There’s a reason why water is so important for our health. And it’s not just about keeping thirst at bay. Water performs different functions in our body such as maintaining body temperature, protecting organs, transporting nutrients and oxygens to cells and many more.
Despite this, there will be times when our body will experience difficulty in eliminating excess water which leads to water retention. And knowing some herbal remedies comes in handy to help treat water retention.
In this blog post, we will explore the causes and symptoms of water retention and the different herbs that can help you ease it.
Understanding water retention
Our body is composed of about 60% of water. In fact, it is impossible for us to live a long and healthy life without water. Without water, people can only last for about 3 days.
But although water seems to be this vital for our life, too much water can be bad for us too. According to Mayo Clinic, drinking too much water can make the kidney incapable of eliminating the excess water from the body. If this occurs, it may lead to certain conditions like water retention.
Water retention, also known as edema, refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the circulatory system or with the tissues of the body. It is characterized by the swelling or puffiness of the affected tissue, stretched or shiny skin, an increase in abdominal size, or the appearance of a dimple on the skin if it is pressed for several seconds.
Now that you have an idea of what kind of condition water retention is and what it does to the body, let us now talk about its symptoms. Knowing the symptoms is one of the first steps in preventing the disease from worsening.
So without anything further, here are some of the symptoms of water retention you should keep in mind:
- Swelling of certain parts of the body
- Aching of some body parts
- Stiff joints
- Sudden increase in weight
- skins get indented when pressed
- Soreness in the swollen area
Treatment for water retention typically involves making lifestyle changes, such as increasing your water intake and reducing your salt intake. In severe cases, you may need to take diuretics (water pills) to help your body get rid of the excess fluid.
What triggers water retention?
Water retention is the accumulation of fluid in the body. When your body retains water, you may notice swelling in your hands, feet, ankles, or legs. You may also feel bloating or have difficulty losing weight.
It can happen for a variety of reasons, including hormonal changes, certain medications, and pregnancy. In some cases, water retention may be a signal for an underlying condition such as:
- renal failure
- heart failure
- liver disease
- Protein deficiency
Water retention is usually not harmful, but it can be uncomfortable. If you’re concerned about water retention, talk to your doctor.
Common herbal remedies for water retention that you should know!
There are lots of ways to treat edema. One of these is the use of herbal products that stimulate urination to prevent fluids from accumulating in the tissues.
Herbal remedies have been known for centuries as useful remedies to treat certain diseases or ease certain conditions. What’s great about this is that most of these herbs are already available in the comfort of your home. Aside from that using herbs offers various benefits to your health including:
- prevent cardiovascular disease
- lower cholesterol levels
- stronger immune system
Here are three of the most popular herbs that people use to treat edema.
Dandelion is a herb that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ills. The entire plant is edible and contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as iron and calcium.
Its leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach, while the roots can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. One of the most popular ways to consume dandelion is by making it into tea. Dandelion tea is known to have detoxifying properties which can keep the skin glowing, young and healthy.
According to a study, dandelion is a wonder herb that is widely used to treat a lot of ailments including edema. It is high in potassium and it contains properties that inhibit the re-absorption of sodium which is one of the primary causes of water retention in the body.
As a word of caution, dandelion may cause certain side effects. You need to talk to your doctor before you decide to take dandelion to treat your edema.
Parsley is a common culinary herb that has been used since ancient times. It is native to the Mediterranean region and belongs to the Apiaceae family of plants, which also includes carrots, celery, dill, fennel, and cumin. Parsley comes in two varieties: curly leaf and flat leaf (also known as Italian parsley).
- Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish due to its attractive appearance.
- Flat-leaf parsley has a stronger flavor and is commonly used in cooked dishes.
So, how can it help treat water retention?
The roots and seeds of this aromatic herb are known to contain strong diuretic properties. This means that this herb is capable of helping the body to expel water and salt. With that in mind, using this sweet and spicy herb is perfect for treating water retention.
