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Over-the-Counter and Natural Diuretics and How They Affect Edema

Updated on June 8, 2016

Easy Remedies to Alleviate Swelling in the Hands, Feet, and Extremities

Many over-the-counter remedies are available that can effectively help to alleviate the symptoms of edema.

A healthy water balance is essential in the body in order to allow all of the body's systems to work properly. When this balance is disrupted and water is retained, swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, and hands can occur. Swelling can also occur near the abdomen and near the lungs.

If swelling occurs in or near the lungs, a physician should be seen right away since that can be a sign of pulmonary edema which can eventually lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Over-the-Counter Diuretics for Edema

For some cases of edema, especially if they are mild and merely bothersome, over-the-counter products can be safely used. Diuretics and natural remedies for edema symptoms have been around for years and, when properly used, are quite effective.

  • Pamabrom is a commonly used over-the-counter diuretic. It is a mild and its main active ingredient is related to another well-known diuretic called theophylline. Theophylline is actually an ingredient found in tea, so it is considered to be fairly safe.
  • Diurex is another option that has caffeine as its main ingredient. It is effective in helping to remove excess water from the body. It can also help to relieve the symptoms of edema when used properly, and has been around for years.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: For many years, apple cider vinegar has been considered an effective diuretic to use for mild symptoms of edema. The best way to use it is to mix two teaspoons into an eight ounce glass of water and drink it. It has no known side effects and is considered quite safe.

Foods That Have Diuretic Properties

There are foods that have a diuretic effect on the body and are good for those with only minimal symptoms and no other major health conditions. Foods such as

  • cranberry juice
  • cranberries
  • melon
  • artichoke
  • watercress
  • asparagus
  • celery
  • apple cider vinegar
  • tea

When eaten along with a healthy diet, which includes lowering sodium intake, these foods can be effective for those with only mild symptoms of edema to help to achieve a more normal balance of water in the body.

There are also foods that cause swelling — do your research and avoid these.

Herbs to Look For

When attempting to treat mild edema with herbal remedies, there are a couple of effective ingredients to look for. Herbs can be effective in the treatment of edema, without the undesirable side effects that can occur with the use of prescription medications. Look for these herbs in your remedy:

  • Buchu, also known as Agathosma betulina, is a well-known herbal remedy from South Africa. It is used for its natural diuretic properties, allowing the body to rid itself of excess water and to rid itself of toxins present in the body as well.
  • Dandelion, also known as Taraxacum officinalis, contains some bitter properties that help the digestive system. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals as well, making it a safe and effective herb. It works by supporting the body's ability to excrete water safely and effectively and to aid in removing toxins.

Capisette: A Natural Remedy to Reduce Swelling

Herbal remedies have been used for years because of their diuretic properties and can be effective for those with mild symptoms of edema. One well-known remedy is called Capisette, which comes in the form of capsules that are taken twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.

Capisette is considered to be a safe method of treatment if no other serious health conditions are present. Capisette contains buchu, dandelion, horse chesnut, ginkgo biloba, and uva ursi extract, which are all used for their diuretic and water-balancing properties. Capisette also includes magnesium and potassium, important for electrolyte balance.

It is advised when using herbal and other natural remedies to take them regularly and consistently, and to be patient while waiting to see results. A natural remedy works over time with the body to achieve a more holistic balance, so it is important to give it time to take effect.

Important Advice About Remedies

Whenever using herbal or other natural remedies for the treatment of edema, it is important that they are not used along with prescription medications.

If relief is not found with herbals and natural remedies, it may be necessary to seek the advice of a physician so a more effective treatment can be found.

When talking to a physician, it is important to let them know which other remedies were used before. That way, the physician can take this into account when determining if the patient should also be using a prescription diuretic treatment.

Sometimes, natural and herbal treatments may be enough, but when they're not, it is always wise to seek the care of a qualified physician, especially if edema symptoms persist or get worse.

The ideal desired outcome is to achieve a good balance of fluids within the body that helps to bring one back to a feeling of good health once again.


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    • profile image

      Concerned Nurse 

      3 years ago

      PLEASE re-evaluate your statements on theophylline. It is by NO means "fairly safe". Just because it comes from tea, or from the ground, that doesn't mean it's safe. You know what else you can make tea with? Hemlock. It's rarely used in medical settings, unless there is no other option, because of dysrhythmias, seizures, and cardiovascular collapse. Anybody who is on theophylline needs blood levels measured regularly, this is not something for the general public to mess around with.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      8 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      There are so many herbs that can be used as diuretics. Uva-Ursi, Parsley, Golden Seal, Dandelion Root, Skullcap, Sage, Green Tea, Celery Seed, Saffron, Hops, Yarrow, Rose Hips, and Fennel. One would not take all of them, but a mix is usually combined for the patient. Although safe and effective in moderation, over indulgence may lead to dehydration, and that can cause a problem


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