We generally think of incontinence
as an inability to control the bladder, but it can also mean frequent urges to go to the bathroom. More than 13 million Americans experience incontinence, and women are twice as likely to have bladder issues as men, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. About 25 percent to 45 percent of women
suffer from urinary incontinence, defined as leakage at least once in
the past year.
Following are two common causes for incontinence, says Guido Masé, herbalist, educator, and author of The Wild Medicine Solution, along with top herbal remedies:
Lax Muscles—Sphincter muscles can become lax, from pregnancy or age. Herbs with astringent qualities can help restore muscular tone. Masé recommends either of these herbs in extracts or capsules, rather than teas, to avoid taking in too much fluid.
Red Raspberry Leaf:This herb is safe enough to use during pregnancy. It is traditionally used as a tonic during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester to help decrease postpartum hemorrhaging and vaginal tissue stretching. It can also be used by women as a remedy for incontinence.
Lady’s Mantle: Another tonic for incontinence and vaginal bleeding, this one is traditionally used after childbirth, but not during pregnancy. Masé recommends it for older women experiencing incontinence.
Stress and Urge Incontinence—Stress incontinence is triggered by movements such as coughing, laughing, or sneezing. It is best addressed by working with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation, such as with Kegel exercises. Urge incontinence is due to contraction of bladder muscles.
Cramp Bark: Take cramp bark to relax bladder muscles.
How to Use Incontinence Remedies
Red Raspberry Leaf(to tone lax sphincter muscles): Take 1 tsp. liquid extract twice daily, or 1,500 mg in capsules, twice daily. (Safe during pregnancy.)
Lady’s Mantle(to tone lax sphincter muscles): Take 1 tsp. liquid extract twice daily, or 1,500 mg in capsules, twice daily. (Do not take during pregnancy.)
Cramp Bark(to calm stress-induced incontinence): Take ½ tsp. of an extract, 3–4 times daily, or in capsules, 500 mg, 3–4 times daily. An extract works faster than capsules.
did you know? Women are twice as likely to have bladder issues as men.
Link to Vitamin D
A 2010 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that women whose vitamin D levels were in the normal range were less likely to experience incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders.
ECLECTIC INSTITUTE Cramp Bark comes from an organic farm and uses a sugar-cane alcohol base over potentially allergenic grain alcohol.
ECLECTIC INSTITUTE Lady’s Mantle contains only dried, wildcrafted whole-plant extracts, organic sugar-cane alcohol, and filtered water.
NATURE’S ANSWER Red Raspberry is made using a carefully controlled extraction process to deliver the full spectrum of the herb’s active constituents.