In a last post we talked about “drainage in gemmotherapy“, now we will face it in phytotherapy. Do you suffer from water retention? discover our valuable tips and our retention treatments to drain excess fluids.


Drainage: the meaning

Drainage is a practice used in phytotherapy to eliminate waste, toxins and excess liquids, mainly in conditions characterized by:

  • water retention (or “hydropsy”, which also visibly affects the skin and is also caused by stress!):

Water retention consists of an accumulation of interstitial fluids at the level of the dermis and hypodermis. It can also lead to significant weight changes. It can be an expression of a hormonal imbalance (premenstrual syndrome), of a food intolerance or a consequence of a treatment with drugs that increase the greed of the connective tissue towards liquids (cortisone, estroprogestinici). The main consequence of this accumulation is the formation of an edema, or an abnormal swelling in the affected areas. We also remind that stagnation of liquids is usually greater in areas of the body prone to accumulate fat and therefore it is possible to notice it mainly in the legs, buttocks and abdomen.

First of all, here are some useful tips: limit foods of animal origin, rich in saturated fats, and refined sugars; prefer a diet based on plant foods naturally rich in fiber (whole grains, vegetables, fruit) and often consume dark chocolate, rich in Magnesium: reduce the addition of salt to food; practice motor activity on a regular basis (30-40 minutes a day); drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

  • cellulite:

Cellulite is a disease that mainly affects the female sex, which consists of an abnormal accumulation of fat in the subcutaneous tissue of certain body regions: buttocks, root of the limbs, shoulders. The skin takes on a tense and granulomatous appearance. Prof. G. Proserpio explains: “Cellulite (or mesenchymopathy or edematofibrosa panniculopathy) is to be considered an alteration of adipose and connective tissues, which results in a modification of the dermal structures, with local imprisonment of fats and hypodermic infiltrations in the dermis, stasis lymphatic disorders, alterations of the microcirculation, general state of intoxication, with onset of aesthetic malformations, swellings, knots, painful compression of the sensory nerves. The consequence of fat infiltration and lymphatic stasis is orange peel skin, with a sensation of padding, adhesion and pressing of the skin “.

Some useful dietary advice against cellulite: to minimize the toxic load (drugs, smoking, excess alcohol and coffee, food additives, environmental pollutants); reduce simple carbohydrates in favor of complex ones, favoring whole grains; limit saturated fats (cheese, red meat); consume fruit at least 3 times a day and vegetables at least 2 times. Practice physical activity or sport regularly, expose yourself to sunlight at least a quarter of an hour a day.

  • premenstrual syndrome:

In women of fertile age the tendency to fluid retention is frequent, which is accentuated especially in the premenstrual phase, consequent to the hormonal fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone. An imbalance of them leads to an increase in tissue greed towards liquids which can also lead to an increase in body weight. Sometimes this condition is associated with the so-called “cellulite”, due to the accumulation in the subcutaneous tissue of a gelatinous substance resulting from a disorder of the microcirculation. The phenomenon is due to the progressive difficulty of eliminating the metabolic waste that accumulates.

In such cases it is advisable to use preparations that favor the drainage of excess liquids.

A definition, synthetic but very effective of the concept of drainage, is frequently found in the texts of French school phytotherapists: “Drainage helps the function and supports the organ”.
It is also worth mentioning that the drainage:

  • can have general characteristics and functions such as, for example, detoxification and purification;
  • may refer to specific bodies;
  • can be directed to correct and support a function, can regulate it and maintain it or even attack it in order to reinforce it.

