Natural Diuretics: 19 Herbs, Foods, Supplements, Drinks - Dr. Axe

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19 Natural Diuretics to Help Relieve Water Retention, Bloating & More


Natural diuretics - Dr. Axe

Whether you’re looking to flush out water weight or keep kidney stones at bay, including a few servings of natural diuretics in your diet may be just what you need. These healthy foods boast a long list of benefits, from reducing blood pressure to beating bloat, and can help sidestep many of the troublesome symptoms that often accompany over-the-counter medications.

What are natural diuretics, what do they do and why should you consider adding them into your daily routine? Let’s dig in.

What Is a Diuretic?

Diuretics are a class of drugs that promote diuresis, or the increased production of urine. Also sometimes called water pills, these medications are used to remove excess water from the body and treat conditions like heart failure, liver disease and high blood pressure.

Although often necessary in the treatment of several different health problems, diuretics can be accompanied by a slew of side effects, such as high blood sugar, headaches and dizziness, causing many people to turn to natural diuretics as an alternative treatment method.

What is a natural diuretic? These powerful herbs, supplements and foods can mimic the effects of diuretics to increase urine volume and flush out extra fluids. Plus, besides preventing fluid buildup, many also supply a host of health benefits as well as a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to optimize other aspects of health as well.


Switching out your over-the-counter (OTC) diuretic for a few natural options instead can have a powerful impact on your health. Let’s take a look at a few of the top natural diuretics food, herb and supplement options and how you can add them to your diet to take advantage of the multitude of health benefits that they have to offer.

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19 Natural Diuretics

1. Green Tea

High blood pressure is a condition caused when blood pushes against the artery walls with too much force, putting extra strain on the heart muscle and causing it to weaken over time. Diuretics are one of the first lines of defense used against high blood pressure and can help excrete extra sodium through the urine to lower blood pressure.

Using natural diuretics for high blood pressure can also be an effective treatment option. In fact, several natural diuretics have been linked to lower blood pressure levels. One massive analysis of 13 studies, for example, found that green tea was able to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder caused when women produce high levels of male hormones, leading to symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, depression and acne. Diuretic pills are often used as a conventional treatment for PCOS, which works by removing excess water and androgen hormones from the body to reduce symptoms.

In addition to promoting proper hydration and enhancing the body’s ability to effectively flush out extra hormones and fluids, some natural diuretics also boast anti-androgen effects as well. Green tea, for instance, is rich in epigallocatechins, which are catechins that can help block the conversion of certain sex hormones to reduce the risk of PCOS symptoms.

2. Black Tea

A randomized, controlled trial found that black tea offers similar hydrating properties to water. Thus, part of the many benefits of black tea include its role as natural diuretic.

3. Parsley

Research published in the Journal Ethnopharmacology examined the diuretic effects of parsley. The researchers found that “parsley extract increased significantly urine flow rate, confirming thus the claimed diuretic effect of the herb.”

4. Dandelion

Similar to edema, ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, which is the layer of tissues that lines the abdomen and helps protect the body’s internal organs. This condition is usually caused by liver disease or cirrhosis, which is a scarring of the liver.

Diuretics are typically used to help manage and treat this condition by flushing extra water and removing excess fluid in the abdomen.

When used in conjunction with traditional treatment, including a few natural diuretics in your routine may also be beneficial. Plus, many also boast liver-protecting properties as well to enhance liver health even more.

In fact, research conducted on mice found that dandelion leaf extract’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help protect against liver damage.

5. Hibiscus

A review found that several diuretic herbs have been shown to have powerful blood pressure-lowering properties, including hibiscus and ginger.

6. Hawthorn Berry

Research published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine conducted on rats revealed that hawthorn berry leaves can help alleviate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease due to its flavonoids.

7. Horsetail

Animal models have shown that horsetail possesses “diuretic and antispasmodic activities, and it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for edema, bladder and renal conditions and to promote healing of wounds and burns.”


8. Juniper Berry

Juniper berries have been used as a natural diuretic for hundreds of years, and research backs this up, showcasing their renal effects and ability to flush fluids.

9. Celery

A hydrating food, celery, especially celery juice, is a known natural diuretic that can benefit everything from blood pressure to liver health, digestion and more.

10. Lemons

If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you are likely all too familiar with just how painful it can be. Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys, causing symptoms like pain, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine.

Increasing your fluid intake is often recommended to flush out the kidneys and aid in kidney stone excretion. Similarly, diuretics are also sometimes used to help prevent kidney stone formation.

Certain natural diuretic foods can also do double duty to help prevent kidney stone symptoms. Lemons, for example, can help promote hydration and also supply a burst of citric acid, which increases urine volume to block kidney stone formation. One study conducted by Duke University Medical Center even found that treating patients with lemonade therapy for four years was able to decrease stone formation from an average of one kidney stone per year down to 0.13 per year.

