Anyone can get a bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI), even though they are more common in women than in men or children. Research indicates that one in three women develops a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria such as E.coli enter the urinary tract through the urethra and start multiplying and growing in the bladder. Although the infection affects the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra, most infections are located in the lower urinary tract regions such as the bladder and the urethra. If not treated promptly, the infection can spread to the kidneys, leading to serious complications. Common Urinary tract infection causes includes improper hygiene and resulting infection. Many people have to hold on to peeing sensation, often during travel or due to unavailability of toilets; this may cause UTI.
What are urinary tract infection symptoms? If you are experiencing one of the below, you might be having urinary tract infection
- Frequent urination
- Pain during urination or accompanied with spasms or small volumes of urine being passed
- Cloudy, dark or strange-smelling urine
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent depression and anxiety are amongst indirect urinary tract infection symptoms in women
- Blood traces in urine
- Fever is one of the common symptoms of urinary tract infection
Home remedies for urinary tract infection
Living with a urinary tract infection can be very painful and most of the time the treatment is done with the help of antibiotics. Majority of the patients may not be aware of the various easy natural remedies for urinary tract infection that can be effectively tried at home. This article explains some of these remedies that can help get relief from UTI. Then why search over the counter urinary tract infection medicine!
Drink plenty of water
One of the most important things to do when you have UTI is to increase the amount of fluids that you drink. Concentrated urine is highly acidic, which can cause immense pain when you pass urine during a bladder infection. Water helps in diluting your urine as well as in getting rid of the bacteria in your bladder. Diluted urine does not cause the painful and burning sensation. While taking fluids, try to avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, etc. because caffeine can irritate your bladder.
Read more about amazing benefits of water
Even though it can feel painful and uncomfortable, frequent urination is an important part of recovering from urinary tract infections. Whenever you feel the urge to pee, you should do it. Holding in urine increases the chances of growth and multiplication of bacteria, leading to infections. Frequent urination is helpful in flushing out these bacteria and in curing UTI.
Cranberry juice and urinary tract infections
Research indicates that drinking cranberry juice could help in preventing bacteria from causing a urinary tract infection. According to studies, the active compounds that are found in cranberry juice fight against different types of bacteria, including E. coli. The essential substances in cranberry juice reach the urinary tract and prevent the adhesion of bacteria within a period of eight hours.
Probiotics for urinary tract infection natural treatment
Probiotics are rich in good bacteria that help to keep bad bacteria under check and thus keep UTIs at bay. The ability of probiotics to control UTIs has long been studied and clinical evidence suggests that they are highly beneficial. Probiotic bacteria such as lactobacilli improve the urogenital health through methods such as immune modulation and reduction in the adhesion of pathogens. Studies suggest that probiotics have a good safety profile and can be beneficial in preventing the recurrence of UTIs in women. Regular consumption of yogurt is been traditionally recommended.
Read more about benefits of probiotics
Apply a heating pad to relieve pain
The inflammation caused by the UTIs can lead to burning pain and uneasiness. Applying a heating pad over the bladder can help soothe the pain. Take care to keep the heat setting low and place a towel beneath the pad to avoid burning yourself. Alternately you can try a warm compress as well.
Vitamin C against UTIs
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is another effective remedy for urinary tract infections. This nutrient gets rid of urinary tract infection in two ways – by enhancing the immune system of the body and by making the urine more acidic, thereby helping to destroy the bacteria. Eating foods such as berries, citrus fruits, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red pepper, tomatoes, and spinach can supply your body with adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Urinary tract infection home remedies using baking soda
Although baking soda and water may not be a tasty option, it has been found to be effective in reducing the severity of urinary tract infections. Drinking a combination of baking soda and water can help reduce the frequent urges to urinate and also sooth the burning pain. Baking soda is alkaline in nature, which can lower the acidity of your urine and hence reduces the pain and burning sensation during urination when you are suffering from a UTI.
Try eating cucumbers
A cucumber is not only healthy for your body, but is also a great remedy for a variety of health problems including urinary tract infections. As you all know, cucumbers are packed with water and so eating this amazing vegetable hydrates your body, which is absolutely essential when you are suffering from a bladder infection.
Parsley water relieves UTI
Parsley water is a wonderful diuretic that can help relieve a urinary tract infection. Diuretics help in preventing water retention by increasing the frequency of urination. Increased urination means that a lot of the infection causing bacteria will be flushed out along with the urine. To make parsley water, all you have to do is boil fresh or dried parsley in water for about 8 to 10 minutes. Strain this solution and drink it.
