Definition: Abnormal and excessive accumulation or infiltration of diluted lymph serum in the interfibrillar spaces of the subcutaneous connective tissue or in the serious (peritoneal or pleural) cavities of the body which do not drain. [SNH p.19] Symptoms: This condition is accompanied by swelling, scanty urine, poor appetite, sluggishness, and debility. The swelling usually begins in the feet and ankles and proceeds up the legs towards the abdomen. [SNH p.19] Cause: Heavy salt users often have dropsy as do diabetics. We do not pinpoint the symptoms as to locality (hydrocephalus, hydrothorax, ascites, etc.), as does orthodox medicine, but the general problem is that fluid does not eliminate properly through the kidneys and skin. Dr. Edward Shook had the following to say about dropsy: "When sulfuric acid is generated within the organism, it immediately unites with water and swells up. This action produces heat, which expands the capillaries. The osmotic pressure forces the serum through the walls of the blood vessels, producing inflammation and dropsy. Hence the using of inorganic matter is always poisonous to the human organism in spite of all the apparent evidence to the contrary." (Advanced Treatise on Herbs, p.132) [SNH p.19] Herbal Aids: General Instructions: Exceptional results have been attained with dropsy by the use of parsley, parsley root, juniper berries, verde cactus, ginger, and chaparral. Diet is the key to eliminating the cause. Meats, pastries, salt, etc., should be avoided. Eat fruits (grapes and coconut especially), sprouts, leafy and green vegetables, (do not mix fruits and vegetables). Use vapor baths and diaphoretics to open the pores, stimulants to increase and regulate circulation, diuretics for kidneys, and be sure to treat the whole digestive system with tonics. Also rub the body with vinegar and cold water and be sure to keep the bowels cleaned. [SNH p.19]
Plantain: Drink the tea from the seeds. [SNH p.53]
Dropsy, Heart Disease: See formula using parsley seeds, lily of the valley root, garlic, sugar and glycerine. [SNH p.102]
Bitter Root: Cardiac dropsy. Give 5-15 grains of powder 3 times daily. [SNH p.209]
Parsley: Make at least 2 quarts of the parsley root strong decoction and drink copiously. [SNH p.246]
Parsley: Mix equal parts of parsley root tea, and glycerine, saturate cloths and apply to swollen areas; keep patient warmly-covered in bed with tepid air circulation (this brings water through the skin and helps relieve the burden on the kidneys). At the same time, give the parsley root tea without the glycerine as a drink, 1/2 cupful each hour. [SNH p.246]
See formula using juniper berries, parsley seed and distilled water. [SNH p.252] For renal dropsy, avoid taking too large doses [of juniper berries], as the stimulating effect may irritate the urinary passages; usually administered in combination with demulcent agents. [SNH p.250]
See formula using wild carrot, haircap moss and watermelon seeds. [SNH p.264]
Dropsy (adult): See formula using cleavers, raspberry leaves, agrimony, juniper berries, wild carrot, barberry and cayenne. [SNH p.269]
Dropsy (child): See formula using cleavers, juniper berries, centaury, raspberry leaves, senna and ginger. [SNH p.269]
Note: ...With dropsy, the kidneys must be watched, but also the digestive system strengthened; also sponging the body with cold water and apple cider vinegar is an excellent skin tonic. [SNH p.269]
See formula using buchu leaves, hydrangea, broom tops, couchgrass, uva ursi and saw palmetto berries. [SNH p.272]
Blue Cohosh: Drink the warm decoction. [SNH p.292]
See formula for the fomentation using mullein, lobelia and cayenne. Foment as warm as is convenient over the lungs, or over the affected part. [SNH p.318]
Dropsy # 1: See formula using horseradish root and apple cider vinegar. [SNH p.424]
Dropsy # 2: See formula using horseradish and crushed mustard seed. [SNH p.424]
Alfalfa: It's no wonder that so many interesting cures are attributed to Alfalfa. It has been acclaimed as a diuretic. In fact, one woman who was suffering extremely from dropsy began to take the tea faithfully, and with no other remedy was relieved of the problem. [UW-Alfalfa]
Elder: The inner bark is also used, although it should be aged before used. The fresh bark is violently irritating and poisonous to children. It is specifically used for cardiac and renal dropsy, as an emetic in biliary disorders, and for spasmodic asthma with copious phlegm and stringy mucus. It is also used for epilepsy. The infusion is used, one wineglassful every three hours until the bowels move or, in the case of severe dropsy, until urine is voided. If emesis is desired to cleanse the stomach, increase the dose until this effect is produced. After evacuation and urination begin, reduce the dose to continue treatment as watery stools are not desired where there is no dropsy. [UW-Elder]
