Fight UTI Using These Top Natural Remedies

How To Cure UTI

The urinary tract is majorly made up of organs which are involved in the process of excretion and micturition, that is in assimilating urine and excreting it out. These organs include a pair of kidneys, ureters,  urethra, and bladder.

A urinary tract infection is described as an infection of any or a combination of these organs. Mostly women suffer from these infections in the urethra and the bladder region,  commonly caused by Escherichia Coli (E. coli) or Staphylococcus saprophyticus(1), however not restricted to these pathogens.

Infection primarily affects the urinary tract and then as the severity increases, spreads across the urinary system that comprises the kidneys, then the urethra, the bladder and finally arresting the excretory system from functionality. The disease always tends to spread from the lower part of the tract and then spreads upward.

There are primarily two types of Urinary Tract Infection-

Lower Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is less severe as compared to the Upper UTIs; it can be treated with natural remedies.

However, that is not in the case of  Upper UTIs, as they require medical supervision and thus cannot be cured by naturopathic treatments.

Lower UTIs, on the other hand, can be cured and the remedies that are listed below will be able to alleviate the symptoms and prevent/cure the disease.

Approximately, 150 million people across the world are diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection every year(2).

Did you know that a UTI can be followed by a yeast infection? Oh, yes! This happens when the doctor’s prescribed antibiotics for UTI kill the bacterial flora present in the vagina and thereby leaving it susceptible to infections.

Now arises the question, how to get rid of a UTI?

How To Cure UTI Using Naturopathic Remedies

CURE 1: Foods

Foods for UTI, Weird isn’t it? Yes, foods could actually treat UTI. Yes, you read that right! Foods and balanced diet could be used as an adjuvant therapy to help you prevent/cure a urinary tract infection. Foods are a rich source of antioxidants that boost the immune system and assist in the fight against pathogens.

1. Cranberry (Vaccinium)

Cranberry juice
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Cranberries are a group of evergreen short shrubs/vines that are predominantly seen in the European region and parts of North America. It is a prevalent type of berry as it is filled to the brim with antioxidants and nutrients.

Why Does It Work?

When a UTI infests you, you have bacteria growing in your tract. However, these bacteria are bound, and they adhere to the walls of the tract using certain enzymes. When one consumes it, has been observed that the enzymes present in cranberries can inhibit the bacteria from adhering to the walls(3) of the tract, thereby warding the infection away from your body.

In one study that was conducted on a group of women with a history of recurrent UTI, it was observed that women who drank unsweetened cranberry juice had a reduced occurrence of UTI and also in some women who suffered from the condition noticed their infection to reduce in severity.

How to Use Cranberry Juice for UTI?

This is one of the simplest and most straight forward remedies; you just need to drink the juice. However, it is to be duly noted that you should only be consuming the unsweetened variety and not a commercial product as it has added preservatives and sugars.

Ideally, it is recommended that you blend several cranberries and strain the pulp and store the juice in your refrigerator. You could sip on it whenever you’d like. Alternatively, you could also use organic, unsweetened juice for best results.

How Much Cranberry Juice to Drink for UTI?

Although there isn’t any restriction on how much to ingest, however, it is ideally suggested that you drink about 240ml (8 ounces) of this juice on daily basis alongside your breakfast for the best results.

[Read: Cranberry Juice Help Treat UTI]

2. Garlic (Allium Sepa)

Garlic for Athlete’s Foot
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Garlic is known as the jewel of traditional medicine. It has been used for a long time to treat/cure indefinite ailments, that couldn’t be cured by the conventional form of medicine. Ranging from a common cold to UTI, respiratory disorders and several other ailments.

Why Does It Work?

Garlic comprises of several compounds such as allicin and sulfur that are known antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents. These compounds not only prevent the growth of bacteria, but they also inhibit cellular replication of the bacteria, thereby preventing the spread of the disease.

In a study conducted(4), where they tested aqueous garlic extract and its function on the multiple resistant strain bacteria, it was seen that the extract was able to kill the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, proving that this could be the future of treating any bacterial infections.

How to Use Garlic for UTI?

This also is one of the simpler remedies that you could use and integrate into your lifestyle. Ideally, it is considered best to just swallow a clove of garlic directly while swallowing water as it happens to bear the most benefits.

