21 Natural Home Remedies For Water Retention Along With Causes, Symptoms And Diet


In layman terms, water retention is also called fluid retention. This means, there is an excessive build-up of fluids in the body tissues, in the circulatory system and in the body cavities too.

Water Retention

What Is Water Retention?

In medical terms, water retention is called edema. This is swelling of the body caused by the fluid retentions when there is an excessive amount of fluid trapped in the tissues of the body.

The human body is known to consist seventy percent of water. Inside and outside, the human body cells are mostly with water. Even the blood is made from water, and so are the muscles and the organs in our bodies too.

Let’s take a look at the causes and the symptoms of water retention in the body, and then move on to the home remedies we can use for the same.


Water retention occurs in different areas of the body and the reasons for the same are different too. Let’s take a look at them individually.

1.Too Much Salt:

Consuming excessive salt or processed foods and soft drinks lead to water retention in the body.

2. Pregnancy:

The body goes through a lot of changes when a woman is expecting a baby. This is a time also when the uterus weight on the main pelvis veins can cause fluid retention. Nothing to worry about, as once the baby is born, the issue resolves on its own.

3. Lack Of Exercises:

Sitting or standing in one place for long is not advised. The lymphatic system needs stimulation and the overflow needs to be regulated. This will bring back the blood to be reused into the blood stream at normal regulation rates and then in turn the water levels would be regulated too.

4. Proteins Deficiency:

If there is protein deficiency in the body, it would be tough for the tissues to effectively balance water levels.

5. Medications To Be Blamed:

There are some medications that can cause water retention in the body. For example-

  • Estrogen drugs
  • HRT or hormone replacement therapies
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Beta-blockers
  • Chemotherapy treatment

6. Premenstrual Causes:

Pre-menstrual issues can cause water retention and breast tenderness. This is because of the hormonal imbalance in the body. Sometimes it is also to be blamed on the nutrition levels too

7. Overall Diet:

Foods rich in sodium can cause water retention. Bad diets, crash diets, low consumption of vitamin B1, B5 and B6 can make matters worse. Even low levels of albumin can make matters worse.

8. Allergies can be blamed in some people for water retention

9. Thyroid issues are to be blamed too

Now that we know of the various causes, let’s take a look at the symptoms of water retention in the body.

Edema Causes


In most cases, water retention in the body is not a major thing to be worried about. If you re-adjust your diets, the retention would go away. However, there are certain signs that show that water retention can be continuous. This is what we are going to talk about.

4. Abnormalities On The Skin:

Your blood flow would be affected with water retention and a symptom to watch out for here would be some form of skin discoloration. Certain areas of the body would be flushed because of the heavy blood flow received, while other areas of the body would be abnormal and pale looking.

5. Problems In Breathing:

Since water retention would swell up the tissues and doesn’t target one area of the body, even the lungs are affected. They would swell up because of the heavy amounts of liquid in them and this is what makes it tough for you to breathe. You might notice your voice turning hoarse and you would have chronic coughs too. This is what the body is telling you- water retention in the lungs.

Fluid Retention Before After

Now that you have a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of water retention, let’s take a look at the home remedies for the same.

Home Remedies for Water Retention:

1. Garlic:

What all you need:

  • Garlic pods chopped


  • Chew them before a meal on an empty stomach

How it works:

Garlic is a very well known diuretic, which means; the herb helps release excess amounts of water from the body and also flushes out the toxins from the body. This herb helps you lose weight too and it breaks down the fats in the body to do so.

Tip: Once a day to chew garlic is more than enough


2. Dandelion:

What all you need:

  • Dandelion leaves
  • Honey
  • Water


  • Boil two cups of water
  • Add the honey to it
  • Remove from fire
  • Add the dandelion leaves
  • Cover and wait for five minutes
  • Strain
  • Drink

How it works:

The medicinal properties of dandelion work to treat kidney, livers, heartburn and digestion issues. Dandelion is diuretic by nature and helps flush the toxins out of the kidneys, along with excess salts and liquids from the body.

Tip: Consult your doctor before using dandelion since people with diabetes and under medication could have side effects.

3. Parsley:

What you need:

  • A handful of parsley
  • Water


  • Boil two cups of water
  • Add the parsley leaves to it
  • Strain
  • Pour
  • Drink

How it works:

Parsley has plenty of minerals and antioxidants in it along with vitamins too. They all work together to combat excess sodium and potassium in the body and forces the excess water to leave the body.

