see also lymphedema
Edema (Oedema if you are British) results from an excess
of fluid in the tissues of the body. Most common is
peripheral edema or swelling noticed in the legs, ankles,
and feet or the arms and hands. If fluid accumulates
in the lungs it is known as pulmonary edema. Common
causes include pregnancy problems, heart failure, kidney and
liver disease, and simple things like too much salt or a
severe sunburn. It can also be a side effect of some
The symptoms of swelling in the legs may be confused with
other conditions such as lymphedema and lipedema.
These are related but different conditions. The
differences are discussed at the end of this page.
With edema understanding the root cause and addressing it
is fundamental. Here are some causes that are
mentioned. The liver and kidneys are important in
maintaining the balance of liquids in the body.
Problems with these organs can result in edema. The
heart and vein system control the flow of blood and if they
are not functioning properly blood may pool in various parts
of the body and fluids will leak into the surrounding tissue
areas. Edema in the hands, feet, ankles and legs may
be because the veins are not returning blood efficiently to
the heart. This will typically result in both sides of
the body being equally affected. If the right side of
the heart is weak peripheral edema (hands, feet, ankles,
legs) will be result, if the left side of the heart is weak
it will result in pulmonary edema.
Edema associated with pregnancy is discussed under
pregnancy. Edema may also
be a side effect of certain medications. If no known reason
for the swelling is identified it is referred to as
Edema, Lymphedema, and Lipedema
Edema is caused by excessive
fluids from the circulatory system accumulating in the
tissues of the body. This may be the body’s normal
response to an injury that causes temporary swelling or a
problem with the heart or circulatory system that results in
longer term swelling. If the swollen area is pressed
with the finger and removed the mark will soon disappear.
This is known as nonpitting edema. A diuretic may help
Lymphedema is caused by
excessive lymphatic fluids in an area of the body.
This is usually because the lymphatic system is impaired and
unable to handle the amount of fluid present thus causing
swelling. These areas may be subject to infection or
slow healing. In the early stages if the swollen area
is pressed with the finger and removed a mark will remain
for an extended period of time. This is known as
pitting edema. Lymphedema will not respond to a
Lipedema affects primarily
women and may be associated with genetics and hormones.
The symptoms are enlarged legs and buttocks as fat is
abnormally deposited in the layer below the skin.
These fat accumulations do to not respond directly to normal
dieting and exercise.
[search helps: swelling,
swollen, water retention]
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
CypressC, GeraniumEC, GrapefruitC, Lavender,
Essential oils based
products: Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)
Invigorating BlendC, PatchouliE
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
Massage 2-4 drops of Cypress or Lemongrass with 4-6 drops
of Lemon or Grapefruit directly to the area of
swelling. Consider a tablespoon of grape seed oil as a
carrier to facilitate the massage and for its ability to
strengthen the capillary walls. Massage with motions
towards the heart. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Also take the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) and add 1-3
drops of Lemon essential oil to a glass of water and drink 4
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Chelsea - I am
about 35 weeks pregnant and have recently been experiencing
swelling in my lower legs, feet, and hands. I have used
Cypress on the bottom of my feet at night and had amazing
success so far. I also drink lots of Lemon water. I was
pushing on my shin this morning and it stayed, ahh! Any
other ideas? I don't think toxemia is an issue because my
blood pressure is actually low.
Pat - Don't forget the obvious with
swelling and that would be potassium deficiency. So it won't
hurt to start eating some bananas. You should be on the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV). Here are a few blends for your
Rub Massage Blend on legs and ankles, that has all
the good oils in it.
Drink plenty of water with Lemon.
You can alternate Wintergreen with the Massage Blend.
Evening blend in a capsule, 8 drops Geranium, 5 drops
Cypress and 5 drops Helichrysum.
When you are rubbing the oils on topically use coconut
oil for smooth coverage and it is good for you also. Good
luck with this new baby, you have all the tools to make this
Marci - Lemongrass is wonderful for
Editor - More on
Chrystal - Last October I started having
swelling in my lower legs. The right side was worse
than the left and I found that exercising helped. When
I went to the doctor in January, he said I would have to
wear support hose to prevent the blood from pooling in my
ankles as the veins were not able to close. He also
recommended exercising everyday. I was really resistant to
wearing support hose because of how hard they are to put on
and how expensive they are and I already have a problem with
sweaty feet and I thought that would make that problem worse
so I decided to just deal with it.
I asked a friend who knew about oils and they suggested
Massage Blend and Frankincense. I tried these for 2
weeks with not a lot of help, and the swelling was getting
worse where I had swollen ankles all the time. I read that
Lavender helps with swelling or edema so I started using
that and at the same time I was using Lemon, Lime, and Wild Orange for a completely different reason. Today I showed my
friend the results and she told me I had ankles again.
So if you are having trouble with swelling in your ankles
try some Lavender and citrus oils.
Sharon - How are you using the oils?
Under the feet? Internally? How often? I know someone with
this problem whom nothing else has worked for in over 20
years now so I'd like to try it on her. Thanks! This is
Crystal - I have been using them once in
the morning and once at night 2-3 drops each. Here is the
kicker--I wasn't planning on this working and my body really
responds to citrus oils and Lavender. I rub them right on my
legs where the swelling is.
Maria - My aunt
recently had a brain aneurysm and the left side of her body
has been very affected. She's having swelling in her left
foot and I'm wondering what oils would be good for the
Rob - I would try Cypress neat using
massage and use the Massage Blend Technique. I would
augment that with Frankincense just prior to the normal
application of Lavender. Cypress is very good for
swelling, water retention etc. Soothing Blend is great for
Pat - I have had some swelling on my
ankles and I read that Birch would help and it has. A
definite wonder oil. I also recommend Cypress and giving
your aunt the Massage Blend Technique would be a very kind and
helpful thing to do for her.
Jan - Citrus oils can also be very
effective in reducing swelling.
Loryjean - I am allergic to bee stings
and was taught to rub a burnt Lemon half on my foot when I
got stung. I'm not sure why the burning was important, but
it did help take the swelling and pain down. Lemon oil would
be SO much more effective, and less messy!
Susan – We have a
friend with swelling in her feet and ankles. Any
suggestions for that?
Rob - On edema. I would suggest Cypress
and Lemon massage to the areas of swelling and to the reflex
area on the inner leg just above the calf or on the top half
of the calf. Some people use a carrier oil with Cypress,
I've never needed to.
What Science & Research are saying
Grapeseed Oil Article
This is an excerpt of an article that has some
interesting information that may apply to using Grape Seed
Oil as a carrier with topical application of essential oils.
Grape seeds pack a healthy 'punch' of
proanthocyanidins, by Victoria Dolby,
Edema, the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body's
tissues, often results from capillary malfunctions.
Proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds may help
prevent edema by stabilizing the capillary walls and
preventing abnormal capillary permeability. These compounds
may be beneficial in the prevention of high blood pressure,
heart disease, and even provide relief from fibrocystic
breast disease. The anti-edema properties of
proanthocyanidins may also be very useful in combating some
symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.