Water Retention - Alternative remedies
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Remedies for Menopausal Symptoms

The Menopause Self Help Book by Susan M. Lark, M.D.,
The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard, Ph.D.,
Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed
are drawn heavily upon for this segment. All references are provided here.


A tendency toward water retention indicates a weakness in the adrenals/kidneys, the circulatory system or possibly the heart.31 Fluid retention or bloat that seems to be a menopausal and premenstrual problem is easily remedied, says Susun Weed. She notes "If you tend to bloat, the kidneys must work very hard, and become fatigued. In this circumstance optimal fluid intake should be limited to a quart/liter of fluids daily."

Chemical diuretics leach potassium, contributing to osteoporosis.12 Better choices include dandelion, nettle, Dong quai, astragalus, juniper, parsley, uva ursi, vitamin B6 and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which will increase fluid output from the kidneys. Excessive vitamin C may stress the kidneys, however, and increase the likelihood of water retention in the future.31

Dandelion (10-20 drops of tincture) is Susun Weed’s favorite remedy for water retention. It helps reduce edema and may be used for as long as you like. Dandelion not only helps remove excess fluid from the cells, it nourishes and tones the kidneys (and adrenals) and liver, increases the digestibility of food, and offers plant hormones to ease menopausal change.31

Dong quai has been shown to have a diuretic effect and used regularly may relieve bloat. It has been shown to inhibit many bacteria: Gram-negative bacteria Bacillus dysenteriae, By. Typhi, B. comma, B. paratyphi and Escherichia coli as well as Gram-positive bacteria such as Streptococcus, corynebacterium diphtheriae and Shigella. The volatile oils exert a mild sedative effect that inhibits brain activity as well as smooth muscle in the intestine and bladder.33

Common foods such as asparagus, corn (and cornsilk tea), grapes, cucumber, and watermelon may be used freely. Parsley, celery, black tea and coffee may be used more sparingly in order to reduce water retention. Also, it is suggested that those with a tendency toward water retention limit salt intake.

Lavender "dream" pillow: Susun Weed suggests that sleeping with a lavender "dream pillow" may help correct a tendency toward water retention.

Essential oils that may help fluid retention include cypress, geranium, juniper, lavender and rosemary. Essential oils may be used in a number of ways including inhalation, baths, vaporizers, mouthwashes and gargles, compresses and massage.


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Updated 09/29/2010