We’ve all seen the bright yellow flowers and fluffy seed heads of dandelions. But did you know that this common weed is actually a powerful medicinal herb? For centuries, dandelions have been used to treat various ailments, and many countries even incorporate them into salads or brew them into tea. This humble plant is particularly known for its detoxifying properties, thanks to its diuretic effects that stimulate increased urine production.
Similarly, parsley is often overlooked as a mere garnish. However, this herb offers a host of useful properties as well. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and it also acts as an aquaretic, aiding the body in expelling excess water.
The Science Behind It
Diuretics are substances that increase urine production by stimulating the kidneys to eliminate more water and electrolytes like sodium. These substances can be beneficial for patients with conditions such as heart failure, high blood pressure, and kidney stones. On the other hand, aquaretics increase urine output without affecting the excretion of electrolytes. This flushing action helps remove bacteria and crystals from the bladder, promoting a healthier urinary system.
Both dandelion and parsley have a long history of anecdotal evidence supporting their diuretic effects, and several studies have corroborated these claims. One study found that rats fed a parsley extract solution produced a significantly larger amount of urine over a 24-hour period compared to those given regular water. Moreover, studies involving dandelion extracts have shown promising results in humans. Although some studies reported an increase in urination frequency without a corresponding increase in urine volume, as far back as 1974, research on rats and mice demonstrated that dandelion leaf extract had a diuretic effect comparable to the powerful drug furosemide, commonly known as “water tablets” and used for heart failure treatment in both humans and animals.
The Importance of Dandelion & Parsley in Vet’s Kitchen
Cats, descendants of desert-dwelling ancestors, have evolved to conserve and drink very little water. In the wild, their prey would provide them with up to 75% of their necessary hydration. Although cats have not fully adapted to domestic life, studies have shown that when fed dry diets, they consume 30% less water compared to when they are given wet food. Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining a healthy bladder. Therefore, in Vet’s Kitchen, we have incorporated dandelion and parsley extracts into our dry cat diets to support urinary health. These natural diuretics encourage urine excretion, which can, in turn, prompt cats to drink more water and urinate more frequently. These habits are vital in managing common issues like cystitis.
Additionally, our cat diets come in two varieties: 80% chicken-based and 80% salmon-based. Both options boast high levels of fresh animal protein, making them exceptionally palatable and suitable for a cat’s natural physiology. Urinary problems can affect cats, and a diet with increased meat content promotes a more natural urinary pH, thus contributing to better urinary health.
To learn more about the incredible benefits of dandelion, parsley, and our specially formulated cat diets, visit Katten TrimSalon.
- Bevin, C et al. “The Diuretic Effect in Human Subjects of an Extract of Taraxacum officinale Folium over a Single Day.” J. Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug; 15(8): 929934.
- Buckley et al. “Effect of dietary water intake on urinary output, specific gravity and relative supersaturation for calcium oxalate and struvite in the cat.” British Journal of Nutrition (2011), 106, S128, S130.
- Kreydiyyeh SI, Usta J. “Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 Mar;79(3):353-7.
- Yarnell, E. “Botanical Medicines for the Urinary Tract.” World J Urol (2002) 20: 285-293.