In Chinese medicine, body dampness is similar to the accumulation of water in your body. It causes swelling, phlegm, a heavy sensation in your body, sluggishness and mental fogginess. Chinese herbs that reduce body dampness promote urination to reduce water accumulation. Many of them also strengthen the spleen and improve the digestion and metabolism of water.
Fu ling, also known as poria, reduces the accumulation of water and dampness and promotes urination. It treats swelling, fullness and distension, difficult urination and phlegm. Fu ling also strengthens the spleen, which improves water metabolism. In addition to reducing dampness, poria calms the nervous system and treats insomnia. Boil 10 to 15 grams of fu ling in water, strain and drink as a decoction twice daily.
Zhu ling, or polyporus, promotes urination and resolves water accumulation. It treats oedema, hesitant urination, jaundice and diarrhoea. Zhu ling also treats urinary tract infections and abdominal distension and fullness. Boil 5 to 10 grams of zhu ling in water, strain and drink as a decoction twice daily.
Ze xie alisma is a potent herb that regulates water circulation. It is sweet, bland and cold and resolves oedema and urinary tract infections. Ze xie also treats hepatitis symptoms such as jaundice, red eyes, nausea, poor appetite and difficult urination. Boil 5 to 10 grams of ze xie in water, strain and drink the decoction twice daily.
Yi yi ren
Yi yi ren, or coix seed, strengthens the spleen and resolves damp accumulation. It treats oedema, urinary tract infections and abscesses. You can cook yi yi ren like rice and eat it as part of your daily diet or boil 10 to 30 grams in water, strain and drink the decoction. You can also take it in pill or powder form. Coix seeds are mild so you may need to take them for a long period of time to experience the benefits. This Chinese herb is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Che qian zi
Che qian zi is also known as plantago seed. It is sweet and cold, treats oedema and urinary tract infections with symptoms such as burning and painful urination, urgency and dribbling urine. It also helps resolve watery diarrhoea, improves the vision and treats cough with thick yellow phlegm. Wrap 5 to 10 grams of che qian zi in a cheesecloth and boil, strain and drink the strained decoction.
Hua shi is talc. It is sweet, bland and cold and clears heat and encourages normal urination. According to John Chen, Ph.D., it is one of the most commonly used herbs to treat of urinary tract infections. Hua shi relieves irritability, thirst, difficult urination and watery diarrhoea. Apply it topically on eczema, rash and athlete's foot. Wrap 10 to 15 grams of hua shi powder in a cheesecloth, boil in water, strain and drink the decoction twice daily.
Chi xiao dou
Chi xiao dou is also known as adzuki bean. It reduces swelling and promotes urination. It treats oedema, jaundice and topical skin sores and swellings. Eat adzuki beans as a part of your regular daily diet or boil 10 to 30 grams in water, strain and drink the strained decoction. You can also take it in pill or powder form.
- "Chinese medical herbology and pharmacology"; John K. Chen, Ph.D. and Tina T. Chen, MS, L.Ac.; 2001
- "Chinese herbal medicine materia medica"; Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey and Erich Stoger; 2004