Diuretics are used to rid the body of extra fluid or salt. People with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen tissues, and kidney disease often use diuretics to treat these conditions.
Extra fluid in the body makes it hard for the heart to work properly and can make breathing difficult. Prescription diuretics are commonly called water pills and will increase urination to begin with. This typically improves quickly, however.
Seven natural diuretics to eat and drink
There are several foods, drinks, herbs, and spices that work as natural diuretics in the body. Unless someone has a certain condition that causes their body to retain fluid, they should not increase their intake of diuretics.
Using diuretics for weight loss will only cause dehydration. Once the body is rehydrated, the weight will return.
Nigella sativa, also known as black seed, is one of the more effective natural diuretics.
Nigella sativa, also called black cumin, black seed, or black caraway, is a natural diuretic shown to be as effective as a popular prescription diuretic. Nigella sativa increases urine output and in turn reduces sodium and potassium levels.
The seed has a strong peppery flavor and used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Nigella sativa is being studied as a possible treatment for high blood pressure. High doses of Nigella sativamay cause liver damage.
The Hibiscus sabdariffa plant works as a natural diuretic and also prevents the body from getting rid of potassium.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is also known as roselle or red sorrel. It is often used as a medicinal supplement or made into a tea. Hibiscus tea is made by steeping the dried petals of the hibiscus flower in hot water.
Alcohol is a well-known diuretic that works by increasing urine output. However, alcohol has many adverse health effects and should always be consumed in moderation.
A common wildflower found in many parts of the Northern hemisphere.
Caffeine has a diuretic effect, although it is mild and short-term.
Both dandelion and ginger are popularly used in drinks and teas claiming to be detoxifying because of their diuretic qualities. No sound human studies have proven their effects, however.
A study found that parsley seed extract given to rats increased their urine volume significantly. Parsley has been used as a home remedy diuretic for many years.
Parsley is often used as a spice, either fresh or dried, and pairs well with Italian cuisine, chicken, or fish.
Caffeine may have a mild, short-term diuretic effect. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. People who regularly have drinks with caffeine can develop a tolerance to caffeine and will not see any difference.
Theophylline, a compound found in tea, enhances the diuretic effect of caffeine.