Natural Diuretics: 6 Amazing Teas for Water Retention

Clinical review: Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
  1. Parsley tea
  2. Dandelion tea
  3. Horsetail tea
  4. Hibiscus tea
  5. Fennel tea
  6. Green tea
  7. Precautions to consider

All teas are diuretic to a certain extent as they contribute to overall fluid intake, resulting in an increased production of urine. However, there are some plants that may contain a stronger diuretic effect. These teas promote the excretion of accumulated fluid, which helps to relieve swelling. 

Diuretic teas are also a great natural way to complement the treatment of urinary tract infections. These teas increase flow through the urinary tract, which helps to clear out bacteria faster.

Ideally, if you are looking to achieve a therapeutic goal (e.g. to help treat a UTI,or to decrease fluid retention), these teas should only be taken with knowledge of your doctor. This is to prevent any interactions that the tea may have with prescription medication. 

1. Parsley tea

Parsley tea is one of the most popular home remedies to treat water retention. Studies done on animals show that parsley has a diuretic effect on animals, as it increases overall urine production [1].

Also, parsley contains flavonoids which are compounds that can bind to adenosine A1 receptors, as shown in another study [2]. This binding decreases the effect of adenosine, resulting in increased urine production. 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch or 15 grams of fresh parsley with stems
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 250 ml of boiling water

How to prepare

Wash and chop up the parsley. Add the parsley to a cup with the boiling water and let it soak for five to ten minutes. Then, strain the infusion, let it cool down. You can drink this tea several times a day. 

Ideally, parsley tea should not be taken by pregnant women or by people who take anticoagulants or other types of diuretics.

2. Dandelion tea

Dandelion is another popular herb used to increase the production of urine and treat water retention. This plant works as a natural diuretic because it is rich in potassium, which is a type of mineral that acts in the kidneys and promotes urine excretion 

Ingredients

  • 15 g dandelion leaves and roots
  • 250 ml of boiling water

How to prepare

Pour the boiling water into a cup and then add the dandelion. Let this soak for 10 minutes. Strain the infusion out and drink the tea two to three times a day. 

This plant should not be used if you are pregnant or if you have a history of gallbladder issues or bowel obstruction.

3. Horsetail tea

Horsetail tea is another natural diuretic that is used a lot in traditional medicine and although there is not much recent research about this plant, a review done in 2017 states that the diuretic effect of horsetail can be compared to hydrochlorothiazide, which is a diuretic produced in the lab. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of horsetail
  • 250 ml of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the horsetail in a cup with boiling water and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain and let the tea cool down. Drink this tea three times a day.

Even though it is not completely established whether horsetail increases the excretion of minerals through urine, we recommend you only ingest this herbal tea for a maximum of 7 consecutive days to prevent mineral imbalances. This tea should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

4. Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea seems to increase the quantity of urine produced significantly and, according to a study on mice [3]Its effect is similar to that of synthetic diuretics produced in the lab, such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.  

In addition, another study [4] also completed on mice concluded that the composition in anthocyanins, flavonoids, and hibiscus chlorogenic acid seems to regulate the activity of aldosterone, a hormone that controls the production of urine.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons dry hibiscus flowers
  • 1 liter of simmering water

How to prepare

Put the hibiscus in the hot water, cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then strain the infusion and drink it throughout the day. 

Even though it’s quite safe, hibiscus should be avoided during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

5. Fennel tea

Fennel is a traditional medicincal plant used to treat bladder problems and high blood pressure. This is because it has a diuretic effect, which leads to increased urine production and the excretion of excess fluid in the body. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the seeds to the boiling water and let them sit for five to ten minutes. Then strain the seeds out. Drink up to three cups of this tea per day. 

This plant is quite safe and can be used in adults and children. If you are pregnant or are breastfeeding, we recommend you only take this tea under your doctor’s supervision as there is a lack of research regarding its safety.

6. Green tea

Green tea is rich in caffeine, which is a substance that has natural diuretic properties. Even though just one cup of tea does not contain the amount of caffeine necessary for this, having three cups a day can increase your production of urine and help to eliminate excess fluid in the body.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the leaves in a cup, pour the boiling water over them and allow to soak for three to five minutes. Then strain the tea and let it cool down. Drink three cups of this tea throughout the day. The greater the soaking time, the higher the caffeine content. However, keep in mind that if the tea infuses for a long time, it may taste more bitter. You are advised to allow the leaves to soak for three minutes and then taste the tea every thirty seconds until you achieve your desired flavor. 

Because green tea has caffeine, it should not be taken by children. Additionally, people who have difficulty sleeping should avoid taking it, especially in the evening and at night.

Precautions to consider

If you opt to consume a diuretic tea, you should only do it under the supervision of you doctor or a health care professional who  specializes in medicinal plants.  

Ideally, diuretic tea should not be consumed by patients who already take synthetic diuretics like furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, or spironolactone. Also, these teas should be avoided by patients who have kidney problems, heart disease, or low blood pressure.  

It is important to avoid taking them for more than 7 days in a row, especially if your doctor is not aware. This is because some of these teas can increase the elimination of important minerals through the urine, which can cause imbalances in the body. Check out other ways you can treat water retention

Was this information helpful?

Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em February de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em February de 2022.

References

  • MAUGHAN, R. J.; GRIFFIN, J.. Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Vol.16, n.6. 411-420, 2003
  • MARX, B et al.. Mechanisms of caffeine-induced diuresis. Medecine sciences. Vol.32, n.5. 485-490, 2016
Show more references
  • JIMÉNEZ-FERRER, Enrique et al.. Diuretic Effect of Compounds from Hibiscus sabdariffa by Modulation of the Aldosterone Activity. Planta Medica. Vol.78. 1893-1898, 2012
  • AKBAR, Shahid. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.): A Common Spice with Unique Medicinal Properties. Remedy Publications LLC. Vol.1, n.1. 2018
  • KOOTI, Wesam et al.. Therapeutic and pharmacological potential of Foeniculum vulgare Mill: a review. Journal of HerbMed Pharmacology. Vol.4, n.1. 1-9, 2015
  • MEA, A. et al. Diuretic Activity of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. in Wistar Rats. International Journal of Pharmacology, Phytochemistry and Ethnomedicine. Vol.9. 10-17, 2018
  • EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY. Assessment report on Equisetum arvense L., herba. 2016. Available on: <https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-report/final-assessment-report-equisetum-arvense-l-herba_en.pdf>. Access in 08 Apr 2020
  • AL-SNAFI, Ali E.. The pharmacology of Equisetum arvense- A review. IOSR Journal Of Pharmacy. Vol.7, n.2. 31-42, 2017
  • YULIANA, Nancy D. et al.. Adenosine A1 receptor binding activity of methoxy flavonoids from Orthosiphon stamineus. Planta Medica. Vol.75. 132-136, 2009
  • AL-YOUSOFY, Fayed et al.. Parsley! Mechanism as antiurolithiasis remedy. International Journal of Medical and Health Research. Vol.3, n.7. 35-40, 2017
  • KREYDIYYEH, S. I.; USTA, J.. Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol.79, n.3. 353-357, 2002
  • FATIMA, Tabasum et al.. Dandelion: Phytochemistry and clinical potential. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. Vol.6, n.2. 198-202, 2018
  • GONZÁLEZ-CASTEJÓN, Marta et al.. Diverse biological activities of dandelion. Nutrition Reviews. Vol.70, n.9. 534-547, 2012
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.