pale leaf Gaia's Garden leaves




The Bladder - Nocturia & Paruresis (Shy Bladder)
an article by Susun S. Weed


Step 1. Collect Information

• Waking to urinate more than twice a night - nocturia - is considered a medical problem unless you are menopausal, or over 80, when it is normal, if not restful.

• Menopausal women will want to consult New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

• As we age, there is a natural shift in the timing of urination. Instead of being most active during the day, the urinary system gets into gear at night, alas. To prevent falls, keep bathroom access well lit and forego rugs or slippers that slip and trip.

• Hypertension, diabetes, prostate enlargement, stroke, kidney disease, and even a tumor in the bladder can also cause nocturia.

Step 2. Engage the Energy

Homeopathic remedies for those with nocturia include homeopathic sulphur (Sulphura) and Ferrum phos.

Step 3. Nourish and Tonify

• One of my favorite herbal remedies for menopausal women troubled by night sweats and nocturia is nettle infusion. Nettles' ability to rebuild adrenal and kidney functioning is nothing short of miraculous. I do not experience nettle as a diuretic; while the initial response to drinking 2-4 cups of infusion may be a need to urinate more often, this is due to improvement of the kidneys, not stimulation, and as they strengthen, frequency returns to normal.

• Quercetin is a strong antioxidant found in herbs and foods. It decreases urinary and pelvic inflammation, and, most importantly, inhibits cell damage in the kidneys. Find quercetin in oak bark, cranberries, AND blueberries.

Step 4. Stimulate/Sedate

Limiting fluid intake to a little water only in the four hours before bed - no coffee, tea, alcohol, juice, or soda - may help.

Step 5b. Use Drugs

• Common drugs, such as blood pressure medications, can increase urinary frequency. Eliminate them; eliminate nocturia.

• Desmopressin acetate, DDAVP, is a prescription nasal spray that blocks the urge to urinate. Elders may find it helpful in shifting the timing of urination back toward daytime.[1]

• On an average, men with BPH get up three times a night to urinate, and many have a difficult time returning to sleep. Of drugs tested, only doxazosin made a significant difference.[2]

Paruresis - Shy Bladder

Step 0. Do Nothing

That's what most of those with a shy bladder do: nothing. They don't talk about it. They don't seek treatment. And in the worst case scenarios, they don't leave home for fear that someone will be aware of their urination.

Step 1. Collect Information

It is estimated that 20 million Americans, mostly men, deal with shy bladder; for 2 million of them, is incapacitating.[3]

• Anxiety can cause the smooth muscles of the urethra to clamp down, making it impossible to produce urine, no matter how much you want to or how much you try. The thought that someone may be watching or listening or even aware of one's urination, can produce extreme anxiety in the person with a bashful bladder. In the mildest cases, men cannot void in a public urinal with others watching. In worst cases, men cannot void in any public facility and may have difficulty at home unless they are totally alone.

• Bashful bladder is different from the difficulty in voiding that occurs when a swollen prostate narrows the urethra.

Step 2. Engage the Energy

[A true tale] As the mind-altering effects of the plant took hold of me, I suddenly became terrified. I thought everyone was not only watching me, but that they could read my mind as well. My guide laughed: "They are only concerned with themselves. You are invisible to them. Set aside your big ego and your big wish to be the center of attention. You are just another human, doing human business. Laugh at your fear; send it away"

Step 3. Nourish and Tonify

• Be kind to your shy bladder with corn silk tea. If you canít get corn silk, the liquid from canned corn will have a similar effect.

• Be kind to your nerves with oatstraw infusion. Regular use of 2-4 cups a day will rebuild the nervous system, so you can handle far more stress with less anxiety.

Step 4. Stimulate/Sedate

A bottle of anxiety-relieving motherwort tincture in your pocket may make your bladder less shy. A dose of 1-2 droppersful, taken on your way to the toilet, will have fast results.

Step 5b. Use Drugs

More than half the men answering a recent survey said they were unable to produce a urine sample on demand for a drug test, especially if they were under surveillance to prevent contamination or substitution.[4]


Susun Weed
PO Box 64
NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Visit Susun Weed at: and
For permission to reprint this article, contact :

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women's health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at

This article is © copyright Susun S. Weed 2004 - Republished here with kind permission.

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material on this website/email is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.


pale leaves

Gaia's Garden Library
Non Fiction Section : Gaia's Garden Herblore | Susun S. Weed Articles | Articles and Musings
Fiction Section : Short Stories & Prose| As Told By Cat | Public Domain Texts| Poetry

Shop | Library | Gallery | Forum | Contact | Links