HERBAL HEAL­ING

Min­i­mize bath­room vis­its with tar­geted herbs

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH

Blad­der Con­trol Min­i­mize bath­room vis­its with tar­geted herbs.

Are

you al­ways scout­ing out re­stroom lo­ca­tions when you’re in pub­lic? How about duck­ing so­cial en­gage­ments for fear of hav­ing an ac­ci­dent? If you’re plan­ning life around your uri­nary pat­terns, you prob­a­bly have a case of over­ac­tive blad­der (OAB). OAB may re­sult from stretched or weak pelvic mus­cles, chronic blad­der in­fec­tions, blad­der diseases, di­a­betes, or obe­sity. Men of­ten feel the need to uri­nate fre­quently due to an en­larged prostate, while women tend to­ward blad­der in­fec­tion and pelvic mus­cle weak­en­ing.

About 33 mil­lion Amer­i­cans, both men and women, live with OAB, but the real num­ber is prob­a­bly much larger be­cause peo­ple don’t ask for help or are em­bar­rassed. OAB is marked pri­mar­ily by a sud­den, un­con­trol­lable urge to uri­nate. Some will ex­pe­ri­ence in­con­ti­nence fre­quently and out of the blue.

Those with stress uri­nary in­con­ti­nence (SUI) ex­pe­ri­ence “leaks” while sneez­ing, laugh­ing, or ex­er­cis­ing.

OAB is not a nor­mal part of ag­ing. You shouldn’t need to uri­nate more than about eight times in 24 hours. Pre­scrip­tion drugs for OAB have side ef­fects in­clud­ing dry mouth, con­sti­pa­tion, and dry skin and eyes—and the list goes on. Want to go a more nat­u­ral route? Sev­eral herbal reme­dies can ben­e­fit OAB.

BUCHU

Buchu ( Barosma be­tulina) leaf is the go-to rem­edy for blad­der health in South Africa. Buchu has been widely used in North Amer­ica for at least 130 years, where it has been a foun­da­tion ther­apy for blad­der com­plaints, but its use as a heal­ing herb in Europe goes back to the 1650s, when Dutch set­tlers in­tro­duced it into the herb field in the United King­dom. The leaf is anti-in­flam­ma­tory, so that con­trib­utes to its ap­peal.

Use buchu as a tinc­ture. Start with 10 drops three times per day, and in­crease un­til you get the de­sired ef­fect.

SCHISAN­DRA

In Asian herbal­ism, schisan­dra berry is a mild gen­eral tonic, used to “pro­long life with­out ag­ing.” Schisan­dra is also one of the pre­mier as­trin­gents in Asian herbal­ism. As­trin­gents tighten mem­branes, mak­ing it ideal for blad­der con­trol. It may be es­pe­cially ben­e­fi­cial for men. A sci­en­tific pa­per in the Jour­nalofEthnophar­ma­col­ogy found that schisan­dra re­laxed prostate tis­sue, which may bene t urine ow.

Schisan­dra berries are sour but mild and ac­tu­ally pretty tasty, so they can be taken as a tea, or even added to soup or broth. They can be used lib­er­ally with­out over­whelm­ing other avors in food or drink. You may find schisan­dra in sup­ple­ment form. The Chi­nese dose is 10 grams per day.

GIN­SENG

In Chi­nese nat­u­ral heal­ing, qi, or vi­tal en­ergy, “pre­serves the essence,” or keeps liq­uids in­side the body in the proper man­ner. Ex­cess uri­na­tion is a sign of qi de­fi­ciency, which goes along with gen­eral fa­tigue, low li­bido, and weak im­mu­nity. Qi tonic herbs bene t en­ergy, stamina, im­mune func­tion, and broad-spec­trum well­ness.

Gin­seng root is the ul­ti­mate qi tonic, and is used in Asia for OAB. Gin­seng en­hances the con­ver­sion of argi­nine into ni­tric ox­ide, which is thought to con­trib­ute to re­lax­ation of the blad­der mus­cle. Re­search sup­ports its use for re­duced uri­na­tion. Start with one gram of gin­seng per day, in cap­sules, and in­crease by one gram ev­ery cou­ple days, un­til OAB is re­duced.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH, spe­cial­izes in Ayurveda and herbal­ism, and has more than 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in holis­tic medicine. His web­site is kp­khalsa.com.

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