- 1 Section A
- 2 Diagnosis
- 3 Section B
- 4 Holistic & Herbal Remedies for an Overactive Bladder
- 5 Herbal treatments
- 6 Chinese herbal blends
- 7 Ganoderma lucidum (GL)
- 8 Corn silk (Zea mays)
- 9 Capsaicin
- 10 Pumpkin seeds
- 11 Kohki tea and More
- 12 Eating to reduce constipation
- 13 What foods and drinks to avoid
- 14 Other irritants
- 15 Exercise, Weight and OAB
- 16 Kegel exercises and muscle training
- 17 Bladder retraining
- 18 Avoid Dietary Triggers
- 19 Watch Fluid Intake
- 20 Double-Void
- 21 Schedule bathroom trips
- 22 Delay Urination
- 23 Acupuncture
- 24 Smoking
- 25 Angelica
- 26 Conclusion
- 27 References
- 28 Complementary Sources
Always check with your health professional before taking any herbal supplements. They can interact with medicines and cause unintended side effects stemming from the prescription drugs. In misguided legal systems, herbs can not be stand alone in any disease, whereas in civilizations that are thousands of years, herbs are one of the foundations upon which healing and public health occured. Contrarily to prescribed drigs. herbs in general are cost friendly, safe and efficient, with few if any side effects. (0)
Chinese herbal blends
Gosha-jinki-gan (GJG) is a blend of 10 traditional Chinese herbs. Several studies have been done on this herbal blend, and researchers found that GJG inhibits the bladder and significantly improves daytime frequency. People who took 7.5 milligrams of GJG a day also reported better results on their International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), which records urinary symptoms.
Another Chinese herbal medicine is Hachimi-jio-gan (HE). HE is made up of eight natural ingredients, some of which are also in GJG. Preliminary studies show that HE has an effect on bladder muscle contraction.
Ganoderma lucidum (GL)
Also known as lingzhi mushroom, this extract from East Asia is used to cure many ailments including hepatitis, hypertension, cancers and bladder disorders. In this perspective, a randomized study of 50 men reported better scores for IPSS, meaning few urinary tract symptoms. This study recommends 6 milligrams of GL extract.
Corn silk (Zea mays)
Corn silk is the waste material from corn cultivation. Countries from China to France use this as a traditional medicine for many ailments, including bedwetting and bladder irritation. It may help with strengthening and restoring mucous membranes in the urinary tract to prevent incontinence, according to the International Continence Society.
Capsaicin is found in the fleshy part of Chile peppers, not the seeds. It’s commonly used to treat pelvic pain syndrome, which is often a symptom of OAB. Studies have found that peak bladder capacity increased from 106 milliliters to 302 milliliters.
“As in the able-bodied population, pharmacotherapy is an established approach to managing OAB in neurogenic populations. Antimuscarinic agents are the first-line choice for pharmacologic treatment of neurogenic OAB. Antimuscarinic therapy increases bladder capacity and delays the initial urge to void. Unlike idiopathic OAB, higher-than-recommended doses of antimuscarinic agents are often needed to achieve the patient’s therapeutic goals. Newer chemical denervation therapy, such as BTX, seems very promising in treating neurogenic OAB. As we learn more about the underlying pathophysiology of OAB, we will gain greater skill in applying pharmacologic tools to treat OAB in the neurogenic population. (Ibid)
Pumpkin seeds are packed with long chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that pumpkin seed oil improves abnormal urinary function and reduces symptoms of OAB.
Another Japanese study found that pumpkin seeds and soybean seed extract also significantly reduced incontinence. Participants took five tablets of this processed food two times a day for the first two weeks and then three tablets a day for the next five.
Kohki tea and More
Kohki tea is the extract of a subtropical plant in southern China. This sweet tea is sold over the counter in Japan and is high in antioxidants. It’s also shown to have protective effects on the bladder.One study found that kohki tea had a significant protective effect on bladder function and contractile responses in rabbits with partial bladder obstruction. True, human aren’t rabbits. So there is only a presumption that this tea would work on human bladders.
Other bladder-friendly drinks include: plain water soy milk, which may be less irritating than cow’s or goat’s milk cranberry juice less acidic fruit juices, such as apple or pear barley water diluted squash caffeine-free teas like fruit teas
Eating to reduce constipation
Sometimes constipation can place extra pressure on your bladder. You can prevent constipation by exercising regularly and including more fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber include beans, whole-wheat breads, fruits, and vegetables.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends eating 2 tablespoons of a mixture of 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran, and 3/4 cup of prune juice every morning to promote bowel regularity.
What foods and drinks to avoid
While you may want to drink less liquid so you don’t have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination. Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including: alcohol artificial sweeteners chocolate citrus fruits coffee soda spicy foodstea tomato-based foods
You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.
