Overactive bladder is a condition characterized by an increase in urinary frequency and urgency, resulting from nerve damage, frequent urinary tract infections, and other conditions. Although diet and exercise can aid in treating an overactive bladder, herbal remedies can also go a long way in relieving the symptoms as well as reducing the frequency of urinary tract infections, which can lead to complications.
Below you will find some effective herbal remedies to help support a healthy bladder:
Bladderwrack: This is a form of seaweed rich in iodine. Although commonly used to treat an underactive thyroid, it can also be beneficial for treating an overactive bladder.
Gosha-jinki-gan: Studies have found this Japanese herb to be effective in reducing overactive bladder symptoms, particularly in men with an enlarged prostate.
Horsetail: This herb has been found to aid in urinary leaks, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections.
Goldenseal root: This is considered a great treatment for urinary tract infections. You can drink it as a tea or take it orally as a supplement.
Uva ursi (Bearberry): The leaves of this plant have been found to help treat urinary tract infections.
Buchu: Dried leaves of buchu can be steeped in a tea to reduce bladder infections.
Hachi-mi-jio-gan: This Chinese herb has been found to relax bladder muscles to prevent spasms.
Cleavers: The leaves are usually brewed in a tea to help relieve urinary tract infections. Some patients have noted it can soothe an overactive bladder too.
Ganoderma lucidum: This mushroom is common in Chinese medicine, and a Japanese study found it can prevent prostate enlargement to reduce the risk of overactive bladder in men.
Dandelion: Considered a common weed found in most gardens, but you would be mistaken as dandelions are herbs with amazing healing properties. It has the ability to strengthen the muscles and connective tissue inside the bladder, giving those with an overactive bladder better control of their bladder movements.
Saw palmetto: A commonly used herb for the treatment of an enlarged prostate, this versatile herb can help treat problems with the bladder. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
Capsaicin: An active component of chili peppers and the substance responsible for giving that burning sensation whenever you eat something spicy. Capsaicin is still largely experimental for the treatment of overactive bladder but has shown promise in recent studies with 44 percent of patients having satisfactory continence in one study.
Soy extract: Previous studies have linking soy extract with reducing the number of day and night time urinary urge by up to 68 percent. It is thought that a component of soy called isoflavones help in strengthening the bladder muscles, while also improving cardiac and hormonal health in women
Alpinia oxyphylla: A herb belonging to the ginger family and believed to give relief from bladder control issues. Much like ginger, this herb contains anti-inflammatory properties that enhance bladder control and lessen frequent urination.
Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis): A flower with a pleasant scent, but when dried, it may smell and taste like old dirty socks. It is said to contain very strong antispasmodic and relaxant properties. This herb may also help relieve anxiety and promote sleep. It is advised to not operate any vehicle or heavy machinery, as valerian may make some people drowsy.
Black haw (Viburnum Prunifolium): Considered an antispasmodic herb aiding overactive bladders. It may also be used as a relaxant. Black haw relieves urges to urinate to, but it is advised not to use this herb if you suffer from low blood pressure.
Nettle (Urtica Dioica): A weed known for reducing urinary frequency. It is thought to reduce the amount of residual urine that remains in the bladder after voiding, helping reduce or eliminate nighttime urination.
Ginseng: Considered one of the most effective herbal remedies for treating overactive bladder, this long used root plant is a popular yet expensive remedy. Ginseng has anti-diuretic properties that will aid in reducing urination, working wonders for treating overactive bladder symptoms.
These are just some of the herbal remedies that can help improve your symptoms of overactive bladder and urinary tract infections. As with any herb or supplement, speak to your doctor first to make sure taking any of the above medications is safe and won’t cause any interactions with medications you may already be taking.