Bed wetting (nocturnal enuresis) in children, is a condition when a child passes urine unknowingly during sleep at night. Generally babies urinate round the clock, and later make a transition into urinating during waking hours only. Majority of toddlers stay dry all night by age four. Beyond age five, one out of five still wets the bed, but at six, the numbers drop to just one in ten, and by the time children reach puberty bed-wetting stops completely. If a child continues to bed-wet beyond the age five, parents are advised to discuss the matter with the doctor about the possible cause and treatment.
Common causes for bed-wetting:
An early attempt for bladder training, excessive fluid intake during late evening, delayed bladder maturation, excessive sweet foods at night, excess sleep, emotional immaturity, conflict between parents or among siblings, sense of insecurity, nightmares, stress or anxiety, urinary tract infection or diabetes are various reasons for bed-wetting in children.
Studies have also shown that often, parents of children who bed-wet had also faced the same problem during their younger days. So the reason for bed wetting may be hereditary too.
It is better to first find out if the reason for bed wetting is physical or emotional, and should be correctly treated. Initially, try taking some precautionary measures like not giving too much water or fluids close to bed time, ensuring that the child urinates before going to bed, and to make the child wake up in the night at least once to visit the toilet.
If the reason behind bed wetting is psychological, counselling should form the main course of treatment. Firstly, do not make the child feel guilty about it, else, they will continue to wet more and more. They should be told that it is only a temporary problem, and can be brought under control. To encourage the child, reward the child when he/she does not wet the bed, as it would boost her confidence.
Ayurveda suggests de-worming as in many cases, treatment for intestinal worms have provided relief. Medicinal herbs such as Shilajit, Khadira, Hareetaki, Guggulu, Shati, Haridra, Chandraprabha vati, Triphala choorna, can provide relief.
Sarshapa in powdered form is advised with half a cup of milk at bed time. Most Ayurvedic remedies to treat bed-wetting aim to strengthen the nervous system and urinary tract.
Ayurvedic Home remedies
If constipation is the cause of bed wetting, then treatment for constipation should be adopted as a patient’s bowels should be clear, so that it does not put undue pressure on the bladder, and to avoid problems of intestinal worms. Food that cause constipation and spicy food should be avoided.
A pinch of turmeric, with 2 pinch of Amla (Indian gooseberry) powder can be taken together with honey twice a day, for effective relief from bed wetting.
Fresh juice of the root of Bimbi (coccine fruit) can be mixed (2 -3 ml) in 3-4ml of honey and administered to children.
A mixture of jiggery, black sesame seeds and celery seeds can be added to a cup of milk and offered to the child every morning, as the mixture has warming effect on the body. Therefore, this is best given during winter time, when bed wetting is frequent.
Mix oak bark, barberry and horsetail in small amounts in a pan of boiling water, and boil this for about two hours at low speed. You can give this herbal tea to your child twice a day and a cup of tea an hour before bed time. Consuming this herbal tea on regular basis will reduce bed wetting issues considerably.
Note: It is very important for parents to understand that children do not bed-wet intentionally. They have no control over this situation, and hence, do not make them feel guilty by being angry or acting disgusted. Try to be supportive and encouraging, as far as possible.