Quick Fix of the Day: Diuretic Tea
Andreea Macoveiciuc | On 29, Jan 2014
“I need to fit into these jeans by Saturday, tell me what can I do to drop some pounds fast, and I mean really fast?”. Then she told me those jeans were 1/2 size smaller than her size. Mission impossible, apparently, but then I thought some lymphatic drainage massage and diuretic tea might help.
“So you’re saying that I can lose weight with diuretic tea?”, she asked me with an excited tone. No, that wasn’t exactly what I meant. Yes, diuretic tea can help you lose weight, but it’s not fat weight. It’s water weight, meaning that it simply helps your body to flush out the excess fluid, so if you need a quick fix, this may be an option to consider.
Tea’s diuretic effect is helpful especially in people with an altered lymphatic function, who tend to retain fluids and suffer from swollen and painful legs, puffy eyes or bloating and puffiness in the waist area.
A beverage which acts as a diuretic makes you urinate more often, and this means that your kidneys are a bit more active than usually and work more efficiently in removing waste products and toxins from the body, through urine. Diuretic beverages also help in lowering the blood pressure, so they’re helpful for people with hypertension, and they’re great for relieving puffiness and swelling of tissues.
However, when your body flushes out more fluids than usually, there’s a risk of dehydration, and this shouldn’t be neglected.
Does this mean that diuretic teas are dangerous?
Diuretics are not dangerous when used with caution, but they can be if used by people with hypotension. They’re efficient and recommended for those with edema, high cholesterol levels, with a weak immunity or under-active kidneys, as they stimulate the removal of toxins and cleanse the body from debris. Also, diuretic teas help in strengthening the immune system.
On the other hand, these beverages can caused dehydration, have a cooling effect, and can alter the body’s electrolyte balance. A beverage that caused dehydration will make you feel thirsty after drinking more cups, and this can lead to fatigue and low energy levels as a side effect. Still, not all teas have these effects.
Which teas act as diuretics?
Probably the most renowned diuretic tea is green tea, which supports the removal of excess fluids from the body, helping in weight management, in regulating the blood pressure and in cleansing the tissues from toxins. Responsible for the diuretic effect of green tea is its caffeine content, this beverage providing an average of 26 grams of caffeine per 6-oz. cup.
Black tea, at its turn, can also act as a diuretic, as it contains 42 to 72 mg of caffeine per cup. Although rarely referred to as diuretics, white tea and oolong tea can have this effect, as they contain caffeine just like black and green tea.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the diuretic effect doesn’t necessarily involve dehydration. Drinking 1 cup of tea won’t automatically make you thirsty or cause your body to eliminate excessive amounts of water. Studies have shown that in order for tea or other beverage to increase the urine output so as to cause dehydration, it’s necessary for one to consume 300 mg of caffeine or more.
This is equivalent to more than 4-5 cups of coffee per day, and over 10 cups of tea per day. Unless you exceed this amount, tea won’t cause you dehydration, but will support your kidneys in eliminating the unnecessary fluids from your body and will relieve the swelling and puffiness of tissues.
Moving to herbal teas: dandelion tea is often recommended as a natural diuretic and detox agent, as it helps in the removal of toxins, and is known to be efficient in treating urinary tract infections and cystitis.
Burdock tea, black cohosh tea, St. John’s wort, red clover and cornsilk tea, turmeric tea and gongfu tea are also natural diuretics. Juniper berries tea and ginger tea are also known to support the kidneys in flushing out the water excess, so they can be a good solution if you’re looking for a more exotic diuretic.
As a side note, foods that contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium can also act as natural diuretics, so if you’re struggling with excessive water retention you can either add some diuretic teas to your menu or incorporate more of these foods in your diet. Don’t forget to adjust the water intake as well, just to make sure you avoid dehydration.