7 Herbs To Help With Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the most common bacterial infection, accounting for about 7 million office visits and 1 million emergency department visits. Nearly 1 in 3 women will have at least one episode of UTI requiring antibiotic use before the age of 24 years (1).
Causes of bladder infections
Bacterial infections can take a hold, especially when health is poor. Bad nutrition, stress, and tiredness all increase susceptibility to infection. A high-sugar diet and alcohol binge-drinking can increase the chances of a bladder infection.
Poor personal hygiene and tight-fitting underwear can also cause infections.
The friction generated against a woman’s urethra during sexual intercourse can also cause infections. The best practice to prevent this from happening is by urinating after sex.
Top Herbs for healing the bladder
Used fresh, or dried as an infusion or tincture. Use it to provide anti-inflammatory relief from UTIs and kidney stones. Its diuretic (ability to increase passing of urine) properties help to dilute the concentration of urine.
Perhaps the most commonly used herb to treat urinary tract and bladder infections. Cranberry juice extracted from the crushed red berries cleanses the urinary tract. It is particularly effective at treating the E. coli bacterial infection of the bladder by binding to the bacteria and preventing them from proliferating (2).
This herb is a member of the lily family and it is rich in steroidal saponins that are anti-inflammatory and bind to bacterial toxins in the urinary system(3).
A tincture prepared from this perennial grass has soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. Its gentle diuretic action dilutes the concentration of urine, protecting the urinary tract from infection and inflammation.
Rich in mucilage compounds that act to soothe the lining of the urinary tract. Marshmallow should be taken as a decoction or tincture to decrease inflammation associated with bladder infections.
Native to Europe and northern Asia, where it grows on hillsides and meadows. Its aerial parts are harvested to make a tincture. Goldenseal has diuretic properties and tones the muscles of bladder walls, it contains saponin compounds, which also have anti-fungal actions.
Is a urinary astringent, reducing bleeding and inflammation. It also speeds the repair of damaged tissues and improves the strength and elasticity of the bladder wall.
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**If your symptoms persist for more than 3 days or you develop a fever, please consult with your primary care provider.**
(1) Foxman, B. (2002). Am J Med, suppl 1A, 5s-13s.
(2) Sobota AE. Inhibition of bacterial adherence by cranberry juice: potential use for the treatment of urinary tract infections. J Urol. 1984;131:1013–6.
Balch, P.A. (2002). Prescription for herbal healing. New York, NY. Avery.
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism. Rochester, VT. Healing Arts Press.