Herbal Health Information on Fluid Retention

I am only going to discuss fluid retention due to PMS or a sluggish metabolism. Not fluid retention due to heart failure or blocked lymph nodes as these need specialist treatment and you must visit either your doctor or a qualified Medical Herbalist.

Many women suffer fluid retention just before they have their periods or some around ovulation. Men generally do not suffer from fluid retention but I am sure I will now have some writing to me and saying “yes I do”.

Your diet should contain high amounts of Omega oils, so eat your oily fish. Zinc is essential for the proper metabolism of hormones and because it is not well absorbed from the gut, it is important to have an intake of zinc containing foods daily. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds (yes those that I always say I wish I had shares in) peas, shellfish leafy green vegetables and oats.

Drink plenty of water as this will help clean out the cells and get the lymph flowing well. If the body does not get sufficient water then it can retain what it does get, causing fluid retention! Keep tea and coffee intake to a minimum. Drinking water will also encourage the kidneys to do their job properly.

Here’s the hard part, exercise. Yes I know that you will feel sluggish when you feel bloated and your ankles are swelling but exercise will get the circulation going which in turn will help clear the fluid away from the body cells where it is being held.

Do whatever you can as long as it is getting your arms and legs working or join a gym and get professional guidance.

Herbal Medicine

There are four systems in the body which need support with Herbal Medicine to improve their function:-

Urinary system: – dandelion increases the out put of urine from the kidneys.

Lymphatic system:-goosegrass is the best lymphatic draining herb

Circulation: – ginger will improve circulation to the capillaries where the fluid exchange between the blood and the body cells take place.

Hormones (if fluid retention is hormone related):-

For females Agnus castus balances the hormones. For men Panax ginseng is an adaptogen (changes towards normal). However ginseng should not be taken if you have high blood pressure and should only be taken for three week stretches at a time. Another rule with Ginseng is that it should not be taken an hour either side of tea or coffee.

The above can all be used as tinctures but if you are buying these tinctures over the counter then follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

For more help and advice please visit me in my clinic

You can find the clinic details by clicking here or on the clinic tab at the top of the page

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Information on Migraines

Migraine headache is caused by the over dilation of arteries in the brain after they have constricted. Sufferers describe various symptoms such as, nausea, visual disturbance, flashing lights, strange smells and headache. Sometimes the visual disturbances may occur without the headache.

The causes are possibly dietary, hormonal or emotional disturbances.

In all cases it is important to try and prevent the arteries going into spasm initially.


As with tension headaches, CUT THE CAFFEINE OUT. Do it slowly so that you do not suffer Caffeine withdrawal on top of everything else.

Here’s where you are really going to hate me

No Chocolate Cheese or Red wine!!!!!! It was always thought that the Tyramine they all contain can have a constricting effect on blood vessels. However modern research has both proved and disproved this. So let’s go with the tradition and cut them out to be on the safe side.

Many people find other food substances may trigger migraine so it is worth keeping a food diary to check.

Drink at least two pints of water a day.


Keeping the blood vessels from going in to spasm is the first line of defence.

Crampbark, seen in the West Rise Marsh video, Valerian and Chamomile , seen in the shingle beach video,are all good muscle relaxants and feverfew is the long standing traditional herb which has anti spasmodic properties.

Together with a muscle relaxant herb I would add a nervous system supporting and repairing herb such as St. John’s wort or Vervain.

If the Migraine is related to the monthly cycle, in Clinic I would add a hormone balancing herb such as Agnus castus or Dong quai

None of these herbs are any good if you are in the throws of a Migraine, they are all preventative treatments and should be taken regularly for a period of three to six months.

There are over the counter preparations of migraine herbs and you will be able to find Feverfew preparations in any Health shop.

Make sure the “over the counter” preparations are licensed products so that they are safe to use.

If you would like to visit the Clinic for more help with Migraines, then click on the Clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist, Herbal Health Information

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