered from ankle and lower leg edema and the misery it causes for most of life and my dr just increased my diuretic [Triamterene] today--because the hot weather makes it worse. This is a great site, I learn more each time I visit-Cheers to all you edema sufferers and thanks for your input.
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
I'm glad to report that my success with the CBD oil continued for 2.5 months. That's how long it took to go through a small 495mg bottle taking .5ml first thing in the morning and last thing at night even though the recommended dose is only once a day. The swelling continues to stay away so I'm getting another bottle. You should be able to find it at any cannabis store. Pricey ($60.) but worth it. Good luck.
Katy, look into inclined bed therapy, which is raising the head of your bed 5 degrees. Some believe that this is the way long ago peoples slept. It is purported to improve circulation of the blood and lymph, and edema is one of the many maladies it has been reported to improve.
If you have any heart disease, as it's the main cause of edema usually, L-carnosine (caps)+DMAE (caps)+CoQ10 (caps)+ 5 drops of Aloe Vera Oil on your tongue/or meal as your regular source will improve your heart muscle in short time and stop swelling.
Good luck, Kety. My best wishes and many happy returns.
Mustard seed powder is said to treat swelling.
Celery Juice For Edema
I have been suffering with Edema for years. My ankles and legs get swollen on a regular basis especially when I sit all day at a desk or if I am on a long flight. I have tried ginger tea, ACV, blackstrap molasses, and even drinking more water. I also tried walking to make the blood circulate but it still wasn't working.
Then I tried celery juice while on a vacation. After 1 day the swelling in my legs and ankles came down by half. After 2 days it came down by 3/4 and I was in the bathroom peeing all the time. By the 3rd day, my ankle and legs were the smallest they have been in years and I could see the veins in my feet. I drank the 16 oz celery juice every night. You will have to go to the bathroom in the morning. Now I have started drinking it in the morning on an empty stomach. If I miss it for one or 2 days, the swelling comes back. No other green juice works for this. I have tried. Just 16 oz of Celery Juice, with nothing added, is best. If you are adding something, which you shouldn't, it is ok to add a little bit of lemon juice.
I am happy that I found this, and I hope it helps you too.
Cream of Tartar
Thank you for sharing.
I have been taking Lasix (furosimide?) and daily potassium supplements for many years for my valve leakage, and gradually I started retaining more and more fluid. Cloth still fit, just that the scale shows numbers that pop my eyes wide. Tried so many things...none worked.
So I tried 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar with glass of water and was amazed by how fast it worked.
Then went and read more , and learned that's it may not be good if taking potassium sparing drugs. (my meds were non-potassum sparing) Optimistic by the result started taking 1/2 tsp with glass of water daily.
I must say, I feel good, I've lost 10+ lbs of fluid over a couple of months. Plan to adjust/reduce to 1/4 tsp once I reach my optimum weight and see how it goes.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of Tarter for Edema: Cream of Tarter is rich in potassium. Often edema is caused from not enough water intake (dehydration) or too much sodium and not enough potassium. Cream of Tarter, 1/4 t in a glass of water, sipped, will provide a hefty dose of potassium. For me I start to pee out the fluid within an hour.
Would someone from EC please comment on the safety of this recommendation?
i got all excited when I first read about Cream of Tartar, becoz I have awful leg spasms keeping me up at nite and have been noticing that im craving bananas which do seem to help. So, potassium imbalance?... it would be awesome to have a little bottle of CreamTartar on hand for those late nite moments when the legs are hopping & im out of bananas.
Then I did a little reading elsewhere and learned that Cream of Tartar is EXTREMELY high in Potassium... Maybe this is not something to be messed with after all? she recommends adding 1/4tsp in water to be sipped, but doesnt say whether she uses it all or how fast. Or in how much water. from my reading I saw that the kidneys must be in good shape for dealing with high levels of potassium, and that too much can cause unexpected death from heart failure.
How dangerous is this advice?? I don't think I would be comfortable trying cream of tartar without knowing its limit of safety, and I am having a hard time identifying exactly how much potassium Cream of Tartar actually contains... Online sources claim anywhere from 495mg per tsp- which is not so much- all the way up to 5 grams- which would obviously be toxic!
Reaally need some clarity, EC... Thx!
@Bo- have you ever tried taking magnesium supplements for the leg cramping/spasming? I used to have horrible leg cramps and spasms, in my calves. I started taking magnesium and the cramping and spasming has almost completely stopped. Every now and again i will wake up from a really bad cramp in my calf. It only happens 2-3 times a year now, instead of on a regular basis. When i wake with the horrible cramp i take an extra magnesium pill, along with some potasium (sp?), and i also drink some gatorade.
Obviously, check with your doctor before trying anything. The magnesium can cause tummy problems for some people (it is also used to help people when they are constipated), so start slow, and work your way up to the amount that you (and your doctor) decide will work for you. I hope you find something that helps...i know just how horrible leg cramps and/or spasms can be. Good luck!
