Homeopathic Remedies for Edema (Water Retention)
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
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also
“Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?
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
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).
Bovista: Puffiness 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.
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
Graphites: This 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.
Lycopodium: If 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.
Homeopathy Dosage Directions
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.
Many homeopathic 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 sufficient.
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 Homeopathic Potencies.