The Concept of Edema From Ayurveda’s Perspective

The Concept of Edema From Ayurveda’s  Perspective


Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. Although Edema can affect any part of your body, you may notice it more in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs. Edema can be the result of medication, pregnancy or an underlying disease often congestive heart failure, kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver.

Edema is explained in Ayurveda as Shotha or Shopha. Edema conditions affects in various areas on the body such as face, feet and so forth or all through the body or a half of the body.


In edema there is the leakage of blood veins because of that liquid get released into nearby tissues. This extra liquid accumulation results in tissues enlarging or swelling. 


Despite the fact that it generally shows as a symptoms in many diseases connected with vital organs like kidney, liver, heart, lungs, brain, uterus and so on.


Edema might as individual disease itself due to imbalanced Dosha. Ayurvedic understanding and treatment choices for Edema are explained below:

Edema Vs Odema

Edema or Odema creates confusion however there is no such difference, they're exactly the same! "Edema" is the American spelling, whereas "Oedema" is usually used in the UK spelling.

What triggers Edema in the Body?

General causes of Edema occur from increased doshas. All three doshas are involved in the development of all three types of edema (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), yet the predominating dosha determines what dosha should be balanced. 


  • Long term fast or Improper Diet
  • Sudden overeating, or eating foods that are hard to digest, fatty, heavy, hot, sharp, cold, salty.
  • Excessive intake of water.
  • Oversleeping, or lack of sleep.
  • Eating mud, or excessive intake of dairy products such as yogurt, dry meats, and uncooked foods can cause edema.
  • Over-exertion, long distance walking, excessive travel, and eating mutually contradictory foods (e.g., fish and milk).
  • Edema may also develop from difficult breathing, cough, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, enlarged abdomen, menorrhagia, anemia and fever.
  • Other causes include simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea resulting from indigestion, undigested food remaining in the stomach, vomiting, pregnancy, lack of exercise, irregular delivery, abortion, or miscarriage.
  • Using contraceptive pills
  • Use of certain medications like hypertension medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, estrogens and diabetes.
  • External causes result only when the superficial skin layer is afflicted by injury.


Onset of Edema


Edema is either organic or traumatic and may pervade the body or remain localized. It may be hard and wide, raised, or knotted/glandular. These conditions will cause Pitta, blood, and Kapha to enter the outer channels and obstruct the circulation channels (Vata). This causes localized swelling in the twak (skin) and mamsa (muscle). 


There are 9 types of edema: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata/Pitta, Vata/Kapha, Pitta/Kapha, Tridosha, external (two causes: trauma/injury, and poison). 


When the doshas are in the chest, they produce upper body swelling. When they are found in the urinary bladder, the lower body swells; in the middle of the body, the middle swells. Doshas found throughout the body cause the whole body to swell. When it occurs in the throat or palate, edema remains localised.


 General Symptoms of Edema

  • Fevers with burning sensations
  • Dilated veins at the site of edema
  • Heaviness of the body
  • Appearing and disappearing (i.e., unstable or variable); swelling, rising temperature
  • Thinning of vessels
  • Hair standing on end
  • Discoloration of skin on the extremities

Edema caused by imbalance of Vata

Swelling moves from place to place, is dry with rough hair; reddish or black; thin, constricting, pulsating, tingling, pricking, puncturing or cutting pains, or a lack of sensation. Swelling quickly rises and subsides and spreads to other parts. Can subside by massage with fatty and hot materials. It will be mild at night and severe during the day. May also be mildly burning or tingling. There may be numbness. When the skin is pressed the swelling disappears, but when the finger releases from the skin, the swelling rises again.


Edema caused by imbalance of Pitta

Black, pink, yellow, or reddish white swelling with copper-red hair, malodorous, quick swelling, and subsiding. First appears in the middle of the body with thirst, burning fever, perspiration, sweating, thirst, giddiness, toxicity, and dizziness. Persons wanting cold things have painful diarrhea.


Edema caused by imbalance of Kapha

Itchy swelling, yellowish-white hair and skin, hard, cold, oily, smooth, firm, and thick. It is associated with excessive sleep, vomiting, and weak digestion. Pressing and releasing fingers from the swelling leaves an indentation (i.e., the skin does not rise). This is known as “pitting edema.” Edema is slow to appear and heal and swells more at night. When pricked, it exudes slimy fluid. Other symptoms include heavy limbs, localization of the edema. Touch and warmth are pleasing to the person.


