Fluid retention, just as the name suggests, is a condition that develops when excessive fluid accumulates in the body tissue. It often occurs on the legs and the feet, but this retention may be experienced just about anywhere on the body. For some people, this will manifest as feeling bloated, while others will only realize the condition when they try to put on their shoes and find that they do not fit. There are several reasons why the body retains fluid. Some of the most common causes include excessive concentration of sodium in one’s diet, pregnancy, extremely hot weather as well as changes in one’s blood pressure. Those with kidney problems or on oral contraceptives may also suffer from fluid retention.
As expected, fluid retention leads to swelling of the affected tissues as well as puffiness in different parts of the body. Other symptoms that accompany this condition include skin discoloration, change in weight, limbs that are tender to touch, a high heart rate as well as joint pain. Fluid retention will clear on its own for the most part, but if it does not for a considerable period of time, you need to get professional medical attention to identify the core cause of the condition. The good news, however, is that there are a number of natural remedies that you can use to manage the condition and reduce the swelling.
1. Foods and Fruits Rich in Potassium:
Time Required: Varies depending on the specific fruit or food.
What You Need: Potassium-rich foods and fruits.
One of the leading causes of fluid retention in the body is a deficiency of Potassium. This mineral salt is key to the homeostatic balance within the body’s cells. In fact, it works as an electrolyte that helps maintain the balance between the amount of water in the body and the sodium concentration. Potassium also triggers the elimination of excess salts from the kidneys. With such important roles, it is clear why these foods and fruits are recommended as the first line of defence in the natural treatment of fluid retention. Some of the remedies in this category include ripe bananas, raisins, mushrooms, avocados, belle peppers and spinach among others.
- Prepare your choice fruit or food accordingly and make this a part of your regular diet.
2. Dandelion Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves, 1 cup of water and a strainer.
Dandelion tea is a beneficial herb used to treat different disorders, among them, fluid retention. The herb works for the simple reason that it is a natural diuretic, and thus helps the kidneys get rid of waste and excessive salts from the body. This goes a long way in reducing the amount of water held by tissue across the body. Other benefits of dandelion include its high concentration of mineral salts that aid in this process.
NOTE that some people may suffer allergic reactions to dandelion, whether due to a sensitive digestive system or potential drug-drug interactions. For this reason, it is imperative that you consult your doctor before embarking on the use of this remedy to treat fluid retention.
- Boil the water and transfer it to a glass.
- Add the dried dandelion leaves and cover with a lid.
- This allows for the tea to steep for some 10 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through the strainer and drink while still hot.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for best results.
3. Garlic Cloves:
Time Required: 10-30 Min
What You Need: 3 Fresh garlic cloves to chew on and lemon juice (optional). Alternatively, make garlic spreads using the cloves and melted butter or margarine.
Garlic is one of the most popular herbal remedies, thanks to its combined healing powers. When it comes to treating fluid retention, garlic is used because it acts as a diuretic, thus helping the body get rid of the excessive fluid. Through this action, garlic also gets rid of toxic material from the body’s cells. There are different ways in which you can use garlic, ranging from chewing them whole to making garlic spreads for use on bread as well as adding the herb to your meals during preparation.
- Simply peel the cloves and wash them before chopping into sizable pieces.
- Chew on this garlic pieces at least twice daily, in the morning and at bedtime. If the pungent smell of garlic causes you to remain unsettled, consider using lemon juice to mask the smell.
Using Garlic in Cooking
- To your choice recipes for your different meals, simply add minced garlic. This works perfectly well for stews, soups and stir-fried dishes.
Preparing spreads using Garlic
- Peel and wash the garlic cloves then proceed to cut them into small pieces.
- Crush the garlic pieces using a pestle and mortar to get a paste.
- As you do this, set the butter or margarine in a pan to melt.
- Once melted, pour the butter over the garlic paste.
- Mix the two ingredients well and use this garlic spread on your preferred pastries.
4. Epsom Salts:
Time Required: 30 Min.
What You Need: 2 Cups of Epsom salts, muslin bag and warm bath water.
Epsom salts present a wonderful and relaxing remedy for treating fluid retention. These salts work by drawing out the accumulated fluids from the body’s tissue while ensuring you detoxify. Epsom baths also have the advantage of relaxing tired muscles and calming one’s nerves, thus providing relief from the discomfort of bloating. This remedy also works perfectly well for those for whom fluid retention is accompanied by stiff joints and aching limbs.
- Place the Epsom salts in the muslin bag and tie before attaching to the faucet.
- Allow the warm water to run over the bag, in effect dissolving the salts and ensuring distribution in the bath water.
- Soak in this bath for at least half an hour.
- Repeat this remedy at least thrice weekly, or once daily if you get fluid retention regularly.
5. Nettle Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of water and 1 teaspoon of nettle root powder.
Nettle tea is used for treating fluid retention in the body because, just like dandelion tea, nettle tea acts as a diuretic. By definition, a diuretic is any substance that increases the frequency of urination. This works because increased urine means more of the accumulated fluid is emptied from the body. When taken on a regular basis, nettle tea goes a long way in reducing the body’s ability to retain fluid within the tissues.
