Swelling in any part of the body occurs when the tissue and/or organs enlarge, usually as a result of fluid accumulation. Depending on the type of injury, the swelling may also be the result of inflamed tissues. there are many different causes of swelling: if for instance you stand in one position for a long time, it is likely that your feet will swell. Sometimes, when it is too hot, you are likely to experience swelling as a direct result of been exposed to the heat. Whichever the case, it is important to realize that swelling can occur in two ways: localized or generalized.
Localized swelling occurs when specific parts of the body start to swell, while generalized swelling affects the entire body. Some of the most common symptoms of swelling include puffiness in the affected part of the body, shiny skin that tends to be very taut as well as the sinking of the skin when pressed. Swelling, in itself, does not cause harm. You need to be very careful, however, as the swelling could be a sign of an underlying medical condition depending on the location of the affected skin. There are simple remedies that you can use to ease the swelling, as well as lifestyle changes that you can make a part of your life. If the swelling does not ease even with the use of the home remedies, make sure you seek a medical appointment.
1. Epsom Salt Bath:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Cups of Epsom salt and warm water in the bathtub.
Epsom salt is one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for treating a swelling. It is most effective for generalized swelling where the whole body is seemingly affected by the accumulation of fluid. The salts not only draw out the accumulated fluid, they effectively eliminate toxins from collecting at the point of the swelling. For this remedy, you will need 2 cups of the salt (available from your local chemist) and water in a bathtub to allow you to soak in.
- Place the Epsom salt in the tub and run the water.
- Mix well and proceed to soak in the water for 20-30 minutes.
- This will leave you feeling refreshed and the swelling should begin to subside.
- Use the remedy once daily for best results and quick healing.
2. Get a Massage:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Massage oil (coconut or olive oil) and warm bath.
Massaging the swollen part of the body is a simple yet effective way of easing the symptoms of the same. The trick is to do this gently, creating strokes in motion that in turn increase the pressure on the affected skin. Doing so causes the lymphatic system to catch on the pressure and allow for fluid draining. Ensure that you massage using warm oil to avoid friction for best results. In cases where the swelling is due to pregnancy, you may want to have the massage done by a masseuse whose training is specifically geared for pregnant women.
- Warm the choice oil in a warm bath. You are discouraged from heating the oil directly as this destroys its structure and efficiency.
- Once the oil is warm enough, use it to massage the swollen area.
- Whenever you can, do this multiple times daily to ease the swelling.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of both raw apple cider vinegar and warm water, as well as a clean washcloth/towel.
One of the must-have home remedies for you if you constantly suffer from swelling is Apple cider vinegar. Abbreviated ACV, apple cider vinegar works by reducing the inflammation associated with swelling. In addition to this, ACV has a a high concentration of Potassium. When the levels of Potassium are increased in the body, the resulting effect allows for the reversal of fluid accumulation. The best way to get the benefits of ACV is to use it topically, although there is also the option of drinking the solution.
NOTE: You may want to carry out a patch test prior to using ACV as there are those whose skin is sensitive. If there is no reaction, proceed to dilute the ACV as described in the steps below.
- Mix equal parts of the water and ACV to ensure that the remedy is not as harsh, but retains its healing properties.
- Soak the clean towel in the mixture for a couple of minutes.
- Dab the towel on the swelling for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if the swelling is localized, you may opt to tie the towel around it for quick recovery.
- Leave the towel on for about 10 minutes. Do this daily.
- If you prefer to drink the ACV solution instead, all you need to do is add 1 tablespoon of the ACV to a glass of water and drink thrice daily.
4. Flax Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of flax seed powder and glass of warm water. Flax seed (optional).
Flax seed has long been used as a natural remedy to treat swelling, thanks to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. When ingested, the flax seed reduce inflammation at the site of the swelling. This remedy also has the benefit of removing toxins from the body. You may choose to ingest the remedy or apply it topically using flax seed oil.
