Natural Remedies for Water Retention

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Home Remedies for Fluid Retention

Nearly every woman on the planet suffers from monthly water retention. Minor edema, or bloating, in men can be caused by heat, exercise, exertion, and the occasional sodium-saturated meal. (Note that severe swelling in the ankles and other extremities could be signs of a serious health issue, and you should contact your doctor immediately.) For women, however, the monthly bloat is more of a nuisance and can sometimes cause mild discomfort. Rather than resorting to over-the-counter or prescription diuretics, there are simple and natural remedies for water retention that are affordable and cure the very reason you’re retaining the water in the first place.

What Causes Fluid Retention?

The causes of bloating during PMS are not definitively clear, although the theory is that hormones are clearly the main culprit, namely, progesterone. After your ovulation cycle, when your body fails to produce a pregnancy, progesterone levels take a little nosedive. In response, your body’s cells retain microscopic amounts of moisture, which can add up to 5 to 10 pounds before your period starts.

Of course, the water literally melts away as soon as your cycle begins, but no one likes to carry around extra weight, especially if it’s making you uncomfortable or making your rings a bit too snug on your fingers.

So, the question, again, is what to do? See the suggestions below for natural diuretics to help you start feeling more comfortable.

Home Remedies for Fluid Retention

Epsom Salt Baths

Bloated muscles love magnesium, the very ingredient in Epsom salt, or, more specifically, magnesium sulfate, which helps break down water molecules in the muscles and skin, allowing your body to carry out excess water through the urinary tract. Soaking in a warm salt bath makes you feel better, less achy, and helps flush away bloat. Make sure to drink plenty of water, along with this home remedy for fluid retention to help your body clean itself out.

Green Tea

It’s true that caffeine is a natural diuretic. Green tea does have mild amounts of caffeine (certainly far less than coffee) and other anti-oxidants that are known to keep cancer away. Try drinking an extra cup or two a day, being careful to avoid drinking it too close to bedtime. The last thing you need is to be bloated and tired because you couldn’t fall asleep.


Home Remedies for Fluid Retention

There are quite a few vitamin supplements on the market that target women who are looking for a safe, natural remedy for water retention. Most contain potassium and vitamin B6, which help maintain natural electrolyte levels. A staff favorite is Water Factors by Country Life. (In fact, this very author swears by it.) Taken as directed, it’s effective at reducing minor bloat. It also includes Uva Ursi, a dose of extra calcium and other herbs, like burdock, which can also help further manage PMS symptoms.

Please remember that abusing any kind of diuretic, even natural diuretics, can be dangerous and lead to kidney damage. So, only take these types of supplements during that time of the month and taken them as sparingly as possible.

Drink Plenty of Water

Your body’s cells are full of electrolytes, and when they get out of whack, like they do right before you menstruate, sometimes an extra glass of water or two per day helps even everything out.

Avoid or Eliminate Salty Foods

Unfortunately, sometimes your monthly food cravings will demand otherwise, but cutting back on salty foods is one of the best home remedies for fluid retention. So, right before your cycle, when you’re feeling the most sensitive, try cooking most of your meals at home and avoid salty, packaged foods. Read labels on everything canned, frozen and processed to verify the levels of sodium.

Look: we’re not saying that if your body is screaming at you to indulge in some french fries that you can never do it. Just be aware that salt is a major contributing factor for water retention. If you have to indulge, do it sparingly and wisely. A little goes a long way in this case.

Eat Magnesium and Potassium Rich Foods

Add that extra banana to your smoothie and snack on some pumpkin seeds throughout the day. Naturally occurring potassium and magnesium help your body maintain a healthy level of electrolytes, which helps, in turn, reduce bloating. Magnesium also helps prevent muscle cramps, so stocking up on it right before your period starts may help alleviate breast and muscle soreness (yes, we mean cramps).

If you’re an athlete and have noticed that your joints are extra swollen after a workout, you’re probably a bit dehydrated. Rather than turning to natural diuretics, up the magnesium and the potassium, and drink more fluids at the same time.

Check out the chart below as a handy reference.

Potassium-Rich Foods

Magnesium-Rich Foods





Pumpkin Seeds



Chia Seeds


Sunflower Seeds


Bell Peppers

Brown Rice








Dark Chocolate


Parsley is one of nature’s best anti-inflammatories and, therefore, a go-to home remedy for fluid retention. Add a big handful of flat-leaf or Italian parsley into a juice, or have it added the next time you visit your favorite juice bar. You can also take that same handful of parsley and turn it into tea: Steep it in about 1 liter of boiling water for 15 minutes (covered, if possible), strain it and drink it. You should get anywhere from 3-4 cups from this recipe. You can ice it, add some ginger and honey if you want some sweetness, or keep it in your water bottle and sip on it throughout the day.

High Fiber Foods

In addition to keeping you feeling full, fiber helps regulate, well, just about everything good in our bodies. Also, most foods high in fiber, like whole grains, beans, some leafy greens, and avocados are also high in potassium and magnesium. Fiber is absorbent and supports your body’s natural waste removal system, and also helps balance natural sugar levels. Beans may be the best natural remedy for water retention yet.

Try these natural home remedies for fluid retention out slowly and consult your physician if you have a prescription for a pharmaceutical diuretic. As always, we want to hear from you. What’s working? What isn’t? What are some of your favorite methods you swear by?

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Post Author: Rachel Parker

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