IntroductionWater retention in the body is also known as fluid retention or edema. Water retains within the tissues and causes swelling which can be either localized or generalized. Fluid retention in certain cases like pregnancy and before menstruation is normal. In certain other cases like underlying heart, liver and kidney diseases, it may prove to be fatal. Thus, we should not ignore it and the underlying cause behind it needs to be diagnosed as early as possible. However, mild and harmless water retention which is mainly due to a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits can be very well treated at home itself and is of not much concern. There are many home remedies which can effectively help to get rid of this extra amount of water and salt stored in the body tissues.
Decrease water retention with fennel seedsFennel seeds are easily available in each and every household and have been used since ages to relieve gas and digestion related troubles. It is the best ingredient to get rid of water retention as it acts as a natural diuretic which promotes sodium and water excretion from kidneys through urine. It also prevents toxins from getting accumulated in the body. Add 1 tsp of fennel seeds to a glass of hot water. Cover the glass and let it stand for 15 minutes. Strain the water and drink it while it is warm enough. Follow this simple trick for a few days and repeat 3 times in a day. Within first few weeks itself, water retention will gradually seem to decrease.
Dandelion teaDandelion leaf is a natural diuretic and rich in potassium and magnesium levels. This is the reason that it has been consumed as a tea for a long time to get rid of bloating. Boil some dandelion root in water and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Cool it down and drink it at room temperature thrice a day. Dandelion tincture or supplements are also available and are equally effective in getting rid of water retention.
Lemon juiceLemon juice very effectively flushes out toxins and an excess amount of retained fluid from the body. Squeezing half a lemon in a glass of warm water and drinking it can be a very effective home remedy. Honey can be added to it for additional benefits. Also, drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is more effective.
Teas to reduce water retentionApart from dandelion, there are various other leaves and roots which are natural diuretics and can be used to get rid of water retention. Nettle tea prepared from stinging nettles, corn silk tea, parsley tea, alfalfa tea, bilberry tea, tea made from grapefruit seed extract, cayenne tea etc are all good to get rid of fluid retention. Black tea or coffee also serves the same purpose, but they should only be taken in a very small amount as in excess amount they seem to cause a dehydrating effect which can further result in water retention. Before consuming any herbal tea, it is always better to consult with the concerned doctor as some of the herbs can react with prescription drugs. A mixture prepared with freshly extracted parsley juice and lemon juice is also very effective. Green tea can also be used to get rid of edema.
Cranberry juiceCranberries are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All these minerals are essential to get rid of water retention. Apart from being rich in nutrients, it also has diuretic properties. This is the reason that cranberry and its juice should be made a part of daily diet plan if we want to get rid of fluid retention. Cranberry pills are also available and they are effective too.
Apple cider vinegarDrinking apple cider vinegar daily will make sure that potassium level in the body is replenished back. This will automatically regulate sodium levels and this, in turn, will reduce water retention. Initially, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar added to a glass of water should be consumed twice a day. Later its dose can be increased to 2 tsp twice a day. Even a foot soaking solution can be prepared by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Soaking feet in this solution for a period of 10-15 minutes will help to get rid of edema from the lower extremities.
Other home remedies for fluid retentionHorsetail herb, hibiscus, garlic all can be used because of their diuretic properties. Consume more and more foods which are natural diuretics like watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, cabbage, bananas etc. Onion is a powerful diuretic food and also cleanses blood by removing toxins from it. Boil raw onion in water and then strain it. Cool it down and drink 1 cup of this water 2-3 times in a day.
ConclusionWe can easily get rid of water retention and excess sodium from our body by following simple home remedies. We can either make use of herbal teas or use all those natural foods which are diuretics in nature. Eating cranberries and drinking its juice and regular intake of apple cider vinegar will also automatically do the trick. Regular intake of lemon juice, tea made from dandelion root, fennel seeds are also equally effective. Follow these cost-effective simple home remedies which will effectively and easily get rid of the excess amount of fluid retention from the body. To know more such tips and tricks, go through, How to get rid of water retention: Part-1 and Part-2.
Many, in the middle age group and elderly people, have issues with fluid retention, bloating and stiffness. This is often due to unhealthy food habits, abuse of medications and/or underlying diseases.
It makes movements, climbing stairs, sleeping etc very laborious with heavy swollen legs. Dandelion is good for many but people with medications (blood thinners) for the clogged arteries, on lithium for psychiatric illness and patients with the chronic renal disease should be cautious and check with their regular doctors.
These remedies are good for water retention. If it persists, or one is unable to climb a flight of stairs, or unable to lie down flat during the night, legs are swollen and have a dusky reddish blue tinge rather than the normal pink or pale pink hue, it would be advisable to seek medical help.
Hypofunction of the thyroid gland, a heart that is unable to pump properly, kidneys that cannot make adequate urine can be treated better if diagnosed at an early stage. Alcohol should be cut down along with salt and sugar as all the three promote water retention. People with water retention should be careful about wounds in the leg as it takes a long time to heal.
Lastly, some people buy diuretic medicines over the counter and use them intermittently or apply compression stockings to the legs without medical advice. This practice could be harmful to the kidneys and the leg skin/circulation respectively and hence should be discouraged.