Home Remedies for Fluid Retention

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When the body keeps in too much fluid, the outcome is water retention, which causes swelling and tenderness – especially in your limbs and around the abdomen. Depending on the cause, the condition is sometimes referred to as bloating and edema. Luckily, you can find effective home remedies for water retention in everyday items and foods.

Causes and Signs of Fluid Retention

Common causes of fluid retention include pregnancy, menstrual cycle, oral birth control, and certain medications, such as high blood pressure drugs and anti-inflammatory prescriptions. When you stand up for long stretches of time, fluid can ‘pool’ in the tissues of your lower legs. Hot weather makes the body less efficient in removing fluid from tissues – especially during the summertime. Burns and sunburns cause the skin to retain fluid and swollen body parts. If you don’t get enough protein or vitamin B1 (thiamine) in your diet, the body can retain fluid.

Fluid retention is a symptom of a variety of medical conditions, such as kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, thyroid problems, arthritis, weakened valves in the veins of the legs, and allergic reactions. You usually see the signs of retention in the feet, ankles, and hands.

Signs that you are experiencing water retention include [1]:

• Swollen body parts
• Achy body parts
• Stiff joints
• Quick weight gain over a few days or weeks
• Unexplained ups and downs in weight
• Pressed skin holds an indent

Fluid Retention Home Remedies

Whether you’re looking to shed extra weight or treat a pre-existing condition, there are many different ways to get rid of extra liquids in the body. Below you will find a range of home remedies for fluid retention to consider:

a) Banana:

Fight fluid retention by eating a banana, which can help regulate the flow of fluids in and out of the tissues and cells. A few suggestions include drinking a banana smoothie or adding banana slices to cereal.

b) Parsley:

When eaten in small quantities, parsley can have a diuretic effect that can help remove excess fluids in the body.

c) Ginger:

When acting as a mild diuretic, ginger can help combat the symptoms of water retention.

d) Beverages with Caffeine:

Some people flush out unwanted fluid by drinking beverages with a diuretic effect. This includes coffee and cola soda with caffeine.

e) Green Tea:

Offering the benefit of zero calories, sipping on cups of green tea is an effective way to flush out extra fluids in the body. The added boost of antioxidants also helps treat other symptoms.

f) Water with Lemon:

Add lemon juice to a glass of water to flush out excess fluid in the body.

g) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Sip on a glass of water with added apple cider vinegar to fight water retention.

h) Cranberry Juice:

Flush out excess water in the body by taking advantage of the diuretic effects of cranberry juice.

i) Water:

Some people are unaware that drinking more water is actually helpful for flushing out excess water in the body. Drinking a glass of cold water is most effective when your retention is associated with consuming too much salt.

j) Ice Packs:

Treat puffy ankles associated with fluid retention by applying an ice pack. Make a homemade ice pack by placing ice cubes into a Ziploc plastic bag. Wrap a thin towel around the bag and apply for 5 to 10 minutes.

k) Bucket of Ice:

During the summertime, dip your legs (with ankles covered) into a bath filled with ice water. Do not follow this home remedy if you suffer from diabetes or have poor circulation.

l) Bag of Frozen Vegetables:

A convenient way to soothe legs with water retention is to use a bag of frozen vegetables as a substitute for an ice pack. Also, the flexibility of the bag and its contents helps you easily shape around swollen ankles and other joints.

m) Cabbage:

Eating cabbage can help remove excess water from the body. Add the vegetable to salads, sandwiches, and coleslaw.

n) Yogurt:

If you eat too many sweet foods, your stomach could become bloated. Ease your stomach by eating a cup of plain, low-fat yogurt that contains active cultures. The active cultures aid in digestion and increase the level of “good” bacteria in your gut.

o) Say ‘No’ to Salt:

Limit the amount of salt you use as a seasoning when cooking or eating your food. Also, avoid eating foods known for their salty content, such as peanuts, processed meats, and potato chips.

p) Vitamin B6:

Also known as pyridoxine, increase the amount of food in your diet that contains Vitamin B6, such as red meat and brown rice.

q) Calcium:

Increasing your intake of calcium during your menstrual cycle can help reduce fluid retention. When taking a supplement, it is suggested to take 1,000 mg of calcium. You may also increase the foods that contain calcium, such as dairy products.

r) Leg Lift:

Give your limbs relief in times of fluid retention by lying down with legs higher than your head.

s) Exercise:

When you exercise regularly, you keep fluids flowing effectively throughout your body.

t) Avoid Fried and Processed Foods:

Making dietary changes can help a person battling chronic water retention. An effective habit to break is your consumption of fried and processed foods, which are packed with the sodium and carbohydrates that can lead to water retention.

u) Eat Smaller Meals:

When you consume smaller meals throughout the day, you can avoid the blood sugar fluctuations that can lead to water retention.

v) Vitamin A and C Supplement:

Increase the amount of vitamins A and C in your diet, which is known for strengthening capillaries and decreasing water retention.


[1] http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Fluid_retention