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3 Best Chinese Home Remedies for Water Retention


I know that barley is good for water retention but it doesn't help me. I'm still bloated and my face is terribly puffy! I've also been drinking water like crazy to get rid of this retained water. Are there any really good Asian/Chinese home remedies or natural diuretics to reduce fluid retention fast? No herbal teas for me because I can't tolerate the unpleasant bitter taste of Chinese herbs. – Alexa, Ontario.

Hi Alexa,

Water retention, also known as oedema or edema, is characterized by accumulation of fluid in the body tissues and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, fluctuating hormone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, eating too much salt, seasonal allergies and prescriptive medication such as oral contraceptive pills can encourage water retention.

If you've followed the "drink more water, eat less salt" advice, and that doesn't help, consider these natural home remedies for water retention that are safe and have powerful effects. These pleasant-tasting teas and sweet soups will help greatly reduce edema and they are very easy to make. As an added bonus, you'll lose excess body fats and slim down along the way too!

Besides barley, adzuki beans (small red beans), mung beans (green beans), and corn silk (zea mays) are also well known for their excellent diuretic properties.


Natural Asian Home Cures to Get Rid of Water Retention

1. Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans (azuki or aduki) are highly prized by Asians, particularly the Japanese and Koreans as an overall tonic for the kidneys. Drinking azuki tea reduces water retention, improves blood circulation, detoxifies the body and aids weight loss. These small, deep reddish brown beans are also helpful for puffy eyelids, dark eye circles and bags under the eyes. A rich source of folic acid, adzuki beans are often taken during pregnancy to promote normal fetal development.

Suggestion: Sweet Adzuki Bean and Barley Soup.

How to make sweet azuki bean soup: Rinse pearl barley grains (40 grams) and adzuki beans (60 grams) separately. Soak for about several hours and then strain.

Fill up a pot with 3 cups water, add barley and boil until soft. Add adzuki beans and continue boiling. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until beans are soft and tender.  

Add rock sugar to taste, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. Serve hot or chilled. If you prefer to use honey instead of rock sugar, make sure to sweeten azuki tea after you remove from heat.




2. Mung Beans

Also referred as green beans or green grams, mung beans are full of nutrition and provide many beneficial effects to water retention. In TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), mung bean is considered a “yin” food, which means it has strong “cooling”properties that help reduce internal body heat, good for getting rid of toxins and promote frequent urination.

Suggestion: Green Bean and Barley Soup.

How to make green bean soup: Boil 100 grams whole green beans in a pot along with 4 cups of water. Add 50 grams pearl barley and boil again. Add rock sugar to taste, and allow to simmer for about 1 hour or so (green beans should break open and soup turns cloudy). Enjoy hot or chilled as dessert.




3. Corn Silk

Corn silk (also known as also known as mealy silk and Zea mays) is the thin, threadlike material of a corn husk. It's a very powerful diuretic that works wonders for increasing urine flow. Corn silk has also been used for centuries as a natural home remedy to treat various conditions including enuresis (bedwetting in children), urinary tract infections, rheumatism, gout and high blood pressure.

How to make cornsilk tea: Add 1-2 teaspoons cornsilk to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink.

Note : You can use dried cornsilk although fresh corn silk is best. Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid consuming corn silk tea.




If the above home cures don't help reduce retained water, seek advice from your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. There could be some serious underlying medical conditions such as thyroid problems (hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism), chronic lung disease, kidney disease or heart disease that is causing water retention.


By Diane Hanson

chinese home remedies to get rid of water retention

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