Natural Health Remedies for You

Natural Treatment for Edema During Pregnancy

Effective natural treatment for edema during pregnancy includes the use of herbs, vitamins and minerals, as well as aromatherapy.

Edema (fluid retention) is rather common among women during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and your body is showing signs of edema, there is usually nothing to worry about if you are otherwise healthy. Use the natural treatment of edema suggested below to alleviate the swelling and discomfort.

However, if edema is accompanied by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, it can be more complicated since it can indicate pre-eclampsia, in which case you need to work with your doctor to stop the condition from progressing. The signs of pre-eclampsia include swelling in your face and/or puffiness around your eyes. In addition, your hands are very much swollen, or there is excessive or sudden swelling in your feet or ankles.

Causes of Edema During Pregnancy

Edema during pregnancy is caused by changes in your blood chemistry which in turn causes some fluid to shift into your tissue.

In addition, when your baby is growing inside you, it puts pressure on your pelvic veins and your vena cava (the large vein on the right side of the body that carries blood from your lower limbs back to the heart). Because of the pressure, the return of blood from your legs is slowed down, causing it to pool. This forces fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet and ankles - thus the swelling.

Symptoms of Edema During Pregnancy

Edema occurs most frequently during the third trimester, particularly at the end of the day. It may be worse during the summer.

Common signs and symptoms of edema during pregnancy include:

  • Swelling - usually you will have swollen fingers or ankles, so rings may fit more snugly on fingers and shoes seem to be tighter.
  • Swollen legs and hands - some people may develop slight swelling in one or both legs, and/or hands.


Natural Treatment for Edema - Herbs

Diuretic herbs such as dandelion can be used to facilitate removal of excessive fluid in the body system. Dandelion leaf is a gentle diuretic and is effective for edema. If you want to try using dandelion leaf to treat edema, consult an herbal or holistic doctor for dosage.

Another herb that has mild anti-edema properties is garlic. For this purpose, you can use garlic supplement - take about 200 mg two times a day.

In addition, fennel and nettle are found to be effective for edema during pregnancy. One easy way to take these herbs is to drink the tea of these herbs, twice a day.

Natural Treatment for Edema - Vitamins

Several vitamins are beneficial for relieving symptoms of edema during pregnancy:

  • Vitamin C: It can improve lymphatic circulation.
  • B complex Vitamins: B complex vitamins and in particular vitamin B6 can reduce water retention.

Natural Treatment for Edema - Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy works wonder in relieving the symptoms of edema during pregnancy. You can use the following aroma recipe as a massage oil to rub over your ankles and legs (massage toward the heart), the fingers and arms (also in an upward direction), and on the back. Do not use the oil on the stomach though. Use the following recipe once a day for 10 days.

You need:

  • 2 tablespoons of base oil (e.g. olive oil, sesame oil)
  • 3 drops of ginger
  • 2 drops of lavender
  • 2 drops of cypress


Natural Treatment for Edema - Homeopathy

Several homeopathic remedies can be considered for treating edema. For homeopathy to work, you need to choose the one that matches your symptoms most closely. If you are unsure, consult a holistic doctor. Common homeopathic remedies for edema include:

  • Natrum Muriaticum: If you have swelling in your extremites, together with a craving for salt, marked thirst, and a tendency to feel tired or ill from being in the sun, then this remedy is for you.
  • Pulsatilla: This remedy is indicated if you have swelling that involves the knees, ankles, feet, or hands, accompanied by a feeling of heaviness or weariness, especially if it occurs after over-indulging in rich foods. Problems are worse when the extremities are hanging down, worse from warmth, and improved by gentle motion. Emotionally, you are often changeable, emotional, and moody.
  • Calcarea carbonica: If you develop swelling in the lower extremities, especially around the knees, you may need this remedy. Symptoms can be worse from sitting, unless the legs are supported. This remedy is particularly indicated for people who tend to have weight problems, get tired easily, and feel worse from exertion. Hands and feet are often cold and clammy (although the feet may heat up at night).


Natural Treatment for Edema - Diet

Reduce the intake of salt - avoid foods that contain a lot of sodium such as processed food. At the same time, increase the intake of potassium. Good sources of potassium include apples, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, cabbage, alfalfa, and kelp.

Natural Treatment for Edema - Ways to Minimize Puffiness

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day lying down with a pillow under your feet. (Your feet should be higher than your heart.)
  • Do not cross your legs or ankles while sitting.
  • Wear comfortable shoes - perhaps shoes that are larger than your usual size.
  • Do not wear socks or stockings that have tight bands around the ankles or calves.
  • Exercise regularly. A daily walk or swim is beneficial.

Related Topic

Common Womens Health Problems


Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Worwood, V.A. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. (New World Library, 1991).
The Baby Center (

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