Stop an overactive bladder with these 7 herbs and supplements

Guidelines developed by the American Urological Association call for lifestyle and behavioral changes as primary treatments for an overactive bladder. People with an overactive bladder should opt for natural remedies such as dietary changes and fluid management. Patients may also try learning bladder control techniques such as scheduled, delayed, and double-void urination. The guidelines also recommend weight management, smoking cessation, and health counseling. The use of natural herbs and supplements was also encouraged in patients with an overactive bladder.

An article in lists seven herbs and supplements that can be used as treatment for an overactive bladder.

  1. Gosha-jinki-gan – This blend of traditional Chinese herbs was found to inhibit bladder activity in an animal study. As part of the research, scientists examined 42 female rats that were classified into two groups: the Gosha-jinki-gan group and the controls. The study revealed that bladder contractions were fewer and less frequent in the treatment group compared with the controls. The findings were published in the Journal of Urology.
  2. Corn silk – Corn silk has long been used in traditional medicine to relieve bladder irritation and nighttime incontinence.
  3. Pumpkin seed extracts – These extracts are known to be beneficial in the management of an overactive bladder and nighttime urination. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine revealed that the extracts helped improve urinary symptoms in participants following 12 weeks of supplementation.
  4. Vitamin D – Higher vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of pelvic floor disorders such as bladder leaking in women, a 2010 study showed. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that vitamin D levels influenced the onset of bladder leaking in older patients.
  5. Capsaicin – According to a study in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, this chili-based compound could serve as an efficient and inexpensive option for treating an overactive bladder.
  6. Ganoderma lucidum – This herbal extract hails from East Asia. A study found that the supplement was effective in improving symptoms in men with urinary tract issues. In addition, the researchers found that the extract did not induce harmful side effects in patients. The results were published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.
  7. Magnesium hydroxide – A small study has shown that these supplements improved urinary incontinence symptoms in more than half of female participants. The findings were published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Having an overactive bladder is one of the most common urinary conditions that affect millions of people in the U.S. According to the Urology Care Foundation (UCF), an overactive bladder in itself is not a disease, but rather a group of urinary symptoms. The most common symptom of an overactive bladder is a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, the foundation notes. According to the UCF, about 33 million people in the U.S. suffer from an overactive bladder. The foundation also reports that 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from overactive bladder symptoms.

However, the foundation estimates that cases of overactive bladder could actually be higher, as many people who have the condition do not seek medical attention. According to the foundation, some patients are embarrassed of having the condition, while others do not know how to discuss the condition with their health care specialists. Some patients are also not aware of available treatments for an overactive bladder, the foundation says. (Related: Read more about how to cleanse your body and live a cleaner, more productive life by reading the articles in

According to the foundation, an overactive bladder can be a red flag for other underlying conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. The condition can also be linked to other factors such as surgery, child birth, or medication. However, an overactive bladder does not seem to have an underlying cause for some people, the foundation says.

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