11. Bell Peppers

Low in calories, bell peppers are hydrating foods that have diuretic properties.

12. Garlic

Garlic has been proven to have diuretic effects many times over, which is partly why it’s effective in managing hypertension and supporting heart health. In fact, garlic has been valued for so long that “Hippocrates advocated garlic as a laxative and a diuretic, and Aristophanes and Galenal suggested garlic for the treatment of uterine tumors,” according to research.

13. Onions

Studies relay that onions work as a natural diuretic, and as such, they can help protect the heart, respiratory system and more.

14. Watermelon

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a common condition characterized by the buildup of fluid in the tissues, leading to symptoms like swelling, puffiness and bloating. Incorporating a few servings of natural diuretic foods for water retention is an easy and effective way to lose water weight and prevent bloating.

Watermelon, for example, is an excellent natural diuretic for edema thanks to its high water content. Eating plenty of hydrating foods and natural diuretics like fruits and veggies can flush out excess water and prevent fluid from accumulating in the body.

15. Cucumber

Cucumbers are one of the best detox foods because they can help the body produce more urine to carry out toxins and waste. As such, they help combat bloating and prevent water retention.

16. Grapes

In both animal and human studies, grapes showcase their diuretic abilities. Thus, grapes nutrition can help support longevity and combat disease.

17. Ginger

Widely viewed as a natural diuretic, ginger helps everything from digestion to immunity, heart health and more. You can either use the root or have a cup of ginger tea to take advantage of these effects.

18. Berries

The healthiest berries are also some of the best natural diuretics. That makes them tremendous for regulating blood pressure and promoting overall health.

19. Asparagus

One of the benefits of natural diuretics is their ability to flush toxins. Research out of Korea found that asparagus extracts hold therapeutic uses, including help protecting liver cells against toxins.

Natural diuretics - Dr. Axe

Related: Horseradish Root Helps Prevent Respiratory Illness, UTIs & Cancer

How to Use

One of the easiest ways to take advantage of the wealth of health benefits provided by natural diuretics is by simply including a few servings of natural diuretic fruits and veggies in your diet. Try starting your day with a delicious green smoothie, satisfying your sweet tooth with a tasty fruit salad or swapping your fries for a side salad to help get in your fix.

Natural diuretic pills and supplements are also available for a quick and easy way to flush out extra water while sidestepping some of the negative symptoms associated with certain OTC diuretic medications. Check your local pharmacy or health food store to find supplements like hawthorn berry, horsetail and hibiscus in convenient capsule form. Be sure to use as directed, and stick to the recommended dosage to avoid adverse side effects.

Plus, sipping on some tea throughout the day can also help increase urine volume and remove excess fluid. Not only is tea a diuretic, but it’s also filled with other health-promoting properties, like thearubigins, epicatechins and catechins, all of which act as antioxidants to ward off chronic disease and prevent cell damage.

Brew a cup of your choice of natural diuretic tea options, such as green, black or hibiscus, and enjoy the multitude of powerful health benefits.

Related: Linden Tea Benefits for the Body and Mind

Risks and Side Effects

In general, natural diuretics can be safe alternatives to OTC diuretic medications and an effective way to avoid potential water pills side effects. Some of the most common diuretic side effects include muscle cramps, high blood sugar, diarrhea, headaches, low sodium levels, and high or low levels of potassium in the blood.

For most people, natural diuretic foods can be enjoyed with minimal risk of side effects. If you do experience any negative side effects or food allergy symptoms, such as swelling, rashes or hives, discontinue use and consult with your doctor.

Diuretic herbs and supplements, on the other hand, should be used in moderation to prevent adverse side effects. Stick to the recommended dosage, and talk to your doctor before starting if you have any underlying health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease or liver problems.

Additionally, while these natural diuretics can help reduce excess fluid buildup, they may not be an appropriate substitute for medications prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to address any concerns with a trusted health care professional to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Final Thoughts

  • What is a diuretic? Defined as any medication that promotes diuresis, or the production of urine, diuretics are commonly used to treat everything from heart failure to high blood pressure.
  • Natural diuretics are foods, herbs and supplements that act as diuretics to prevent fluid buildup and decrease bloating.
  • Adding a few servings of natural diuretics into your diet could help prevent kidney stones, decrease PCOS symptoms, treat bloating and ascites, lower blood pressure, and promote proper filtration in the kidneys.
  • While natural diuretic foods are generally safe with minimal risk of side effects, be sure to stick to the recommended dosage and consult with your doctor before taking herbs or supplements.

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