(West Terre Haute Indiana)
I mix Epsom salts (potassium sulfate) cup for cup with water. Put it in a spray bottle. It absorbs through skin without the effects of taking it orally.
You will relax immediately; so will muscle cramps. Will put you to sleep easily. Spray some on and rub it in daily. Saves on using large amounts in bath or foot soaks
Epsom Salt is actually magnesium sulfate. Spraying it on the legs does and will help restless leg syndrome, very much. Thank you Arthur Hall for mentioning this for RLS. Many people have good results with the bar of soap, but it did not help me. I have to wonder if this has something do with what causes RLS in different people.
Magnesium alone has not helped me with edema, though it has helped with easing joint pain at times. Potassium does help with edema, but I would lean to the cautious side and not use more than 1/8t. of either cream of tartar or pure potassium citrate.
Yesterday, after strenuous legwork, my toe cramped up. I immediately stood up and pressed down hard on it. That helped for a minute, but it kept cramping. I grabbed a handful of Epsom Salts (probably way too much) and put it in a pail of warm water and stuck my foot in there for a bit. Instant relief and no repeat cramps, thank G-d!
One night when the leg cramps & electrical nerves were very bad & we were out of bananas, I did actually get brave/despearate enough to just sample- with the tip of my pinky finger- a taste of Cream of Tartar. My sample was Less than 1/16th tsp...
Within minutes I began suffering the classic effects of Extreme Hypotension, bordering on medical Shock. it was a terrifying experience & I believe I came close to dying that night. I thank the Creator that just before I came to the point of passing out, a sudden small thought entered my swimming conciousness- "take Sea Salt NOW", and immediately I did, and sat on the floor, and in short time began to feel my pounding heart slow a bit and become more steady, and my veins stopped throbbing and I became less dizzy and faint, and was able to go back to bed (still wondering if I would wake in the morning)
This is a Very Extreme Reaction- and I believe Uncommon Side Effect- BUT I want to state that I believe this occured because I am allready a Clinical Hypotensive with chronically dilated veins. Cream of Tartar is a powerful VASODILATOR which is why it is so effective to reduce blood pressure, but as such is extremely dangerous to people who allready live with Chronic LOW Blood Pressure due to naturally dilated veins. We who have Low BP from large veins should stay far away from all Vasodilators, whether chemical OR Food-Sourced, it doesn't matter- we have no margin for error. Vasodilators in an allready dilated cardiovascular system can trigger medical shock and potentially kill.
I realize Bo posted 5 years ago but I find it difficult to believe a tiney bit of cream of tartar almost killed him but he was able to eat bananas. For perspective I have drunk two whole teaspoonsfull in a glass of water more than once.
I get pain and muscle spasms in my legs when I lay down at night sometimes and calcium/magnesium/zinc pills, vitamin e, and coQ10 fix it within minutes. Bananas and a glass of milk used to work too, but I use pills now.
(El Monte, Calif.)
Anything containing potassium will tend to lower the blood pressure, so that includes all fruits & vegetables. But low blood pressure can be an indication of poor adrenal & kidney function. Licorice root tea or capsules can help to raise low blood pressure. Small dose gradually increased is best so it can be monitored. Potassium is very healing, but always better when derived from fresh fruit & vegetables. Since going high fruit raw food I no longer suffer with edema and my insulin sensitivity is much improved. My injected insulin requirement (I am diabetic) has dropped by a quarter to half of the amount I was taking when following a high fat Ketogenic diet (which made my insulin resistance much worse).
I believe for any chronic repetitive condition a food diary and elimination diet is probably the best thing one can do for edema. Rather than applying anti-inflammatory compounds you may get to the root cause of what is causing the inflammation. In my case I just kept note of when I would have the condition and what I ate the prior day. If I eat very cleanly, just some specific greens, teas, and little to no meat all is good. It seems the suspects for my edema/inflammation are milk products, soy milk with the added fillers, I only drink a Soy product which contains soy and water, which doesn't not cause issue. One should have their kidney's checked to rule out that they are functioning properly. Low salt of course.
I've had varicose veins and pain and swelling in my lower legs on and off for years. The swelling started when I was taking aspirin and drinking coffee at work and not eating. I was also using birth control pills around the same time. The veins I still have, but I discovered after much searching that eating raw eggs or eating curry powder with food makes my lower legs and feet feel nice and warm. Coffee, chocolate, green and black tea make my legs hurt if I have too much. I also get swelling in my left leg and anxiety that seems diet related, I'm thinking from MSG, but I haven't figured that out yet. I found a tea at the grocery store that is a Chinese formula for lowering blood pressure and it works quite well. A juice from artichokes, lemons, and ginger I like. I blend it all in a blender and strain it through a clean wash cloth because the artichokes have thorns. Also cherries are so good. Also Jesus is so good :)
For edema, it's not just sugar that 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.
(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).