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Butterbur Supports Healthy Bladder Control
 


[Urinary Incontinence | Butterbur Research | References]

Butterbur Extract

Fear - the fear of job loss, embarrassment in social settings, sexual frustrations and psychological stress.  That's what life is like for the nearly 30 million people in the United States who have concerns with bladder control.  A burden at any age, bladder issues are highly prevalent in both genders but more common in women.  Urinary urge and frequency occurs when the smooth muscle of the bladder contracts without warning. 

Urinary Incontinence

People who experience urinary incontinence, probably have two of the following indicators: frequency of urination (usually defined as more than 8 times in 24 hours), urgency (an immediate and strong urge to urinate), and leaking or involuntary loss of urine.  Although the changes in urinary anatomy -- the result of normal aging -- do not cause urinary trouble, they do create a situation that allows this to occur more easily.  Aging results in a reduced size of the bladder, producing a decreased bladder volume and a need for more frequent bladder emptying. 

Urination involves physiological processes within the urinary tract and the brain.  Our brain normally suppresses the urge to urinate until we initiate urination.  Neurons in the brain and in the smooth muscle of the bladder involuntarily govern the detrusor (layered, smooth muscle that surrounds the bladder) muscle.  This muscle contracts and relaxes based on the volume of urine in the bladder and the initiation of urination.  The desire to urinate usually starts when the bladder has reached about half its physiologic capacity.  This desire is suppressed by the cerebral cortex until a suitable time and place has been chosen. 

Butterbur relaxes the detrusor muscle, which reduces pressure on the bladder and thus relieves the urge to urinate. 

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Butterbur Research

Butterbur Extract has been shown in research to improve the sudden urge to urinate.  In one study, 24 women were given butterbur for 8 weeks.  After three weeks, 17 women reported a significant reduction of the frequency of urination.  Before they began taking butterbur, urination intervals were 30 to 90 minutes, while three weeks later the intervals of 17 of the women were between 90 and 150 minutes. 

Butterbur is a perennial shrub native to Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia that has been used medicinally for centuries to maintain healthful, active lifestyle.  The use of preparations from butterbur has included promoting proper smooth muscle tone, including relief for painful menstrual cramps and other traditional uses. 

References

Wang, Guei-Jane et al. 2002. Ca2+ channel blocking effect of iso-S-petasin in rat aortic smooth muscles. European Journal of Pharmacology: 445(3): 239-245.

Brune, Kay et al. 1993. Gastro-protective effects by extracts of Petasires hybridus: the role of inhibition of peptido-leukorriene synthesis.  Planta Medica 50: 494-496.

Bickel, Daniela et al. 1994. Identification and characterization of inhibitors of peptido-leukorriene-synthesis from Petasites hybridus.  Planta Medica 60: 318-322.

Thorner, OA et al. 2001. Role of petasin in the potential anti-inflammatory activity of a plant extract of petasires hybridus.  Biochemical Pharmacology 61: 1041-1047.

Bauer, H.W. and U. Danesch. 1995. Therapeutische Aspekte in der Urologie mit Petadolex (Therapeutic aspects in the urology with Petadolex) Preste Symposian Munchen 1018/95.

© 2003 Source Naturals, Inc., P.O. Box 2118, Santa Cruz, CA 95063

Reprinted with exclusive permission by Source Naturals, Inc.

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