Celery seeds against UTI
Celery seeds are also powerful diuretics, just like parsley water. It also contains a compound known as butylphthalide that has potent antimicrobial properties. Chew a handful of celery seeds two times a day after meals. This will help in increasing the production of urine and in eliminating the harmful bacteria.
Get rid of UTI by drinking ginger tea
Ginger is an effective home remedy for curing urinary tract infection. This root vegetable exhibits strong medicinal properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, which help in reducing inflammation, pain and the growth of bacteria that cause the infection. Ginger can block the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are hormone like substances that are responsible for many biological processes including inflammation and the transmission of pain. Thus by blocking these substances, ginger helps in reducing pain and inflammation. Ginger tea can be made by boiling ginger in a glass of water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Sage : natural cure for urinary tract infection
Sage is another herb that is found to be effective in treating urinary tract infections. This herb shows antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, astringent and carminative properties. These properties make sage beneficial in reducing inflammation and in treating UTI.
Blueberries and UTIs
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that blueberries may be beneficial in preventing urinary tract infections. It contains large amounts of vitamin C that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. A cup of raw blueberries can provide you with almost 15 milligrams of vitamin C. According to studies, blueberries contain certain compounds known as proanthocyanidins that prevent the adhesion of bacteria on to the walls of the urinary tract. Drinking blueberry juice is also offers similar benefits because the fluids in the juice help in flushing out the bacteria.
Horseradish eliminates Urinary infections
Horseradish is a medicinal plant that belongs to the cabbage family and is popular for its sinus-clearing properties. It contains a natural compound known as allyl isothiocyanate or AITC that has strong antimicrobial effects. This compound is bactericidal in nature, meaning it kills the bacteria right away. AITC destroys bacteria by attacking its cellular membrane, thus making it impossible to survive.
Lemon and cream of tartar
Lemon is high in vitamin C and hence is helpful in improving your immunity as well as in destroying bacteria. A mixture of tartar cream in lemon juice is an age old remedy for treating urinary tract infection. Cream of tartar has the ability to change the pH of urine, which destroys the natural environment of the bacteria, thus making it difficult for the bacteria to thrive in. This property of tartar cream combined with the antibacterial properties of lemon juice works wonders for eliminating UTI naturally.
Pineapple destroys bacteria
Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain that can help reduce inflammation and may even destroy the bacteria responsible for the infection. You can eat the fruit, drink its juice or add it to smoothies and have natural treatment for urinary tract infection
Indian gooseberry juice restricts bacterial growth
The juice of Indian gooseberry is rich in vitamin C and hence can help eliminate bacteria and bring relief from urinary tract infections. Extract the juice from these berries using a juicer and drink it 2 to 3 times a day. Gooseberry is also loaded with plenty of other nutrients that benefit your overall health.
Garlic fights UTIs
Garlic, an aromatic used in cooking is considered a good remedy for treating urinary tract infection because of its strong medicinal properties. It contains an active ingredient called allicin that has been found to show antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies reveal that garlic is effective in destroying bacteria like E. coli bacteria that is responsible for causing urinary tract infections. In order to treat urinary tract infections it is advised that you consume three or four cloves of garlic daily.
Watermelon seed is diuretic in nature and helps in urine production. Watermelon seeds are used in treating urinary tract infections and bed wetting problem. Traditionally, an emulsion created by scrubbing and shaking watermelon seeds with water is used in treating catarrhal infections, disorders of the bowels, urinary passage, bed wetting and fever.
Coconut water for urinary tract infections
Coconut water is nature’s gift to mankind. Packed with nutrients and minerals, it is very close to our body fluid. It is a natural diuretic and so drinking it may help in clearing urinary tract infections. Regular consumption of coconut water prevents bladder infections.
Other ways to treat UTI
- Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinks with caffeine including alcohol, coffee should be avoided
- Proper hygiene is essential.
- Cleanse your genital area before and after sex. Urination after sex helps flush away any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
- Keep genital area dry. Prefer cotton loose fitting undergarments. Avoid tight jeans that trap moisture.
- Wipe from front to back
- Choose showers over baths.
Urinary tract infections, if left untreated can become very severe. Although antibiotics are the most common method of treatment, you will be surprised to know the efficacy of many of the natural and home remedies mentioned here in treating UTI. However, if you experience symptoms like high fever, vomiting or blood in urine, make sure to seek medical care as soon as possible.Image Credits: Flickr - Michael Coté