Doctors generally prescribe a 7-10 day course of antibiotics to treat UTIs. There are a number herbs that may be helpful for UTIs, as well as to help prevent future UTIs or the reoccurrence of the UTI. However please make sure you consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner and your GP, and make sure they are aware of all your medications, as some herbs may interact with prescription medications.
Please increase your daily intake of water. It is one of the first thing doctors will tell you to do, but it is vital when you have a UTI to drink adequate amounts of water. Drinking water helps flush away the bacteria. Drink 6 - 8 glasses of clean, filtered water daily.
Avoid the four C’s: chocolate, citrus, carbonated drinks, and caffeine. Remember if you struggle frequently with UTIs, than these are 4 things that you should regularly avoid. The reason behind this is all of them can irritate the lining of the bladder, and this may make it easier for bacteria to stick to the bladder walls. Also note that because of the acidity of most citrus, they will increase the acidity of your urine, which will make it even more painful to pee.
Very important, cut out all sources of sugar. Including sucrose, fructose and so forth, as certain bacteria’s that causes the UTI feed on sugars.
Cranberry extract works well as a preventative measure because it prevents the bacteria e. coli from attaching to bladder wall and urinary tract lining. Though pure cranberry capsules are the best choice, if this is not an option then pure cranberry juice with no added sugar is a good second choice. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice regularly can help lower the risk of UTIs. Please consult your GP if you are on blood thinners and considering cranberry supplements, as there is some indication that cranberry supplements may increase the risk of bleeding.
Eat good quality organic yoghurt, which contains probiotics, which is the good bacteria that helps to keep bad bacteria that can cause UTIs at bay, particularly important when you’re taking an antibiotic for UTI treatment, which destroy your body’s good bacteria. The alternative is to take probiotic supplements, but ensure that it is a formulation that has live bacteria to repopulate the system.
You may find some relief from some of the following taking some of the following herbs.
The first to recommend is Urva-ursi, which works as an anti-inflammatory. Look for Urva-ursi, in a standardized extract, 250 - 500 mg 3 times. Consult your health care practitioner and GP before commencing any treatment.
The second recommendation is Dandelion, which may increase urine production and help flush out the bladder. When combined with Urva-ursi and taken orally the combination is also proving effective at preventing the reoccurrence of bladder infections. Consult your health care practitioner and GP before commencing any treatment as Dandelion may interact with a number of medications antibiotics and blood thinners.
The third recommendation is Buchu is a South African plant, with antibacterial effects, which is proving great at treating bladder infections. The recommended dosage is up to 200 mg 1 - 3 times daily, it can also be used in tea from to provide relief, if the capsules are not an option. Please be aware that buchu may interact with blood thinning medications. Consult your health care practitioner and GP before commencing any treatment.
And finally in addition to the above, Goldenseal and Oregon grape root are excellent as “natural antibiotics” and may help your body in the fight against the common bacteria that causes UTIs.
On to the dietary measures, which can be adopted. It is important to make sure that you are eating a diet that includes antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers). The next pointer is to increase the fibre in your diet, by eating high fibre foods, such as beans, oats, potatoes, whole-wheat pasta and psyllium seed. It is also important to use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil (do not heat over 180 degrees Celsius) or even better coconut oil (which can be heated up to 300 degrees Celsius).
Next avoid any processed and refined foods, such as white bread, pastas, and especially any that are high in sugar, like donuts and pastries. Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet and focus on eating more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu or miso. Finally try to remove any sources of trans-fatty acids, found in baked goods like biscuits, crackers, cakes and margarines from your diet.
If you are a frequent UTI sufferer consider the following:
- Supplement with a multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
- Supplement with a good quality probiotic that has 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, for preservation of gut and immune health.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice on a regular basis.
- Some herbal supplements like buchu, urva-ursi, dandelion and milkthistle may help strengthen and tone the body's systems. Try them in teas and follow the directions.
Please ensure that as many of the herbs discussed above may interact with medications, you discuss any herbal therapies with your doctor and or qualified healthcare practitioner before you considering using the therapy.
About The Author:
After eight years in the retail side of the health industry, much accumulation of knowledge and information I changed industries completely and gone back to my graphic design roots. I still wish to help inform people on natural alternatives, as well as help people when they are choosing to use natural alternatives to treat disorders, diseases and distresses.
(Read more posts by Charlie)