19 Effective Remedies and Treatments for Ascites

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There are so many diseases going untreated and deaths happening because people are ignorant of the medical issues that can possibly affect them. Ascites is one of them. Are you hearing about it for the first time? Worry not, for we have you covered. In this article, we will discuss 19 effective remedies and treatments for ascites. Read on to find out what those remedies and treatments are.

In this article:

What Causes Ascites?
Is Ascites Life-Threatening?
Ascites: Remedies and Treatments

What Causes Ascites?

The major cause of ascites is when pressure builds up in the veins of your liver and your liver doesn’t work as it should. These two problems usually are caused by another condition, and that is cirrhosis, heart or kidney failure, cancer, or an infection. This in-built pressure blocks blood flow in the liver, which over time keeps your kidneys from removing excess salt from your body. This, in turn, causes fluid to build up.

ascites remedies

Is Ascites Life-Threatening?

Ascites can be life-threatening if the fluid leaks out into the belly and it begins to fill it up. This fluid, in turn, might spread the infection in other parts of your body, which can be life-threatening. 

Ascites: Remedies and Treatments

Remedies

Fortunately, life isn’t that bleak that you can’t treat ascites. There are certain home remedies

Epsom Salts Bath for Ascites

You will need

What you have to do

  • Add the epsom salt to the water and mix well.
  • Soak your feet in this water for 15 to 20 minutes.

How often should you do this

Do this every alternate night (or every night).

Why this works

Epsom salts tend to detoxify the diseased body and soothe the swollen legs that are usually seen in people with ascites. They reduce the swelling and relax you. The magnesium ions in epsom salts can be absorbed through the skin and assist the body in many of its metabolic functions.

Fenugreek Seeds for Ascites

You will need

What you have to do

  • Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight.
  • The next morning, mix the seeds and water and strain the liquid through a muslin cloth or strainer.
  • Drink this liquid to keep yourself healthy.

How often should you do this

Drink fenugreek water every day in the morning.

Why this works

When it comes to abdomen-related issues, fenugreek is surely one of the best forms of home treatment. It has hepatoprotective and anti-cancer effects. It reduces inflammation and helps in eliminating free radicals that are causing damage inside the body.

Garlic Juice for Ascites

You will need

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • A small garlic press

What you have to do

  • Chop the garlic and use a garlic press to extract the juice.
  • Drink half a tablespoon of garlic juice on an empty stomach.
  • If you don’t have a garlic press, chop the garlic finely and swallow with a few ounces of water.

How often should you do this

Repeat this every morning.

Why this works

Garlic is easily available in every kitchen. People suffering from ascites can greatly benefit from this. Garlic is also said to possess anti-cancer properties.

Ginger for Ascites

You will need

What you have to do

  • Crush the ginger slightly and put it in the cup of hot water. Steep for five to seven minutes.
  • Strain the water and add a dash of honey.
  • Drink this ginger tea while it is still warm.

How often should you do this

Drink a cup of ginger thrice a day after every meal.

Why this works

Ginger, being a diuretic, removes excess water from the body through urine. It has potential as a home remedy for treating edema. It also works as an antitumorigenic agent on the cancer-associated ascites tumor cells.

Carrot Juice for Ascites

You will need

What you have to do

  • Extract the juice of fresh carrots and drink.
  • You can add some ginger juice for flavor.

How often should you do this

Drink carrot juice once every day.

Why this works

Fresh juices can really help to bring down the pain and swelling that comes with ascites. Carrot juice has mild diuretic effects on the body and helps regulate the digestion process. It also exerts a cleansing effect on the liver by aiding it to release excess bile and fats that have accumulated.

Castor Oil Pack

You will need

  • Castor oil
  • Cotton flannel or undyed wool
  • Plastic wrap
  • Hot water bottle
  • Container with a lid

What you have to do

  • Soak the flannel or undyed wool in castor oil in the container. Make sure it is saturated with the oil but not dripping.
  • Place the pack on the affected area and cover it with plastic.
  • Keep the hot water bottle on the pack and leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Remove the pack and wash the area.
  • You can store the pack in the container in the refrigerator and reuse it.

How often should you do this

Do this whenever you experience pain.

Why this works

Castor oil is known to open the lymphatic vessels and allow greater lymphatic circulation. This reduces inflammation and pain.

Massage for Ascites

You will need

Castor oil

What you have to do

  • Have a massage therapist gently massage the abdomen and the back with the oil.
  • Massage for 15 to 20 minutes.

You can use any other oil in place of castor oil as well.

How often should you do this

Repeat this daily.

Why this works

An abdomen and back massage can really prove beneficial for those suffering from ascites. It helps to get rid of the gas, giving instant relief. It also mitigates the strain on the abdomen by helping the lymph to enter the venous system again.

Radish

You will need

  • Fresh radishes
  • Juicer

What you have to do

  • Juice enough radishes to get a 4-ounce glass of fresh juice. If the juice proves too strong, dilute half and half with water.
  • Drink this juice to get relief from ascites.

How often should you do this

Consuming a glass of radish juice once or twice a day can provide relief.

Why this works

Radish is considered to be good for the liver because it acts as a natural detoxifier. Radish is considered one of the key elements in treating ascites, especially in cases due to liver problems. You can also put radishes in your salad or eat them raw as well.