Excess of liquids: the useful Officinal plants

  • As we already know, the function of the urinary system is to eliminate, through the production of urine, the products of intermediate metabolism, in particular the nitrogenous ones deriving from the degradation of protein substances such as urea, uric acid and creatinine); the urinary system is also the main way of eliminating water and ions and it removes foreign substances, drugs and their metabolites introduced into the body. Some officinal plants with diuretic activity such as birch, orthosiphon (or Java tea), solidago (or goldenrod), dandelion, pilosella, ononide, are useful to favor the elimination of excess liquids.
  1. Ortosifon (also known as Java Tea): increases urinary excretion, with an important diuretic action attributable to the constituents contained in the leaves. The leaves of Orthsiphon consist of the following components: • Potassium salts, • Flavonoids such as mainly sinensetin, • Phenols such as mainly rosmarinic acid. The most important property is diuretic with an increase in the amount of urine and consequent accelerated disposal of waste and toxins. The effect is due to the presence of diterpenes and triterpenes. For this reason the orthosiphon is used in numerous conditions consequent to the accumulation of toxins in tissues, such as eczema, joint pain, water retention, cellulite, overweight and functional renal failure. ESCOP and the Commission E German considers it useful in bacterial infections of the urinary tract, inflammation of the urinary tract, irrigation of the urinary tract and renella. The German Commission for these reasons recommends the orthosifon for “diluent therapy” understood as the washing of the urinary tract through the oral intake of high amounts of water in order to remove any harmful substances by dilution;
  2. Goldenrod: it is considered a diuretic by the German Commission E (Capasso, 2006) and is recommended in inflammatory states of the lower urinary tract as well as for the treatment and prophylaxis of urinary calculi and renella (diluent therapy);
  3. Birch leaves: according to the ESCOP it is indicated in case of bacterial infections of the urinary tract, inflammation of the urinary tract, irrigation of the urinary tract;
  4. Dandelion: according to the ESCOP, T. leaves is used for rheumatic disorders, renal elimination of water (increase), renella; T. root for hepato-biliary and dyspeptic disorders;
  5. Horseradish and chicory are very useful for the drainage of liquids;
  • plants that promotes drainage at the level of the lymphatic vessels (ESCOP recognizes it useful against the swelling and heaviness of the legs, see post);
  • plants known for their depurative action: thistle and dandelion, artichoke, burdock, watercress, nettle. In particular for ESCOP the artichoke is useful against hepatobiliary dysfunctions, dyspeptic disorders; nettle leaves and top in rheumatic disorders and renal elimination of water (increase), nettle root against urinary retention, dysuria, pollakiuria, nocturia, benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • plants that encourage regularity of intestinal transit: fennel, tamarind, prickly pear and apple are recommended. Aloe juice is indicated for both the liver and the intestine.
  • plants that improve the metabolism: useful are spirulina algae, prickly pear cactus, ginger.

Excess of liquids: water retention treatments with supplements

Here are some natural products whose production chain is controlled from seed to plant with rigorous analytical controls, which can help recover the body’s well-being. Produced exclusively in Italy, without gluten, without colorings or alcohol, nor added sugars and synthetic sweeteners.

  • For drainage:

Drenasel strong: useful in promoting the physiological drainage of body fluids. This food supplement is a drink based on titrated extracts of dandelion, birch, fennel, ortosifon, spirulina algae.

Bruciadren fast: burns and drains! this dietary supplement in tablet limits the absorption of nutrients, helps the digestive function and promotes the drainage of liquids. It is based on: Nopal (Fico d’India), Tamarindo, Ginger and ortosifon. The Nopal limits the absorption of nutrients, the tamarind regularizes the intestinal transit, the ginger helps the digestive function, while the Ortosifon promotes the drainage of body fluids.

DrenaSel strong and bruciadren fast both contain the Orthosiphon soft extract, titrated in rosmarinic acid, subjected to a triple extraction for a specific action on: Belly – Hips – Glutes. Why the Ortosifon soft extract and not the dry extract as many on the market? the Ortosifon soft extract (3orthoDREN ™): contains the three active parts of Orthosiphon (the fraction of flavonoids with sinensetin, the phenolic fraction with rosmarinic acid, the fraction containing mineral salts); it has a diuretic action (hips), anti-fermentation (belly) and toning (buttocks) thanks to the triple extraction; it is already in the liquid phase, it has a better solubility in water, therefore a higher absorption rate; It does NOT contain excipients; during the 3orthoDREN ™ production process, the temperature is constantly below 50° C; a common dry extract of ortosifon: it contains only the active part extracted with Ethanol at 70°, therefore ONLY the sinensetin; it has a diuretic action only, attributable to sinensetin; it is in solid phase, it has a low solubility in water, therefore a speed of absorption in the fluids of the low organism; contains maltodextrin, silica, etc …; it is subjected to the atomization process (spray drying) which foresees the contact of the extract with steam (temperatures between 120-150 ° C) to bring it to the dust state.

