Accumulation of water in the body can be super annoying. Besides making your stomach feel like a weighted balloon, it can also cause your hands, feet and face to swell. We all know that about 60% of the adult human body is made up of water. However in certain cases, it is possible for your body to have lower or higher amounts of water in it. Whiles low levels of water in the body is referred to as dehydration, high levels on the other hand is known as water retention. Irrespective of what triggered the retention of water in your body, there are effective home remedies you can use for treatment.
Water retention also known as edema is a medical condition that describes swelling that’s caused by the accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues. Normally, fluid in the body is drained out through the lymphatic system as well as other fluid waste products from the body tissues. Water is present everywhere in the body including your muscles, blood, organs and even your bones.
However, when the body starts retaining more water than required, it leads to edema or water retention. This excess water causes your body to swell up. Water retention might sound like a very scary condition but it’s not. In most cases, it can be easily managed and doesn’t cause much discomfort.
So why exactly does this happen? Well, there are a few different reasons. Take notes as we take you through the causes, symptoms and treatment of water retention. Let’s have a look at them below.
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For Water Retention?
Water retention may occur due to various factors some of which include;
- Menstruation (Periods).
- An increase in sodium (salt) intake.
- A weak heart that doesn’t pump blood properly.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy .
- Medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies and liver disorders.
- Hormonal imbalances such as during menopause.
- Side effects of using oral contraceptive pills among women.
- Prolong standing or sitting.
- Medications such as painkillers, antidepressants, medicines for blood pressure, etc.
- Medical treatments such as chemotherapy.
- Genetics – A family history of the condition.
- Drinking alcohol and smoking.
Having any of the above problem may make you experience symptoms such as;
- Swelling of body parts such as ankles, feet and hands.
- Weight fluctuations.
- Feeling of aching or stiffness in the joints.
- Abdominal bloating.
- Puffiness in your abdomen, face, and hips.
- Indented fingers.
In most cases, water retention that occurs due to general causes (and not any medical condition) can be easily treated using home remedies. However, it’s best to consult your doctor to determine the cause of your water retention before you use home remedies as treatment. Because, in some cases, medical intervention is absolutely necessary.
Effective Home Remedies For Water Retention Treatment
Here are the most effective home remedies that can be used in the treatment and prevention of water retention. Let’s get started.
Garlic is one of the effective natural water pills. It helps to remove excess water and also flushes toxins from the body. Garlic also helps to lose weight by breaking down fat in the body fat. This makes you looks much younger. You can use this ingredient regularly either in cooking, salads or soups, fries and also on pizzas etc. Besides, you can also try other ways below;
How to Use
- Eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves in the morning and at night.
- Be sure to chew thoroughly.
- Blend or grind fresh garlic to make a paste.
- Add melted butter and mix well.
- Spread on bread and enjoy.
- Or you can eat garlic bread.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a rich source of potassium. Consuming it daily increases the potassium levels in your body whiles flushing out excess sodium. This helps in getting rid of the excess water in your body. ACV also balances the body’s pH level and prevents water retention.
How to Use
- Mix 1 teaspoon of ACV into a glass of water and drink.
- Do this twice a day.
- Gradually increase to 2 tablespoons of ACV per glass.
- For treatment of water retention specifically in the legs, fill a small tub with equal quantities ACV and water. Then soak feet for 10-15 minutes. This also reduces foot odor.
3. Ginger For Water Retention Treatment
Ginger is an excellent digestive stimulant and carminative. It also protects you from infections and a mild diuretic. It helps to remove the retained toxins in the body and also helps to reduce cholesterol which is useful for heart problems. These reasons are enough for you to start adding ginger to your daily diet. It will not only prevent water retention but also aid overall weight loss.
How to Use
- Add a teaspoon of grated ginger to a cup of water.
- Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
- Allow the ginger tea to cool for some time before and add a little honey to it.
- Drink ginger tea at least twice daily.
