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Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract: Natural Home Remedy for Overactive Bladder Control

Updated on October 17, 2017
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What Is Pumpkin Seed Extract?

For centuries pumpkin seeds have been used to stimulate overall health and prevent excessive urination in men and women. In Europe today, pumpkin seed extract is a particularly common in natural remedy for overactive bladder (OAB) and urinary incontinence (UI). Pumpkin seeds have been used for treating urinary problems in Europe for over 500 years. Native Americans also used the seeds for urinary disorders, and health agencies in Germany have approved pumpkin seed treatments for irritable bladder and other urinary symptoms caused by enlarged prostate in men.

The seeds are pressed and the oils (fats) in the seeds are extracted to be used for medicinal and culinary purposes. There are basically two types of pumpkin seed extract: oil soluble extract and water soluble extract. Studies have been performed to test out both types, but the water soluble pumpkin seed extract clearly outperforms the oil soluble extract for urinary problems.

What Causes Women To Lose Bladder Control?

Frequent urination and leakage in women is thought to be primarily due to weakened or atrophied bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Lowered levels of naturally occurring anabolic hormones is probably responsible for the atrophied (shrunken) pelvic muscles in post-menopausal women, but younger women may also experience these symptoms, particularly after giving birth, having weakened pelvic muscles.

Pumpkin Seed Oil Extract Studies

A study published in Nutrition Research and Practice found that men suffering from leaky bladder and urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate gland showed increased bladder control by using pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto oil or an combination of the two. This was a 12-month, double-blind, controlled study.

A 12-week study published in the Japanese Journal of Traditional Complementary Medicine in 2014 found that pumpkin seed oil extracted from the pumpkin species Cucurbita maxima – which is widely consumed in Japan – significantly reduced overactive bladder symptoms in the 45 human subjects. The researchers concluded that pumpkin seed oil extract is an effective natural treatment for OAB.

How Does Pumpkin Seed Help To Fight Incontinence?

Compounds in pumpkin seeds have an anabolic (muscle-building) effect on the urinary tract muscles by blocking catabolic enzymes and stimulating nitric oxide production in the body. These actions can help create an environment in the human body that is conducive to muscle strengthening, and over time this can promote greater levels of bladder control in women with urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

Pumpkin seed extract can also have benefits for men suffering from excessive urge to urinate due to an enlarged prostate. It may not be able to actually reduce an enlarged prostate, but it can help to alleviate the basic symptoms by reducing inflammation and irritation of the urinary tract tissues, reducing the need to urinate as frequently.

Possible Pumpkin Seed Oil Side Effects

The University of Michigan Health System found no reported side effects of pumpkin seed oil, but pumpkin seeds themselves – like many other varieties of edible seeds – have been known to cause digestive problems for some people. It is not recommended to use pumpkin seed extract during pregnancy or if lactating.

Any herbal medicine – just like any conventional pharmaceutical – can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Always consult your physician before trying any new medication or herbal supplement to be aware of any possibly harmful interactions with other medications you are taking.

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Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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