Painful swelling of the legs caused by retention of fluids in the tissues is sometimes called peripheral edema. It has multiple causes, including the following:
• Poor circulation
• Sitting or staying in one position for a prolonged time
• Some medications
• A diet high in salty and/or processed foods
While some causes of peripheral edema, like pregnancy, are benign, others are not. Chronic swelling of the legs or ankles can also be a symptom of such serious conditions like heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease. Consequently, if the peripheral edema persists, the patient should consult their doctor.
Benefits of parsely
Occasional bouts of peripheral edema can be treated with a variety of natural and herbal remedies that can rid the body of the excess fluids causing the swelling. Parsley is one such remedy, and its use dates back to the time of Hippocrates (460- 370 BC), who used it to treat kidney stones, rheumatism, and some forms of poisoning.
The word “parsley” comes from the Greek words “petrose” (rock) and “selenium” (celery). There are two major types: curly parsley and Italian parsley. The latter has flat leaves.
Parsley is often used as a decorative garnish for many dishes – but people tend not to eat it. That’s unfortunate, for studies have linked parsley to a number of health benefits. According to the studies, parsley can prevent asthma, menstrual cramps, digestive problems, allergies, and urinary tract problems. It may also be used to treat bronchitis and halitosis. Parsley may also strengthen bones and reduce blood pressure. According to “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook,” parsley is a powerful diuretic that helps the kidneys get rid of excess fluids in the body.
Research has backed up that last claim. A 2002 study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” stated that “parsley acts as a diuretic by inhibiting the sodium and potassium ion pumps, influencing the process of osmosis and increasing the flow of urine.”
A Brazilian study conducted in 2009 also found that parsley reduces blood pressure and increases the production of urine. Unlike many diuretics, parsley does not reduce the potassium levels in the body. In fact, parsley contains a lot of potassium itself.
The American author and herbalist, Dr. John R. Christopher, recommends drinking two quarts of strong parsley tea every day for the best results in treating peripheral edema. The tea should be made from the roots, seeds and fresh, light-green leaves.
The roots and leaves are chopped finely. A ¼ cup of parsley is placed into an infusion basket. The basket is either submerged in a teapot or gets boiling water poured over it. The tea is allowed to steep for five to seven minutes, and the basket is removed. Ginger, honey or lemon can be added to taste.
The tea should be drunk while still hot in order to get the most benefits from it.