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Natural treatment for lymphedema

This term refers to swelling which generally happens in one of your arms or legs. Also, there are some cases when both arms or both legs can swell. It is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to the lymph nodes which is a part of the cancer treatment. It happens from the blockage of lymphatic system. This system is a part of the immune system. This blockage is preventing the lymph fluid from draining well and the fluid buildup leads to swelling. There is no cure for the lymphedema but it can be managed with early diagnosis and diligent care of your affected limb.

The most common symptoms of lymphedema are hardening and thickening of the skin; recurring infections; aching or discomfort; restricted range of motion; a feeling of heaviness or tightness; swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, and your fingers or toes are also included. There are some factors which can increase your risk of lymphedema, such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis; excess weight or obesity; older age. If you left the lymphedema in your arm or leg untreated, then it could lead to serious complications, such as lymphangiosarcoma and infections (like lymphangitis and cellulitis). You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from lymphedema before you start using some of the below mentioned home remedies.

Home remedies for lymphedema

Home remedies for lymphedema

Sweet clover: You can apply this home remedy on topical way because it can help to optimize the function of the lymphatic system. Also, it has some compounds which can strengthen the vessels while at the same time, they will increase the lymph fluid flow. [1]

Butcher’s broom: This home remedy can improve the circulation and it will make your blood vessels stronger. It has many health benefits and it can be used as a home remedy for lymphedema. It can help to ease the swollen lymph glands which will reduce the discomfort.

Ginger: The essential component of ginger known as gingerols have positive healing effects on people who suffer from lymphedema. It can help to reduce the swelling and it can help to promote healthy immune system. [2]

Exercises: It has been shown that light exercises in which you move your affected limb can encourage the lymph fluid drainage and this can help to prepare yourself for daily tasks, such as carrying groceries. You should not do tire or strenuous exercises. You should focus on gentle contraction of the muscles in your leg or arm. You should ask for help from a certified lymphedema therapist because he will teach you exercises that will help you. [3]

Massage: The manual lymph drainage is a special massage technique which can encourage the flow of lymph fluid out of your arm or leg. There are many different massage treatments which can benefit people with active cancer. You should do the massage with someone who is specialized in these techniques. You should know that the massage is not recommended for everyone. You should avoid massage if you have a skin infection, blood clots or active disease in the involved lymph drainage areas. [4]

Diet and exercise: It is known that the weight gain can increase the risk for lymphedema because it can be more difficult for the fatty tissue to get the nutrients which needs to remain healthy. You can use a diet that is focused on those foods to reduce the inflammation because it will help you in the healing process of lymphedema. Also you can do exercises for your natural treatment of lymphedema along with the proper diet. You need to do light exercises. If you are planning to do any significant lifestyle change, then you should talk with your doctor so in this way you will stay sure that you will remain healthy. [3]

Detoxification: There are some foods and supplements which can help to remove the toxins from your body and this is good not just for treating lymphedema but also for your overall health. As time passes, toxins can build up in your lymph system and this could lead to blockage as well as a diminished immune system. You can use detoxifying substances, such as teas and herbs, which you can easily find in many health food stores. You should take them on regular basis to get the best benefits. Also, you should consume water in the recommended amount every day because water can hydrate your body and when you drink water before meals, then it can help you in the weight loss. There are some studies in which are said that the detoxification is not always the best natural treatment for lymphedema on its own because they lymphatic system is blocked with thick particles so the detoxifying can worsen the blockage if these particles are not broken up. This is a reason why you should take homeopathic measure to break up these thick particles before you start your detoxifying.

Avoid heat on your arm or leg: You should not apply ice or heat to your affected limb. Also, you need to protect your affected limb from the extreme cold.

Bromelain: This home remedy can help to reduce the inflammation and swelling. Doctors are recommending taking 250 – 500 mg of an empty stomach 3 times per day but consult with your doctor firstly before you start taking it. [5]

Horse chestnut: This natural cure can help to reduce the inflammation and it will alleviate phlebitis.

Cleavers: This home remedy can be used internally because it can drain the excessive fluid buildup. Usually, this herb is combined with equal amounts of red clover flowers, prickly ash bark and mullin.