Juniper: The tea has been given to dropsical patients, often combined with parsley seeds, as a sure and safe way to effect water release through the urine and through the skin. In England, patients are often prescribed Hollands Gin, which is flavored with Juniper berries and which retains some of the medicinal properties to help dropsy and similar ailments. It is said to be particularly useful in dropsy when it is caused by heart, liver or kidney disease. [UW-Juniper]
Parsley: Dr. Shook reminded us that Parsley is one of those herbs that have to be taken abundantly to be of any permanent benefit. That is all right because it is such a pleasant herb! He mentioned that when there is suppression of the urine and dropsy a treatment similar to the one described in the introduction as employed by Dr. Christopher could be used but he also said that after applying the fomentation to cover it with a sheet of plastic and a towel, and then with an electric hot pad, leaving this on for twenty or thirty minutes. After removing the hot application, he said, apply a cold but not iced towel for just one minute. He said that this application was very important and not to omit it although Dr. Christopher's treatment got very good results without it (Hei:60). [UW-Parsley]
Rosemary: Father Kneipp, who is known as a water healer but also endorsed other important healing methods, considered Rosemary an important remedy for the heart and stomach. He wrote, "Prepared as a tea, it cleanses the stomach from phlegm, gives a good appetite and good digestion. Whoever likes to see the medicine glass, this comforter in illness, shining on his table, let him fill it with Rosemary tea and take from two to four tablespoonfuls morning and evening. The stomach will soon become sensible, that is, will not stick fast much longer in phlegm...Rosemary wine, taken in small doses, has also proved an excellent remedy against heart infections. It operates in a sedative manner and in cases of heart dropsy it works strongly on removal through the urine...The preparation of this wine is exceedingly simple. A handful of Rosemary is cut up as small as possible, put into a bottle and good, well kept wine poured upon it. White wine is preferable. Even after a half a day's standing it may be used as Rosemary wine" (Luc:109). [UW-Rosemary]
What Can be Done for Dropsy? This was a question put to Dr. Christopher in his newsletter. His answer: For mild or beginning forms of dropsy caused by urinary malfunction, we have the following:
For a severe case let us cite a good case of how it can be handled in most cases. A lady came into our weekly Tuesday night lecture a little late, after we had barely started. She asked if she could interrupt and tell something that had happened to her since the last lecture, a week ago. We said we'd be happy to hear her story, so she told us the reason she was a little late was because of a long distance phone call she had just received.
Just after the last lecture, the Tuesday before, she received a call from her brother-in-law in Chicago. He told her that if she wanted to see her twin sister alive she had better fly back there immediately because the doctors had said she had only a day or two to live.
Our student took a few days off from work and arrived in Chicago on the following Friday. She went in to see her sister and would not have recognized her if she hadn't been told who it was. Her sister was so badly swollen from edema (dropsy) that she seemed to be only a bloated, unrecognizable mass of flesh. She had been under doctors' care for a number of months, and they had been unable to give her anything but temporary aid from the water accumulation. Now they were utterly baffled and had, at the family's request, sent her home from the hospital to die (being given a day or two or slightly more grace).
The sick and suffering twin was in a coma, not recognizing anyone, and our student cried when she saw her favorite sister lying there helpless, with little school children needing their mother so much, so she asked the husband if he would allow her to use an herbal routine she had heard about at a lecture recently. He said the family's doctor was just waiting for her to die anyway, so go ahead!
Our lady found a little health food store nearby and bought some parsley root and glycerine (this was animal glycerine, we now use vegetable glycerine which is superior).
When she got back she made up parsley root tea (one teaspoon of herb to a cup of water, or one ounce of herb to the pint of water), making up about one gallon of the tea. (Steam distilled water is 30% more efficient than tap water and is our choice.)
One quart of the tea was used straight to give to this patient orally, and three quarts of the parsley root tea was mixed with equal parts of glycerine (making six quarts of the mixture) for fomentations.
