Edema is the medical term for an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body cavities, resulting in swelling. It is usually a general response of the body to trauma or injury, which results in inflammation and further edema. Edema can affect any part of the body, although it is most common in hands, ankles, arms, feet and legs. The various causes of edema are:

Edema can also be a side-effect of some medications, such as anti-hypertensive medicines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), estrogens and diabetes medicines.

If your edema is mild, it usually goes away on its own. However, more severe forms of edema can be treated with diuretic drugs which will help to expel the accumulated water through urine. If left untreated, edema can cause difficulty in walking, decreased blood flow to the affected region or organ and increased risk of infection or inflammation in the swollen area.

Some natural remedies can help to ward of edema.

  • Dandelion is an excellent diuretic and can aid in removal of any excess water from the body by expelling it through urine, thus reducing swelling. Brew a tea with fresh or dried flowers and enjoy the benefits.
  • Flaxseeds are another effective remedy to treat edema. Make use of flaxseeds while preparing gravies, smoothies or salads.
  • Mustard oil is also known to alleviate swelling and can be applied to the affected areas. Alternatively, you can soak 1tsp of mustard seeds in lukewarm water and soak the affected area in this for 10-15 minutes.

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