If you have ever had an encounter with swollen legs or feet, you know how agonizing that can be.
There might be many reasons for the swelling (also known as edema or retention of fluids) to occur:
- Premenstrual syndrome or PMS
- Excessive consumption of processed foods and foods with high salt content
- A ‘desk’ lifestyle—sitting or staying in one position for a long time
- Side effects of some medications
- Poor circulation
Sometimes it is normal for a bit of swelling to occur in the legs in cases of prolonged standing or during pregnancy. But if the occasional swelling turns into chronic ankle swelling or, as it’s scientifically called peripheral edema, it might be a hint to more severe issues like heart failure, kidney or liver disease. Therefore, if you experience swelling for a prolonged periods of time, contact your physician as soon as possible.
If you experience only occasional nonacute swelling, you can try out some natural herbal remedies that were used for centuries by scientists and philosophers including Hippocrates himself. This effective natural remedy that will help you get rid of the excess fluids and reduce the swelling is parsley.
The name is derived from the ancient Greek language and is an amalgam of “petrose”, which means rock, and “selenium”, which is the name for celery. Its literal translation is “rock celery” since it often grows on rocky terrains.
There are originally two different types of parsley, curly parsley and flat (or Italian) parsley. Parsley is most commonly used as a dish garnish but also most of us usually leave it aside and avoid its consumption.
By doing that, we are making a big mistake, because studies have shown that eating the parsley garnish can greatly reduce the risk of contracting some serious diseases on the urinary tract, reduce menstrual pain, help with asthma and bronchitis, lower the blood pressure and improve your breath and general bone health.
Hippocrates, one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, recommended parsley as a tonic for kidney stones, rheumatism and even as an antidote for poison. According to “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook”, parsley is one of the most remarkable diuretics that aids the kidneys in getting rid of all the excess fluids in your body.
Parsley Is a Natural Diuretic
A study published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” describes the way parsley influences the process of osmosis and increases the urine flow by inhibiting sodium and potassium ion pumps.
This also concludes that parsley is rich in potassium and unlike the chemically produced diuretics, parsley doesn’t lower your potassium levels but actually assures you don’t experience these common harmful side effects.
Another study conducted in Brazil in 2009, titled “Diuretic and hypotensive activity of aqueous extract of parsley seeds”, confirmed the incredible diuretic attributes of the parsley and its power to increase the urinary flow and reduce blood pressure at the same time.
According to America’s most prominent herbalist, Dr. John Christopher, everyone should drink at least two quarts (64 oz.) of strong parsley tea on daily basis, in order to achieve maximum results in the battle against the edema.
That dosage can be increased to a cup an hour if needed, but it is important to make sure that you use “fresh light-green leaves” along with the roots and seeds if they are available.
The method of preparation of parsley tea:
First, we need to chop the leaves and roots into small pieces. These finely chopped parsley leaves can last up to a week in the fridge if placed in an air-tight container. Then we need to put around one-quarter of a cup of parsley into an infusion basket. Third, we pour the boiled water over the parsley and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes. Next, we remove the basket or strain the tea. If you want to enrich the taste, you can add honey, ginger or lemon to the desired quantity. It is recommended to drink the parsley tea while it’s still warm to achieve maximum results.
Apart from regular consumption of parsley tea, you can try some other techniques to reduce swelling like regular leg exercises and putting some pillows under your legs while you are laying down in order to raise them above the heart.