You can reduce the amount of times you get out of bed by not drinking two to three hours before you sleep. It’s also recommended to refrain from smoking. Smoking can irritate the bladder muscle and cause coughing, which often contributes to incontinence.
Exercise, Weight and OAB
Extra weight can also increase the pressure on your bladder and cause stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks after you do something that increases pressure on the bladder, like laughing, sneezing, or lifting. While eating healthy foods can help you lose excess weight, getting regular exercise like strength training can help with long-term management.
Research shows that women who are overweight and have incontinence had less episodes of OAB. One study found that women with obesity who lose 10 percent of their body weight saw improved bladder control by 50 percent.
Kegel exercises and muscle training
You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. It’s also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications. To do Kegel exercises: Try stopping your urine mid-stream when going. The muscles you use are pelvic floor muscles. This is what you’ll focus on contracting during Kegel exercises. Focus on tightening those muscles when you have an empty bladder. Hold this position for about five seconds at a time. Relax the muscles and then repeat five times. As your muscles get stronger, increase the duration to 10 seconds and 10 repetitions. Perform the exercises 10 or more times a day. Breathe normally when doing these exercises. Avoid squeezing your stomach, thighs, or buttocks instead of your pelvic floor muscles.
Overtime OAB causes your bladder muscles to react a certain way. Bladder retraining can help reboot your bladder muscles. The idea is to let the urge to urinate pass before going to the bathroom and gradually work your way toward longer holding times. Bladder retraining also works best alongside Kegel exercises. Perform the following steps to train your bladder: Keep a journal to determine how frequently you go to the bathroom. Delay urination with small intervals. Once you feel the need to pee, see if you can hold off for five minutes and work your way up. Schedule trips to the bathroom. You can keep a journal to see how often you need to go and delay that time. You can start with 10 minute delays and work your way up to every three to four hours. Most women should be able to wait three to six hours between bathroom breaks. Perform Kegel exercises regularly. A bladder-retraining program can take six to eight weeks to prove effective.
Angelica archangelica contains a number of important compounds, including isoquercitrin and other flavonoids, polyphenols and polysaccharides. It is these compounds that are considered to be responsible for the plant’s many amazing effects. (2)
An important thing to note is that Angelica archangelica grows in Iceland — it is not the same as Chinese angelica (Angelica sinensis), also known as dong quai. This angelica extract is taken from the leaf of the plant and has clinical research to back it up. In an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, men suffering from nocturia — basically an overactive bladder at night — used Iceland’s Angelica archangelica or a placebo. The men in this study were age 45 and older, which is often when men begin noticing urinary frequency and the first symptoms of BPH.2 Not surprisingly, in Iceland, angelica extract has become the number one herbal treatment to reduce urinary frequency in men, and has replaced saw palmetto berry as the treatment of choice.
Many times, any urinary frequency issues for men are immediately considered a prostate problem. But that’s not always the case. In fact, overactive bladder is prevalent too, and requires a very different approach than we’d use for prostate health. During this study, three main parameters were measured: the increase in bladder volume, reduction in nocturnal voids and the increase in the duration of the first sleep period. The results were excellent. In the group with low bladder capacity, those taking the Angelica archangelica extract saw an increase of over 300 percent in bladder capacity.2 In the group reporting more than three nighttime urinations, the arctic angelica extract enhanced sleep and significantly reduced nighttime bathroom visits. (2) In the group of men age 70 or older, the angelica extract increased the duration of uninterrupted sleep (measured by time to first awakening) by 280 percent — almost three times that of a placebo!
What’s interesting about this study is that the direct action of Iceland’s arctic Angelica archangelica was not on the prostate, but on improving bladder strength. That’s good news for anyone — men or women. Plus, the angelica extract was very well tolerated and showed no hormonal effects or unwanted side effects like increased blood pressure or heart rate, or reduced libido. That’s a definite difference from many prescription drugs.
About 17 percent of women and 16 percent of men over the age of 18 have overactive bladder issues. As we age, an overactive bladder becomes common — affecting one in five adults over the age of 40.1 Urinary incontinence, whether due to chronic bladder irritation, bladder weakness, bacteria or prostate enlargement (technically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or “BPH”), which causes urgency and urinary frequency, affects at least 25 million Americans. Most of the sufferers are women, but one-third of women andmen 30 to 70 years old have experienced some symptoms of urinary incontinence.1 And while bed-wetting is often associated with children, there are some adults who, because of their overactive or weak bladders, have never experienced a dry night. Conventional prescription approaches aren’t always effective, cause side effects and can be risky as well. Of course, in many cases, even natural approaches dealing with bladder health and incontinence are divided between men and women.
(0). Herbs from unreliable sources may be contaminated.