They would give a cup of parsley tea each one half hour to the patient to drink, and the heated combination (of parsley and glycerine) was used as a fomentation over the badly swollen legs, arms and abdomen. This was done by soaking white flannel cloths and laying them over the areas. (Use cotton or wool, never use synthetic cloth.)
As the patient lay there so helpless, her sister remembered instructions given to follow the progress of the treatment. She was to lift the corner of the cloth, after the fomentation had been on for a short time, and watch to see if the pores were starting to take the water from swollen areas. She said that as she looked it was like seeing hundreds of little springs coming from the body. She had made this trip and was walking by faith, using a formula she did not know about or had ever used before. She had just heard of it at our lecture that previous Tuesday. She had to fly back to work on Monday, so she left all the instructions with the husband to continue on with the program that had been started.
After work Tuesday she rushed home to get ready for the regular Tuesday night herb lecture and the phone rang. It was her brother-in-law from Chicago. He said, "There is someone here who would like to talk to you." He put his wife on the phone. Even though she had laid helpless for months and part of the time in a semi-conscious condition, she was on the phone now, so happy she was crying. The swelling had gone down, and she was recovering rapidly--in fact she said she got the children's breakfast and fixed their school lunches that day and was so grateful "to be a mother again"--not a dying patient. There were not many dry eyes in the lecture room that Tuesday night when she finished her story.
Yes, parsley tea is a blessing to people who have dropsy. [NL 1-12]
Dropsy with Heart Involvement: Boil 8 ounces lily of the valley root (cut) (Convallaria majalis) in 3 pints of distilled water for 20 minutes. Strain then boil slowly till reduced to 1 pint. Set aside to cool, and while still warm, add 8 ounces of expressed garlic juice, 8 ounces of brown cane sugar, and 1 pint of glycerine. When cold, bottle and keep in a coot place.
This is one of the most potent remedies for dropsy and heart disease ever devised.
Dose: 1 teaspoonful to a dessertspoonful in water, as required. The dose should be regulated and given every 3 hours to bring about diuresis. Also, a slowing of the heart action, and an increase in the tone of its contraction. After this effect has been produced, administer 1 teaspoonful in water 3 or 4 times a day. [NL 2-9]
Lobelia: The relaxant or releasing quality of Lobelia is related in a case handled by an associate, Richard Schultz M.H., N.D., when a three-year-old child was brought to him, after receiving no help from medical doctors. The little girl was swollen so badly with edema that a person could not see her eyes through the puffiness. Schultz administered previously successful herbal diuretics to no avail. Knowing that she must release these fluids, he administered Lobelia seed tea, one teaspoon three times per day, which gave some immediate pain relief and reduced the swelling gradually, clearing the condition completely within two weeks. [NL 6-9&10] Testimonials: 1. A New Life Through Proper Diet and Herbs: Not long ago, we had an experience that we will not forget for a long time. A gentleman came to visit us on his way through the area with his wife, and when we saw him the previous year on a business deal, he was so bad that rigor mortis had almost set in. In fact, the medical doctors had refused to give him any more medication. He had a heart condition that had gone into dropsy, and his blood pressure was so high that he was just tottering around. There was so much mucus in his body that the tissue was completely loaded to suffocation.
