In normal circumstances, the immune mechanism of the body protects the urinary system from bacterial invasion. Occasionally, owing to various reasons this natural defense mechanism of the urinary tracts breaks down, increasing the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).
UTI can develop in any person, regardless of gender and age. However, owing to the anatomy of the urinary tract, women are more likely to develop UTI.Although the symptoms of the infection subside within a week when treated with antibiotics, in a large number of cases, the infection recurs within six months. Frequent urinary tract infections can be alleviated with herbal remedies.
Best Herbal Remedies For UTI
Uva ursi is an evergreen shrub, found in the alpine forests of Europe, North America and Asia. Before the discovery of antibiotics, this medicinal herb was widely used for treating urinary tract infections.Uva ursi owes its antibacterial property to the compounds called hydroquinone and arbutin. Tannins are responsible for the astringent property of the herb, which helps to reduce the inflammation, thereby enhancing the infection fighting property of uva ursi.
Cranberry is an indigenous plant of North America. In folk medicines, cranberry juice is recommended for treating urinary tract infections.Cranberry juice is especially effective in preventing recurrent infections in the urinary tract. The acidic components in cranberry slightly lowers the alkalinity of the urine, thereby creating an acidic environment unsuitable for the survival of the bacteria.By preventing the bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, cranberry prevents further infections. In addition, vitamin C present in the berries helps to strengthen the immune system.
Goldenseal possesses antibacterial properties. A compound called berberine present in the herb can kill several types of bacteria, including the E. coli bacterium responsible for urinary tract infection. However, goldenseal should not be taken for a prolonged period. It can interact with anticoagulants and medicines that are processed by the liver.
Horsetail is used as a herbal remedy for urinary tract infection. It is especially useful for treating stones that obstruct urine movement. Bacteria might grow in the urine trapped in urinary tract, leading to urinary tract infection. The diuretic property of horsetail helps to flush out the stones from the urinary tract by increasing the urine output.
Marshmallow root helps to soothe the mucus membrane of the urinary tract following an infection. In folk medicine, it is recommended for removing stones from the urinary tract. People suffering from urinary tract infection can drink tea prepared with marshmallow root several times, daily.
The fine threads found in corns are known as corn silk or zea mays. Corn silk can reduce the discomfort caused by urinary tract infection. It can reduce the frequent urge to urinate that occurs in people suffering from urinary tract infection when they can’t empty the bladder.
Echinacea can kill a wide range of microbes. It can be used for treating infections in the urinary tract. People with UTI can drink a cup of Echanicea tea two to three times a day.