Urinary incontinence, generally referred to as overactive bladder, is a common and often embarrassing problem. While many shy away from discussing their urgency to urinate, if left untreated it can result in humiliating accidents. The most common reason for an overactive bladder is the bladder vessels becoming weak, which leads to the inability to control the urge to urinate. Pregnancy can also initiate a temporary incontinence in women as the baby presses against the bladder, making it contract.

The conventional medicinal treatment for an overactive bladder is prescription medicines. These help to strengthen and relax the bladder muscles in order to contain the urine and avoid any mishaps. However, certain herbs are also effective in controlling the involuntary contraction of bladder muscles and save you trips to the bathroom. Here’s a list of the top six.

1. Dandelion
A gardener’s nightmare, this weed usually pops up in your lawns and backyard. However, the healing properties of dandelion make it an herbalist’s delight. It has a range of benefits, from improving immunity to helping you sleep better, protecting the heart and relieving stress and anxiety. It works for incontinence by strengthening the muscles and connective tissue inside the bladder. This herb also works as a natural diuretic, making you successfully eliminate extra water from the body. Brew a tea by steeping 1tsp of dried crushed flowers or fresh flowers (three to four) in one cup of warm water. Drink once every day.

2. Saw Palmetto
As good as the tree looks in your yard, it can do your bladder a lot of good, too. Studies have shown the use of saw palmetto to treat bladder problems, particularly in men who have an enlarged prostate. Experts are unsure about how this herb works, but they say that the benefits may be related to the ability of the herb to ward off inflammation and improve testosterone levels. Buy saw palmetto capsules here and take it twice daily.

3. Soy Extract
Studies have underlined the efficacy of soy extract in reducing the number of day- and night-time urination urges by 68 percent. The isoflavones in soy aid in strengthening the bladder muscles, while also improving cardiac and hormonal health in women. You can add soybean to your diet or use it in a capsule form under the guidance of your doctor or healthcare practitioner. (Related Article: Soy Milk: Simply Healthy)

4. Green Tea Extract
Catechins—flavonoids with antioxidant properties—are present in green tea, which acts on the nervous system and directs the nerves and muscles to have better control over bladder contractions. This helps you save frequent visits to the bathroom. Steep a tea with one teabag in a cup of hot water and drink once a day. (Related Article: 9 Healthy Benefits Of Green Tea)

Note: Avoid taking herbs if you are taking any prescription medicines for your bladder problems or other issues. Speak to your urologist and a herbalist to determine your best bet.

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