The human body consists of 70% water and cannot function without this precious liquid. Water is present within the cells and outside of it. The water levels in our body are regulated by hormones and other complex metabolic processes.
Retention of water or edema refers to enormous accumulation of water in the capillaries or body tissues or in the circulatory system. Water retention causes the body to bloat up in specific areas. Retention can at times be of serious concern as it may occur due to kidney problems or liver malfunctions.
In most cases, it is due to premenstrual syndrome, menopause, thyroid malfunctions or side effects of certain medications. Sometimes sticking to a diet very high in salt content or not drinking enough water can cause water retention.
Potassium helps the body get rid of the extra fluid. Banana contains high levels of potassium. Potassium content is also high in vegetables like cabbage and tomato.
Raisins, apricots, avocados, dates, kiwi, melons and prunes are also rich sources of potassium. Make these fruits and vegetables a part of your daily diet to eliminate the extra fluid from your body.
A false notion of drinking less water as a means to treat edema prevails among certain sections of the population.
In contrast, the recommended daily intake of eight to ten glasses flushes out the toxins and removes the excess salt that causes fluid retention.
While sitting or lying down, raise your feet as often as possible. This allows the fluid confined in your feet to move to the circulatory system. Avoid crossing your legs and avoid standing for long hours as much as possible.
Exercise and regular movements of the body can help the lymphatic system drain fluid out of the tissue spaces. The increased perspiration during exercising eliminates the extra fluid and salt from your body.
Exercise also dilates blood vessels and increases the urine flow. If heavy duty exercises are not your preference, brisk walking for half an hour a day can flush out the fluids.
Diuretics are drugs that reduce the amount of water in the body. Replacing over the counter diuretics with the mild natural alternatives, not only flushes out the extra fluid from your body, but also cleanses the blood.
The most commonly used natural diuretics are Burdock root, rose hips, lily of the valley, Holy thistle and Jaborandi. They are mostly consumed as decoctions.
Certain herbs dilate the blood vessels and regenerate them, improve circulation and also eliminate fluids from the body. Dandelion, yarrow, fennel, Alfalfa and chamomile are widely used to treat water retention. These herbs can be consumed as decoctions. Alfalfa supplements are available in herbal stores.
Uva ursi tea is commonly consumed before menstruation to heal bloating before menstruation. Butcher’s broom strengthens the blood vessels and improves circulation. Centella reduces swelling in the feet and also prevents leakage of fluids from veins.
Massaging the swollen areas of the body with essential oils like lavender, rosemary, grapefruit and juniper is highly recommended. A gentle massage on the affected areas upwards towards the heart is a common practice.
Aromatherapy with essential oils also has positive effects. A few drops of these oils can be added into foot bath to heal swelling in the ankles.
Parsley tea is an excellent home remedy for water retention. It is prepared by boiling two spoons of dried parsley leaves in a cup of boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes.
Cranberry juice is an exceptional remedy for edema. Cranberry can prevent excess fluid accumulation and also purifies the kidneys. Gulp down a glass of juice as often as possible.
Applying ice packs on the affected area can improve circulation and reduce fluid accumulation. Try these remedies to remove the extra fluids from our body. It is also important to stay away from processed and canned food and anything with high sodium content.