Nature provides a variety of natural diuretics which can aid in flushing excess fluids and toxins from the body. When ingested in their natural form, these foods and herbs can be very helpful in removing harmful substances from the body. They work by stimulating the kidneys to increase urine output, which is the body’s way of cleansing itself of impurities. Natural diuretics can be used to prevent or treat many different medical conditions, but proper education and use is imperative in order to reap maximum benefits and avoid misuse of these helpful remedies. As with any natural remedy, diuretics should be respected for their effects on the body, and caution should be exercised in their use.
Edema is a condition in which the body retains excess fluid. Edema is commonly diagnosed when swelling of the limbs or face is present, but it can also affect internal organs. There are many different types of edema, and these can be caused by a variety of malfunctions in the body. Edema can be caused by a protein shortage, a lack of amino acids, or a vitamin B deficiency. Heart disease or high blood pressure may also be linked to excess fluid retention. Uncomfortable swelling is a common problem with PMS as well. It can even be a result of too much salt in the diet, or sitting in one position for long periods of time. Depending upon the cause, edema can range from a mild annoyance to a sign of a very serious problem. Natural diuretics can be very effective in reducing or eliminating retention of fluids, and can even replace traditional medication in many cases.
Some foods, in particular fruits and vegetables with a high water content, have been known and used for their diuretic properties for ages. For example, watermelons, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers have long been recognized for these beneficial properties. Green tea is an herb which has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years, for its diuretic attributes as well as many other medicinal benefits. Other examples of common diuretics are apple cider vinegar, cranberry juice, dandelion, fennel, beets, oats, and garlic. Many foods with diuretic properties carry other nutritional benefits as well. These foods are easily found in most grocery stores, and usually require very little preparation.
Caution should be exercised when attempting to treat edema with natural diuretics. It is best to begin slowly, consume only one serving of the food or herb, and wait to observe its effects. It make take some trial and error to discover which diuretics work best, and in what amounts they should be ingested. Some can be quite powerful, and therefore it is important not to overuse them. Flushing too much fluid from the body can result in excess vitamins and minerals, which are essential to good health, being removed from the system. This can cause more harm than benefit, so it is best to always consult a doctor before beginning to use diuretics, and to use them sparingly. It is never a good idea to become so zealous in the use of one treatment, that another problem is created as a result. Adding extra water-soluble vitamins to the diet while using diuretics can be helpful in offsetting the loss of these nutrients.
Edema can also be a sign of a much more serious medical problem, rather than something simple like PMS or too much salt in the diet. It would be counter-intuitive to use diuretics to remove excess fluids before first discovering the cause of the problem. Symptoms are the body’s way of showing that something is wrong, and the cause of a symptom should always be investigated before attempting to apply a quick remedy. Repeatedly treating a symptom without paying attention to the underlying cause can be dangerous, because this can lead to a serious condition being overlooked and going untreated. More serious conditions which can cause edema are congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, diseases of the lymphatic system, kidney damage or disease, and damaged veins in the legs leading to the heart. If any of these conditions are the cause of the edema, much more serious medical attention will be necessary. Occasionally, edema can be a sign of a serious condition called pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. For this reason, a physician should always be consulted to rule out severe medical conditions, before beginning a self-prescribed regimen of diuretics.
With proper use, natural diuretics can be used safely and effectively to treat a variety of conditions. As with any other natural remedy, these foods carry the benefit of a lower risk of side effects. They are readily available and in most cases, simple to prepare. For those who prefer to treat or prevent medical conditions safely and without the use of pharmaceutical drugs, natural diuretics can be a good alternative.