We are constantly bombarded with the newest claims of natural remedies that supposedly calm bladder problems and incontinence. Using herbal teas and plats is one of these.
Urinary tract infections and bladder inflammation are common yet irritating conditions. Women are more prone to these conditions than men due to the urethra being in close proximity to the anus meaning bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to colonize the lining o the bladder and urethra.
Can Green Tea Soothe the Bladder?
There is ultimately less caffeine in green tea than traditional tea with milk and sugar.
Caffeine is known as a bladder irritant, so green tea is a suitable alternative to normal tea and coffee. Bladder Control Tea for Women is a herbal tea by Bell Lifestyle Products and is one of many recommended herbal teas for bladder problems.
Studies show the use of supplements in green tea protect against inflammation of the urinary tract. It may therefore be a viable option for the treatment of inflammatory bladder conditions, such as interstitial cystitis.
Green and herbal tea have also been proven to cleanse the bladder of unwanted waste and any irritants. Clearing the bladder of irritants can help it maintain healthy function and create a calming effect.
These teas contain bladder-protecting properties and hydrating effects, restoring a troubled or irritated bladder. Teas such as alfalfa leaf tea demonstrate an alkaline effect, which reducing the acidity of urine. Your bladder is therefore less irritated and much calmer.
Finding the Truth: Could Herbal Tea & Plants Soothe the Bladder and Prevent Incontinence?
One project found that drinking green tea may help alleviate urinary incontinence in middle-aged and older women.
Professor Andy Lea from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute collaborated with a Japanese research team to asses the effects of green tea on Japanese women aged 40-75. The results showed that those who drank 4+ cups of green tea per day were less likely to have incontinence.
The main conclusion was that green tea contains EGCG, a compound found in foods like apple skin, plums, onions, hazelnuts, pecans and carob powder. Research has shown this compound is responsible for its preventative effect of green tea on urinary stones.
ECGC has also shown a dose-dependent decrease in urinary bladder cancers and interferes with oxidation and helps minimize oxidative damage in cells.
Ultimately ECGC provides powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrosis, antioxidant and cell productive benefits.
Can Green Tea Prevent Bladder Cancer?
Green tea has been proven to prevent bladder cancer. Michael Chancellor, Professor of Urology, asserts “we discovered that catechins found in green tea protected bladder cells from inflammation”. Catechin is a type of natural phenol and antioxidant. It has been implicated in benefitting almost every organ system in the body.
The University of Maryland Medical Centre also reports that women who drink herbal and green tea have much less rates of bladder problems including cancer and may also help prevent the recurrence of bladder cancer in men.
LPI reports this link may be due to the effects that the flavonoids in the tea have on cell signalling.
The Use of Medicinal Plants
The use of medicinal plants for incontinence can sound questionable and unlikely. However phototherapy is a medical practice that focuses on the impact of plants on various incontinence symptoms.
Herbs can be bought by a qualified herbalist or you can discuss with a natural health practitioner.
Interestingly, researchers have found certain plants to have the following benefits:
- Improving inflammation
- Reducing urine protection
- Diminishing the effects of menopause
- Avoiding constipation
Here are a few interesting ones that deserve mentioning:
- Raspberry leaf. This is an interesting herb, which has been proven to strengthen the uterine and pelvic muscles. It can also help with pelvic organ prolapse
- St. John's Wort. Known to help depression, these can help incontinence caused by nerves problems.
- Horsechestnut. The bark from this tree is effective for inflammation of the prostate. It is often used for overflow or urge incontinence.
- Carob Tree. Interestingly, seeds of this tree are known to prevent constipation. This is specially helpful in preventing faecal compaction and overflow incontinence.
- Yarrow. This is a bitter herb that can tone the bladder and uterus. It is also a urinary antiseptic, clearing congestion and provides good circulation to the pelvic area.
Irritation to the bladder
Health experts warn that for some, plants can actually be a diuretic such as Horsetail.
Taking more than one herb at a time can sometimes cause unpleasant side effects such as an upset stomach or a frequent urge to urinate. They do not have side effects when used appropriately and at a recommended dose.
The negative effects of tea can be similar to that of plants. According to various studies, green tea is one of the beverages that have potential to irritate the bladder. In excess, green tea can be counterproductive.
Like all drinks that contain a small amount of caffeine, you should be careful to drink the tea in moderation. Caffeine is a known bladder irritant and can rapidly worsen incontinence if consumed in excess. This can cause you to urinate frequently.
Green tea does have a diuretic effect. As specialist Dr Chancellor insists, “if you drink too much of it you get a higher amount of caffeine beside the extra liquid.
Drinking excessive fluid is just counterproductive”. In particular, people with urge incontinence are advised to closely watch their consumption of green tea.
Ultimately, green tea can be both effective and counterproductive to the bladder. Green tea can work as an antioxidant and calm the bladder.
However, you should be extremely careful with ensuring you drink it in moderation. You should always talk to a Doctor before trying a herbal remedy to ensure it is suitable for your health condition.
Similarly, although plants do show promise, you should always consult your doctor before starting any complementary treatments.