Wrapping your arm or leg: When you are bandaging your entire lamb, then it will encourage the lymph fluid to flow back toward the trunk of your body. The bandage should be tightest around your fingers or toes and it should loosen as it moves up your leg or arm.

Flaxseed oil: You can take flaxseed oil capsules because they are anti – inflammatory. It is recommended taking 1000 mg two times per day but you need to consult your doctor before you start taking them. [6]

Elevate your arm leg: You should elevate your affected limb above the level of your heart whenever you have a chance.

Keep your arm or leg clean: You should make your skin and nail care high priorities. You should inspect the skin on your arm or leg on daily basis and you should watch for changes or breaks in your skin which could lead to infection. You should not go barefoot.

Avoid tight clothing: You should avoid anything that can constrict your arm or leg, such as tight clothing. If you have lymphedema in your arm, then you should avoid blood pressure cuffs. You need to talk with your doctor if the blood pressure can be taken in your other arm. [4]

Grape seed extract: This home remedy is powerful antioxidant which can help to reduce the inflammation. It is recommended consuming 200 mg of this home remedy on daily basis but talk with your doctor before you start taking it for the best dosage. [7]

Ginger tea: This natural cure can increase the circulation and it reduces inflammation [8]. You should add ½ teaspoon of ground ginger to one cup of hot water. You should drink the ginger tea 3 times per day.

Calcium and magnesium: These minerals should be taken in a ratio of 2:1 calcium to magnesium because in this way they can clear your body from free radicals and they will reduce the inflammation.

Boswellia Serrata: This is an Ayurvedic herb which can be used for reduction of inflammation.

Colloidal silver: This home remedy can help to prevent the infection while at the same time it will strengthen the immune system. [9]

Fish oil: This is anti – inflammatory home remedy. You should take one to two capsules before you go to bed but talk with your doctor for the correct dosage.

Iodine: This mineral is needed by our bodies because it can help us to make thyroid hormones. There are some studies in which are shown that iodine can help in the management of filarial lymphedema. If you are allergic or hypersensitive to iodine, then you should not use it as your home remedy for lymphedema. You should not use this home remedy for more than 14 days. You need to talk with your doctor if you should use iodine as your natural treatment and for the recommended dosage.

Vitamin C and flavonoid – rich foods: There are some studies in which are shown that the consumption of Vitamin C – rich foods and flavonoid – rich foods, such as onions, berries and citrus fruits, can help to strengthen the capillaries walls and it will improve the general circulation. [10]


[1] Nutra News. Sweet clover extract beneficial for oedema and lymphoedema. 2017. Retrieved from–veinotonics–sweet-clover-extract-beneficial-for-oedema-lymphoedema–1283

[2] Mahassni SH, Bukhari OA. Beneficial effects of an aqueous ginger extract on the immune system cells and antibodies, hematology, and thyroid hormones in male smokers and non-smokers. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. 2019;15:10-7.

[3] Hespe GE, Kataru RP, Savetsky IL, et al. Exercise training improves obesity‐related lymphatic dysfunction. The Journal of Physiology. 2016;594(15):4267–82.

[4] Vairo GL, Miller SJ, McBrier NM, Buckley WE. Systematic review of efficacy for manual lymphatic drainage techniques in sports medicine and rehabilitation: An evidence-based practice approach. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 2009;17(3):e80–e89.

[5] Pavan R, Jain S, Shraddha, Kumar A. Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: A review. Biotechnology Research International. 2012;2012:976203.

[6] Goyal A, Sharma V, Upadhyay N, et al. Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2014;51(9):1633–53.

[7] Dasgupta A, Klein K. Herbal and other dietary supplements that are antioxidants. Antioxidants in Food, Vitamins and Supplements. 2014.

[8] Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, et al. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: Review of current evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;4(Suppl1):S36–S42.

[9] Franco-Molina MA, Mendoza-Gamboa E, Zarate-Triviño DG, et al. In vitro evaluation of colloidal silver on immune function: Antilymphoproliferative activity. Journal of Nanomaterials. 2016.

[10] Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, et al. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. 2013;28(4):314–28.

Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh Kumar
Dr. Ramesh kumar, BAMS is naturopathy doctor who is well versed with health benefits of all fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants


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