Cut tea out of the diet is a common piece of advice you’ll come across in your hunt for bedwetting cures. But is the conventional wisdom correct, or do we need to take a fresh look at tea?
Tea and Bedwetting
Tea is often labelled as a bad choice for children or adults who wet the bed. Black tea contains caffeine, and while the levels may be relatively small in comparison to coffee, this can be problematic.
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the bladder to produce more urine. If a person is struggling to control their bladder at night it therefore makes sense to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks in the few hours before bedtime.
But of course, not all tea is caffeinated. While it may be wise to avoid black tea, various herbal teas might actually be beneficial in moderation.
Causes of Bedwetting
Bedwetting is often thought of as the main problem, but it may in fact be the side effect of another condition or indeed a physical symptom of an emotional problem.
Nocturnal enuresis (the clinical term for bedwetting) is commonly associated with times of emotional stress and discomfort, particularly in children. Grief, stress of divorce, bullying and any number of other problems may be the root cause of bedwetting.
Alternatively, bedwetting may be a symptom of another problem, such as constipation. You shouldn’t try to self-diagnose, or diagnose your child, always look to a medical professional to confirm that this is the case.
But in either circumstance, herbal teas can have a massive impact, whether it’s by easing tension and soothing the drinker or helping to ease the root cause of the problem.
Herbal Teas that Can Help Bedwetters
The use of St John’s Wort as an antidepressant and treatment for stress may be common, but should not be taken without first consulting a medical professional. Look instead to calming blends of herbs such as chamomile, lavender or fennel to aid relaxation.
Chamomile has been used for centuries and recent studies have confirmed the many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and mild sedative properties. Lavender has similar soothing properties.
Fennel can be diuretic, so it isn’t advised before bedtime, but the calming effect on the nervous system may help instil a general sense of calm. It also relieves problems with digestion, which can be helpful if a physical problem such as constipation is causing the bedwetting.
Choosing teas such as ginger or mint, can also help to resolve digestive discomfort. That may be causing or aggravating bedwetting. Ginger is often used to help the digestive system, easing upset stomachs and reducing nausea. Mint, as well as curing digestion, is a mild sedative.
So, while black tea may be a bad choice for bedwetters, not all tea is the same. Some teas may be hugely beneficial for enuresis sufferers, so whether you need help or are helping your child or partner, investigate whether there’s an herbal tea to help you.
Katie Saxon works with Starr Medical, UK-based suppliers of bedwetting alarms and other bedwetting products.