Bitter Gourd

You will need

  • Bitter gourd
  • A glass of water

What you have to do

  • First, peel the bitter gourd and remove the seeds.
  • Cut it into small pieces and grind to a paste. Extract the juice from this paste.
  • Dilute about 30ml of the bitter gourd juice with water and drink it.

How often should you do this

The patient, who is suffering from ascites, needs to consume this at least thrice a day for rapid relief.

Why this works

If a person suffering from ascites regularly consumes bitter gourd root juice, then they will get instant relief from ascetic soreness. It also treats liver disorders due to its tonic and antibilious properties.

Onions

You will need

Onions

What you have to do

Add onions to your meals and salads or eat them raw.

How often should you do this

Include onions in your daily diet as it helps in getting rid of the fluid build-up.

Why this works

Onions are considered to be diuretic and eliminate toxins and excess fluids from the body. If you happen to consume onions for a couple of days, then they can offer relief from the symptoms associated with ascites.

Punarnava Herb

You will need

  • Punarnava root
  • A glass of lukewarm water

What you have to do

  • Grind the herbal root to get a fine powder.
  • Take about 3g of this powder with a glass of lukewarm water.

How often should you do this

Take this thrice a day.

Why this works

This ayurvedic remedy is also referred to as hogweed. It is one of the world’s best-known liver healers and is commonly used to treat ascites and dropsy. It has diuretic and expectorant effects on the body.

Dandelion Tea for Ascites

You will need

  • 1 oz dandelion root
  • 1 pint of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon honey

What you have to do

  • Steep the dandelion root in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the decoction and let it cool down.
  • Add the honey to a cup of this herbal tea and drink it.

How often should you do this

You can drink up to three cups of dandelion root tea in a day.

Why this works

Dandelion root, also known as gravel root, is a natural diuretic. It helps to reduce the excess fluid in the abdomen. Dandelion tea also aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory effects on the cirrhosis-affected liver.

Horse Gram Soup

You will need

  • 1/2 cup horse gram
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • A few coriander leaves

What you have to do

  • Boil the horse gram for 10 to 12 minutes in a pressure cooker.
  • Roast the black peppercorns, garlic, and tomato in a saucepan for a few minutes.
  • Add about half of the boiled horse gram to this and mix well. Let it cool.
  • Once cooled, grind it to make a paste.
  • To this, add some fresh coriander leaves and the remaining boiled horse gram.
  • Give it a gentle stir and cook for three to four minutes.
  • Have a cup of this soup while it is warm.

How often should you do this

People suffering from ascites should ideally have a cup of horse gram soup every day.

Why this works

When taken in proper proportions on a daily basis, horse gram soup shows its effect instantly as it is a diuretic and a tonic. Compared to other diuretics, horse gram contains lesser sodium and eliminates the excess fluids that have accumulated in the abdomen.

Buckthorn Roots

You will need

  • 1 teaspoon buckthorn root powder
  • A glass of lukewarm water

What you have to do

Ingest the buckthorn root with water, preferably in the morning hours.

How often should you do this

Repeat this every morning.

Why this works

Buckthorn root possesses diuretic and laxative agents that help treat ascites effectively.

Caution

If you are suffering from ascites and are pregnant, then do not use it before consulting a doctor.

Milk Thistle

You will need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of milk thistle
  • 1 cup of hot water

What you have to do

  • Add one to two teaspoons of milk thistle to a cup of hot water.
  • Allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea and drink it up.

How often should you do this

Repeat this every morning.

Why this Works

Milk thistle contains a compound called silymarin that acts as an antioxidant by combating free radicals and lipid peroxidation and also prevents the binding of toxins to the liver cells.

Ascites can become serious without treatment. Its symptoms can be treated with the home remedies mentioned above. Most of these ingredients are easily available and can be made a part of a healthy diet.

Treatment

Paracentesis

A paracentesis may be the next step in the treatment that is offered for ascites by medical professionals. A needle is sterilized and is placed into the peritoneal space so that the fluid is withdrawn. Paracentesis is the first step in case the ascites fluid accumulates quickly and the abdominal distension causes pain or shortness of breath. Because this peritoneal fluid contains albumin, therefore, if large amounts of fluid are withdrawn, an albumin transfusion may be needed.

Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (Tips)

In this medical procedure, fluid is diverted from the portal vein into the central blood circulation, thus decreasing pressure in the liver and decreasing ascites formation. A radiologist is able to thread a catheter or stent underneath the skin from the internal jugular vein to the hepatic vein after sedating the patient.

Liver Transplant 

Patients who have cirrhosis and ascites together and do not respond to any other treatment should be considered as candidates for potential liver transplantation.

Cancer

In patients with ascites, who are also suffering from cancer, diet restrictions and diuretics are usually ineffective. They need to undergo treatment for cancer first and then proceed with the ascites treatment.

Therefore, to conclude, if diagnosed on time, ascites will not be life-threatening and can be treated with ease. There is no hope to lose because things can always get better if you consult a good doctor.

References

https://www.journal-of-hepatology.eu/article/s0168-8278(17)30015-6/abstract

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