- Boil the water and then add the nettle root powder.
- Stir well and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.
- Sip on this tea at least thrice daily until you notice that fluid retention has decreased.
6. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar and 1 glass of water.
Organic apple cider vinegar (abbreviated ACV) is a choice remedy when it comes to the treatment of fluid retention. ACV works by increasing the levels of potassium in the body. This, in turn, helps reduce the concentration of sodium in the body cells, one of the leading causes of fluid retention. When purchasing ACV, opt for the organic type as this is not packed with chemical additives. The water added to this remedy is used for dilution purposes to make ACV easy to drink.
- Mix the ACV with the water and stir to mix well.
- Drink this solution twice daily. If there’s an improvement in the condition, you may increase the amount of ACV up to 4 teaspoons for every glass of water.
Time Required: 20 Min – 24 Hr
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of unpeeled barley and 4 tablespoons of orange/lemon juice. Alternatively, prepare barley water by soaking the barley in water overnight.
Barley has been in use since ancient civilizations as a home remedy for the treatment of fluid retention. As a diuretic, barley is one of the most effective and safe remedies for those who are prone to excessive water accumulation in their bodies. This remedy is also ideal for expectant women who get swollen feet especially in their last trimester.
To prepare Barley Juice
- Place the barley in a pan and add the water before bringing to boil for 20 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through a strainer to get the liquid.
- Stir in the orange or lemon juice to mix well.
- Drink the mixture on a daily basis to deal with fluid retention and reduce the swelling.
To prepare Barley Water through Soaking
- Soak 3 tablespoons of the barley in a shallow bowl and fill with water to the brim.
- Let the mixture soak overnight to ensure that the barley water absorbs all the nutritional goodness.
- Strain the mixture the next day in the morning and drink the strained liquid.
- Add 3 more tablespoons of barley to the mixture and soak for another 12 hours.
- Strain once more and drink this liquid.
- Use the remedy until you get relief from fluid retention.
- Using barley at least twice weekly has positive effects on those who suffer from fluid retention and helps prevent frequent episodes of swelling and bloating.
8. Fennel Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of fennel seeds. 1 cup of boiling water and strainer.
Fennel seeds are an aromatic herb best known for their culinary benefits. This is because the seeds have a high concentration of anethole, an active best known for its diuretic properties. These properties go a long way in getting rid of the accumulated water and eliminating excess sodium from the body. In effect, this reduces swelling in the affected parts of the body, gets rid of toxins as well as improved the process of digestion. You may opt to prepare fennel tea or simply munch on the seeds. The latter is very effective in getting rid of bloating, one of the symptoms of fluid retention in the body.
- Put the fennel seeds in a glass and pour the boiling water in.
- Place a lid over the glass and allow the seeds to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and drink it thrice daily.
- Alternatively, chew on the fennel seeds at least three times daily.
9. Stay Hydrated :
Time Required: Water intake is spread throughout the day.
What You Need: Drinking water. Refreshing additions such as mint, lemon wedges and cucumber.
Staying hydrated may seem like the opposite of what and how remedies for treating fluid retention ought to work, but the truth is that this could actually be the solution for you. For quite a number of people, water retention occurs when one is dehydrated and the body uses techniques that help it hold on to the water for later use.
This is further compounded by the fact that in the absence of adequate amounts of water, the kidney’s optimum functioning is hampered, making it easy for toxins to circulate through the blood. Fluid accumulation alongside the toxic buildup adds to the bloating and swelling. This timeless remedy of drinking water during the day should help you deal with fluid retention easily. If you find it difficult to drink ‘plain’ water, you may consider adding mint, cucumber or lemon wedges.
- Stagger your water intake throughout the day, and never in one sitting as this could cause water poisoning.
- You may also add cucumber, mint or lemon wedges or your choice refreshing additives.
- In addition, it helps to keep a large water bottle so that you can sip on the water continuously or whenever you are thirsty.
NOTE: If you suffer from kidney or liver failure, you need to consult your physician prior to implementing changes in your water intake as excess water can potentially worsen the condition.
10. Eat Foods and Fruits That are Diuretic in Nature:
Time Required: Varies depending on the different foods.
What You Need: Diuretic foods and fruits.
Diuretic foods, just as the name suggests, are foods that promote urination. These foods are able to get rid of excessive fluids and accumulated toxins while maintaining an equilibrium between the levels of Potassium and Sodium. Unlike diuretic medication available, the effects of diuretic foods are sustainable and with minimal side effects.
As a result of this, make sure you consult with your doctor before using any of these foods especially if you are on any medication. Some of these natural diuretic foods include rapes, watermelons, lemons, beets, cranberries, leafy greens as well as tomatoes. Cucumber, celery, carrots and lettuce are also natural diuretics and go a long way in managing the condition.
1. Prepare the different foods and fruits accordingly and enjoy wholesome goodness that helps keep the swelling of fluid accumulation at bay