Parsley is rich in anti-oxidants, iron, calcium, and B complex vitamins. It helps to inhibit the re-absorption of potassium and sodium, which allows excess water to leave the body. Parsley also helps to treat other problems such as urinary tract infection and kidney stones.
How to Use
- Add handful of fresh parsley to boiling water.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain, pour in a cup, and drink.
- Repeat 5-7 times daily.
- Note you can also use 2 teaspoons dried parsley or teabag instead of fresh parsley for 1 cup of water.
- Crush or blend fresh parsley to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on water retention body parts.
- Leave on 30-45 minutes, then rinse off with water.
- Repeat twice daily to get rid of water retention.
5. Nettle Tea
Nettle tea is made from the parts of a plant called stinging nettle. This plant is highly nutritious and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to eliminate toxins and extra fluid from the body by stimulating the functioning of the kidneys. These properties of stinging nettle can help in the treatment and subsequent elimination water retention its symptoms.
How to Use
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves to a cup of water and bring it to a boil.
- Strain the water and consume the tea before it turns cold.
- You can also add honey for flavor.
- Drink this tea thrice daily.
6. Dandelion Tea For Water Retention Treatment
Dandelion has many therapeutic uses such as treating liver and kidney disease, heartburn and digestive problems. It is a naturally occurring diuretic which helps the kidneys flush toxins, excess salt and fluids from the body. Dandelion is also rich in calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese which also helps in the treatment of water retention.
How to Use
- Add a teaspoon of dandelion root to a cup of water.
- Bring it to a boil and simmer for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and allow the tea to steep for 2 to 3 hours.
- Strain and add a little water to the tea if it is too strong for your liking.
- Drink this tea 1 to 2 times daily.
- Boil water and pour it into a cup.
- Add 1 teaspoon fresh or dried dandelion leaves.
- Cover with lid and let steep 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily to cure water retention.
7. Green Tea
How to Use
- Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of steaming hot water.
- Allow it to steep for 5 minutes and strain.
- Consume the green tea twice daily.
8. Epsom Salt
Taking an Epsom bath can help to relieve the water retention. The bath will help by drawing out the excess fluids. It also helps to relieve sore muscles and calms the nerves. If you don’t have time for a bath, at least try to soak your feet.
How to Use
- Fill the bath tub with warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt.
- Stir well and soak in the tub for 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat three times a week.
- You can try this remedy any time you experience swelling. It is best done at night before retiring to bed.
Note: You can also use common salt instead of Epsom salt.
9. Barley For Water Retention Treatment
Barley is a wonderful diuretic although it doesn’t really taste good. It helps the body remove toxins that have built up due to fluid retention. Besides, it is safe to use during pregnancy to reduce swelling.
How To Use
- Boil 1/4 cup of washed and un-peeled barely until the water takes on a light brown hue.
- Strain and add 2-4 tablespoons of lemon or orange juice to it.
- Mix well and consume it either at room temperature or after cooling it in the refrigerator.
- Repeat daily to get rid of water retention.
- Put 3 tablespoons of barley in a cup and cover it completely with water.
- Let it soak overnight.
- In the morning, strain and drink.
- Soak 3 more tablespoons of barely during the day.
- Strain and drink before bed.
- Drink regularly until you get complete relief from water retention.
- Follow this twice a week to prevent re-occurrence.
Onions cleanse and detoxify the body and blood. It also prevents the stones formation in kidneys. Although it has many medicinal benefits If you eat this excessively will cause bad breath.
How to Use
- Add chopped onion in 4 cups of water.
- Boil for few minutes and add a pinch of salt.
- Let it cool and strain in another bowl.
- Drink a cup of this to treat water retention.
- Repeat 3 times daily.
11. Chamomile Oil
The essential oil extracted from chamomile can help you get rid of water retention. Chamomile is popular for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. It helps in treating water retention and other symptoms associated with it such as swelling and puffiness.
