Swelling in your hands and feet may be the result of one of several reasons, including renal disease, improper hydration, certain types of arthritis like gout, or menstrual fluid retention. Certain herbal remedies may be helpful in reducing swelling and aiding your body's elimination system to remove excess fluids. Herbs can produce side effects, so consult your health practitioner before using unfamiliar herbs.
Parsley is used as both a culinary herb in cooking and for medicinal purposes as a diuretic, which assists the kidneys with the removal of excess fluids from the body, according to “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing." You can use parsley in several ways to benefit from its diuretic properties. Add it to salads or use as a garnish. In addition, you can make an herbal tea by adding 1 tsp. dried parsley or 2 tbsp. fresh parsley to 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and drink first thing in the morning for greatest benefits. Add the juice of half a fresh lemon to boost the diuretic action. Parsley is best used fresh; however, if you do use it in dried form, purchase the freshest dried herb you can find to take advantage of its potency. Do not use parsley if your are taking diuretic medication without first discussing it with your doctor.
Cranberries are another a culinary herb possessing diuretic properties, which are useful for medicinal purposes. Drinking cranberry juice is a well-known herbal treatment for urinary and kidney infections, according to the British Journal of Urology. Both the juice and the fruit may relieve the body of excess fluids retained in the tissues. Cranberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to you overall diet, according to the “The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies." Make a daily drink by combining 1 cup cranberry juice with 3 cups of water and drink throughout the day, every day, recommends the British Journal of Urology. Sweeten with stevia or honey if desired.
Burdock root is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a blood-purifier, heart tonic and a diruetic, according to Urban Herbs. Its diuretic properties have been found helpful in reducing edema and fluid retention in the extremities. It is especially helpful for the treatment of gout, where toes and feet become sore and swollen. You can use burdock root tea topically as a foot soak to relieve swelling. Additionally, you can make herbal tea with dried burdock root and drink a cup or two throughout the day to help with reducing swollen hands and feet. The Chinese use fresh burdock root in salads and cook it like carrots to serves as a vegetable. Some people find they are sensitive to the leaves of the plant, breaking out in a rash. If this occurs, wear gloves while preparing the burdock root. If the rash persists, stop taking it and consult with your health practitioner.
A common herb growing on lawns across America, dandelion root and leaves have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. Dandelion tea is often given to relive edema and swelling in the legs, feet and hands, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This versatile plant can be eaten raw in salads, steamed as a green vegetable and made into teas and salves. Do not use dandelion in any form if you take diuretic medicines without first speaking to your health practitioner. Dandelion can lower your blood sugar and should be avoided by diabetics.
- “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing“; James Duke; 2002
- “The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies”; Joe Graedon MS and Sifu Teresa Graedon; 2002