While water reservoirs are essential to our living, they are disturbing when they happen to take place in our body. Many people experience water retention (edema) after a long day standing on their feet; suffering from swollen legs and ankles get swollen. Women usually experience water retention a few days before menstruation – as they tend to gain weight no matter how careful they are with their diet. Women also experience water retention during pregnancy. A more chronic condition of water retention happens due to poor lymphatic drainage. There are many causes for this phenomenon, yet not all are well explained by research. Water retention can be very uncomfortable and limit people from engaging in their everyday activity: when legs are swollen and shoes don’t fit anymore – it’s hard to walk, when the abdomen is swollen and clothes look like they are one or two sizes too small – it can be embarrassing to show up in public.
From a symbolic point of view, water symbolizes emotions. Many see water retention as a manifestation of one’s inability to express emotions. In his book Messages From the Body psychologist Dr. Michael J. Lincoln lists four emotional reasons that cause water retention:
· Inability let go of something or someone
· Feeling over burdened with tasks and responsibilities
· Desperation for love or fear of losing love,
· Existential fear of not being accepted as a human being
I’m usually a great advocate for body-mind connection and self-awareness. Unfortunately this process can take years.
There are several remedies to alleviate water retention – depending on the source of the cause: parsley is a good kidney cleanser; cranberries heal the urinary tract; and lymphatic massage helps to drain water from the body. I have tried them all with some limited success. The only thing I’ve learned in the process is that Cranberries are the best remedy for urinary tract infection – it’s fast, efficient, and much safer than using antibiotics.
In my search for a more effective natural remedy for water retention, I came across Dr. John Douillard’s blog post about Manjistha. Manjistha is an ayurvedic plant that is known to purify the blood and drain the lymphatic system.
Manjistha comes in a form of red powder, and now it is available in the form of tablets. I use the powder to make tea, by mixing ¼ to ½ tsp of powder with hot water, letting it sit for at least 5 minutes or longer before drinking. There is no need to drink the bottom of the tea with the powder residue. The tea itself doesn’t have a strong smell or flavor – for me it tastes like clay diluted in water. It might take the body several weeks to get used to it. Each person is going to experience it differently: some will experience a frequent need to urinate, others might experience diarrhea. Eventually all those side effects will stop and you will enjoy good lymphatic drainage.
I’ve been drinking Manjistha tea since March 2016 almost everyday. When I stop drinking it for a couple of days, I feel a difference. I still suffer from water retention before menstruation, or after a long day on my feet, but my recovery time is much faster than it was before.