Nutrition and Healing
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  • Keep control without going to extremes

    There were a few whispers at a recent family gathering.

    My cousin didn’t really want to talk about it. She knew her mom would be mortified if she knew her daughter had told a few of us about her embarrassing problem. But my cousin was just too worried to keep quiet about the “solution” her mom’s doctor had proposed.

    He wants to inject Botox into her bladder every six months.

    My first thought, of course, was “Isn’t that a little extreme?” My second thought was, “No, it’s REALLY extreme.”

    After all, we all know that Botox is a toxin that interferes with nerve function and can, in some cases, lead to permanent damage…or worse. In fact a couple of years ago, I told you about how it was even suspected of contributing to the death of a child who received injections to combat her cerebral palsy.

    So now women are being advised to turn to Botox when their urinary incontinence hasn’t responded to “standard treatments.” But before we are forced to resort to something so extreme are there natural options that may help us stay in control of that “gotta go” feeling? It turns out that answer is yes.

    I found three traditional choices with thousands of years on their side. These are choices the mainstream would probably prefer never see the light of day. But they’re not staying hidden on my watch. If you’re looking to stay in control and avoid extreme measures down the line, you’re going to want to seek these ancient wonders out.

    The first is Lindera root, which is a staple of traditional Chinese medicine and is thought by traditional healers to have incredible anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. This is important for keeping your bladder in top shape.

    The second ancient wonder I found is horsetail, which was first recommended about 2,000 years ago and is still going strong. Like Lindera root, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. It’s also thought to pack a bold antioxidant punch. This could also support bladder control.

    Horsetail has traditionally been used for fluid retention, bladder stones, UTIs, and incontinence. It belongs to a family of plants that work like diuretics, increasing urine output. Herbalists value it for its ability to gently stimulate urine flow and flush bacteria out of the bladder without affecting the body’s electrolyte balance. Because of this flushing action, if you take horsetail you should be sure to drink plenty of water.

    Finally, I came across some promising information about an herb so powerful that it’s officially protected in its native India. Crateva nurvala has been used in traditional medicine since 800 B.C. In 2008, the Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants shared findings that the plant was used to treat prostate enlargement and bladder sensitivity. In vitro studies have shown that its active compound increases the tone of smooth muscle (the kind of muscle that makes up the bladder).

    Of course, as always, if you’re interested in trying any of these natural wonders, don’t go it alone. Talk to a doctor skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine to make sure you’re doing what is right for you.

    Now, the only question that remains for me is how to get this information to my aunt without her knowing she ended up the subject of an e-Tip!

    “Overactive Bladder? Botox Can Help,” The Atlantic (

    “FDA approves Botox for loss of bladder control,” Reuters (

    “Horsetail,” Medline Plus (

    “Horsetail (Shavegrass) Herb and Powder Profile,” Mountain Rose Herbs (

    “Natural Alternatives to Ditropan,” Livestrong (

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