Top 20 Natural Remedies To Treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

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Home Remedies For UTI

Lower urinary tract infections often subside on their own in a few days, but if the symptoms are persistent, you can try natural remedies to treat them. Consume plenty of water, cranberry juice, cucumber, apple cider vinegar, ginger tea, and green tea. You can also use certain herbs such as uva ursi, buchu, and corn silk. Eat healthy foods, empty your bladder regularly, and maintain good personal hygiene.

If you have a lower urinary tract infection, even the thought of peeing might scare you. Such infections are not very severe and subside on their own in a few days, but if the annoying, painful symptoms persist for more than 2 days, try out some home remedies for some relief. If the symptoms don’t get better, see a doctor before it is too late.

Note: The symptoms of upper UTIs are different from those of lower UTIs, so they need medical supervision. The doctor may treat them with a course of antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection. You should not attempt to treat them using natural remedies.

Dietary Remedies For UTIs_Natural and Effective Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection

1. Chug 6–8 Glasses Of Water A Day

Whenever you develop UTI, the first thing you should do is to drink plenty of water. It will increase the production of urine so that you are able to flush bacteria out during urination. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to maintain your urinary health and to prevent recurring UTIs.1

2. Empty Your Bladder Regularly

Whenever you get the urge to pee, it is advisable to keep making those bathroom trips to empty your bladder. Even if you pee in small amounts each time, don’t hold it in. You should also make it a point to empty your bladder soon after having sex.2 Residual urine present in your bladder allows bacteria present in it to multiply and thrive, causing an infection.

3. Avoid Bladder Irritants

You should limit the intake of bladder irritants, such as caffeinated drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcoholic drinks when you suffer from UTI.3 You should allow your body to heal in order to fight infection.

4. Apply Heat On Your Abdomen

Lower urinary tract infections cause aches around your lower abdomen and pelvic region. Placing a heating pad on the affected region will soothe the symptom.4

5. Make Your Urine Acidic With Citrus Fruits

It is difficult for bacteria to thrive in an acidic environment. Citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, which increases the acidity of your urine, thus, inhibiting the growth of bacteria.5 You can also take vitamin C supplements, but you should consult your doctor before you do so.

6. Flush Bacteria Out With Cranberry Juice

Cranberry contains a phytochemical known as tannin, which reduces vaginal colonization of E. coli.6 It is high in vitamin C, and drinking its unsweetened juice flushes out bacteria from your urinary system and reduces recurrent UTIs.7

Note Of Caution: If you are on medication, consult your doctor before drinking cranberry juice as it interferes with certain types of medication, especially blood thinners.8

One of the active ingredients of cranberry is D-mannose, a type of sugar that prevents UTIs.9 Since you have to consume an excess of cranberry juice to have enough D-mannose in your system to fight UTIs, you can also go for D-mannose supplements. It is considered safe for most adults, but you should avoid taking it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

7. Load Up On Blueberry

Like cranberry, blueberry is rich in vitamin C that makes your urine hostile for bacteria. It also prevents E. Coli from sticking to the walls of your bladder, thus, allowing them to get flushed out easily during urination.10 You can eat it as a fruit or drink its juice.

8. Increase Your Natural Flora With Probiotics

The wall of a woman’s vagina is usually lined with lactobacilli, which acts as the body’s natural defense against infection.11 It prevents E. Coli from infecting the vagina, thus, treating and reducing the chances of UTI.12 Including probiotics in your diet will ensure a healthy supply of natural bacterial flora.

9. Ease The Burn With Baking Soda

  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water.
  • Stir the soda until it dissolves completely.
  • Drink the entire solution, preferably on an empty stomach.

When the burning sensation while peeing gets too much to bear, drink some baking soda. The burning sensation may be because of the high acidity of your urine. Baking soda is alkaline, so it will lessen the acidity of your urine or neutralize it.13 But don’t go overboard with it. Stick to 1 glass a day and don’t drink it for more than a week.

10. Refresh Yourself With Parsley Water

  • Boil 1 to 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Add a handful of fresh, chopped parsley or 2 tablespoons of dried parsley.
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it (hot or cold).

Apigenin, a major component of parsley, has diuretic, as well as, anti-inflammatory properties.14 Diuretics get rid of excess water from your body in the form of urine, which will flush the bacteria present in your bladder and urethra. The anti-inflammatory property of parsley will soothe the infection and will help your body heal.

