The sandbox tree offers an effective natural cure for edema
10/08/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

This unusual-looking evergreen tree could be the solution to edema prevention and treatment, according to a new study. The study, published in the European Journal of Medicinal Plants, discovered that the sandbox tree (Hura crepitans L.), also known as possumwood, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help treat edema.

A team of researchers from Lagos State University in Nigeria aimed to look at the anti-inflammatory properties of hexane and ethyl acetate extracts of sandbox tree grown in Nigeria. To conduct the study, they extracted crude extracts from the leaves of the sandbox tree. Then, they measured the anti-inflammatory activity of the extracts in mice by treating the mice with the hexane extract and ethyl acetate extracts of possumwood leaves.

After the third day of treatment, they injected fresh egg albumin into the right hind limb of the mice to induce edema and measured the antioxidant activity of the extracts. They also measured the antioxidant activities of the extracts at baseline and during the first, second, third, and fourth hour.

After analyzing the results, the research team discovered that there are more compounds present in the ethyl acetate extract compared to the hexane extract. In addition, both extracts of the sandbox tree exhibited moderate anti-inflammatory activities. The anti-inflammatory activity of the ethyl acetate extract increased from the first hour to the fourth hour. On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory activity of the hexane extract decreased over the four hours.


Based on the findings of the study, the research team concluded that the extracts of sandbox tree leaves have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help in the treatment and prevention of edema.

Edema and other ways to treat it

Edema is swelling due to fluid retention. It usually affects the legs, ankles, or feet, but can also affect the hands, face, or any other part of the body. Edema can be caused by serious illnesses, such as heart failure, kidney disease, liver problems, thyroid disorders, blood clots, infections, and severe allergic reactions. This condition can also be due to medications, such as those prescribed for high blood pressure, diabetes, pain, and inflammation. In some cases, varicose veins or damaged veins in the legs cause edema. Here are some treatments you can try to ease edema at home:

  • Eat healthily and avoid packaged and processed foods that contain too much salt.
  • Get moving. Moderate amount of exercise can help prevent swelling due to inactivity.
  • Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Wear support stockings.
  • Try acupuncture or massage.

You can also try these herbal drinks and supplements:

  • Celery Seed Extract: Celery seed extract is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and a diuretic. Oftentimes, it is used to increase urine output of the body in case of infections, which can help in treating edema.
  • Cranberry juice: Cranberries contain minerals like calcium and potassium and exhibit diuretic properties that help in alleviating edema. Drinking cranberry juice once a day may help treat edema.
  • Grape seed extract: Taking grape seed extract supplement can help treat edema because of its antioxidant properties that can be beneficial to chronic venous insufficiency, a medical condition that causes swelling due to pooling of blood in the legs.
  • Green tea: Green tea has stimulating and diuretic properties that can help in metabolizing the excess fluids in the body.
  • Juniper oil: Applying juniper oil on the swollen areas can help reduce swelling and water retention due to the oil's diuretic and detoxifying effects.
  • Olive leaf extract: Olive leaf extract have compounds that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation and oxidative stress caused by brain edema.
  • Turmeric: Tumeric contains curcumin, which exhibits anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects that can help treat swelling and pain due to edema. Turmeric can be consumed by mixing a teaspoon of its powder into a glass of milk or water.

Read more news stories and studies on natural treatments for edema by going to

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