Tip: Drink this thrice a day


4. Fennel Seeds:

What you need:

  • A tbsp of fennel seeds
  • Water


  • Boil two cups of water
  • Add the seeds
  • Cover it
  • Strain
  • Drink it

How it works:

Fennel seeds contain anethole, which has many medicinal properties. It is also a natural diuretic which helps reduce the systolic levels of blood pressure in the body and to release the excess amounts of water in the body too.

Tip: To be drunk thrice a day!

5. Lemon Juice:

What you need:

  • One large lime
  • Water


  • Cut the lime into half
  • Squeeze out all the juice
  • Add to warm water
  • Stir
  • Drink

How it works:

Limes are natural diuretics that help flush the toxins and removes excess of water from the body. They also help nourish and clean the kidneys, allowing them to function well.

Tip: Drink warm lime juice twice a day on an empty stomach

Lemon Juice

6. Cranberry Juice:

What you need:

  • A glass of cranberry juice


  • Drink a glass of cranberry juice once everyday

How it works:

Cranberries are natural diuretics and have plenty of potassium, calcium and magnesium in them. The fruit helps balance the levels of fluid in the body, which helps prevent the oncoming of water retention.

Tip: One glass a day is enough!

7. Apple Cider Vinegar:

What you need:

  • A cap of apple cider vinegar
  • A cup of water


  • Mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink.

How it works:

Apple cider vinegar helps with potassium replenishing and bringing down of sodium levels in the body. It is also responsible for balancing the pH levels of the body and for bringing down water retention too.

Tip: Once a day on an empty stomach to consume

Apple Cider Vinegar

8. Herbal Tea:

What you need:

  • 1 blackberry leaf
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • ½ teaspoon celery tops
  • 1 chopped dandelion leaf
  • 10 cherry stems
  • ½ teaspoon corn silk
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cough grass


  • Boil a litre of water
  • Place all the herbs in it
  • Bring it to half
  • Cool
  • Sip through the day

How it works:

The mentioned herbs are natural diuretics and they can help reduce the levels of water in the body and flush toxins and excess out too.

Tip: Sip tablespoons of it every hour.

9. Yogurt:

What you need:

  • A cup of yogurt


  • Eat it before a meal on an empty stomach

How it works:

When the blood protein and albumin in the body is low, you can have water retention. Yogurt helps with the same, and it holds the water and the salts in the blood vessels too. This helps preventing the water from leaking into the tissues and swelling too.

Tip: Have two cups a day before meals on an empty stomach

10. Ice Packs

What you need:

  • A Ziploc bag
  • ice cubes.


  • fill the Ziploc bag with ice cubes
  • compress the swollen areas for ten minutes with the bag
  • repeat thrice in an hour

How it works:

With ice packs, you can bring down the swelling.

Tip: This is not for people that have low circulation issues and diabetes.

11. Epsom Salt:

What you need:

  • a tablespoon of Epsom salt
  • warm water


  • fill the bathtub with warm water
  • add Epsom salt
  • soak yourself in it
  • relax
  • wash off

How it works:

With the help of Epsom salts, the excess fluids from the body and the toxins are drawn out.

Tip: Do this once a day!

Epsom Salt

12. Nettle:

What you need:

  • a teaspoon of nettle root powder
  • water


  • boil the water
  • add the powder of nettle root
  • wait for five minutes
  • strain
  • drink

How it works:

Nettle is a natural diuretic, which flushes out excess water and toxins from the body

Tip: To be drunk thrice a day

13. Onion:

What you need:

  • An onion


  • chop the onion
  • chew it on an empty stomach

How it works:

Onions are diuretic foods that help flush out excess water frequently and also the toxins. They help bring down blood pressure issues and restore the sodium water balance in the body as well.

Tip: Twice a day consuming raw onion is more than enough


14. Aromatherapy:

What you need:

  • 20 drops of juniper oil
  • 20 drops of geranium oil
  • 20 drops of cypress oil
  • Warm water
  • A towel


  • Add all the oils to the warm water in the bathtub
  • Soak yourself in it
  • Wash off
  • Towel dry
  • Relax

How it works:

With the essential oils mentioned, the aromas help the lymph system and allows for fluid drainage too. This in turn helps with water retention.

Tip: Twice a week is more than enough for an aromatic bath

15. Barley:

What you need:

  • Quart cup of barley unpeeled
  • Half a cup of lemon juice


  • Mix the barley and the juice of lime together
  • Drink it

How it works:

Barley is safe for pregnant women and can be had to help bring down water retention.

