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7 best natural diuretics for water retention

All teas are diuretic to a certain extent because they increase the intake of water and consequently the production of urine. However, there are some plants that seem to have a stronger diuretic effect. These teas stimulate the body to get rid of fluid retention and thus they help to relieve swelling. 

Diuretic teas are also a great natural solution for completing the treatment for urinary tract infections, as they help in the elimination of urine, which in turn helps to cleanse the urinary tract. However, ideally, you should only have teas under the supervision of the doctor who is overseeing the treatment. This is to guarantee that you don’t ingest any herb that interferes with the effects of the medication being used, such as antibiotics.

1. Parsley tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

Parsley tea is one of the most popular home remedies to help get rid of water retention, and indeed research on the diuretic effect of parsley on animals shows that parsley can increase the amount of urine produced [1].

Also, parsley contains flavonoids which are compounds capable of binding to adenosine A1 receptors, according to another study [2]. This decreases the effect of this substance and increases the production of urine. 

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 sit for five to ten minutes. At last, strain the water, let it cool down and then drink the tea several times a day. 

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

2. Dandelion tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

Dandelion is another popular herbal for increasing the production of urine and getting rid of 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 increases the production of urine. 

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 and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Strain out the roots and leaves and drink the infusion two to three times a day. 

This plant should not be used if you are pregnant or if you have health issues in your bile ducts or you have a bowel obstruction.

3. Horsetail tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

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 it out and let the infusion 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 7 consecutive days to prevent mineral imbalances. This tea should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

4. Hibiscus tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

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

In addition, another research [4], also 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 full of dry hibiscus flowers;
  • 1 liter of simmering water.

How to prepare

Put the hibiscus in the hot water and let it sit for 10 minutes, with a lid clamped on. Then strain the infusion and drink it throughout the day. 

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

5. Fennel tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

Fennel is a traditional 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 excretion of excess fluid in the body. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds;
  • 1 cup (0.24 l) of boiling water.

How to prepare

Add the seeds to a cup of boiling water and let them sit for five to ten minutes. Then strain the seeds out. Drink three up to cups of this tea a 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 for women in these situations.

6. Green tea

7 best natural diuretics for water retention

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 (0.24 l) of boiling water.

How to prepare

Place the green tea leaves in a cup, pour in the water, and infuse 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 amount of time the tea infuses for, the greater the quantity of caffeine. However, keep in mind that if the tea infuses for a long time, there will be a bitter taste. Therefore, we recommend you let it infuse for three minutes and then taste it every thirty seconds until it reaches the right flavor for you. 

As 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 when taking diuretic teas

If you take any type of diuretic tea you should only do it under the supervision of a herbal practitioner or a health professional who is familiar with the use of medicinal plants. 

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

Also regarding diuretic teas, it is important to avoid taking them for over 7 days in a row, especially if you are not under the supervision of a health professional. This is because some of these teas can increase the elimination of important minerals through the urine, which can cause imbalances in the body.

Bibliography >

  • YULIANA, Nancy D. et al.. Adenosine A1 receptor binding activity of methoxy flavonoids from Orthosiphon stamineus. Planta Medica. Vol.75. 132-136, 2009
  • 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
  • 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
  • FATIMA, Tabasum et al.. Dandelion: Phytochemistry and clinical potential. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. Vol.6, n.2. 198-202, 2018
  • 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
  • KREYDIYYEH, S. I.; USTA, J.. Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol.79, n.3. 353-357, 2002
  • 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
  • GONZÁLEZ-CASTEJÓN, Marta et al.. Diverse biological activities of dandelion. Nutrition Reviews. Vol.70, n.9. 534-547, 2012
  • AKBAR, Shahid. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.): A Common Spice with Unique Medicinal Properties. Remedy Publications LLC. Vol.1, n.1. 2018
  • MARX, B et al.. Mechanisms of caffeine-induced diuresis. Medecine sciences. Vol.32, n.5. 485-490, 2016
  • AL-YOUSOFY, Fayed et al.. Parsley! Mechanism as antiurolithiasis remedy. International Journal of Medical and Health Research. Vol.3, n.7. 35-40, 2017
  • AL-SNAFI, Ali E.. The pharmacology of Equisetum arvense- A review. IOSR Journal Of Pharmacy. Vol.7, n.2. 31-42, 2017
  • 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
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