However, owing to the distaste it causes, it is recommended that you use 4-5 cloves of garlic and crush and boil them in the water. You could then strain the garlic out and sip on this solution after adding in a little honey.

Additionally, you could also use garlic extract or tea as per the instructions on the label and consume it.

How Much to Use?

Most human studies have narrowed down the usage to about 600- 1,200 mg of garlic per day that is split into equal doses. If you are consuming the cloves of garlic, you could use 6 per day, which you split equally and consume it alongside your meals or after it. However, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor/physician before starting this regimen.

3. Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas)

Sweet Potatoes Benefits
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These are the oldest vegetables that have been consumed for a while now. These are one of the most nutritious vegetables ever known to man and have several medicinal benefits.

Why Does It Work?

This vegetable is a powerhouse of retinol, also referred to as Vitamin A. It consists of 438% of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin A is a known booster for immunity and helps the body to fight against infection. In a study conducted in which vitamin A was used as adjuvant therapy, it was seen that there was a monumental decrease from 3.58 to 0.75 % in the first 6 months, proving it as an efficient way to fight recurrent UTI.

How to Use Sweet Potatoes for UTI?

It is ideally recommended that you use an organic variety for best results. You could have it as your meal. For breakfast, lunch or dinner you could just boil the potato and then consume it with a little bit of salt. You could also add it into your salads as well.

How Much to Use?

Although they aren’t dietary restrictions on the consumption of sweet potato, it is ideally recommended that you talk to your dietician/physician.

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CURE 2: Herbal

Herbs are naturally occurring substances which originated from plants or plant derivatives. They have shown immense potential in curing a lot of diseases effectively including UTI, kidney disorders, yeast infections. Herbal remedies are easily accessible and don’t bear any side effects.

[Also Read: Popular Herbal Remedies for UTI]

1. Bearberry Leaf (Uva ursi)

Bearberry Leaf Benefits
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Use of uva ursi leaves for urinary tract infections dates back to centuries. It is considered a standard before the introduction of antibiotics and sulfa drugs that are now being used. These leaves contain several medicinal benefits due to the active ingredients present it.

Why Does It Work?

The infection-fighting components in the herb are arbutin and hydroquinone, the chemical components that are also seen in antibiotics. These natural antibiotic substances attack the bacterial cell wall and cause the disintegration of the cell, thus rendering it lifeless and helping in keeping the infection at bay.

In a randomized double-blinded study(5) that was conducted, it was observed that out of all the subjects that participated. 2/3rds of the subjects had recovered and their symptoms reduced in the severity only due to the use of this herb.

How to Use Uva Ursi for UTI?

Uva Ursi is available in so many different forms: tinctures, dried powder, extract, capsules, gum. You could choose to use any kind of form that is readily available near you. Ideally, plucking the leaves the fresh from the plant has proven to have a lot of benefits. You could also drink it in the form of tea.

Procedure:
  • In a pan bring two cups of water to simmer
  • Now add 6-7 leaves of Uva ursi/ you could also add the herb powder to it
  • After 8 minutes turn off the stove
  • Strain the tea/leaves and add honey and lemon juice to it

How Much to Use?

After several studies of uva ursi on humans and for UTI,  it is suggested that the doses for adults should be around 2 to 4 grams daily of capsules standardized to 400 to 800 mg arbutin. However, one has to bear in mind that you should not take uva ursi for longer than five days. Also, before you begin with this regimen, it is suggested that you consult with your doctor/physician about how safe it is for you and the dosage.

[Read: Simple Steps to Cure UTI]

2. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Benefits of Horsetail
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Horsetail is an ancient herb that has been valued in traditional medicine for its diuretic properties, which makes it extremely beneficial in managing UTI. Horsetail is used for “fluid retention” (edema), kidney and bladder stones, urinary tract infections as it a natural diuretic; they have the natural effect of the water pills.

Why Does It Work?

Although there is very little research out there considering horsetail, they are several anecdotes that stand by the medicinal benefits that are present in this herb. It is hypothesized that it works on the kidneys and helps in pushing water out of the urinary tract and as it is a known antibacterial agent, it also fights against bacteria and helps keep the infection at bay. Also in an independent study that was conducted, this herb was used as the main ingredient for an ayurvedic paste, and it seemed to fetch positive results.