For cellulite look at DrenaSel Active and for heavy legs our microcirculation supplement.

Primum Dren, the aquaretic no alcohol of Specchiasol is a useful drink in the case of water retention linked to the menstrual cycle and is based on plant extracts of pilosella, java tea, dandelion, solidago, birch and sweet clover), for the activity performed from medicinal plants active in promoting the elimination of liquids, in improving lymphatic circulation and in accelerating the elimination of waste and toxins that tend to accumulate in the subcutaneous connective tissue. Without preservatives, dyes, added sugars and gluten-free;

  • For purifying:

Italic Depurative: drink recommended already in our blog “Natural remedies to purify your liver” for a deep purification of the organism, a detoxifying cleansing of the liver, kidneys and colon.
Depurativo italico contains the dry extract of Milk Thistle (in 25 ml, minimum 10% titre in total silymarin 700 mg!), Of dandelion and tamarind. Thanks to the specific action of Tamarindo, Italic Depurative regulates intestinal transit, normalizing stool volume and consistency and it must be specified that it is not an anthraquinone laxative but an osmotic type.

Pure aloe juice: as already told in the post “Aloe vera to drink: effective benefits and advices” the 100% pure juice obtained from the incision of Aloe leaves is rich in fiber, vitamins, trace elements, essential amino acids, enzymes; it restores the physiological intestinal flora, regenerates the collagen of the skin, removes the waste accumulated in the tissues favoring a deep purification, improves the digestive process, increases the production and outflow of bile, purifies the liver, promotes the natural intestinal flora. It is also effective in disorders of premenstrual syndrome (fluid retention, meteorism, mood swings). The deep detoxifying action removes the waste accumulated in the tissues. The usual average dosage is 1 tablespoon of juice in the morning on an empty stomach and 1 in the evening, before going to bed, for cycles of at least 20 days.

Purifying Primum no alcohol by Specchiasol, on the other hand, is formulated with herbal ingredients that have always been known for their beneficial effects in favoring the body’s physiological purifying processes: the apple and tamarind known to promote intestinal regularity; the artichoke, birch, watercress, nettle and burdock known for their depurative action; horseradish and chicory known for their action on the drainage of liquids; gentian for its action on liver function. Without preservatives, dyes, added sugars and gluten-free.

Excess of liquids: water retention treatments with mother tinctures and bud extracts

  • Mother tinctures: against cellulite, Chiereghin (2006) recommends using T.M. associated: Birch T.M.Asiatic Pennywort T.M. in equal parts, to be taken 30 drops, 3 times a day, away from meals.
  • Regarding gemmotherapy:
  1. against premenstrual water retention, Dr. Campanini recommends as very useful: birch sap (50 drops in water before breakfast) and raspberry bud extract (Rubus idaeus M.G.1DH), 50 drops in water before going to bed. Repeated cycles of 20 days a month;
  2. against water retention and cellulite, to promote drainage: 1DH birch sap  (30 drops in a glass of water in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before bedtime for 20-30 days). For cellulite in particular: 50 drops of birch sap  1DH 15 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner, repeated cycles of 20 days a month. Also the juniper bud extract(Juniperus communis), able to stimulate kidney function, is often prescribed in case of water retention and cellulite, usually together with 1DH birch sap.
  3. against lymphatic edema: 1DH birch sap  (50 drops in water before breakfast) and chestnut bud extract(Castanea vesca M.G.1DH, 50 drops in water before lunch and dinner) would be useful.

What creams to improve skin blemishes caused by water retention?

Drain-lift legs cream is an eco organic cosmeceutical studied by Domus Olea Toscana in collaboration with University of Florence and it is designed to improve the skin tone in case of water retention and visible capillaries and to give relief to the legs by facilitating the drain of liquids and giving an immediate feeling of freshness and relief;

Firm lift body cream, eco organic cosmeceutical studied by Domus Olea Toscana in collaboration with University of Florence, is a draining cream which acts effectively on cellulitis blemishes and improves skin tone and look. It improves the orange peel look and the skin irregularities.

Dr. Laura Comollo

For any clarification or for more information Contact us.

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