(1). Idiopathic detrusor instability (IDI) plays a role in OAB because it a common cause of lower urinary tract storage symptoms including urgency, frequency and urge incontinence. “Our study supports the notion that there is a fundamental abnormality in IDI at the level of the bladder wall, with evidence of altered spontaneous contractile activity consistent with an increased electrical coupling of cells, a patchy denervation of the detrusor and a potassium supersensitivity”. (Source)
(2). “Urge Incontinence/Overactive Bladder”, from National Association for Continence. Available at: http://nafc.org/media/statistics/urge-incontinence-and-oab/. Accessed: March 25, 2013. And Sigurdsson S, Geirsson G, Gudmundsdottir H, Egilsdottir PB, Gudbjarnason S. A parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of a proprietary Angelica archangelica extract on nocturia in men. Scand J Urol. 2013 Feb;47(1):26-32. And Sigurdsson S, Gudbjarnason S. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by extracts and constituents from Angelica archangelica and Geranium sylvaticum. Z Naturforsch C. 2007 Sep-Oct;62(9-10):689-93. And Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Gudbjarnason S. Antiproliferative effect of Angelica archangelica fruits. Z Naturforsch C. 2004 Jul-Aug;59(7-8):523-7. And Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Gudbjarnason S. The cytotoxic effect of two chemotypes of essential oils from the fruits of Angelica archangelica L. Anticancer Res. 2005 May-Jun;25(3B):1877-80. And Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Hallgrimsson J, Gudbjarnason S. Antitumour activity of Angelica archangelica leaf extract. In Vivo. 2005 Jan-Feb;19(1):191-4.
Bladder problems. (n.d.)
Bladder retraining. (2015)
Chughtai, B., Kavaler, E., Lee, R., Te, A., Kaplan, S., & Lowe, F. (2013). Use of herbal supplements for overactive bladder. Reviews in Urology, 15(3), 93-96
Kennelly, M. J., & DeVoe, W. B. (2008). Overactive bladder: Pharmacologic treatments in the neurogenic population. Reviews in Urology, 10(3), 182-191
Kong, T., & Liao, L. (2012, July). Basic theory of traditional Chinese medicine and treatment for urinary incontinence. International Continence Society, 8(2), 14-15
Levin, R. M., Kawashima, Y., Leggett, R. E., Whitbeck, C., Horan, P., & Mizutani, K. (2002, May). Effect of oral kohki tea on bladder dysfunction induced by severe partial outlet obstruction. The Journal of Urology, 167(5), 2260-2266
Management: diet and exercise. (2015)
Natural remedies for overactive bladder? (2013, November 26)
New guidelines recommend Kegels, other lifestyle treatments for urinary incontinence in women. (2014, September 17)
Nishimura, M., Ohkawara, T., Sato, H., Takeda, H., & Nishihira, J. (2014, January-March). Pumpkin seed oil extracted from cucurbita maxima improves urinary disorder in human overactive bladder. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 4(1), 72-74
Overactive bladder advice and treatment pain. (2016, May)
The overactive bladder and bladder retraining. (2015, November)
Overactive bladder. (2014, July 22)
Overactive bladder. (2014, September 26)
Sharma, S. K., Vij, A. S., & Sharma, M. (2013, November 15). Mechanisms and clinical uses of capsaicin. European Journal of Pharmacology, 720(1-3), 55-62
What is overactive bladder (OAB)? (n.d.)
Yanakisawa, E., & Satoh, I. (2003). Study of effectiveness of mixed processed food containing cucurbita pepo seed extract and soybean seed extract on stress urinary incontinence in women. Japanese Journal of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science, 14(3), 313-322
References“Urge Incontinence/Overactive Bladder”, from National Association for Continence. Available at: http://www. nafc.org/media/statistics/urge-incontinence-and-oab/. Accessed: March 25, 2013. Sigurdsson S, Geirsson G, Gudmundsdottir H, Egilsdottir PB, Gudbjarnason S. A parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of SagaPro on nocturia in men. Scand J Urol. 2013 Feb;47(1):26-32. Sigurdsson S, Gudbjarnason S. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by extracts and constituents from Angelica archangelica and Geranium sylvaticum. Z Naturforsch C. 2007 Sep-Oct;62(9-10):689-93. Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Gudbjarnason S. Antiproliferative effect of Angelica archangelica fruits. Z Naturforsch C. 2004 Jul-Aug;59(7-8):523-7. Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Gudbjarnason S. The cytotoxic effect of two chemotypes of essential oils from the fruits of Angelica archangelica L. Anticancer Res. 2005 May-Jun;25(3B):1877-80. Sigurdsson S, Ogmundsdottir HM, Hallgrimsson J, Gudbjarnason S. Antitumour activity of Angelica archangelica leaf extract. In Vivo. 2005 Jan-Feb;19(1):191-4.Disclosure in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission regulation 16 CFR, Part 255: this post is sponsored by an advertiser.