Edema or water retention causes swelling on the hands, feet, ankles, and abdomen. This disorder can be attributed to various conditions which include heart or kidney aliments, poor blood circulation or pressure on a vein, and dietary and hormonal changes like menstruation or pregnancy. Lack of essential nutrients and vitamins, overeating, lack of exercise, underlying illness or disease, alcohol and some commonly prescribed medications can also cause water retention. Due to this condition, blood is not able to move water to the kidneys in order to be expelled. Due to this, the fluid is not properly removed by the lymph system and so is retained within the body tissues and leads to swellings.
Individuals may notice puffiness on the face, especially around the eyes, swelling on the legs, ankles and feet. They might notice a ring on the finger feeling tighter than before and also find it difficult to wear their shoes because of the swelling on the feet. Due to water retention, the pressure on the skin from the elastic band on socks might leave an indentation which is slow to disappear. Water retention of the stomach which is called ascites might be an indication of a serious underlying disease and therefore it must be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
There are many herbs that act as a diuretic and help the kidneys in flushing out the excess water and thus counter water retention. Mentioned below is a list of some natural herbs for combating water retention.
Parsley: This herb is a natural diuretic which limits fluid retention in the body. Parsley is also beneficial for treating urinary infections as well as urinary tract and kidney stones. The herb stimulates menstruation and can also used to treat the bloating which occurs during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Parsley relieves menstrual pain by helping the body to release excess water as well as enhances the female libido. The leaves of this herb can be used in the form of a tea or in the form of capsules to effectively treat water retention.
Dandelion: This herb works like a diuretic and helps the kidneys to expel excess water from the body. Dandelion provides the body with potassium, which some other diuretics tend to drain out of the body. This herb is useful for premenstrual bloating. It can be taken in the form of a tea or capsules.
Dong Quai: This Chinese herb has been used for treating many women’s health issues which include PMS and spotty periods. Dong Quai is soothing to the uterus, and helps reduce inflammation. For this reason, it is sometimes used to treat water retention. Dong Quai can be used in the form of capsules as well as herbal tinctures.
Meadowsweet: Meadowsweet is an herb which belongs to the rose family and can relieve water retention. It relieves bloating caused due to digestive upset and is also a remedy for gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and nausea. Meadowsweet contains tannins as well as other substances which help to protect the mucous lining in the stomach.
Herbs such as Horse Chestnut, Buchu and Uva Ursi are also known to be effective diuretics. Other mild diuretics include Holy thistle, Lily-of-the-valley, Burdock root and Rose hips. Whenever you buy any herbal supplement which contains these herbal extracts, make sure that the supplement also contains potassium and magnesium. In addition to this, it is also necessary to make some dietary and lifestyle changes to treat water retention problems effectively. However, before using any of the herbal supplements mentioned in this article, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional first.