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Ask the Herbalist--Herbal Diuretics

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ANSWERS FROM CARLOS:
QUESTION
: I need your help. I have CHF and recently suffered a heart attack. Iim 39yrs old. I am currently taking Lasix 40mg twice a day. I also take Coreg and a bunch of other cholesterol lowering drugs. 

My question is with the water retention. I want to replace my meds with herbs. My doctor does not believe in alternate medicines so i am on my own.  Is there an herb that can replace Lasix? I want this water out!!!!  

Is there a number that i can reach you at? I promise i wont give it to anybody. I have 3 kids and my wife. I want to live 

ANSWER: One of the best diuretics and my personal favorite is Dandelion. Among others, here's a few more: Burdock, Red clover, Black cohosh, Horsetail, St. John's Wort, Turmeric, Cornsilk, Hawthorn berries and Chickweed. 

My suggestion would be to make an infusion of Horsetail and add 10 drops extract of Burdock and 15 drops extract of Dandelion. Sweeten with a bit of honey and drink 3-5xs day.  Extracts and tinctures work better and faster.  A place for these is http://www.goldenlotusherbs.com/

You may also contact me at clinician@doctor.com for full individualized diagnostics and treatment plan.

ANSWERS FROM KAREN MALLENGER
QUESTION: Do you have any recommendations for daily dosage amounts of 'Dandelion Root' to be taken for its diuretic properties?

ANSWER: I usually do herbs as teas, so that's my point of reference. Dandelion tea is pretty mild so you can drink up to 4 cups a day. That would equal out to a teaspoon per 1 cup of water  for each cup. For capsules, there are usually directions right on the bottle. I would start there and if you don't have any relief, try upping the dosage slowly. Listen to your body and it will let you know when is enough.

QUESTION:
 I'm writing from Boulder, CO.  I am 57 yrs old and  have diabetes (for which I take insulin)  and liver disease which causes me to retain fluids.  I have been on a prescription diuretic for about 2 years now.  I really don't like taking drugs, so I decided to try herbs instead.  I have been taking herbs for my liver for at least 5 years.  Today I bought Juniper Berry, uva ursa, dandelion root, parsley, and cleaver. I couldn't find cornsilk yet.  I was wondering if I could combine ingredients in a coffee grinder and put into a tea ball and is there various proportions for different herbs or can I just put equal amounts of each?  I appreciate your time and help.

ANSWER: You can certainly grind up the herbs and put them in a tea ball. Make sure the herbs are all natural and organic if you can get them to ensure the best results. Herbalists normally vary the amounts according to the particular issues, but equal amounts of the herbs you listed are perfectly fine. I would also add milk thistle to your mixture to tone your liver. It is the best herb, in my opinion, for liver disorders and to tone the liver.

Kudos to you for taking charge of your health, but please be careful about stopping medication without the advice of a medical professional. Naturopaths, herbalists etc can help you with this. Don't ever just stop taking medications without speaking to some medical professional as this could have dire consequences. Speak with your doctor and let them know you'd like to pursue a more natural path to healing. They may be able to recommend someone to help you. Many D.O.s are turning to homeopathic means to treat their patients.


QUESTION:
Is there any natural way to eliminate water retention.  I am on a lot of medications and am currently on antibiotics.  Bloating and swollen legs are a bother

ANSWER: First you need to throw out the salt shaker. Also, the medications you are taking could be the cause of the water retention. You should be drinking plenty of water every day. I know that sounds nuts. The last thing you want is more water in your system. But if you aren't getting enough, the body will retain it to preserve itself. So make sure you're getting 8 8oz glasses a day of pure water. The best herb, or at least my very favorite for water retention is dandelion root. It is an excellent diuretic and won't deplete your potassium stores like some diuretics will. So settle back with some dandelion tea. Also, if you can get it in the grocery, have some fresh in your salads. A little bit of a bite, but well worth the urinary tract health it provides.


QUESTION:
My sister has Menier's Disease and needs to be on diuretics. She is unable to take medications as she has low blood pressure. I have been unable to locate any information on an herb that she can take that would be a gentle diuretic. They have put her on Valium which I don't really agree with as it is so
addictive. She has had surgery to cut the nerve to her "bad" ear but it still causes her problems. Her MD
actually suggested that she look for an herbal alternative but didn't recommend anything ( how typical!!!) Please Help

ANSWER: My favorite diuretic herb is dandelion root. It is gentle, can be taken daily and won't deplete potassium stores like some diuretics. For something to relax your sister without the side effects of Valium, I would suggest Valerian. I Have teas on my web site for both. Go to www.allgoodegifts.com and in the Apothecary, you will see the medicinal teas. The Water retention tea has the dandelion root in it and the Stress less tea has the valerian in it.

QUESTION:
I need to find an herbal diuretic due to fluid retention. Years ago I tried one from a health food store and it turned out to be estrogen based and caused a problem.  I know that cantaloupe and cranberry juice are helpful but I cannot use these when not at home and want to
choose the right supplement.  Have not had much luck so far on getting this info on the net.

ANSWER: I always recommend dandelion root as a diuretic. I have a water retention tea that I make if you're interested. Go to my website www.allgoodegifts.com and in the Herb Shoppe under Teas, you will find it. BTW, you can buy cranberry capsules at most health food stores. But they are more for bladder health, not necessarily as a diuretic.


QUESTION:
I have high blood pressure and the doctor had prescribe a water pill call Lasix which caused my ankles to swell.  It took my potassium out.  My left ankles is really swollen from water retention.  I can't hardly put socks on. I got my potassium back up put my ankles are still swollen also they said a had a high level of creanine in my kidney what do you recommend.

ANSWER: My favorite herb for water retention is dandelion root. Not only is it an excellent diuretic, but it is also a wonderful source of potassium! So it sounds like that would solve both problems for you!

QUESTION: I am a male fitness consultant and in excellent health.  I have noticed that my legs appear to hold more water while my upper body is quite vascular.  My body fat % = 6%.  My upper body does not appear to hold any water. Question:  What is the most effective natural strong diuretic that can be recommended?

ANSWER: Dandelion Root is my favorite diuretic herb, because it not only helps with water retention, but unlike most diuretics, it will not deplete your potassium stores. In fact, it actually builds them up.


ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL
HERBAL DIURETICS
QUESTION: I have swelling in my legs and feet due to hypertension, and kidney disease, what herbs can i take that will help with the swelling, I am currently taking 40 mgs of Accupril per day, and don't want to try traditional otc's as they might interfere with the medication I am taking.

ANSWER: Without knowing everything about you.

Here is some information about Edema.

The simple answer would be Dandelion Leaf, Latin Named Taraxacum officinale which is a non irritating, potassium sparing diuretic and has been tested as effective as Lasix for fluid buildup and edema in the extremities. I would also suggest Nettle leaf and especially Nettle seed, Latin Name Urtica dioca. Nettle leaf is also a good diuretic and tonic for kidneys but the seed of this plant has a trophorestorative effect on the kidney. This means it restores structure and function helping to restore kidneys which are degenerating. I would suggest both these herbs would be of benefit to you. 

Finally whenever possible elevate your legs.

This is a sign of a more serious problem, such as Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Liver Disease, Loss of Vascular and Capillary Integrity, Obesity or Lymph congestion or blockage. Please consult with a practitioner. 

These herbs act as diuretic so after starting these herbs consult with your practicioner you may be able to lower you Accupril dose because diuretics lower edema and hypertension.

We have both Dandelion leaf and Nettle seed tinctures in our store and do mail order.