Herbal Diuretics for Edema

Edema is a common symptom of diseases like congestive heart failure, nephritis, endocrine disease, ascites, trauma or bi syndrome (i.e. arthritis and rheumatism). Edema indicates accumulation of fluid in the body and manifests as swelling of the eyelids, face, limbs, trunk or the entire body. Edema can be caused by exogenous pathogenic attack. More often, edema signals internal stagnation disorders of the lung, spleen or kidneys or involves blood obstruction of the water passages of the sanjiao. 

Gentle diurectics found in TCM benefit the movement of water to disperse swelling and may be as effective as pharmaceutical diuretics without adversely affecting the kidneys. 

Wu Pi Yin, Five Herbs Decoction contains, you guessed it, five herbs, namely ginger rhizome, dried rind of poria, dried rind of tangerine, bark of mulberry root and betel husk in a formula that eliminates damp, freeing and benefitng the movement of water, the kidneys while warming and tonifying spleen to disperse swelling. This prescription dates back to the famous physician, Hua Tuo in year 208 and employs plant skins to treat from underneath the skin accumulation of water as swells to the surface on skin, limbs, joints and lungs. 

A decoction that may treat more severe cases is Hoelen and Alisma Combination. The prescription of hoelen, atractylodes, citrus & chih-shih, licorice, fresh ginger, magnolia bark, saussurea, cardamom, cyperus, alisma, polyporus, areca peel and juncus is more complex and is attributed to the physician Gong Tingxian (1522-1619) of Ming Dynasty fame who attributed disorders to lifestyle choices throughout his 70 years in practice.


Posted by Phong Luu

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