Household remedies for water retention
There can be many causes for water in your legs: summer heat, prolonged standing, hormonal swings or lack of fluids. Household remedies can also provide relief from water in your legs, so long as there is no underlying serious illness.
How can I treat water retention naturally?
There are, in fact, different options for treating water in your legs with household remedies. These tips can help:
- Drink a lot: at first sight, removing water through drinking more water seems contradictory, but your body needs a lot of fluids to be able to transport blood and lymph through your vessels. If your body takes in too little liquid, it then stores water in your tissue in order to be prepared for a dry period. So always drink enough!
- Apple vinegar: with its high potassium content, apple vinegar is an effective insider tip among household remedies. Simply drink one glass of water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple vinegar, spread throughout the day. A leg compress with a cloth doused in a 1 to 1 mixture of apple vinegar and water can also clear the water log in your legs.
- Herbs instead of salt: salty meals encourage the accumulation of water in your tissue. It is best to avoid salt in order to get rid of this water, and instead season with fresh herbs and other spices. Caution: ready meals contain a lot of salt!
- Movement: quite often a lack of exercise is the cause of water retention. People who sit all day in the office and also hardly move in their spare time impede the removal of fluids out of their legs. This is because the muscle pump, which conveys the blood through your veins and upwards out of your legs, is activated by exercise, such as taking a stroll, walking up stairs or moderate sport.
- Contrast showers: the change from warm to cold water stimulates your circulation. Anybody who has stepped into a cool stream with swollen legs on a hot day knows that wonderfully invigorating effect. Regular contrast showering brings your vein function into life and in the long term can counteract water retention.
- Massages: gentle massages animate the removal of the accumulated fluids. You can also do that quite easily at home, e.g. using a foam roller. It stimulates circulation in your tissue and also completely relaxes you.
- Put your feet up: sometimes just putting your feet up helps dissipate the build-up in your legs. When doing that, your feet should be higher than your hips, on a chair or against the wall.
- Avoid alcohol: on the one hand, alcohol dehydrates. On the other, it encourages the accumulation of water because your body wants to fill its water reservoir for bad times. So you should rather avoid alcohol and drink a glass of water instead.
Various herb teas and certain foodstuffs drain your body in a natural way and make sure that water retention disappears quickly – so long as there is no underlying serious illness such as a disorder of the lymphatic system or venous system.
Which tea drains quickly?
There is a whole range of herbs which have a diuretic effect. When brewed as a tea, they can kill two birds with one stone: drinking a lot and still drain effectively. The following herbs are recommended as teas:
- Birch leaf
- Green tea
- Ginger tea
If you notice swellings again on your legs and feet, just drink one or two cups of herbal tea spread throughout the day.
Which foodstuffs draw water out of your body?
Some foodstuffs contain an awful lot of potassium, which is advantageous for draining your body. Some of them are diuretic due to their particularly high water content.
- Water melons
- Coriander seeds
A healthy diet is generally a recommendation against water retention. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole food products and occasional poultry or fish provide your body with important nutrients and support the health of your vessels.
What else is effective against water retention?
If none of the household remedies work, there are other possibilities for combating water retention.
- Lymphatic drainage: lymphatic drainage entails stimulating the lymph flow. A gentle massage along the lymphatic channels stimulates the removal of the pooled water.
- Medicines: the fluidity of your blood can also be supported with medicines, so-called oedema protective agents, such as Veno SL® 300 (Mandatory information – in German). The active ingredient is Troxerutin, which is extracted form a substance from the Japanese Pagoda Tree and counteracts the development of oedemas.
- Compression stockings: the aim of compression stockings is to support the function of your veins and the removal of fluids. Wearing compression stockings can prevent your legs from swelling due to too much water.
If you suffer permanently from water retention, you should have the causes clarified by a doctor. A targeted therapy will be required if venous insufficiency or a cardiovascular disease is behind the symptoms. Water retention during pregnancy should also be examined by a doctor.