A diuretic tea is a beverage designed to help reduce water retention in the body. This kind of tea usually works by causing a person to urinate more frequently, which typically pulls excess fluid out of the body’s tissues. Diuretic teas may be made from a variety of herbs or types of tea leaves. They may be used for several reasons, including to help reduce water weight, relieve bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome and lower mildly high blood pressure.
Almost any type of tea made with traditional tea leaves can serve as a mild diuretic. This is because most tea leaves contain caffeine, which is a mild diuretic in and of itself. Caffeine-containing teas include black, green, white and oolong teas. The amount of caffeine in each type of tea may vary, which corresponds to varying diuretic properties. In general, the more caffeine in the tea, the higher the diuretic properties.
Herbal diuretic teas are also very popular. These may or may not contain caffeine, depending on the exact herbal formulation used. Often, the diuretic properties come from the herb itself.
One example of a diuretic herbal tea is dandelion tea. This is typically made from the dried leaves, roots, or flowers of the dandelion plant. In general, hot water is poured over the plant pieces and left to steep for several minutes to help bring out the compounds that are responsible for the diuretic action. Sometimes a pre-made tincture of dandelion leaves, roots, or flowers is used instead of the dried pieces themselves.
Another type of herb that can be used to make a diuretic tea is juniper. Juniper is an evergreen tree that has small, soft cones. The cones are often referred to as “juniper berries,” and it is these berries that are typically used to make a diuretic tea. In general, the tea is made by pouring hot water over a small amount of berries and allowing them to steep for up to 20 minutes, again to draw out the diuretic compounds. The steeped liquid is then generally consumed as a tea.
In some cases, a combination of herbs is used to create a diuretic tea. For example, combining dandelion, juniper berries and ginger — all of which have diuretic properties — may help increase the effectiveness of a tea. Combinations may also be more palatable to some than single flavor herb teas.
Whether considering the use of a traditional or herbal diuretic tea to help with water retention, it is generally recommended that a person consult a health care provider first. Water retention can be a sign of a more serious problem in some cases. Also, it’s generally recommended that a person tell his or her health care provider about any herbs he or she plans to use, including teas, as some can interfere with certain medications or have side effects.