How to Use?

Horsetail is available in so many different forms. Tinctures, dried powder, extract, capsules, and gum. You could choose to use any kind of form that is readily available near you. Ideally, plucking the leaves the fresh from the plant has proven to have a lot of benefits. You could also drink it in the form of tea.

How Much to Use?

Although there aren’t any precise numbers on the dosage here, it is advised that if you are using the capsules, extract or any of the derived forms to check on the label for instructions. It is also strongly recommended that you consult with your dietician before you venture into using this remedy.

[Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI]

3.  Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Health Benefits of Green Tea
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This tea has been used since generations in Asia and parts of Japan. It is extracted from the same plant that produces oolong tea, black tea, white tea. The distinguishing feature is how the leaves are treated. They are instantly dried and made into a powder form to prevent oxidation of the leaves.

Why Does It Work?

Green tea consists of several antioxidants that flood the bloodstream and help in boosting the white blood cells, especially the T-cells, that go-ahead to fight against the pathogens present in the body, thereby controlling the infection in the site. It also reduces oxidative stress in the body, giving room for more t-cells to attack.

How to Use?

Green tea is available in many different formulations, including capsules, powders, tinctures, and teas. You could choose any of them that appeals to you. However, it is advised that you consult with your physician/doctor before you start using this regimen.

How Much to Use Green Tea for UTI?

It depends on the severity of the UTI and the kind of brand that you are using. However, in a general sense, it is recommended that you start with a low dose like 2 cups a day when you feel like you are having an attack. You could then increase the dosage as suited. However, before doing so, it is recommended that you consult with your physician if you could adhere to this regimen.

[Read: Tea for UTI]

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CURE 3: Essential Oils

Wondering how essential oils will work for UTI? Read on ahead to know more. Essential oils have already proved to be antibacterial and antifungal agents, and it’s an established predisposition that essential oils are one of the efficient ways to combat UTIs(6). Instead of dousing yourself with antibiotics, you could merely use these fragrant oils to help you alleviate the symptoms and keep the disease at bay.

1. Oregano Oil

oregano essential oil
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Oregano oil has been used since ages as an antibacterial agent to treat several internal infections including UTI. It also is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that could help you alleviate the itchiness and puffiness in the abdominal area.

Why Does It Work?

Although it is known that oregano oil can prevent and kill the bacteria that are growing, they were no conclusive studies conducted on the subject until recently.

In one study(7) it was observed that oregano oil would slow and inhibit the growth of bacteria, the bacteria used was a clinical variety of E.coli and other bacteria. It was also noticed that some strains were not affected by conventional treatments. However, these bacteria had their cell wall, broken due to the action of oregano oil. It is established that oregano oil could even act on antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

How to Use Oregano Oil for UTI?

You could also add 3-4 drops of the oil in your humidifier and place it in your bedroom while you are sleeping. Additionally, you could also add also ingest the pills as well.

It is to be noted that if you wish to apply it on the site of your infection, make sure you use a carrier oil and massage it in very gently. Dilute the oil using warmed up coconut oil and to the warm oil you could add 3-4 drops of the oil and then using a gauze could apply it on the site of infection. It should also be noted that using the less concentrated version would be safer for your skin and help you avoid the burning sensation.

How Much to Use?

It is strongly recommended that you use this regimen only for two weeks and then check for your infection, however, before you begin with this regimen it is advised that you consult your physician/doctor to check with them in regards to the dosage and the period.

[Also Read: Treat UTI with Baking Soda]

2. Clove Oil

clove oil
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Extracted from cloves, this essential oil of cloves is highly beneficial for boosting the humoral immune system of the body and also holds an established record of being an antibacterial agent and an antifungal agent.

Why Does It Work?

Preliminary studies on this subject have shown a lot of potentials, as it was observed that clove oil was able to prevent the spread of the infection and was able to neutralize the effect of the bacteria. This oil seems to have a peculiar effect on the gram-negative bacteria, as it breaks the cell wall and causes apoptosis (cell death). In a 2016 study(8) conducted it was seen that clove oil was able to kill the E.coli strain and it was also noticed that the strain was of the antibiotic-resistant variety.

