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Many medical conditions can cause edema (swelling). The following forms of edema are discussed in their own articles. Follow the links for detailed information.

  • A condition related to varicose veins called chronic venous insufficiency can cause swelling in the legs. Numerous natural treatments have substantial supporting evidence of effectiveness for this condition. 1
  • Women who have undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer may experience swelling in the arm near the affected breast. This condition is called lymphedema, and natural treatments that may help are discussed in the surgery support article.
  • Minor injuries as well as surgery may cause swelling as part of the healing process.
  • Congestive heart failure can also cause leg swelling.
  • Women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) often experience fluid retention prior to the onset of menstruation.
  • Edema frequently occurs during pregnancy .

Many of the treatments used for these conditions fall into one of two categories: bioflavonoids and diuretics.

Bioflavonoids have shown promise for conditions in which edema is caused by leaky blood vessels, including the first three items in the above list. The following relevant bioflavonoids or bioflavonoid sources have full articles in this database:

Many herbs are thought to have a diuretic effect, causing the body to increase its water excretion. This could reduce edema in the remaining items on the above list. Herbs with apparent diuretic effects include:

  • 1

    Bratman S, Girman A. Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs and Supplements and their Therapeutic Uses. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc.; 2003.

  • 2

    Christie S, Walker AF, Lewith GT et al. Flavonoids—a new direction for the treatment of fluid retention? Phytother Res . 2001;15:467–475.

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