Puffiness and swelling, extra pounds and general discomfort describe water retention. What is the best and safest way of getting rid of it? How can one do it naturally, with essential oils for water retention (edema)? Find the answers plus tips on fighting fluid retention, in this article.
Read on to find out:
- What the best aroma oils for edema are and why.
- How to use essential oils for fluid retention. Plus tips for a correct anti-swelling massage. This massage is draining in nature, because of the ingredients you’ll use.
- Blend recipes with essential oils. They’ll help you reduce swelling and puffiness caused by water retention.
- Causes and symptoms, and consequences of untreated edema.
Essential Oils for Water Retention (Edema), plus Detoxifying Blends
Edema is that puffy skin area you feel sometimes. That is what it actually means: edema = swelling. There can be many causes for which you might feel your face, legs or arms puffy and swelled up. I will give all the details about them in the last paragraph.
In short, drugs, lack of exercise and an unbalanced diet can cause water retention. But it can also be caused by various harmful toxins. These toxins may come from what you eat (canned food, fast food, etc.) or from the skin care and beauty products you use.
These toxins have the tendency to build up and in time, they can cause a long chain of illnesses and affections. Water retention is one of them.
When there is something poisonous inside, the body stocks a lot of water in attempt to get rid of it. It basically stores water with which it pushes toxins out of the system. It can be done through skin or urine. This is where essential oils for swelling and fluid retention can help.
How Can Essential Oils Help with Water Retention?
Aromatic oils are concentrated plant essences, with a very complex chemical profile. This profile is made of tens of active, tiny molecules.
Each molecule acts in a complete synergy with the others. Thus, each oil has its own characteristics and properties/effects on our health.
Essential oils can be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral. They can also be antiseptic (pain relieving), antioxidant, calming and soothing. Some of them even have sedating effects and can help the skin regenerate.
But most importantly, essential oils have diuretic and venotonic properties. They are also great stimulants and can help detoxify the body and skin. All these properties make them good natural remedies in getting rid of mild edema.
- Diuretic refers to a substance that can stimulate the kidneys. That leads to the production of more urine. Going to the bathroom often will also help detoxify and expel all excess water. Not to mention that urinating can also help regulate your blood pressure.
- Venotonic refers to the ability of a substance to help drain the veins and capillaries.
- Stimulant is when certain molecules help the organs perform their tasks better.
That being said, let’s see what are some of the best essential oils for water retention and why.
1) Juniper Essential Oil
Botanical/Latin name: Juniperus communis.
This botanical name will help you differentiate between various species. It must always appear written on the label of the oil.
- Juniper is the best essential oil for edema. It can reduce swelling and puffiness and drain excess water from the tissue.
- It is a diuretic essential oil that causes frequent urination. At the same time, it also prevents kidney stone formation.
- It is a natural detoxifying agent. Not only does it promote frequent urination but it also promotes sweating. And not like you imagine, no! It simply helps the glands work properly and release toxins and salt through sweat.
- The oil of Juniper can also improve circulation.
- You should not use Juniper essential oil for water retention if you suffer from kidney problems.
- Juniper should not be used for more than 30 continuous days. Otherwise, it can damage the kidneys.
- Juniper is one of the oils that can induce seizures or raise the blood pressure.
Why I like it:
Juniper has a crisp scent, with woody and sweet notes. In other words, it makes pleasant smelling blends. This essential oil can be used to reduce swelling and puffiness, but it also helps with cellulite. Juniper can also help with digestion and skin problems.
2) Cypress Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cupressus sempervirens.
- Cypress is another one of the best essential oils for water retention. It is so because it acts as a venotonic. It decongests the veins and capillaries, relieving the excess fluid in the tissue. Thereby, it is good for both the venous and lymphatic systems.
- The oil of Cypress is a good anti-inflammatory and antiseptic (prevents infections).
- It is also a diuretic essential oil and can stimulate the drainage of toxins.
- Cypress oil should not be used if there’s cancer history in the family (breasts, uterus, testicles, etc.). The same goes for mastosis or fibrosis.
- Asthmatics and people with seizures should consult a doctor before using this essential oil for fluid retention.
