“Can you suggest some solutions for edema in the lower leg (calf)?” – S

What is Edema?

Edema is a swelling response to injury or inflammation, such as swelling from an ankle or wrist sprain. Your skin may also swell when it is irritated or infected due to allergies or cuts and scratches. The swelling happens because more blood is coming to the area, carrying more white blood cells to fight infection.

While most edema is not serious, you should see a doctor immediately if you experience chest pain and difficulty breathing along with swelling. This can be a sign of pulmonary edema or congestive heart failure. You should also talk to your doctor if you experience swelling in your legs after sitting for a long time, such as on a flight. This could be a sign of a deep blood clot and needs to be treated right away.

For less serious cases of edema, Ginger,1 Lavender2 and Lemongrass3 oils can act as anti-inflammatories to help manage inflammation due to injury or irritation. Peppermint4 and Chamomile5 oils can also act as antihistamines to help manage edema when it is caused by an allergic reaction, such as a bee sting.

Causes of Edema

Contributing factors to edema include:

    • Fluid trapped in tissues
    • Medication side effect
    • Pregnancy
    • Allergies
    • Heart failure
    • Kidney Disease
    • Cirrhosis of the Liver
    • Blood Clot
    • Head trauma

Symptoms of Edema

The most common symptoms of edema include:

    • Swelling in hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs
    • Skin that is stretched
    • Swelling in the abdomen

Prevention of Edema

Edema can typically be avoided through dietary and lifestyle changes in the following ways:

    • Lowered  salt intake
    • Exercise
    • Healthy diet to keep blood pressure low
    • Quitting smoking

Beneficial Essential Oils for Edema

    • Aromatic Use: Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Calming Blend*
    • Topical Use: Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Calming Blend,* Soothing Blend**
    • Internal Use: Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile

How to Use Essential Oils for Edema

There are many different ways to use essential oils for edema. Here are some suggested ways:

  • Massage 2-3 drops of Chamomile oil on the skin until it is completely absorbed. You can also mix a few drops with warm water and soak a washcloth with the mixture. Use the cloth as a compress.
  • Mix a few drops of lavender and a few drops of Lemongrass into water and soak your swollen feet or ankles.
  • Use the techniques above to massage the Calming Blend to reduce swelling, or the Soothing Blend to reduce soreness.

*Serenity Calming Blend

**Deep blue Soothing Blend

References:

  1. Jeena, K. Liju, V. B. Kuttan, R. (2013). Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from ginger. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 57(1), 51-62.
  2. Huang, M., Liao, M., Wang, Y., Huang, Y., & Wen, H. (2012). Effect of Lavender Essential Oil on LPS-Stimulated Inflammation. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 40(4), 845-859.
  3. Boukhatem, M. N. Ferhat, M. A. Kameli, A. Saidi, F. Kebir, H. T. (2014). Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan Journal of Medicine, 9, 25431-25431.
  4. Lysenko, L. V. Syla, V. I. (1972). [Antiallergic action of peppermint oil azulene]. Farm Zh, 27(6), 65-8.
  5. Kobayashi, Y., Takahashi, R., & Ogino, F. (2005). Antipruritic effect of the single oral administration of German chamomile flower extract and its combined effect with antiallergic agents in ddY mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 101(1-3), 308-312.

Other References:

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