11. Gulp Down Garlic-Infused Water

  • Crush 5 to 6 cloves of fresh garlic.
  • Soak them in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Drink the water throughout the day.

Garlic is a potent remedy for urinary tract infections. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties and immune-modulatory effects that help in the treatment of cystitis.15

12. Munch On Cucumbers

Cucumber is a juicy fruit and its seeds have diuretic properties.16 Eating cucumber throughout the day will encourage production to flush out harmful bacteria from your bladder and urethra.

13. Increase Your Intake Of Asparagus

The roots of asparagus have diuretic properties.17 The plant also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which are excellent for removing bacteria and healing your urinary system.18 You can chop it and use it in salads, you can stir fry it, or you can add it to soups.

14. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar On An Empty Stomach

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties.19 It will kill bacteria present in your urinary system to rid you of infection. You can mix 2 tablespoons of the vinegar to a glass of water and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.

15. Soothe Your Infection With Ginger Tea

  • Add 2 tablespoons of fresh crushed ginger to boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink 2 to 3 cups a day. Add honey for a better taste.

Ginger has antimicrobial properties that work against a variety of bacterial strains.20

While chewing on a piece of ginger will also have positive effects, it’s best to consume it as a tea to treat your UTI. The more liquid you drink, the faster you flush out UTI bacteria.

16. Ease Your Urinary Woes With Sips Of Green Tea

  • Add a tablespoon of green tea to warm water.
  • Let it soak for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it.

Catechin is a component of green tea which has antimicrobial properties. Green tea also has diuretic properties to help flush out the bacteria from your urinary system.21 You can sip 4 to 5 cups of warm green tea throughout the day.

17. Fight Those Germs With Horseradish

  • Add 1 tablespoon of grated fresh horseradish to 1 glass warm water or apple cider vinegar.
  • Add a teaspoon of honey to it. Drink it.

Horseradish has an antimicrobial effect that comes in handy when you are suffering from a UTI. It contains a compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which gets rid of a wide range of bacteria, including E. Coli, the main cause of urinary tract infections.22 23

Tip: Horseradish should be fresh or it might not be as effective in treating UTI.

17. Use Uva Ursi Herb As A Drink Or A Douche

  • Add chopped fresh uva ursi to a glass of boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it or let it cool and douche your urethra with it.

Uva ursi, also known as bearberry or wild cranberry, has antiseptic and astringent properties that are useful in treating UTIs. You can drink it as tea or you can use it to douche your urethra.24

Tip: Drink 2 cups of the tea per day for a maximum of 5 days because it is potentially harmful to the liver.

18. Drink Buchu Tea To Heal Your Urinary System

  • Boil a glass of water. Remove it from the flame (buchu should not be boiled).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of dried buchu to it and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink 1 to 2 cups a day.

Buchu, also known as bookoo or bucco, is a herb that is very effective in treating urinary tract disorders.25 It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties that cleanse and heal your urinary tract.26

Tip: Add equal amount of uva ursi to make the drink more effective.

19. Treat UTI With Corn Silk Tea

  • Add 2 tablespoons of dried corn silk to a glass of boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it.

Corn silk has antiseptic and diuretic properties. It is effective in treating UTIs when you drink it as tea.27

Tip: Consult your doctor if you are under medication as corn silk may interfere with the effects of some medicines.

20. Ease Urination With Marshmallow Root

  • Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh marshmallow root to a glass of boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain it and drink it warm.

No, we are not talking about the sugary marshmellows but the root they are made of. Marshmallow root has diuretic properties, which make them good for treating kidney stones as well. Since marshmellow root has a thick, gluey consistency, it eases the passing of urine.28 You can drink it as a tea 2 to 3 times a day.

Practice Good Personal Hygiene To Prevent UTI

Prevention is always better than cure. Maintaining proper personal hygiene is crucial in preventing UTIs.

If you are a woman, always wipe from front to back, especially after defecating.29 This reduces the chances of bacteria from your bowels entering your urethra. You should help children inculcate this habit from a very young age.

Change your sanitary napkins regularly, avoid taking long bubble baths, and do not use perfumed products near your urethra.30 Keeping it clean and dry down there prevent an infection.

