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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Parsley for Enuresis (Bed-Wetting)

Oftentimes a child who has been out of diapers will still wet the bed at night, even years after being potty trained. What can you do as a parent to remedy this? The first option is not to “fix” it at all, and simply wait it out. Your child will eventually outgrow this habit. Many times a child is an incredibly deep sleeper, and doesn’t realize when he’s wetting the bed, or even notice he’s wet until he wakes in the morning. Sometimes the bladder is underdeveloped and needs more time to grow.

Though bedwetting can be an inconvenience, it is imperative that a child is never reprimanded or made to feel guilty for wetting the bed. It isn’t something he is doing on purpose, and getting upset or angry with him will only make matters worse for your child’s physical and emotional well being, as well as being detrimental to your relationship with him.

There are many natural remedies for bedwetting, but only one worked for us.

We tried many natural remedies with my son. (He was almost 6 years old at this time, so had been wetting the bed at night for four years after being completely potty trained during the day.) I first tried waking him up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom, but that didn’t work. Then we tried the homeopathic remedy “BeDry”, which didn’t work either. Next on the list, I rubbed olive oil and lavender essential oil on his belly every night. After that failed, we started supplementing his diet with foods rich in nutrients his body may have been lacking, to strengthen his bladder muscles (vitamins B2 and B5, calcium and magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid and zinc). In the end, the only solution that worked was parsley, believe it or not!

Got Parsley?

The book Prescription for Nutritional Healing recommends several types of herbs, including buchu, corn silk, oat straw, parsley and/or plantain. Not feeling like driving to the health food store that particular day, I chose the only one that was available at the local grocery store: Parsley. The book suggests giving the child parsley (or any of the other herbs listed above) around 3 p.m. so it would have time to absorb into the body’s system. So we tried that. And it worked beautifully! Sometimes I would miss the 3:00 mark, but I always got to it by 5:00 p.m., and never had a problem. What the book didn’t mention was how much to use, so I just winged it. (I haven’t measured it, but we use about the amount of fresh or frozen parsley that would fit in a single layer covering the palm of your hand…unless you’re an NBA player, in which case you may want to use a tad less. ;)

How long should you continue this daily ritual? We did it for a month. When we stopped with the parsley, the bedwetting never came back. It was a done deal. During that month, my son wet the bed twice (on Day 4 and Day 9). So for the last three weeks of the month, he was dry every night/morning. We probably didn’t need to continue with the parsley for an entire month, but I didn’t know how long it would take to “train” his system. (Don’t ask me how the parsley works in “training” the body to quit wetting at night, even after the parsley is no longer taken…I have no idea how it does what it does!)

Here’s a quick tip on getting your child to eat parsley. I tried feeding my son (and later, my daughter) fresh parsley and they would eat it, but weren’t overly thrilled about the taste. Parsley wilts quickly in the fridge, so I decided to freeze it. I was surprised to find that when my kids ate the frozen parsley, they actually begged for more every time! To freeze it, just buy a bunch of fresh parsley and rinse well, separating the leaves from the stems and draining the leaves on a dishcloth or paper towels as you work. Place the leaves into a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. (The leaves don’t have to be bone-dry, the kids actually like the little crystals of “snow” that appear on the moistened leaves, but you just want to avoid having a block of ice at the bottom of your container made from a puddle of water at the bottom.)

Want a second opinion?

My daughter, (who is now 2 years old and potty trained during the day) doesn’t like to wear diapers, so we have begun giving her parsley too. It’s working like a charm. Strangely enough, she has also wet the bed only on days 4 & 9. However, on Day 4 it was only because I had forgotten to give her parsley the night before. It’s now been 2 weeks. I’ll update the article at the end of the month with her results!

Quick Recap:

Who: A child who is interested in not wetting the bed at night anymore.
What: An (single layer) adult palm full of parsley (fresh or frozen)
Where: I’d say the kitchen, but that’s your call.
When: Daily, between 3-5 p.m.
Why: No more diapers, dry bed, dry pajamas, happy child, etc.
How long: About a month.

Of course every child is different, and this may or may not work for everyone. But since it worked beautifully with both of my children, I thought I’d share our experiences. You gotta love it when the most simple and naturally safe remedy is the one that works!

Disclaimer: The information gained on NaiaLily.com should not be construed as medical advice. Naia Lily is not a medical professional and will not be held responsible for any physical outcome resulting from advice taken from this site (unless, of course, it helped beautifully!). Readers take responsibility for their own health and health of their children.

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