Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are usually caused by bacteria that travel from the urethra up to bladder, ureters and even kidneys. Infection of bladder is called cystitis, and infection of ureters and kidney is called as pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis is a more serious condition than cystitis.
UTI is more common in women. The reason for it is that the urethra is shorter in women. Risk factors for UTI are increased sexual activity, use of diaphragms for birth control, depressed immune system, urinary tract abnormalities, kidney stones, and use of catheters. UTI often does not cause any symptoms.
Symptoms can include strong and persistent urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating, frequent passing of small amounts of urine, cloudy urine, sometimes blood in urine, and pelvic or rectal pain. Sometimes you can have fever with shaking and chills. Some of the complications of untreated UTIs are permanent kidney damage, and giving birth to premature infants.
Herbal Remedies For UTI Infections
Cranberry juice is made from the berries of Vaccinium macrocarpon. It helps in treating UTI infections because it has mild antibiotic effects. The active ingredients having this property in cranberry juice are tannins or proanthocyanadins. Tannins prevent the attachment of bacteria to the cells in urinary tract. So, cranberry juice is more effective in preventing recurrence of UTI rather than treating an existing UTI. Nevertheless, it can prevent an existing UTI from getting worse. Drink around 300-600 ml of cranberry juice daily. You can also take it as 300-400 mg tablets twice daily.
You could also eat the cranberries directly along with your morning cereal. In some people, cranberry juice can cause mild stomach upset and diarrhea. It increases the risk of bleeding, so don’t drink this juice if you are taking blood-thinners such as aspirin and warfarin.
Goldenseal extract is made from the root of Hydrastis canadensis. It is effective in treating UTI because it contains the antibacterial chemical called berberine. Goldenseal is available as tablets, capsules, glycerites, and liquid extracts. Consult the product label for correct dosage. It is generally safe to use, but its long-term safety is not established. Use caution if you are having a heart ailment because goldenseal can raise your blood pressure. It should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The root and rhizome of Berberis aquifolium are used medicinally. The extract contains the active ingredient berberine. Berberine is an antibacterial chemical. Hence, Oregon grape is useful in treating UTI. Consult the product insert for the exact dose. It may cause allergic reactions in some people. It is unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is also unsafe in children.
The leaves of Arctostaphylos uva ursi (bearberry) are used medicinally. It contains the active ingredients arbutin, hydroquinone, and tannins, which help fight infection. It can be taken as capsules or tea. Its dose is 2-4 g per day or 3 cups of tea per day. Uva ursi can cause liver damage because it contains hydroquinone. Other side effects are breathing problems, eye problems, and convulsions. It is not safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Do not give it to children.
Blueberry juice helps in UTI by preventing the attachment of bacteria to the urinary tract walls. The chemicals that allow it to do this are anthocyanins and other phytochemicals. The juice is made from the berries of Vaccinium angustifolium.
You could also consume the berries directly by sprinkling them on your morning cereal. Blueberry is more effective at preventing than treating UTI. Some of its side effects are lowered blood sugar and increased risk of bleeding.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.