Both men and women should wear breathable underwear and should shower regularly to prevent the build up of bacteria near the urethra.31

References   [ + ]

1. Eating, Diet, and Nutrition. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
2. Cystitis. National Health Service.
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4. Bladder Infection (Urinary Tract Infection — UTI) in Adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
5. Hill, Timothy C., Richard Baverstock, Kevin V. Carlson, Eric P. Estey, Gary J. Gray, Denise C. Hill, Chester Ho, Rosemary H. McGinnis, Katherine Moore, and Raj Parmar. Best practices for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infection in the spinal cord injured population: The Alberta context. Canadian Urological Association Journal. 2013.
6. Franco AV. Recurrent urinary tract infections. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2005.
7. Hisano, Marcelo, Homero Bruschini, Antonio Carlos Nicodemo, and Miguel Srougi. Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics 67. 2012.
8. Paeng, Christine H., Michael Sprague, and Cynthia A. Jackevicius. Interaction between warfarin and cranberry juice. Clinical therapeutics. 2007.
9. Kranjčec, Bojana, Dino Papeš, and Silvio Altarac. D-mannose powder for prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a randomized clinical trial. World journal of urology. 2014.
10. Fereidoon Shahidi, Cesarettin Alasalvar.  Handbook of Functional Beverages and Human Health. CRC Press. 2016.
11. Borchert, D., L. Sheridan, A. Papatsoris, Z. Faruquz, J. M. Barua, I. Junaid, Y. Pati, F. Chinegwundoh, and N. Buchholz. Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infection with probiotics: Review and research perspective. Indian Journal of Urology2008.
12. Grin, Peter M., Paulina M. Kowalewska, W. Alhazzan, and Alison E. Fox-Robichaud. Lactobacillus for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in women: meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Urology. 2013.
13. Cystitis. Better Health Channel. Victoria State Government.
14, 15. Mansour, Anthony, Essa Hariri, Samar Shelh, Ralph Irani, and Mohamad Mroueh. Efficient and cost-effective alternative treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections and interstitial cystitis in women: a two-case report. Case reports in medicine 2014.
16. Ciuman, Raphael Richard. Phytotherapeutic and naturopathic adjuvant therapies in otorhinolaryngology. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. 2012.
17. Alok, Shashi, Sanjay Kumar Jain, Amita Verma, Mayank Kumar, Alok Mahor, and Monika Sabharwal. Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 2013.
18. Negi, J. S., P. Singh, G. P. Joshi, M. S. Rawat, and V. K. Bisht. Chemical constituents of Asparagus. Pharmacognosy reviews2010.
19. Atik, Derya, Cem Atik, and Celalettin Karatepe. The Effect of External Apple Vinegar Application on Varicosity Symptoms, Pain, and Social Appearance Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016.
20. Karuppiah, Ponmurugan, and Shyamkumar Rajaram. Antibacterial effect of Allium sativum cloves and Zingiber officinale rhizomes against multiple-drug resistant clinical pathogens. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine2012.
21. Reygaert, Wanda, and Ilir Jusufi. Green tea as an effective antimicrobial for urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli. Frontiers in microbiology2013.
22. Wu, Hua, Guo‐An Zhang, Shuiyun Zeng, and Kai‐chun Lin. Extraction of allyl isothiocyanate from horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) and its fumigant insecticidal activity on four stored‐product pests of paddy. Pest management science. 2009.
23. Hasumura, Mai, Toshio Imai, Young-Man Cho, Makoto Ueda, Masao Hirose, Akiyoshi Nishikawa, and Kumiko Ogawa. Toxic effects of a horseradish extract and allyl isothiocyanate in the urinary bladder after 13-week administration in drinking water to F344 rats. The Journal of toxicological sciences2011.
24. Herbal Remedies For Healing With Home Remedies. Speedy Publishing. 2014.
25. Herbal Remedies For Healing With Home Remedies. Speedy Publishing. 2014.
26, 28. Ding, Jane, and Leonie Perera. Polyuria and ‘watery wee’in a toddler. BMJ case reports 2012.
27. Caroline D. Greene. Permanently Beat Urinary Tract Infections. 2012.
29. Al-Badr, Ahmed, and Ghadeer Al-Shaikh. Recurrent urinary tract infections management in women: a review. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2013.
30. Das, Padma, Kelly K. Baker, Ambarish Dutta, Tapoja Swain, Sunita Sahoo, Bhabani Sankar Das, Bijay Panda et al. Menstrual hygiene practices, WASH access and the risk of urogenital infection in women from Odisha, India. PloS one. 2015.
31. Bladder Infection (Urinary Tract Infection — UTI) in Adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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