Why I like it:
Cypress is also great for cellulite, not only just for edema. If used regularly, it can help you shed a few good centimeters. The oil can also disinfect the air and prevent viral infections (colds, flu, etc.).
3) Atlas Cedarwood Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cedrus atlantica.
- Atlas Cedarwood is one of the best essential oils for water retention. It can improve the circulation in the capillaries and decongest the veins.
- Cedarwood is also anti-inflammatory and stimulant. It can boost the activity of the lymphatic system and prevent fluid retention.
- Repeated applications of Cedarwood can help drain toxins and regenerate the skin.
- Atlas Cedarwood is abortifacient. That means it could cause miscarriage.
- It is not recommended to people with asthma or seizures.
- The oil should not be used for more than 5 days in a row.
Why I like it:
Cedarwood has a woody yet sweet fragrance, which makes it pleasant in blends. The oil is excellent for cellulite removal, but also in skin care. It can help the veins regenerate and maintain strong. It can also help with fat deposits (cholesterol).
All essential oils for water retention need to be tested for allergic reactions. Apply small amounts on the inside of your forearm and wait for 24 hours before widespread use.
Pregnant and nursing women should use them only with the doctor’s approval. The same goes for elderly people and children. Internal use of essential oils should not be done without proper medical guidance.
Here are some other good essential oils for edema:
How to Use Diuretic Essential Oils for Water Retention
Essential oils for edema work best when they’re applied to the skin. They should not be used undiluted though! Always mix them with a good carrier oil and use gentle massage movements. It’s important for the massage to be gentle and not cause pain.
Dilute up to 25 drops of essential oils for swelling and puffiness in an Oz. carrier oil.
Among the best carrier oils for water retention blends is Macadamia. It stimulates drainage and the circulation, as well as the lymphatic system. Other good carriers can be Jojoba, Olive, Tamanu and Argan.
Apply a blend once a day and then 3 times a week, massaging well the puffy area for 1 month. Mild edema should start improving quite fast. Cellulite however, needs regular application for many weeks in a row.
You can also help your body get rid of toxins and excess water by diffusion. Diffuse 5 – 8 drops of essential oils for fluid retention for 20 minutes, every 2 hours if you want. Otherwise, diffusing once a day for a month should work just fine.
Essential Oils for Fluid Retention – Massage Tips
Massaging edema-affected areas is very important in draining excess water. Here is what you could do when stimulating the circulation and lymphatic system to eliminate excess water:
- Prepare your skin for a good essential oil absorption. Use an abrasive glove or a loofa to open up pores and eliminate dead skin cells.
- The massage should be done with upward movements. Legs and arms are best massaged on the inner parts, pressing the joints for a minute or two. Don’t put too much pressure, it should not cause pain.
- Facial massage for edema should start from the neck, along the face towards the forehead. Pass your massaging fingers under the eyes. Make sure you pull the water on the outside, towards the temples.
Lymphatic massage is not recommended to people with serious infections and/or tumors. It is also not recommended to those with Hyperthyroidism. People with cardiac and kidney insufficiency and/or asthma should not do it either.
Essential Oil Blends to Reduce Swelling and Puffiness
You have the ingredients and you have the knowledge now. It’s time to start blending and using these oils to reduce swelling and puffiness. Choose whichever recipe you like or can make and try it as soon as possible.
Anti-Edema Blend Recipe with Essential Oils
- Cypress essential oil: 15 drops
- Atlas Cedarwood essential oil: 15 drops
- Juniper essential oil: 15 drops
- Macadamia oil: 2 Oz (60ml)
You can increase or decrease the number of essential oils for edema. It all depends on how it suits your skin and preferences. Give the blend a good shake before each application to activate the molecules.
Apply a moderate amount on the affected area and massage gently/pull towards the heart. The blend should work faster if it’s applied mornings and evenings for 3 weeks. Continue with it for 3 months.
Reduce Water Retention Diffuser Blend
- Juniper essential oil: 15 drops
- Grapefruit essential oil: 15 drops
- Lemongrass essential oil: 15 drops
Diffuse up to 10 drops per session (20 minutes every 2 hours) in a well-ventilated room. Once or twice a day is enough though.
