Today we will discuss some home remedies for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Urinary tract infection is also known as acute cystitis or simply bladder infection. It can either be a lower urinary tract infection, in which case it is known as simple cystitis, or it can be an upper urinary tract infection, in which case it is known as pyelonephritis or kidney infection.
Symptoms include burning feeling in the urinary tract, frequent need or urge to urinate, painful urination, pain or pressure in lower back and abdomen, cloudy, dark or strange smelling urine and fever or chills (extreme cases). Urinary tract infections are more common in women than men.
Urinary tract infections occur when the bladder and its exit tubes are infected by bacteria. Some of the causes behind UTI are pregnancy, menopause, sexual intercourse, waiting too long to urinate and diabetes. If lower tract infection is left on its own and not treated in time it can go up to the kidneys, infecting them. It is not always necessary to take antibiotics for treating UTI. The following home remedies are just as effective.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apart from being acidic and super beneficial for majority of digestive related problems as discussed in previous articles, apple cider vinegar is also a rich source of enzymes, potassium and other useful minerals that help in preventing bacteria causing UTI to stop from growing or multiplying. It serves as a natural antibiotic for treating urinary tract infections.
- In a glass of water, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Lemon and honey can also be added for taste and additional benefits.
- Mix well and drink this mixture twice a day for a few days.
2. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is rich in vitamin C. This helps in obstructing the UTI causing bacteria to grow. Not only is indian gooseberry effective for treating bedwetting and diabetes but also UTI.
- In a cup of water, add a teaspoon each of indian gooseberry powder and turmeric.
- Boil the mixture till only half a cup is left.
- Drink this mix thrice a day 3-5 times a day.
- Eating other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C also helps in treating UTI.
3. Cranberry Juice
Cranberries contains certain compounds like proanthocyanidins which is effective in stopping the bacteria from reaching to urethra thus preventing UTI. The cranberry juice is also known to have a mild anti-biotic effect. This is one of the tried, tested and most effective remedy for treating urinary tract infections.
- The best remedy for treating UTI is to drink a glass of cranberry juice daily. In fact my doctor recommended to have it once a month for a week or 5 days for cleansing reasons too, since women tend to have it often. This will prevent it.
- In case you do catch UTI, drink up to 3-4 glasses of cranberry juice daily. It will also prevent the infection from reaching the kidneys.
- The cranberry juice should be unsweetened though apple juice can be added for taste.
- You can also use herbal cranberry juice sachets available in pharmacies if you cannot get raw, fresh cranberry juice.
- Cranberry juice is not recommended if you have a history of kidney stones.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is also acidic but for treating UTI, it has a slightly different effect compared to apple cider vinegar. Baking soda raises the acid-base balance of the acidic urine, which burns, and helps alleviate the pain.
- Simply in glass of water, add a teaspoon of baking soda.
- Drink this 1-2 times a day.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known to have anti-bacterial properties not only making it effective treating bad breath and boils but also UTI.
- Simplest remedy would be to mix about 10 drops of tea tree oil in the bath water and washing the urethra opening with it.
- Another alternative is to soak in warm bath water mixed with 6 drops of tea tree oil and 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt.
- Repeat daily for 10 minutes for about 10 days.
- Also rubbing a mixture of equal amounts of tea tree oil, sandalwood and juniper oil, all over the abdominal region and near the bladder.
- This helps in alleviate the pain.
- To be repeated once a day for 3-4 days.
Blueberries too contain bacteria-inhibiting properties and anti-oxidants too making it great not just for preventing and treating UTI but also for the immune system.
- Best yummy remedy would be to have fresh blueberries daily with your cereal or breakfast.
- Having fresh blueberry juice without any sweeteners, daily; morning and night is just as effective.
- Fresh blueberries as part of daily diet helps preventing Urinary tract infections too.
Pineapple is known to contain an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties. Eating pineapples in combination of the prescribed antibiotics helps in healing the UTI faster.
- Like blueberries, having a cup of pineapple as a part of daily diet helps prevent UTIs
- Fresh pineapple juice is also effective. Canned one is not recommended for this purpose since it contains preservatives.
8. Uva Ursi
Uva Ursi is a natural anti-septic herb which contains a number of properties helpful in fighting infections including urinary tract infections.
- This herb can be found in pharmacies in supplement form.
- Taking it helps kill bacteria and stimulate the urination, cleansing the system.
- Pregnant, nursing women, children and those suffering from kidney or liver disease should not use this remedy.
9. Hot Water Compresses
Hot water compresses are very good for reducing the pain caused from UTI. It also helps in reducing the inflammation and prevent the growth of the bacteria. Not to forget, it also helps in minimizing the pressure from the bladder.
- Take a hot water bottle and fill it with hot water as per instructions.
- Place the bottle on the lower abdomen for a few minutes.
- Heating pad or hot towel etc. can also help if bottle in unavailable.
Hydration and water is very important to treat UTI. The more water you drink, the more you will urinate hence flushing out the bacteria and toxins quicker because the water will make it less concentrated. This will also help in faster healing. So water is a must with all the above remedies for faster healing.