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You may have heard some essential oils being described as ‘diuretic’. But what exactly does this mean?
What are diuretics?
Diuretics are substances that increase the amount of urine you produce. This helps your body to get rid of excess water or fluid that may be causing a bloated feeling. This is called water retention, and as well as that sensation of being bloated it can also cause swelling in the legs, hands and ankles.
Regular urination helps to avoid water retention and also flushes out toxins from the body, minimising damage. It’s healthy to have a regular urination schedule, and diuretics can offer extra support in this area.
Serious cases of water retention can lead to a range of health conditions, in which case a doctor will often prescribe diuretic medications.
However, if you’re just looking to reduce a little bloating and promote regular urination, you might want to try some natural solutions.
What causes water retention?
There are several factors that can cause water retention in the body. Some of the most common are:
- Standing or sitting for too long. If you stay in one position for an extended period of time then this can often cause poor circulation to the lower limbs, resulting in a retention of fluid.
- Fluctuating hormones. Women in particular may find themselves vulnerable to water retention during the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.
- Excessive sodium. If your diet is high in sodium then you may be more likely to retain fluids.
Which essential oils are diuretics?
Many essential oils can have diuretic properties. Here are some of the oils that we recommend.
How do I use essential oils to help with water retention?
The safest and most effective way to feel the diuretic effects of essential oils is to use them in massage.
By combining a few drops of your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil and massaging into the skin, you allow the oil to enter the bloodstream and begin to do its work.
Are there any risks to using diuretic essential oils?
The diuretic effects of essential oils are largely very safe. Although medical diuretics may pose side effects and health risks, as is the case with most medications, the diuretic effects of essential oils are very gentle and so shouldn’t cause any issues as long as they are not used excessively or against instructions.
Using diuretic essential oils in very high quantities may lead to excessive urination, but this is unlikely.
- Water retention can cause bloating, swelling and discomfort.
- Diuretics can help increase the amount of urine you produce and reduce water retention.
- Some essential oils can act as natural diuretics when diluted and massaged into skin.
Shop our essential oils here.