Tip: Drink three cups a day


16. Coriander Seeds:

What you need:

  • Half a cup of water
  • A few coriander seeds


  • In a low heating pan, add the water
  • Throw in the seeds
  • Boil to half the residue
  • Remove and strain
  • Drink it

How it works:

Coriander is a natural diuretic and contains all the vitamins and minerals needed to combat water retention.

Tip: Drink this thrice a day

Coriander Seeds

17. Banana:

What you need:

  • One large ripe banana


  • Eat it whole

How it works:

Bananas are rich in potassium and stops water retention and weight gain in the body. Potassium is a mineral that works wonders for the organs, the tissues and the cells in the body. Potassium is also an electrolyte which helps maintain the sodium levels in the body. With rich amounts of potassium intake, the water retention is brought down to a large extent.

Tip: Have three bananas a day.

18. Asparagus:

What you need:

  • A cup of asparagus


  • Have them as a salad embellishment

How it works:

Asparagus is a diuretic which helps bring down water retention. It flushes out the toxins from the body and also helps flush out waste and excretes excess water from the kidneys too.

Tip: Eat it once a day as a salad addition


19. Rosemary:

What you need:

  • 3gms of rosemary
  • Water


  • Boil the water
  • Add rosemary to it
  • Strain
  • Cool
  • Sip

How it works:

Rosemary is a herb which is very effective to help treat water retention. The herb brings relief from the water retention you face by flushing out the excess water.

Tip: Three cups a day is a must

20. Raisins:

What you need:

  • A handful of soaked raisins


  • Eat them swelled up

How it works:

  • Raisins have potassium in them which are electrolytes for the body.
  • Potassium is a mineral that works wonders for the organs, the tissues and the cells in the body.
  • Potassium is also an electrolyte which helps maintain the sodium levels in the body.
  • With rich amounts of potassium intake, the water retention is brought down to a large extent.

Tip: Have a handful once a day

Health Benefits Of Raisins

21. Exercise Regularly:

What you need:

  • Yoga
  • Power yoga
  • Pilates
  • Cardio workouts
  • Brisk walks


  • Brisk walk for half an hour or workout in the gym for an hour. Talk to a certified gym trainer for the same.

How it works:

Whatever be your choice of exercise, ensure that you work the body to a sweat. This helps reduce the levels of water retention in the body, where the salts and water in excess are brought down and more urine flow happens. You also sweat high and this makes the circulation in the body better.

Tip: Your doctor should be consulted on which exercises you can and cannot do!

Now that we have the varied recipes to use at home which can help bring down water retention, let us now take a look at the diet to follow for the same.

Diet Plan for Water Retention:

Minimize Your Salt And Sugar Intake:

Salt is a combo of chloride and sodium, and the latter gets together with water inside the body and balances the fluids inside out. Processed foods have too much salt in them, so stop having them altogether because this would retain water.

Refined carbs can spike up the sugar levels in the body and the insulin levels too. When there are high levels of insulin in the body, the body tends to retain more sodium and sends most of it to the kidneys. This would lead to water retention.

Processed sugars and processed grains are not advisable to have- table sugar and white flour especially.

Avoid Alcohol And Caffeine:

Coffee and alcohol can cause dehydration in the body and water retention too. Heavy drinkers of the two would need to urinate more and will sweat more than usual. The fluids in the body need to be replaced when you urinate more and sweat more. When the body is dehydrated it will look for ways to retain water so that no more losses of water happen. This makes the organs in the body work on the double and hence creates more water retention.

Drink More Water:

Drinking less water during the day can be cause for water retention. Low water consumption would make the kidneys be overwhelmed with the concentrated fluids, and this would force the liver to work extra hard too. The body thus would sweat a lot and water would be retained, because the body doesn’t want to lose any of the fluids it has. This leads to the body panicking and holds onto the water as if it would never get more water.

Take adequate amounts of vitamin B6:

Plenty of vitamin B6 is needed for the body to beat water retention. This is especially for women during their periods, where they lose a lot of water. B6 is a natural diuretic and can help you excrete out the wastes and reduce the water content in the body.

Take Adequate Amounts Of Magnesium:

Research shows that women with PMS issues have water retention problems, but it can be brought down when there is enough magnesium intake on a daily basis. This helps bring down menses bloating.

Eat Foods Rich In Potassium:

Potassium deficiency leads to water retention in the body, and the body or its organs aren’t able to function properly too. Lack of potassium will lead to weight gain, swelling of the body and water retention. Some of the rich sources of potassium include bananas, raspberries, peaches and raisins, apricots and spinach too.

