Swelling refers to the enlargement of a body part which may or may not be painful. This generally occurs due to fluid buildup or inflammation. Swelling can be either in one section of the body known as localized or all over the body known as generalized. Swelling generally takes place the warmer months of the year. Swelling can generally be seen in legs, face and hands; more precisely it is generally seen in the lower halves of the legs and feet. It occurs due to long standings or walking for a longer duration. This comes under the category of localized swelling. Generalized swelling occurs when a person is facing or suffering from a chronic disease or in case of organ failure. In Ayurvedic terminology, swelling is known as shotha. Swelling is known to be of two types, pitting i.e., when the swollen area is pressed, it leaves a dent which then automatically and gradually fills back and non-pitting i.e., when no dent is observed when the swollen area is pressed.
There are a few procedures in Ayurvedic treatment of swelling or oedema which can help the body get rid of the excess doshas and toxins. These procedures include Abhyanga (oil massage), Lepas (coating the swollen body part with medications as instructed) and Raktamokshana (bloodletting).
There are a few Ayurvedic herbs to treat swelling Arjuna, Punarnava and Adraka. Arjuna has properties which act on the digestive, circulatory and reproductive systems and has properties that are stimulant, rejuvenating and astringent. Consumption of Arjuna can be taken in the form of a powder, decoction, juice or as per the guidance of the physician. Punarnava is another ayurvedic rejuvenative herb that is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities used in the treatment of swelling. When the juice of the leaf is applied externally, it helps to reduce the swelling and the juice helps in reducing any inflammation if caused. Consumption of Punarnava can be taken in the form of an infusion, decoction, powder, juice or paste prepared with honey or as per the guidance of the physician. Adraka is known for its healing properties and is used as a medicinal herb known to cure many diseases. It has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful for reducing swelling in the body. It also helps in eliminating excess Kapha and Vata from the body. it is an effective ayurvedic treatment and can be taken in the form of a paste, fresh juice, decoction, pill, powder or as per the guidance of the physician.