Pumpkin Seed Oil For Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence, or the inability to control urination, is a troublesome condition for 60 percent of women and 15 percent of males over the age of 65. For those living in long-term facilities the rate is between 50 to 84%. Overall this accounts for up to 13 million people in the United States.
There are different types of urinary incontinence. The most common type in younger and middle-aged women is stress incontinence. This occurs when one is physically active leading to an increase in pressure in the abdominal muscles. This puts pressure on the urethra (tube leading from the bladder to the urethra (opening to outside the body) and bladder. It can occur when the urethra moves too much due to muscular and structural problems with the pelvis.
This is why treatments such as spinal manipulation and soft tissue techniques that affect the structure of the pelvis and its muscles can help incontinence. Another reason can be that the muscle that closes off the urethra to prevent urine from leaving the bladder is weak/and or damaged. Stress incontinence is very common with pregnancy, after childbirth, and with menopause. It is also more common in female athletes.
Pumpkin seed oil is one of nature’s greatest allies in the treatment of urinary incontinence. European literature cites pumpkin seeds as an effective treatment for urinary problems as far back as the 1500’s. Native American Indians used pumpkin seed for urinary disorders. Also, German health authorities have approved pumpkin seeds as a treatment for irritable bladder and urinary symptoms related to prostate enlargement.
When the production of nitric oxide levels is low there is increased bladder activity and reduced bladder volume. Pumpkin seed oil increases nitric oxide synthesis. The other known reason for its benefit is its hormonal effects. Pumpkin seed oil has a tissue building effect on the pelvic floor muscles. It does this by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme which makes more active testosterone available to the pelvic muscles, allowing them to strengthen.
Resource: Nishimura, M. et al. Pumpkin Seed oil Extracted From Cucurbita maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder. J Tradit Complement Med. 2014 Jan-Mar; 4(1): 72–74.