Anti-Puffiness Spray Recipe
- Lavender hydrosol (floral water): 2 Oz (60ml)
- Lemongrass essential oil: 20 drops
- Cypress essential oil: 20 drops
Shake the blend well before each use. The oils will not mix with the water, but the shaking will break them down into microscopic droplets. Spray the affected area and use gentle massage movements to promote water release and drainage.
Know More about Edema or Fluid Retention (Causes, Symptoms and Consequences)
Edema means swelling. It is called so because the skin tissue swells up with water. It is also known as fluid or water retention.
- Water retention, when it’s mild, it’s also temporary and usually goes away on its own.
- Water retention (edema) can also be a side effect of certain medicines or allergies.
- Edema can also be a symptom and cause of some serious diseases (chronic) that need treatment.
Fluid retention is usually located on the face, and in the arms and legs. I suggest watching this one minute video to see how edema happens:
The human body is made of 65 – 70% water. There is water in the blood, skin cells, muscles, joints and even bones. Water retention doesn’t happen when you drink too much water. It happens when certain organs are not working properly.
The levels of water in your body are regulated by certain organs. A complex system of hormones and other similar substances also help.
Specifically, the lymphatic and the circulatory systems are the ones doing this job. They are helped by the liver, kidneys, capillaries and heart. Quite the network!
When water is leaking into the space between cells and capillaries, it basically moves between the lymph and blood. Normally, this water is reabsorbed into the blood through the capillaries. You can get water retention when:
- You eat a lot of salt. Salt is like a sponge, drawing out water from the blood into the lymph. The lymph is that yellow/transparent liquid that comes out of a wound. Among many other roles, it protects against bacterial infections and helps closing wounds.
- Heart pressure can force the water in the blood to go into the lymph. That’s how water ends up leaking into the space between blood (capillaries) and cells. Thus, a high blood pressure may affect fluid retention. If you have cardiac problems, you’ll have to address the doctor right away.
- Blood protein deficiency can also draw out water from the lymph into the blood.
A sedentary life (lack of physical activity), drugs and diet are some of the causes of water retention. As you’ve seen, even a lack of proteins in the blood can cause fluid retention.
You may have noticed how, the following day after eating too salty, you wake up all puffy and swollen.
The same goes for too much sugar or eating too late at night. These things cause mild edema that usually goes away by itself. Other types of edemas must be taken to a doctor and thoroughly investigated.
Fortunately, the use of essential oils for water retention can help you speed up the loss of it.
If you’re unsure of whether there’s too much water in your tissue or not, you can find out easily. A little test involves pressing a finger on the swelling/puffiness. If the mark of the finger lingers for a few seconds after lifting it, that may be a clear sign of edema. Other signs may be:
- Face swelling up when you lie down.
- Difficulty getting your feet in your usual socks.
- Dieting for a given period of time without losing any pound.
- Going to the bathroom too many times a night.
Tips to Avoid and Prevent Edemas (Fluid Retention)
If you want to prevent it, it’s important to know you have a few aces up your sleeve.
- The first thing you could do is make sure you get some exercising every day. Whether it’s a simple walk or some workout sessions, they need to be regular.
- You can also try to get up every hour for a few minutes and stretch, if you work at a desk. If you work standing, you should also take a few minutes break to sit for a few minutes, every hour. Make sure you don’t sit still for a long time.
- When you travel, make sure you stretch your legs or walk a few paces to put the blood into motion.
- Maintain an optimal weight.
- Consume salt and sugar moderately.
- Use support stockings for leg edemas.
- Massage your puffy areas with essential oils for water retention (edema). Use upward movements (towards the heart) to help the liquid move and drain out.
Edema or water retention is not life threatening. It can become so only if it’s the symptom of cardiac or circulatory problems. When it’s just temporary, it’s easier to prevent edema or make it go away.
And it can be done at home, with the help of essential oils for water retention. The best ones are those with diuretic and venotonic properties. The best part about treating edema is that you can also improve the aspect of cellulite!
What is your approach on getting rid of fluid retention naturally? Have you used essential oils for that before?