Eating a balanced diet, healthy food, avoid ingesting excessive alcohol, regularly playing sports…
are but a few frequent recommendations that physicians give their patients.
Not following these guidelines can lead to the disorders in the body, causing multiple diseases among which hydropsy.
Often called “edema” (especially when men are concerned) and more commonly “water retention”, hydropsy is a disease that usually afflicts the lower limbs, most especially the legs, ankles and feet.
This ailment is diagnosed when the body’s soft tissues start swelling because organic liquid accumulates inside tissue cells.
It usually is the liquid portion of the blood flow, called blood serum.
What causes this type of edema? What are its impacts on the patient’s health and on his daily lifestyle? Can plants with their benefits help do away with this condition? If yes, which ones and why?
Hydropsy, water retention: here is what you need to know…
Definition of hydropsy
Hydropsy, as per definition, is “an abnormal concentration of organic fluid in a tissue or cavity of the body”.
Even though it generally affects lower limbs, hydropsy can also impact any other organ of the human body.
It can happen in children as it can in adults.
As mentioned earlier, hydropsy is due to the accumulation of blood serum in the body.
Indeed, blood, which is made up of fluids, salts and blood cells that travelled from all parts of the body, is carried through the blood vessels towards the heart.
When there is an effusion of serum, in other words when fluid is retained in tissues and natural body cavities, blood tends to grow thicker and slows down or stagnates.
This leads to swelling and an edema appears.
Hydropsy generally is recognized after appearance of certain body signals and symptoms that mustn’t be neglected.
Apart from the visible swelling of the feet, legs and ankles, one can also observe formation of pockets on and around these body parts. Also, hands and face may start swelling.
Thus, a person who suffers from hydropsy:
– easily loses his or her breath,
– complains of thoracic and abdominal pain.
Further hydropsy symptoms must also not be overlooked.
Among others, remember that the person’s skin becomes stretched and shiny.
Also, when pressure is applied, a dimple or depression forms on the spot where the skin was pressed and stays hollowed out for several seconds.
Source and what causes hydropsy
The origins and causes of hydropsy are diverse.
Generally speaking, the least worrying causes of hydropsy are excessive consumption of salt in food, extended seating or standing, ingestion of certain pharmaceutical products and sometimes irregularities in the menstrual cycle.
More serious pathological causes are, among others, congestive or venous cardiac failure (often called varicose veins), kidney deficiency, liver cirrhosis.
Physiological causes are often observed in women: one of them is pregnancy, but other causes also can obstruct proper blood flow and lead to hydropsy, for example calcifications, accidents and any other obstruction in the body.
Naturally treating hydropsy
To correctly do away with hydropsy, it helps to know its cause.
Once identified, treating edemas with plants becomes child’s play.
In herbal medicine, you must know that the health benefits of certain plants are known to resorb edemas.
For instance :
- Grape seeds and grapevine leaves help treat against venous insufficiency. Combined extracts of these plants are very effective.
- Sage, cornflower, meadowsweet, garlic, artichoke, hawthorn, birch, alder buckthorn, French broom, corn silk, dandelion roots are plants that are replete with benefits that tend to resolve edema and venous insufficiency.
- Onion is a very diuretic bulb plant which is beneficial in treating hydropsy. It can be ingested either raw or cooked, in any manner.
- Raw kale leaves crushed with a rolling pin and used as a poultice also help edemas diminish in size.
- Horse chestnut tree is a herbal medicine plant very useful in treating venous insufficiency.
- Elder is very diuretic and purgative. It reduces urine retention, edemas, hydropsy and helps eliminate excess water through sweating.
- Hawkweed also has diuretic properties and is effective in treating edemas and hydropsy, since it increases the volume of urine that can be evacuated.
Usage and dosage
> White birch is very effective against cardiac and renal hydropsy, and edemas.
- As for the dose, ingest its natural extract, 20 drops 4 times a day.
> Hawkweed has a very energetic diuretic effect.
- Its extract must be ingested 4 times daily, 30 drops each time.
> 10 drops elder extract 5 times a day in a little water will help you eliminate excess body water.
> As for artichoke which is known for its diuretic properties, it can be ingested daily under its different forms: wine or tincture.
- To prepare the wine, macerate 40 dried leaves in 1 quart (1 liter) white wine for 8 days. After that, drink two small glasses of this decoction.
- For tincture, macerate 1 lbs (500 g) chopped dried leaves for 2 weeks in 1 quart (1 liter) clears spirits. Once ready, press, filter and keep the liquid in a bottle. To ingest it, pour 2 teaspoons of this preparation in a little water, drink before meals.
Useful tips about hydropsy
Even though plants and medicine are a solution to treat hydropsy, the best option is to also change lifestyle to reduce hydropsy and its effects, and ease blood flow by reducing water retention.
- Avoid salt in your food.
- As soon as the first symptoms appear, keep your legs and feet up when sitting by lifting them on a stool.
- Take up the habit of going for a walk every day to treat yourself to a better lifestyle.