Edema caused by imbalance of Tridosha

Tridosha: Symptoms of all three doshas appear simultaneously.

Edema caused by external factors such as trauma/injury, and poison

Trauma/Injury: Results from cutting, splitting, hitting, banging, being in a cold breeze or sea breeze. It spreads from place to place, is hot to touch, blood- red color. Other Pitta symptoms pertain. 


Poisons: Causes include bites, claws, contaminated things, feces, urine, semen, poisonous trees, wind, gas, and smoke. It is soft, moveable, drooping, quickly rising, burning, and painful. Recently occurring edema without secondary complications can be healed.

Treat Edema With Ayushakti

Dr Smita Naram and her team have spent decades researching, with the goal of developing new treatments and eventually finding a better cure. We have special therapies and Marma points which help to remove blockages and improve health.

Ayushakti’s medicines are herbal based, extract formulas which are developed and tested by our expert researchers. Our doctors will prescribe medicines according to your personal situation.

Our doctors will create an individual treatment plan for you. You'll learn how to control the symptoms and manage triggers factors. You will also learn how to improve your condition with lifestyle and dietary changes.


Focus Area For Treatment of Edema

  • Kapha Pacification(Reduce obstructions)
  • Rectify Vitiated Vata (Regulate Vata movement)
  • Reduce Swelling (Reduce water retention)


Also Read: 5 Most Effective Home Remedies For Edema


Pathological Representation of Edema

Pathological Representation of Edema

Detox Therapy (Panchkarma)

Detox is the Ayurvedic cleansing process for body, mind and emotions that helps you to create holistic health and well-being in your life. Digestive impurities such as mucus and metabolic toxins pile up in the veins, intestine, liver and joints. They circulate throughout the entire body and block the system. Continuous build-up of these impurities can cause physical and mental disorders and disease. A Detox helps to clean out toxins. Marma points help to remove blockages and improve circulation.


The type of detox will depend on the chronicity and severity of the problem.

  • Smart detox
  • Dynamic detox 
  • Power detox
  • Super detox 

It may include Virechan, Basti and Dry pinda sweda, Marma Therapy (As per condition).

Ayushakti’s detoxification Panchkarma treatments are highly focused on relieving the root cause of any chronic problem by cleansing, repairing and rejuvenating the deeper tissues and cells in your body.  

Click here to check out our Panchkarma Detoxification Plan 


Virechan (Purgation)

Virechana is the sedated purgation treatment that scrubs the body from the Pitta Dosha and eliminates toxins from the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and nerve bladder. 

Virechana is a sodhana(purification) treatment. This is typically finished after Snehapana and three days of fomenting. Medication will be in any structure, fluid or powder, or decoction and should be taken while fasting. Before taking the medication, the patient should hydrate regularly until defecations start.


Basti Therapy (Medicated Enema)

Basti therapy is primarily used for Vata excesses, alone or as the predominant dosha deranged. Basti is the Sanskrit name for the urinary bladder. The colon is the main organ that absorbs all the nutrients. A healthy, functioning colon is imperative for the proper assimilation of nutrients. The colon is related to all other organs and tissues, so the entire body is healed and rejuvenated by cleansing and toning the colon.

Basti Karma is  separated into two types per the consistency of the medications Sneha Basti(Anuvasan) and Niruha Basti (Aasthaapana).



Of the various kinds of Panchkarma therapy for different health concerns, pindswed improves flexibilty of joints, relieves arthritis, swelling, sciatica and spondylosis.



Marma techniques are very effective if done in a specific manner and with great focus. These subtle energy points can create a powerful impact in your mental channels to bring back positivity, concentration, self-confidence, happiness and zeal. Marma techniques help to remove blocks, reduce symptoms instantly, and nourish tissues.

Wrapping Up

Ayushakti Ayurved is committed to treating any health condition from its root cause. If you overlook the symptoms of Edema and suppress the pain with OTC, it will be painful for you in the long run. Therefore, it is crucial to treat this condition safely and effectively. We encourage you to consult our expert doctors and see the results yourself!


Ayushakti's mission is to help people in every possible way. You can consult our experts by phone or video. We will suggest diet & home remedies for maintaining your well-being in these difficult times. Book your consultation here - BOOK NOW


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Author of the Blog: Dr.Ronak Naik


Expert Review By: Dr Smita Pankaj Naram


Co-Founder, Ayushakti Ayurved Pvt Ltd.