How to Use
- Add 10 to 20 drops of Roman chamomile oil to your bathwater.
- Soak in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Repeat once daily or every alternate day.
12. Fennel Seeds Tea
Fennel is a traditional remedy used in the treatment of water retention. It is a spicy aromatic herb which is also useful for many medicinal properties. It is a diuretic and also high in potassium. This helps the body release excess water and sodium through the kidneys thus prevents the development of toxins in the body.
How to Use
- Pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.
- Cover it and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily to get rid of the problem.
- Note: you can also drink along with the seeds but chew them well. Chewing these seeds improves better digestion and also eliminates the retention process.
13. Ice Packs For Water Retention Treatment
This is also one of the most effective home treatment for water retention. The cold temperature of ice pack alters blood flow, which reduces swelling and pain.
How to Use
- Fill a Ziploc bag with ice cubes.
- Wrap it in a towel.
- Apply to the swollen areas and leave on 10-15 minutes.
- If feet are swollen, soak them in ice water for 5-10 minutes.
- Follow this regularly to get rid of the problem.
- Note: You can also you a bag of frozen veggies.
14. Corn Silk Tea
Corn silk, the threadlike strands that grow at the end of a corn stalk, is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin K. It’s a natural diuretic which eliminates toxins and waste from the body. Besides, it also helps with gout and arthritis, kidney disorders and urinary infections.
How to Use
- Add 1/4 cup of fresh corn silk or 2 teaspoons dried corn silk to a cup of boiling water.
- Remove from heat and let steep 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and drink.
- Repeat twice daily.
15. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are natural diuretics. They also contain potassium, vitamin A, C and K, folic acid, iron, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, and zinc. All these will help the body easily eliminate the excess fluid.
How to Use
- Pour a glass of water into a pan and add 3 tablespoons coriander seeds.
- Boil until half of the water is vaporized.
- Remove from heat, let cool, and drink.
- Drink twice daily to get complete relief.
Alternatively; You can also soak the coriander seeds in warm water for some time and grind them to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area a couple of times, and see the swelling go down in no time.
16. Cabbage Leaves
Even though this remedy sounds peculiar, it is definitely one of the best ones for water retention especially in the legs. Cabbage has great water absorption qualities and will draw out excess fluid in the feet. It also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
How to Use
- Take cabbage leaves, wipe them clean, but do not wash them.
- Put the leaves briefly in the fridge to cool but not frozen.
- Remove and place them on your swollen body parts or tie them with a loose bandage.
- Remove the leaves after 30 minutes.
- Do this again after 3-4 hours if required.
17. Cranberry Juice For Water Retention Treatment
Cranberry is a natural diuretic. It is loaded with calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and it helps balance the body’s fluid levels and prevents water retention.
How to Use
- Drink a cup of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice daily.
- Drink this until you get complete cure from water or fluid retention.
- Or you can also take cranberry supplements.
18. Minimize Your Salt Intake
Although sodium is an essential mineral because it’s used to regulate the fluid levels in body tissues, excess intake of sodium may cause excessive fluid retention in the body tissues. Hence, avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt, such as potato chips. You should also avoid processed foods such as tinned and canned meat and reduce the amount of salt you add to the food you eat. Ideal salt intake is about 2300mg per day. If you suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure, reduce intake to 1500mg per day.
19. Consume Greek Yogurt
Retention is caused when blood protein, albumin is too low. Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, which holds salt and water inside blood vessels, preventing them from leaking out into tissues and causing swelling. A cup of plain, low-fat yogurt also contains active cultures which aids in digestion and increase the good bacteria in the gut.
Eat a cup or two of Greek yogurt every day to get the protein and potassium your body needs. But, if you suffer from kidney problems or are having dialysis then take low protein diet and consult your doctor before starting a high-protein diet.
20. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Another reason to lock yourself in the bathroom and run a bubble bath. Because, excess stress can cause water retention. When you’re stressed out, your adrenal glands secrete more aldosterone hormone, which tells your body to hold onto fluid.
