What Are Natural Water Pills?

A person taking a water pill.
Celery seeds are an alternative to water pills.
Eating lots of salt can cause water retention.
Foods such as watermelons have a positive affect on water retention.
Article Details
  • Written By: Laura Evans
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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More than half of the human body consists of water. When the body retains more water than necessary, swelling, or edema, occurs, usually in the feet and legs. The body may also swell in the abdominal area, in the hands and in the arms. Many prefer to take natural water pills or other natural remedies to reduce this type of swelling. Natural remedies used to treat water retention include celery seeds, sage, and parsley.

When blood streams carry too much water, the excess water breaks out of the blood vessels, or capillaries, into nearby tissues, causing the tissues to swell. The kidneys, which also help to control urination, start to retain more sodium and water as the capillaries leak. This, in turn, causes more water to be kept in the blood stream, leading to more leakage.

Mild edema can be caused by sitting in one place too long, can be a symptom of premenstrual syndrome, or can be caused by eating too much salty food. In addition, edema can be a side effect of some medications. Edema can also be a symptom of a serious medical condition, such as kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, or congestive heart failure.

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Diuretics help rid the body of excess water. In order to do this, diuretics help the kidneys transfer more sodium into urine. Since sodium “attracts” water, more water moves into the urine along with the sodium. Diuretics are also sometimes referred to as water pills. Water pills alone cannot treat every type of edema problem.

Natural alternatives to the water pill include parsley, sage, dandelion, and fennel. In addition, celery seed can be used as a natural diuretic. Not only can herbs be found in the form of natural diet pills, powders or extracts, herbs used to treat water retention can be grown in a garden or be harvested in the wild. These herbs can then be used fresh or can be dried to be used later.

In addition to taking natural water pills or variations, people who wish to affect water retention naturally can effect changes in their diets by cutting down on the amount of sodium, or salt, that is used in the foods that they eat. Foods such as celery, watermelon, and cucumbers can also have a positive affect on water retention. These foods have high water content, which can lead to more frequent urination. While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking more water can also lead to more urination and less water in the blood stream.

Anyone who is considering taking natural water pills should talk with a physician before starting. Herbs are similar to drugs in that herbs can have side effects. In addition, herbs can interact with other prescribed or over-the-counter medications. Because edema may have a serious underlying cause, taking natural water pills or other natural remedies may only be treating a symptom and may not be dealing the more serious medical condition that is causing the edema.

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Discuss this Article

anon931249
Post 3

So if you are allergic to furosemide and you have congestive heart failure, what natural herb would be most effective in relieving the fluid build up around the heart and lungs?

widget2010
Post 2

@sherlock87, I have also heard that water pills are not the best or even safest way to prevention bloating and water retention. Many products which you can buy as a diuretic over the counter are not natural; they can even fill your stomach, causing you to bloat more before they pass through your system. The best way to lower water retention is still to drink more water and eat less salt.

sherlock87
Post 1

While they can reduce water retention, water pills are not the same as diet pills. Water weight is only one piece of the weight loss puzzle; it does not directly affect fat loss or calorie reduction. However, it is true in some cases that drinking large amounts of water, a recommended way to lessen water retention bloating, can also help fill a person's stomach and prevent him or her from overeating.

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