Also known as hydropsy or dropsy, edema is a common condition caused by fluid retention. It is manifested by swelling which typically affects the feet, ankles, legs, arms, and hands and it is typically associated with the venous or lymphatic system. As mentioned above, it is quite common, currently affecting about 4.4 million people in the US.
Although the causes of swelling in the legs and hands are wide-ranging and can stem from many different factors, it is believed that the most common include use of medicines like NSAIDs and vasodilators, poor air circulation, genes, physical inactivity, heat, pregnancy, menopause, use of contraceptive pills, and sitting in one position for a long time. Chronic swelling shouldn’t be taken for granted as it can indicate serious health issues, such as liver disease, heart disease, and kidney disease.
Eating the right herbs is one of the best ways to treat occasional swelling as these promote elimination of excess fluid from the body. Parsley is considered to be the best for this purpose and it has been even recommended by Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Its name derives from the two Greek words: petrose ( meaning stone) and selenium (meaning celery).
According to one study, parsley is beneficial in the treatment of various health issues, such as menstrual pain, asthma, indigestion, bronchitis, brittle bones, skin allergies, and urinary tract infections.
Long time ago, Hippocrates advised people to consume parsley as remedy for treating excess toxins, rheumatism, and kidney stones. Parsley serves as natural diuretic which stimulates the elimination of excess fluids, as stated in the “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook.”
According to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, parsley serves as diuretic by slowing down the absorption of potassium ion pump and sodium, which in turn optimizes drainage of urine and osmosis. There is yet another study on parsley done in 2009 which shows that parsley can be used as remedy for hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure.
Parsley Tea Recipe
Dr. John R. Christopher, an American herbalist, suggests that the consumption of 2 liters of parsley tea daily is highly beneficial for the overall health As a matter of fact, it is recommended to drink a cup of parsley tea every hour. Don’t remove any part of the herb and use the leaves along with the root and seeds.
- Cut the leaves and the roots into small pieces and put them into an airtight glass container.
- Refrigerate for a week.
- Add ¼ cup of parsley into an infusion basket and let it sit for about ten minutes.
- Feel free to add some honey, lemon or ginger in order to enrich its taste
- Consume it warm
It is recommended to put your feet on a pillow while lying down. This technique has been also proven to help reduce swelling in the legs.