- Place the flax seed powder in a glass and add the warm water.
- Stir to mix well and enjoy this drink twice daily.
- Alternatively, use the flax seed oil to massage the swelling.
- Use this option severally everyday until the swelling subsides.
5. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Spread through out the day.
What You Need: Adequate drinking water.
Sometimes, swelling is a result of the body’s attempts to retain water for preservation purposes. When the body cells sense that there is shortage of water in the body (as is the case when one is dehydrated), the automatic response is to store water, thus leading to swelling in certain parts of the body, mostly in the feet and hands.
In such cases, the best thing to do is to take more water to ensure that you stay hydrated. The recommended amount of water is often pegged at 8 glasses of water everyday. This, however, varies from one person to the other depending on one’s medical state. In addition to the water, it also helps to take adequate fluids such as fresh fruit juices, broth and soup.
- The best way to go about staying hydrated is to stagger the water and fluid intake throughout the day.
- Continuously sipping on water and your choice fluids has a positive effect on the body.
6. Raise the Part of the Body Which is Swollen if you can:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A comfortable place where you can elevate the swelling.
In cases where the swelling is a result of an injury, you may reverse the effects by lying flat and raising the swollen part of the body. The ease of doing so depends on the nature of the injury. For instance, it is easy to raise your legs if that is where the swelling is, rather than it is to raise your chest. The purpose of doing this is to help in draining the excessive fluid, and therefore reduce the swelling.
- Get a comfortable position and simply raise the swollen part of the body to the point where it does not strain the rest of the body.
- This remedy is most effective when combined with any of the other remedies.
7. Use Either Hot or Cold Packs Depending on the Nature of the Swelling:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Cold/ice pack and hot compress.
Hot or cold compresses, depending on the type of swelling at hand, will effectively bring down the swelling. The hot compress works by draining the fluid away while the cold compress reduces inflammation and keeps the swelling down. Cold compresses are ideal in cases where the swelling is the result of an allergic reaction. When the swelling is the result of an injury during intense activities, then the hot compress works excellently in soothing the swollen area and reducing the pain. As a general guide, it is best to use a hot compress at least 24 hours after the swelling sets in.
- Place 5 ice cubes on a soft cloth and wrap well so that you have a pack which you can use with ease.
- Massage the swelling using the pack for 5 minutes, taking breaks after every couple of minutes. Note that you must never use ice directly on the swelling as this causes skin irritation and easily leads to mild frostbite.
- Simply heat water and transfer it to a glass bottle.
- Take a soft towel and use it to wrap the bottle in order to prevent heat loss.
- Roll the pack over the swelling for as many times as you can until the water cools down.
8. Compression Clothes:
Time Required: Several hours daily.
What You Need: Choice compression cloth.
Swelling can easily be managed using compression clothing. The essence of this option is to add pressure to the affected part of the body, effectively preventing the pooling of fluid. This in turn prevents swelling. There are different types of compression clothing available in the market. These range from gloves, to socks, sleeves and stockings. Wear the preferred clothing for as long as it is comfortable, usually for several hours daily.
- Wear your choice compression cloth daily until the swelling subsides.
9. Lifestyle Changes:
Time Required: Varies from one person to another.
What You Need: Deliberate effort to make positive changes.
Part of managing swelling in the long term revolves around making positive lifestyle changes to avoid the causes of the same. All that is required is a deliberate decision to institute the changes. The first way to do this is to reduce the amount of dietary salt you take.
Salt, which contains high amounts of sodium, works by retaining water in the tissues, this contributing to the swelling. The second change you can make is exercising to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. It is a well-known fact that obesity predisposes one to swelling, and so by exercising, you are less likely to suffer from swelling.
- Reduce your salt intake gradually to avoid swelling.
- Exercise on a regular basis in order to prevent excessive weight gain.
Make sure you see a doctor if the swelling does not ease with the regular use of the aforementioned home remedies.