‘What is a natural diuretic?’ – this is a question that is found in the minds of people looking to live healthier lives enriched with a healthier diet.
Diuretics are really simple to understand. They perform the basic function of removing extra water and salt from your body. Basically, they encourage your bowels to use the washroom more often, and in this way, help reduce water weight and deal with water retention-related issues.
1) Benefits of Natural Diuretics
Natural diuretics have many advantages and are very beneficial for the body, as shown by research. A part of answering ‘what is a natural diuretic’ is to understand the benefits of natural diuretics.
1.1) Increases in Urine Production
Natural diuretics make the body produce more urine, and help the body get rid of excess fluid and bacteria.
1.2) Flushes out Toxins
Another in the long list of health benefits provided by natural diuretics is the flushing of toxins. Since the diuretic effect is to flush out excess water, toxins also get removed from the body.
1.3) Blood Pressure Maintenance
Diuretics lower your blood pressure and help ensure that there’s always a balanced blood pressure.
1.4) Weight Loss
Diuretics are also used to reach a weight loss goal. Some dieters may recommend it, and some dietary supplements also have diuretics as their components.
1.5) Medical Benefits
Diuretics can also help in dealing with conditions like hypertension, digestion problems, kidney disease, water retention (also known as edema), other water retention-related diseases, and urinary tract infections.
2) Some Natural Diuretics
Now, natural diuretics are abundant in number. If you are looking for managed blood pressure, increased urine production, better kidney function, and weight loss, here are just a few natural diuretics for you to consume.
Coffee is a natural diuretic. So, if you are someone who enjoys coffee and tea, you can be considered lucky. It can cause urine production to increase. Additionally, coffee also has a lot of other health benefits, like reduced cardiovascular disease.
If you drink coffee regularly, you may develop a tolerance to its diuretic effect, which may make it a lesser effective diuretic than others.
2.2) Diuretic Foods and Drinks
Water-based fruits and vegetables are good natural diuretics. Here are some of the best diuretics to consume in this category:
Celery helps avoid increased blood pressure. It also cleans the body of unnecessary fluid. It helps in digestion and reduces bloating. It also helps reduce dehydration.
Watermelons contain more than 90 percent of water, and this makes them good hydration agents. Watermelons also have the amino acid L-citrulline, which improves blood circulation.
Since the blood flow increases, water retention, especially in tissues, decreases. Watermelon also has a high quantity of vitamins like potassium and vitamin C.
Asparagus has always been used for its diuretic effects. It has asparagine, an amino acid that can treat water retention-related problems, like rheumatism.
Cucumbers have a high water content. Additionally, they have carried acid; this helps eliminate excess water and reduce water weight. Cucumbers also have nutrients that help cleanse the kidney of uric acid.
Since cucumbers are low in calories, they can be seen as a great alternative medicine for people looking to lose weight.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid. They have flavonoids that prevent inflammation. Additionally, the citric acid present in lemons reduces edema and prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Cantaloupes have a lot of potassium and water. Their high water content helps increase urination, which makes you lose water weight. They also purge the body of toxins.
Beets are high in potassium content, and this helps in reducing fluid retention. Beetroots have betanin which reduces inflammation.
Cabbage helps reduce the content of water weight. It is also one of the main diet components called the ‘cabbage soup diet‘. This diet focuses on the diuretic effects of cabbage along with its ability to provide fiber and lose water weight.
Additionally, cabbage contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are found in colorful vegetables and fruits, and they prevent inflammation and provide protection against type 2 diabetes. Eating cabbage can also benefit your memory and the health of the brain.
2.3) Diuretic Herbs
N0w, herbs, and dietary supplements can boost water output. Both of them have their own benefits, but if you’re looking for a natural diuretic, herbs would be your best shot.
Hibiscus works as a diuretic but also avoids the body of excess loss of potassium. Commonly termed roselle or red sorrel, hibiscus sabdariffa is used for its medicinal properties. Hibiscus sabdariffa also increases kidney filtration.
Hibiscus falls in the list of the seven natural diuretics most commonly used by people. Others on this list are alcohol, dandelion extract, ginger, parsley seed extract, coffee, and nigella Sativa.