Therefore, you need to reduce stress in your life. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day of being in a stress-free zone will help greatly. Whatever that means to you, make it happen. It can either be playing with your dog in the park, meditating, watching movies…whatever! Getting enough sleep will also help greatly.
21. Water For Water Retention Treatment
Drinking water may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to understand that the body often retains water because it is dehydrated. Proper hydration encourages the body to release excess water rather than store it up for later use. Water also helps the liver convert fat into energy. If you don’t drink enough water, kidney can’t flushes out waste from the body. Now it takes the help of liver which makes liver overworked. Liver can’t perform its vital function, and it can’t flush out toxins and other waste. Instead, they build up inside the body and cause bloating and swelling. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.
22. Add Fiber Into Your Diet
Eating fiber rich foods may actually help reduce water retention because they absorb adequate amount of water as they pass through your intestines. Foods like broccoli, peas, berries, whole wheat grains, oatmeal, chia seeds, flaxseed, artichokes and beans are fibrous and can prove to be great for relieving water retention.
23. Exercise Regularly
Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce the water retention by getting rid of excess salt and water in the body through increased urine flow, sweating and higher respiration. Exercising regularly also improves blood flow and strengthens the blood vessels. Running, bicycling, aerobics help to move the blood and excess fluid out from ankle.
24. Diuretic Foods
Diuretic foods cause you to urinate more frequently. This helps release excess water, flush harmful toxins from the body, and lower blood pressure by restoring your body’s proper sodium/water balance. There are over-the-counter diuretic pills, but their effects are short-lived. Adding diuretic foods to your meals every day prevents water retention on a lasting basis. Consult your doctor before adding diuretic foods to your diet if you are using diuretic or anti – diuretic medication, and make sure to get plenty of potassium in order to replace what you loose due to frequent urination.
- Leafy greens
- Juniper berries
- Brussels Sprouts
25. Consume Enough Vitamin B6
For the women who are going through their menstrual cycle, it is imperative to consume foods with sufficient amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is diuretic and helps in increasing urine production, thereby reducing the water content in your body. Consume vitamin B6 rich foods such as bananas, walnuts, potatoes, chickpeas, fish and avocados among others. These foods do help in decreasing the build up of bodily fluids and also help maintain the water content limit.
26. Potassium-rich Foods
Lack of potassium in the body causes water retention and eventual weight gain. Potassium is essential to the proper function of the body’s cells, tissues and organs. It is an electrolyte which maintains the balance between sodium and water levels in the body. It also stimulates the kidneys to flush waste and excess salt from the body. Adding potassium rich foods in your diet help to get rid of the water retention.
Natural Potassium Rich Foods:
- Bell Peppers
- Sunflower Seeds
Tips to Prevent Water Retention
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages.
- Avoid tight clothing which increases the swelling and makes you feel discomfort
- Prop up your feet whenever you’re relaxing on the couch. It shifts the gravity and drains fluid from the swollen limbs.
- Increase your intake of vitamin A, B1, B5, B6, C, and D which helps to decrease water retention.
- Try to avoid sitting for long periods. At the office, get up regularly and walk around or stretch.
- Certain medications such as birth control pills and steroids can cause water retention. Talk to your doctor about switching to other birth control pills if yours causes water retention.
- Consult your doctor immediately if swelling lasts more than a week or if you’re pregnant or if you have diabetes or any other serious health ailment as this can be a sign of any health problem.
Reminder On Water Retention Treatment
Most or all of these remedies might work for you. However, remember that although these remedies are natural and safe, results may vary from one person to another. Each person has their own underlying reason as to why their body is retaining water. Try figure out why your body is retaining water so that the treatment may be easier.
While there are so many more possible ways for the treatment of water retention, these are just a few ideas that may help.
Hope this article helped you in the treatment of water retention. Got any additions or subtractions? Let us know in the comments section below.