From time to time, most of us have had a shock from that “first look in the mirror” morning view. Perhaps it is a feeling of bloating, with or without the puffy eyes that get our attention. For most of us, these are not symptoms of a serious nature. There are many causes for occasional water retention such as PMS, stress, high sodium intake, over indulgence, etc.
The key point to remember is that if these symptoms are frequent or even continuous, it could indicate a more serious kidney or digestive disorder where a visit to your health care practitioner would be advisable. However, the occasional feeling of bloating, as well as those preceding and during the menstrual cycle is very common. Let’s take a look at 6 herbs that can help make these occasional episodes less problematic.
Improve Kidney Function: 6 of the Best Herbs for Kidney Health
Kidney health is considered crucial to a long and healthy life in many traditional healing modalities, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, which gives us many of the best herbs for reducing the causes of excess water retention. These medicinal plants have been relied upon by people for thousands of years and are being studied presently for one simple reason…they work! So do not hesitate to try these helpful, natural, and effective remedies for yourself.Our bodies sometimes just need a little natural support to make a big difference in the way we look and feel.
Angelica Sinensis (aka Dong Quai)
When it comes to helpful herbs for reducing bloating in addition to alleviating hormonal upsets that often accompany it, there is none more beneficial than Angelica Sinensis, also known as Dong Quai. It helps reduce bloating by increasing urine formation and relieving flatulence. Angelica is a must-have, especially for women needing relief from a rough monthly cycle.
Amazingly, it also benefits men because of its ability to promote proper kidney function and moderate hormone production. Yes, men have hormones too! To enjoy the benefits of Angelica, all you need is 2-3 grams of dried sliced herb and hot water to make a tasty and beneficial tea. Angelica should not be used by women with very heavy menstrual cycles, or who are pregnant or nursing.
A favorite plant for reducing excess water retention and supporting healthy kidney function and is actually a super, “super-food”. The people of Nepal and Tibet have used Goji berries for thousands of years as a kidney tonic as well as for improved eyesight. About five level tablespoons of goji berries can be eaten daily as a functional nutritional supplement or they can be used in a hot tea as a relaxing evening beverage.
Those with low blood sugar should start with smaller servings, about one or two tablespoons throughout the day. If there was ever an herb that could do it all, my pick would be the Schisandra Berry. This potent adaptogenic berry has an astringent and soothing action, supporting ideal fluid balance in the body which brings relief and energy to the kidneys. These berries are equally beneficial for men and women. Many people take their Schisandra as a tea. I like to combine a small handful of Schisandra berries with goji berries to chew on throughout those demanding days. This is an awesome high-output snack!
Cuscuta Chinensis (aka Dodder Seed)
Another amazing but less well-known herb for kidney health is Cuscuta Chinensis –otherwise known as Dodder Seed. Chinese herbalists highly value Dodder for its tonic effects on the kidneys, liver, and spleen. Dodder seed has been used in antidiabetic prescriptions because it strengthens and energizes kidneys while reducing the high fasting blood glucose level. The best way to enjoy the benefits of Dodder seed is to take 300-500mg of 20:1 dry concentrate daily.
One of the most valuable and powerful adaptogenic plants that is widely recognized for maintaining healthy conditions in the body that support proper kidney function is American Ginseng. According to the World Health Organization, American Ginseng has many potential health benefits without adverse side effects. This root helps regulate blood flow and controls blood sugar levels and is also known for enhancing strength and mental focus. People with Type II Diabetes have had positive health results with long term use. Recommended dose is 0.5 – 3g/day with 10% ginsenosides.
For those interested in finding effective herbs for reducing excess water retention and providing a valuable source of minerals, one need not look further than your own yard or nearest vacant land! Yes, the very common Dandelion is a wonderful urinary and kidney tonic. Studies have shown beneficial effects and reduced edema/puffiness within hours of ingestion.
One can easily collect a whole years supply in the springtime. Make sure to pull the whole plant along with the root. These can be collected before flowering when they are more tender, or after the white puffy seed head appears at which time the roots will offer more benefit for those who need a natural way to lower high blood sugar.
The whole plant is beneficial and can be used fresh, as in a salad or made into a tea. It may also be dried and saved for future use or made into a 1:1 tincture with equal weights of Dandelion and alcohol. Let stand for one week, strain out plant material, and enjoy your tincture by taking 10-15 drops twice a day.
We have discussed six superstar herbs that offer many benefits for kidney health, especially when it comes to reducing the underlying causes of bloating. Pick one or two of these to try for a time and then you may wish to experiment with the others. If you have trouble locating any of these wonderful herbs, please let us know and we will be happy to offer assistance. These herbs are proven to enhance overall health, which supports healthy conditions in our bodies that promote proper kidney function, so give them a try to enhance your normal health routine. You may notice very positive benefits over time, just look in the mirror.