2.3.2) Black Cumin (Nigella sativa)
Black cumin has been used to relieve a lot of health problems, along with high blood pressure. Black cumin seed extract fluid can lower high blood pressure and is more effective than black cumin oil.
Black cumin oil and the extract are considered to be a herbal remedy for kidney stones and calcium oxalate buildup. And of course, black cumin is a great spice for dishes.
2.3.3) Horsetail (Equisetum spp.)
Horsetail enhances the flushing of potassium, chloride, and sodium. It also lowers the risk of mineral deficits. However, people who have medical conditions like HIV shouldn’t use horsetail because it can block the effects of anti-HIV medicines.
2.3.4) Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Juniper is well known for its antimicrobial properties. It enhances urine volume and is also renowned for its detox properties.
2.3.5) Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano has been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for diseases involving the kidney. Herbal supplements that contain oregano can cause a reduction in calcium oxalate, and oregano is also rich in active compounds.
2.3.6) Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)
Heart failure is a massive problem that is dealt with using hawthorn. Hawthorn can strengthen the heart’s muscles. and this enables the removal of excreted water.
Hawthorn also cuts the levels of uric acid, reduces sodium levels, reduces sodium and water retention, and lowers the risk of damage to the kidneys.
2.3.7) Caraway (Carum carvi)
Caraway is traditionally used for medical problems related to digestive disorders, retention of extra fluid, and blood pressure.
Garlic has been used for ages for its benefits to blood vessels. Garlic extract lowers blood pressure, increases sodium flushing, and has a distinct smell that takes some getting used to.
It is recommended to use raw garlic since its benefits evaporate once chopped or cooked.
2.3.9) Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is known for enhanced urine output and kidney stone prevention.
2.4) Diuretic Drugs
The last component of understanding what is a natural diuretic is to accept that sometimes, natural diuretic foods may not work for you. You may require additional medical support and dietary or herbal supplements, and in this situation, diuretic drugs (water pills) step in.
Thiazide diuretics make your kidney excrete water along with salt. A few side effects are headaches, appetite loss, and hair loss.
2.4.2) Loop Diuretics
Loop diuretics affect the loop of Henle of your kidney and balance your water intake by removing excess water. Possible side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, and stomach problems.
2.4.3) Potassium-sparing diuretics
These prescription diuretics clear salt from your body without affecting your potassium levels. Side effects include gas and nausea.
Mixed pills have an effective diuretic that can be swallowed, but they may cause headaches.
When it comes to diuretic medication, you can either take pills or you may need to be given the medicines through an IV. Most people can take diuretics in capsule form since they don’t worsen medical problems. However, please ensure you take the side effects caused by diuretic prescriptions in mind. You could experience frequent tiredness, thirst, muscle cramps, and weakness.
3) Things to be Careful About
Diuretics are really useful, but they should only be taken when you have a condition that causes your body to retain water. If you use diuretic medicines without a doctor’s advice, you could experience more kidney problems, gout symptoms, and a risk of neonatal toxicity.
Taking diuretics that are natural is a better option, but you should still consult a doctor to ensure safety. The long-term effects of diuretics could reduce your essential minerals, so your mineral levels should be taken care of while taking diuretics.
As mentioned earlier, some diuretics can lower your potassium levels. If you want to see if your potassium levels are low, check for weakness, excessive tiredness, muscle cramps, constipation, and heart problems.
Diuretics may make you feel like you’ve lost weight, but please remember this is water weight. As you rehydrate, the weight will return. So, diuretics shouldn’t be used as the sole way to reach your weight loss goal. If you really want to reduce weight, stick to a healthier diet and a regular exercise regime.
If you feel that diuretics aren’t helping lower your blood pressure, you should seek your doctor’s advice and use other medicines. Calcium channel blockers are most commonly recommended. So, the basic way to use diuretics is the same as any other medicine – consult your health professional first.
‘What is a natural diuretic’ – after answering this question, you may try out any of these listed items. If you feel that none of them work, there are natural ways to reduce fluid retention, too. You could exercise more, increase the intake of magnesium, hydrate yourself and eat foods with a lot of potassium. Natural diuretics are only one way to increase urine output, not the only one.