Dandelions illustration of HRI health article

Dandelion can make you WHAT?! The Surprising Truth Behind Herbal Water Retention Tablets

The rather unpleasant name for Dandelion in French is ‘pis-en-lit’ which can be literally translated as ‘wet the bed’. This is because Dandelion has been traditionally used in herbal water retention tablets to help relieve unwanted fluid retention which occurs when the body stores water instead of passing it out naturally through urine and sweat.

HRI Water Balance, is a herbal medicinal product containing Dandelion leaf and root which is traditionally used to relieve symptoms of mild water retention – without the worry of having any nasty accidents at night! This herbal medicine also contains the active ingredients extracts of Uva-ursi leaf and Buchu leaf.

Many women use a natural diuretic just before their period. This is the time for many people when water retention can be most problematic, making clothes feel tight and uncomfortable and, for many women, making their breasts swell and become tender. It is also a common side-effect of long-haul flights or long bus or car journeys when excess fluid can ‘pool’ in the ankles due to immobility.

In later life, water retention can be most problematic in the ankles, feet and hands. Called ‘peripheral oedema’, this is usually a symptom of slightly sluggish circulation or may occur as a result of prolonged periods of sitting without raising your feet. It can make shoes or jewellery feel tight and, if it persists, can make skin feel tight and itchy and even lead to ulcers or lesions on the skin. If swelling is severe, you should always see your doctor to make sure it is not a sign of a more serious underlying health condition or a symptom of high blood pressure or kidney problems.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, Dandelion leaf and root were traditionally used by native Americans to treat liver or kidney disorders, swelling, skin problems and an upset stomach. In Europe, Dandelion leaf and root have been used from the middle ages to treat boils, eye problems and diarrhoea.

Dandelion leaf and root contains the natural polysaccharides inulin and levulin, which are traditionally associated with balancing blood sugar. In the recent BBC programme ‘How to Stay Young’ hosted by Angela Rippon, she explained that inulin can help to reduce the visceral fat stored on our organs or internally which can be detrimental to your health and which often can’t be seen. Dandelion also contains choline which helps to stimulate the liver and support the body’s natural detoxifying system.

In a pilot study in the US published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009, volunteers were given an extract of medicinal dandelion, Taraxacum Officinale. Along with a control group, the volunteers were given a specific volume of fluid over a single day and the amount of urine they produced was then measured over the same period. The pilot study found that people who took the dandelion root extract had a significant increase in the volume of urine they produced in the five-hour period after the first and second doses.

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