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