Edema: Water Retention

Excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues and cavities.


Such abnormal accumulation of fluid in spaces between cells of body tissues,
may be associated with liver or kidney disturbance, pregnancy, pre-menstrual
syndrome and heart failure.


Never address water retention without treating its causal factors


We are faced with one of the paradoxical problems associated with the current
use herbs, that is that they work! Too often herbs are used to address symptoms,
successfully, ignoring the more fundamental healing work that they can facilitate.
The undoubted value of herbal diuretics in helping rid the body of excess
water is a prime example of this. If the practitioner goes for Dandelion
leaf whenever edema is part of the patients symptom picture, they are probably
missing an opportunity.


Actions indicated for this symptom

Diuretics are, of course, the group of herbs to be considered. The
broader picture that the patient presents will suggest the appropriate treatment.



Specific Remedies

By far the most effective diuretic herb is Dandelion leaf, its effects being
comparable to that of the drug Frusemide. In addition to its efficacy as
a diuretic, Dandelion leaf has added benefits as a rich source of potassium.
The usual effect of stimulating kidney function is a loss of vital potassium
from the body. This will have an impact on a range of body functions but
most crucial is electrolyte balance in the heart muscle. If the diuretic
is being prescribed to treat edema associated with congestive heart failure,
any reduction in potassium availability will aggravate the cardiac symptoms.
With Dandelion, however, we have one of the best natural sources of potassium,
replacing all that is flushed from the body via diuresis. It thus makes
an ideally balanced diuretic that may be used safely wherever such an action
is needed, including in cases of water retention due to heart problems.


One possible prescription

Taraxacum officinale 2.5ml of tincture three times a day


or

5ml of tincture when needed, but not at night

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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