Edema is caused by retention of fluids that infiltrate the muscles and skin. It is marked by swelling of the face, head, eyelids, limbs, back or entire body.

Factors that Contribute to Dampness (edema)

Too much raw, cold, sweet mucus forming food such as raw fruits, vegetables, cold food, sprouts and juices.

Intake of highly sweet and mucus forming foods need to be limited – meats, eggs, dairy products, fats such as lard and butter, margarine, oils, oily foods such as nuts and seeds.

Foods Which Dry Dampness

Alfalfa Lettuce White pepper
Amaranth Pumpkin Raw honey
Aduki beans Scallion All bitter herbs such as chapparral, chamomile, & pau d’arco
Celery Rye
Corn Turnip

Raw goat’s milk is the one dairy product that will not usually contribute to damp conditions in the body.

Very Important Supplements

Free form amino acid complex Vitamin B complex – 50-100 mg of each major B vitamin twice daily with meals, with extra B6 (pyridoxine), 50 mg 3 times daily

Important Supplements

Alfalfa Calcium Magnesium

Helpful Supplements

Bromelain Pycnogenol Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids
Garlic Taurine Vitamin E

Helpful Herbs & Foods

Alfalfa Horse chestnut Marshmellow
Barley Horsetail Parsley & pau d’arco tea
Blue green algae Juniper Raw honey
Butcher’s broom Kidney beans Scallions
Carp Legumes Seaweeds
Chicken Lettuce Soybeans
Clam Nuts & seeds Uva Ursi
Corn Peas Vinegar
Cornsilk Pineapple Watemelon
Dandelion root Pumpkin Zucchini
Fava beans Pork liver
Fruit & Rind Rosehips
Grape Lobelia (not on an ongoing basis)
Hawthorn berries

Congee is a rice soup that contains extra ingredients that have healing properties. To make Aduki Bean Congee, make a thin porridge of a handful of rice simmered in 5-6 times the amount of water. Cook the rice and water in a covered pot 4-6 hours on warm, or use the lowest flame possible, or a crockpot. This congee is a diuretic.


  • Eat a diet that is high in fiber.
  • For protein, eat eggs, broiled white fish, and broiled skinless chicken or turkey. Consume small amounts of buttermilk, cottage cheese, kefir and low fat yogurt.
  • Use kelp to supply needed minerals.
  • Avoid alcohol, animal protein, beef, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products (except those listed above) dried shellfish, fried foods, gravies, olives, pickles, salt, soy sauce, tobacco, white flour and white sugar.
  • If you have swelling in the legs and feet, sit with your feet up as often as you can. Wear support hose for swelling in the legs.
  • Exercise daily and take hot baths or saunas twice a week.
  • Avoid stress.

In general, the following are suggestions to prevent edema:

  • Don’t eat food that is refined or highly processed, rotten, stale, parasite infested or chemically treated
  • Do not include too many ingredients in a meal
  • Avoid late night eating
  • Avoid overeating
  • Eat moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, legumes)