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Swelling and puffiness in the ankles or
around the eyes and other body areas are sometimes caused by minor
stresses, such as standing for long periods of time, unaccustomed
heavy exercise, hot weather, a change in salt intake, premenstrual
stress, or minor conditions involving circulation. Edema can also
occur in serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney disorders,
liver problems, or complications during pregnancy—all of which
require a physician’s care. Homeopathic remedies may be used when
the cause is obviously minor, but any extreme or long-lasting edema
should have a physician’s attention and diagnosis.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Apis mellifica: This remedy may be
indicated when puffy swelling develops below the eyes or in the
extremities. The area can feel tight and numb, or tender with
stinging sensations. Cold soaks and cold applications help, while
warmth and touch can make things worse. A person who needs this
remedy typically has low thirst, dislikes interference, and feels
can be seen in various parts of the body when this remedy is needed.
The person may feel awkward and even drop things because the hands
feel weak or numb. Bovista is often helpful to women with
water-retention around the time of the menstrual period, especially
if diarrhea also occurs.
Calcarea carbonica: A person who
develops swelling in the lower extremities, especially around the
knees, may need this remedy. Symptoms can be worse from sitting,
unless the legs are supported. A person needing this remedy may tend
toward weight problems, get tired easily, and feel worse from
exertion. Hands and feet are often cold and clammy (although the
feet may heat up at night).
Ferrum metallicum: This
remedy may be indicated if swelling in the extremities comes on
after fluid loss (heavy sweating, loss of blood, etc.). Things may
improve with walking slowly or other gentle motion. People needing
this remedy tend to feel tired and be anemic, although they may look
robust to others—being sturdily build, with a face that flushes
remedy may be indicated if swelling of the lower extremities
develops in a person who is stout and has a tendency toward skin
problems (cracks behind the ears, on the fingertips, etc.). Pain in
the lower back and trouble becoming alert after waking in the
morning are other indications for Graphites.
Kali carbonicum: A “baglike”
swelling above the eyes is a strong indication for this remedy.
Sensitive soles of the feet and swelling in the lower extremities
(only one foot, at times) may also be seen. Gently moving around
brings some improvement.
Ledum palustre: This
remedy may be indicated if the ankles and soles of the feet are
swollen and tender. The problems are worse from being warm, and cold
soaks and cold applications bring relief. Ledum is most
often used for injuries (sprains, black eyes, or puncture wounds)
and insect bites, when swelling is relieved by cold.
swelling is seen in a person inclined toward abdominal bloating and
digestive problems, this remedy may be helpful. Numbness or
heaviness in the extremities, and a feeling of one foot being warm
and the other cold are other indications. Problems may be worse in
the late afternoon and evening. Cravings for sweets and warm drinks,
and an inner lack of confidence, are often seen in people needing Lycopodium.
Natrum muriaticum: If
swelling occurs around the eyes because of allergy, or if a person
develops swollen extremities after sun exposure, this remedy may be
needed. An emotional nature with an outer appearance of reserve, a
craving for salt, marked thirst, and a tendency to feel tired or ill
from being in the sun are other indications for Natrum
Pulsatilla: Swelling that involves
the knees, ankles, feet, or hands and is accompanied by a feeling of
heaviness or weariness suggests the use of this remedy, especially
if it occurs premenstrually or after overindulging in rich foods.
Problems are worse when the extremities are hanging down, worse from
warmth, and improved by gentle motion. A person needing this remedy
will often be changeable, emotional, and moody—with low thirst and
a tendency to feel better in fresh air.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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The information presented in Healthnotes
Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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