Edema is swelling in the body. It is caused by a build-up of fluids. It is common in the legs, arms, and feet. It can also make the skin look stretched or shiny.

Medicine and healthy habits can help manage swelling. It depends on what is causing it. Natural therapies have been used to help prevent swelling. They should not be used in place of standard care for health problems that cause edema.

Natural Therapies

Likely Effective

These therapies are likely to ease swelling:

  • Horse chestnut comes from a tree that is grown worldwide. It can be used as an extract. A1
  • Flavonoids are plant metabolites. A6
  • Ruscus is a type of flowering plant that can be used as an extract. A5

May Be Effective

These therapies are likely to ease swelling:

  • Chlorella is a green alga that is high in vitamins and minerals. It may help prevent swelling. A2
  • Phlebotonics are made from plant extracts and synthetic compounds. A4

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Arnica A3
  • Manual lymphatic drainage B2
  • Reflexology B1
  • Water immersion B2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019 -
  • Update Date: 02/07/2020 -