Swellings ("Food That Heal")

Food That Heal



In medical parlance, swelling, turgescence or tumefaction is a transient abnormal enlargement of a body part or area not caused by proliferation of cells. It is caused by accumulation of fluid in tissues. It can occur throughout the body (generalized), or a specific part or organ can be affected (localized). Swelling is considered one of the five characteristics of inflammation; along with pain, heat, redness, and loss of function. In a general sense, the suffix "megaly" is used to indicate a growth, as in hepatomegaly, acromegaly, and splenomegaly. A body part may swell in response to injury, infection, or disease. Swelling, especially of the ankle, can occur if the body is not circulating fluid well.

Generalized swelling, or massive edema (also called anasarca), is a common sign in severely ill people. Although slight edema may be difficult to detect to the untrained eye, especially in an overweight person, massive edema is very obvious.


The symptoms of edema vary depending on the location and the extent of swelling. For most types of edema, fluid builds up under the skin, causing swelling and making the overlying area stretched and shiny. Edema may be pitting or non-pitting. With pitting edema, pressing a finger against a swollen area and then removing it leaves an indentation that slowly disappears. When edema becomes more severe, the tissue swells so much that it can't be displaced, and no indentation is left in the skin after applying pressure. This type of edema is called non-pitting. Edema that occurs over pressure points over bony areas of the body can develop into serious sores or ulcers, especially in bedridden patients.

Peripheral edema causes swelling of the ankles, feet, or legs. This type of edema is very common, especially among older adults. It is often painless, and may affect both legs. Because of gravity, the swelling is usually most severe in the lower legs, but the upper calves and thighs can be affected as well.

Pulmonary edema is a medical emergency characterized by severe difficulty breathing. Symptoms of pulmonary edema include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

How can I know if I have Swelling?

Swelling generally occurs because of an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the lower extremity. The medical term for leg swelling from excessive fluid in the tissues is edema. Persisting indentation of a swollen leg after pressure from a finger is known as pitting edema.

Less common causes of leg swelling include diseases that cause thickness of the layers of skin, such as scleroderma and eosinophilic fasciitis. In these diseases, the leg swelling is characterized by non-pitting edema.

Patients may experience the related symptoms of Leg Sores, Leg Pain, and/or Joint Pain.

Food That Cure Swelling

Green Tea: Green tea may be helpful for reducing swelling internally due to digestive disorders or gallbladder colic. Green tea helps reduce bloating and swelling due to its high content of polyphenols, antioxidants that lessen inflammation and irritation in the gut. Green tea is available both caffeinated and decaffeainated. Caffeine can produce nervousness, irritability and sleeplessness; so if you are bothered by any of these symptoms, purchase decaffeinated tea.

Burdock Root: Another herb used by herbalists in both Eastern and Western herbal medicine is burdock root. Burdock root is primarily known as a blood-cleanser in Eastern medicine. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Burdock root may be especially useful to help remove swelling from edematous tissues in the legs and feet. It can be mashed and applied topically as a poultice, eaten raw in salads, cooked like carrots and eaten as a hot vegetable, or the dried root makes an herbal tea. If the leaves of the burdock plant are used topically, sometimes their small hairs may cause skin irritation and a rash upon contact. Stop using the burdock if this occurs and consult a health practitioner if symptoms persist.

Cranberries: Cranberries and cranberry juice have shown some efficacy in preventing the formation of certain kinds of kidney stones in those with kidney disease, reports British Journal of Urology. Cranberry juice is also known to be an effective agent in fighting lower urinary track infections due to its high vitamin C content, antibacterial properties and the presence of anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant. Cranberry juice may also be helpful in reducing edema in the feet and ankles because it stimulates increased urination and flushing of the kidneys.

The British Journal recommends combining 1 cup of pure cranberry juice with 3 cups water and drinking the total contents daily in several doses. Use only freshly juiced cranberry juice or unsweetened cranberry extract. Do not use any commercially prepared cranberry juices unless they are 100 percent cranberry.

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