Herbal diuretics are herbs that help deal with conditions and/or diseases like edema, fluid retention, kidney disease, urinary tract infection, and more. They do so by helping drain the excess liquid that is retained in the body's tissues instead of being drained out normally or via the body's regular excretory functions. They are excellent alternatives to or substitutes for the usual over the counter or doctor prescribed medicines because they increase urination without depleting body electrolytes, which many prescription or over the counter drugs can bring about when they drain excess fluid from the body. As a matter of fact, certain of these diuretics can even be combined with prescription medicines for those who require more intensive diuresis.
However, just like prescription medicines, these herbs have to be used only with the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Some of these herbs may have certain side effects, especially if taken in excess, such as nausea or diarrhea. Some can even result in an overall reduction in the volume of blood or even dehydration if too much is taken, and this can obviously be very dangerous. So health professionals should always be consulted before one resorts to taking these treatments.
Some popular herbal diuretics are dandelion, chicory, nettle, mint, golden seal, marshmallow, fennel, hops, spearmint, saw palmetto, skullcap, yarrow and wintergreen. These herbs listed also rank among the safest to use to help with draining excess fluid from the body. Dandelion root, for instance, is one of the most popular of these herbs for diuresis because it is famed for being easy on bodily systems, can be taken on a daily basis, and will not result in depletion of the body's potassium reserves like many over the counter drugs.
To relieve your edema or other conditions, if you can find prepared capsules or diuretic herbal mixtures in your local stores, you can try taking these. Otherwise, you can make raw herbs – leaves or roots – into tea, eat them raw, or include them in meals or salads. For tea preparations, you will need to combine just a teaspoon of your herb of choice with a cup of boiling water, steep for around 15 minutes, and then strain before serving (if desired, you may serve it with a natural sweetener such as honey). Again, you should ask a health professional just to be certain that you are doing the right thing. Many professionals recommend no more than four cups or three capsules of these preparations, but exceptions may apply depending on specific cases.
In addition, it is also important to back your herbal diuretics and treatments up by making sure to drink at least eight glasses a day of pure water. It might seem like a contradiction, but if the body does not get enough water it will retain whatever water it has, resulting in edema in many cases. So in addition to taking these treatments, one should take in enough water for one's needs and health to prevent water retention.
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