At the time, knowing of my profession, he asked what could be done. We started him off with a very simple procedure: We put him on nutritional herbs (fruits and vegetables--our Regenerative Diet) and on Medicinal herbs. Now, a year later, the man had just finished 8,000 miles of touring! He had the finest skin-color you ever saw, and it was a thrill to see a man so full of pep and energy. Tears dropped from his eyes in our meeting, because he was so happy to be alive. These are times that make it worth all of the trouble we have suffered to assure others (seeking vibrant life today or in the future) and to have the legal right to use and obtain healing with medicinal herbs. And here is a living example of our chief message that health begins in the bowel, for when the colon is clean, when we are free from the morbid matter that is toxifying and defiling the system there, then the system can be fed properly, and we begin to live! [SNH p.177]
2. Hawthorn Berry Heart Syrup: Dr. Christopher's Hawthorn Berry Syrup: Hawthorn is also known for its specific action on edema. During one of Dr. Christopher's lectures, a young man asked if he could relate an experience of his mother's. He said that his mother had had such edema in the ankles that they were so swollen you couldn't even see the bones. Many remedies prescribed by various doctors had made no difference at all. The young man asked his mother to come up to the front of the lecture hall and stand on a chair so the audience could see her feet. She now had well-defined ankle bones after less than a week of using the syrup. [UW-Hawthorn]
3. From the Writings of Priddy Meeks about Lobelia: "Brother Nobles' wife was in about one month of her expected sickness and had the dropsy so bad she thought she could not live till that month was out, so that she could be doctored without injury to her offspring. The doctors in the valley held a consultation over her case and President (Brigham) Young with them. They could devise no means to save the woman without destroying the infant, and she could not live but a few days without help, but they would not make a move until they sent for me. When I come, they told me they could not see how the woman could be saved without destroying the child. I told them there would be no difficulty in bringing about that object. They wanted to know if I thought that I could take the water out of that woman and save both alive. I said, 'Yes, certainly I can. And Lobelia is the thing that will do it'. I just give her the Thomsonian Courses of medicine, and soon had all the water out and in due time she had a fine boy, to the joy of all who was watching to see what the result would be. I do not think the medicine is yet found and probably never will be that will act in accordance with the laws of life and the intentions of nature like Lobelia. No difference what the matter is nor where the obstructions are, Lobelia will find it and remove the obstruction and create a healthy action... [UW-Lobelia]
4. Parsley Saves Sister: A lady came into the weekly herb lecture late, just a few minutes after they had gotten started. She asked if she could interrupt and tell something that had just happened to her. Dr. Christopher invited her to tell her story. Just after the last week's lecture she received a call from her brother-in-law in Chicago. He told her that if she wanted to see her twin sister alive she must fly back there immediately because the doctors had given her only a day or two to live. The student took a few days off from work and arrived in Chicago on the following Friday. She went in to see the sister and would not have recognized her if she hadn't been told who it was. Her sister was so badly swollen from edema (dropsy) that she seemed to be only a bloated, unrecognizable mass of flesh. She had been under doctor's care for several months and they had been unable to give her anything but temporary aid from the water accumulation. Now they were utterly baffled and had, at the family's request, sent her from the hospital to die in a day or two. The sick twin was in a coma, not recognizing anyone. The herb student wept to see her favorite sister lying there so helpless. With little school children needing their mother so much she asked the husband if he would allow her to use an herbal routine she had heard about at a lecture recently. He said the doctor was just waiting for the sister to die so to go ahead!
The herb student found a little health food store nearby and bought some parsley root and glycerine. At that time she was only able to get animal glycerine but now the herbalists use vegetable glycerine which is superior. When she got back she made up Parsley root tea, one teaspoon of herb to a cup of water (or one ounce of the herb to the pint of water), making up about one gallon of the tea. One quart of the tea was used straight to give the patient orally and three quarts of the tea were mixed with equal parts of glycerine, making six quarts total of the combination, for fomentations. They would give a cup of Parsley tea each half hour to the patient to drink and the heated combination of glycerine and tea was used as a fomentation to the badly swollen legs, arms and abdomen. This was done by soaking white flannel cloths and laying them over the area, not allowing them to be come cold, but replacing whenever they cooled down. One can also use a hot water bottle over fomentations if they are not over a large area.
As the patient lay there so helpless her sister remembered how to check the progress of the treatment. She was to lift the corner of the cloth, after the fomentation had been on for a short time, and watch to see if the pores were starting to take the water from the swollen areas. She said that as she looked it was like seeing hundreds of little springs coming from the body. She had never used this routine before and was walking by faith and it was a miracle to see it working. She had to fly back to work on Monday so she left all the instructions with the husband to continue on with the program that had been started.
After work Tuesday she rushed home to get ready for the regular Tuesday night lecture. The phone rang. It was her brother-in-law from Chicago who said, "There is someone here who would like to talk with you." He put his wife on the phone! She was so happy that she was crying. The swelling had gone down and she was recovering rapidly. In fact she said she had got the children's breakfast and fixed their school lunches that day. She was so grateful to be a mother again and not a dying patient. There were not many dry eyes in the lecture room when the student finished the story and it is a great routine to remember. One should store Parsley root or grow plenty of it so as to have it available in an emergency. Vegetable glycerine is also available and should be stored. [UW-Parsley] See Also: Hawthorn Berry Heart Syrup: Dr. Christopher's Hawthorn Berry Syrup