To use parsley for this purpose, you can make tea by steeping parsley in boiling water for 10 minutes. You can drink this tea up to three times per day.
Practitioners of herbal medicine caution that parsley has a tendency to stimulate the uterus and might not be safe for pregnant women and edema sufferers who are taking medication.
What’s more about parsley is that if offers other benefits to your health including a reduced risk of cancer, improved digestion, weight loss, and more.
Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K as well as folate (a water-soluble B vitamin). It also contains minerals such as iron and magnesium.
These nutrients make parsley a potent antioxidant that can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, parsley contains several phytochemicals (plant compounds) with potent health-promoting effects. These include apigenin, eugenol, limonene, luteolin, myristicin, and alpha-pinene.
Chickweed is a European herb that is naturalized worldwide. It is a member of the plant family Caryophyllaceae, which contains many other well-known plants such as carnations, pinks, and baby’s breath. Chickweed is a small, delicate plant that has a number of interesting features.
The leaves of this herb are opposite each other on the stem, and the flowers have five petals arranged in a star shape. As it has small leaves and little white flowers that are usually eaten by poultry. And that’s how this herb got its name!
But aside from this, one more interesting fact about this herb is its ability to get rid of water retention. People use chickweed for its cooling, drying, and diuretic properties. Chickweed has a fresh, pleasant taste and it can be taken internally to induce urination. One of its principal components is called rutin, a flavonoid that helps to alleviate medical conditions including edema.
You also need to seek the advice of a medical professional before using chickweed to treat edema. This is to ensure that interactions with other drugs and potential side effects are avoided.
Aside from being a natural diuretic to get rid of fluid retention and urinates toxins from the body, chickweed is also an excellent detoxifier, which can help in treating digestive disorders and in improving digestion.
This plant is rich in vitamins C and B complex, as well as magnesium, phosphorus and some other minerals. This makes it a perfect source of nutrients for the treatment of malnutrition. Chickweed is used to treat skin diseases such as eczema and dermatitis because it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness, irritation and itching caused by these conditions.
These are the most popular herbs that herbalists recommend to treat edema. They are not intended to take the place of the medicine that your doctor prescribes. You need to talk to your doctor before deciding to use them to ensure that side effects and possible interactions with drugs are avoided.
How to Prevent Water Retention?
Water retention is a condition in which the body stores too much water that it already needs. Although it can be easily treated, it may develop into severe conditions if left untreated. This can be a problem for many people, especially during the hot summer months.
Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce water retention. Among these things that you can do includes:
- Drinking plenty of fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps to flush out the system and prevent the body from retaining water. This will help keep your body hydrated and reduce the likelihood of water retention.
- Exercising regularly: Exercise helps to move the fluid around in the body and prevents it from settling in one place. Regular workouts will also help promote circulation and reduce the risk of water retention.
- Avoid eating salty foods: Too much salt in the body can cause your body to hold onto water.
- Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce water retention by keeping the body’s sodium levels in check. Aside from this, a healthy meal ensures that your body gets enough nutrients for it to function accordingly.
- Use diuretics with caution: Diuretics are drugs that promote urination. They can also cause the body to lose water unnecessarily, leading to dehydration and water retention. Thus, it is important to consult a health professional for guidance on how to use it properly.
Herbal Remedies vs. Prescribed Medicines to Help Reduce Water Retention
There are many different ways to treat water retention, but two of the most popular methods are herbal remedies and prescribed medicines. Both of these methods can be effective in treating water retention, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Herbal remedies for treating water retention are often more natural and have fewer side effects than prescribed medicines. However, they may not be as effective as some of the more powerful drugs that are available by prescription.
Prescribed medicines for treating water retention can be more effective than herbal remedies, but they can also have more side effects. These side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness.
Hopefully, you learned something new about reducing water retention and its treatments. The next time you feel bloated, make sure to use the 3 herbal remedies to ease water retention.
For more healthcare tips, check out our food and vitamins blog posts.