How to Relieve Swelling During Pregnancy
I was very blessed to have an “uneventful” pregnancy. My most frequent complaints were swelling and fluid retention, especially during the weekends when I spent hours on my feet walking around the city and then cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Maintaining fluid balance is definitely one of those pregnancy wellness topics that are near and dear to my heart—I don’t like the look of “cankles” in the mirror!
The body retains more fluid during pregnancy, so a little bit of fluid retention and swelling is considered normal. However, if you feel overly bloated and uncomfortable due to fluid retention, there are herbs and foods that can be used to help relieve the discomfort.
Although diuretic herbs should not be used extensively during pregnancy, a few may be used in moderation. They are also used to ease nerve inflammation and may help with sciatica, another discomfort that bothers many expecting moms.
There are not a lot of conclusive studies on the safety and use of herbs during pregnancy, so you may want to consult an herbalist or a holistic wellness practitioner for additional information.
It is considered one of the safest and most effective diuretics. It tones the kidney and aids in water elimination while maintaining proper potassium levels (this can help prevent cramps). It can be taken as tea, or added to cooking.
Besides its diuretic properties, it is also very nutritive—high in many vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body during pregnancy.
Cleavers and uva ursi
These two diuretic and astringent herbs can also help ease urinary tract inflammations, which are more common during pregnancy.
Buchu leaves are one of the best diuretics known. It works best if taken as a cool water infusion. It should be used with boiling water as this dissipates their active principles and volatile oils.
This Chinese herb has diuretic properties and is also used to boost the immune system.
Besides it diuretic properties, this Chinese herb is a uterine tonic and has been used as a tonic during pregnancy.
These spices all have diuretic properties: basil, coriander, fennel, and mustard seed.
Artichokes, asparagus, barley, corn silk, green tea, and parsley (root and leaves; the seeds have emmenagogue properties, which should be avoided during pregnancy) have diuretic properties.
Gladstar, R. (2008) Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
Tierra, M. (1998) The Way of Herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books.