Eat Less Processed Foods:

Processed foods have too much salt in them, so stop having them altogether because this would retain water. Refined carbs can spike up the sugar levels in the body and the insulin levels too. When there are high levels of insulin in the body, the body tends to retain more sodium and sends most of it to the kidneys. This would lead to water retention. Processed sugars and processed grains are not advisable to have- table sugar and white flour especially.

Take Natural Diuretics:

The best way to defeat water retention is to have a lot of diuretics every day. This will help bring down the excess water in the body. Some rich sources of natural diuretics include cranberries, horsetail, dandelion, onions and more.

Eat High Fiber Foods:

The body is not equipped to digest fibers and they pass through the intestines. One needs to have enough fiber which helps with retention water relief. Fibre will absorb the excess water and pass through the intestines. Some rich sources of fibre foods would be whole grains and seeds, beans and legumes, fruits and nuts, and veggies too.

Low Fat Proteins:

Most of us relate muscle building to protein intake, however, there is much more to that. Every cell has protein in it and is the main constituent too. Proteins are also needed to fed off bacteria and viruses, and help with food digestion as well. They also help hormones to balance and regulate the systems in the body too- reproduction to metabolism. Proteins help the cells keep the water where it should be. Lack of protein intake will make these structures fall apart and the fluids would lead. This will cause water retention.

Eat Foods Naturally High In Water Content

Foods that are rich in water content such as citrus and melons and fruits with high potassium in them will help defeat water retention. A fruit salad or a fruit smoothie, once a day is enough to have. Some of the fruits to have would be, watercress which is a natural diuretic, peppers and onions too. Have salmon, which is rich in omega 3s and can work well for the organs in the body. Tuna, mackerel and nuts and flax too have plenty of omegas in them.

Here was a simple diet plan to aid in bringing down water retention. We shall now check on when to consult a doctor for the issue.

When Should One Consult A Doctor?

Although there is nothing to worry about water retention in most cases, but there are times when it can be life threatening. Speak to your doctor on the same when you have the following symptoms-

  1. If the edema isn’t leaving you after a week
  1. If the skin doesn’t spring back normally when indented
  1. If you take medication
  1. If you are diabetic
  1. If you are expecting a baby and a sudden swelling is noticed

When Water Retention Is Normal ?

In most cases, water retention is normal. However, there are steps that you can take to bring down the same.

  1. If you are pregnant, your body would be retaining a lot of water. The edema cases here are mild and wouldn’t need much medical interference as such. But do mention the same to the doctor when you go for your check-ups.
  1. Women tend to retain a lot of water when their periods are on or during menopause.

Now that you know when water retention is normal, let’s take a look at ways to prevent the same.

Prevention Tips:

Just like other medical issues, it is easier to prevent edema than to cure the same. And there are many ways we have mentioned already to deal with such issues.

  1. Bring down the consumption of salt and sugar which are culprits for water retention in the body when they are consumed in excess. This is because they draw a lot of water and fluids into the cells and the tissues of the body. This would accumulate over time and cause health problems. Cut down on processed foods and sugary snacks.
  1. Have more of B5 AND B6 s that the fluid retention is brought down to a minimum in the body. For women with PMS issues and mild water retention, more B6 should be consumed. Speak to your doctor to know of the supplements you can take, and also a dietician to know of the rich foods in this vitamin to consume.
  1. Consume low fat dairy and foods to bring down water retention and to have a healthy diet. Also include the need for an exercise program. Veggies and fruits are nutrient dense and have vitamins in them.
  1. Magnesium and calcium rich foods should be consumed to bring more diuretic effects in the body. These are minerals that help solve water retention to a large extent and flush the toxins and excess water from the body too.
  1. Drink a lot of water and cut down on dehydrating beverages and drinks. This means, staying away from alcohol and coffee, and having plenty of water. When the body is dehydrated because of coffee and alcohol intake, it can send the body into a panic spree. This makes the body store up all the water it can and this leads to water retention. In such cases, you would have unnecessary weight gain.
  1. Improve the circulation of the body for the water retention to go. Your physical fitness levels need to be en point, and the cardio levels should be good too. Physical exercises can help you sweat out the excess of toxins and water in the body, and also stimulates blood flow in the system too.

We hope this mini guide on water retention and ways to prevent it comes in handy.

Disclaimer: The information given here is through research from various sources and must not be taken as a substitute for what your doctor advises. Please remember, your doctors words would take precedence over what is written here and elsewhere online!


    • Keep a check on your yesterdays weight, and compare it to today. If you see an increase in more than half a pound, it is water weight. Whereas if your weight has increased compared to last months weight, it is fat.


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