How to Use Clove Oil for UTI??

You could also add 3-4 drops of the oil in your humidifier and place it in your bedroom while you are sleeping. Additionally, you could also ingest the pills as well.

It is to be noted that if you wish to apply it on the site of your infection, make sure you use a carrier oil and massage it in very gently. Dilute the oil using warmed up coconut oil and to the warm oil you could add 3-4 drops of the oil and then using a gauze could apply it on the site of infection. It should also be noted that using the less concentrated version would be safer for your skin and help you avoid the burning sensation.

How Much to Use?

You could apply the carrier oil solution on your site of the infection for about 1-2 times a day. However, for the pills, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor/physician before starting this regimen.

[Read: Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection]

3. Tea tree Oil

tea tree oil benefits
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Tea tree essential oil is considered the mother of essential oils, and you could use it for effective and quick relief of urinary tract infection. They are several phytochemical compounds like terpinen-4-ol present in the tea tree essential oil that makes it a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent.

Why Does It Work?

The phytochemical compounds present in the oil stimulate the white blood cells in the body and help to increase the efficacy of the WBC’s which fights the infection and wards it off the body. Furthermore, it is also an antibacterial agent. Therefore it helps in killing the bacteria present in the site of the infection and preventing further spread of the infection.

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In a study(9) conducted on the internet forum opinions, provided by several women who suffered from recurrent UTI, it was observed that tea tree oil was a popular remedy and several women have vowed about its benefits.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for UTI?

You could also add 3-4 drops of oil in your humidifier and place it in your bedroom while you are sleeping. Additionally, you could also ingest the pills as well.

It is to be noted that if you wish to apply it on the site of your infection, make sure you use a carrier oil and massage it in very gently. Dilute the oil using warmed up coconut oil and to the warm oil you could add 3-4 drops of the oil and then using a gauze could apply it on the site of infection. It should also be noted that using the less concentrated version would be safer for your skin and help you avoid the burning sensation.

How Much to Use?

You could apply the carrier oil solution on your site of the infection for about 1-2 times a day. However, for the pills, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor/physician before starting this regimen.

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CURE 4: Supplements

Supplements for UTI that could go a long way in helping you keep them in check. This is adjuvant therapy, i.e. you do this therapy alongside the primary therapy. Supplements form the backbone for your recovery as lacking nutrients and minerals could lead to a weakened immune system and could cause increased growth of bacteria in the site of infection.

1. D-Mannose

D-mannose is a type of sugar that’s chemically related to glucose. These sugars are both monosaccharides- that is, they consist of one molecule of sugar. These both sugars occur naturally in the body and are seen in plants in the form of starch. They are also seen in cranberries (and cranberry juice), apples, oranges, peaches, broccoli, and green beans.

Why Does It Work?

E. coli is a primary cause of 90 percent of UTIs that are prevalent as of now. These bacteria, when they enter the urinary tract latch on to cells, grow, and cause an infection in the site. D-mannose works as an adherent breaker by preventing these bacteria from latching on to the tract’s walls.

Once you consume foods or supplements containing D-mannose, your body naturally eliminates it through the kidneys and into the urinary tract as they cannot be digested by the body. While in the urinary tract, these chemical molecules can attach to the E. coli present there. Thereby causing the bacteria to detach from the walls and to be washed away with the urine. As a result, the infection is fought effectively.

In a 2014 study(10), D-mannose was compared to antibiotics such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole that are the treatment of UTIs in a group of 60 women. It was observed that D-mannose not only reduced UTI in women. However, it was also more effective than the antibiotic for preventing additional infections.

How to use D-mannose for UTI?

D-mannose is typically used for treating an active UTI or/and preventing UTI in people who are susceptible to it more often. It is very vital for you to understand as to why you would be using it and for what.

D-mannose comes in the form of capsules and powders. It is ideally recommended that you choose the powder, however, if you prefer to choose the capsules, you need to be careful as most products provide 500 mg capsules, that means you may need to ingest 2-3 capsules a day to get the desired dose. Hence, it is ideally recommended that you stick to the powder and it is also easily prepared. To use D-mannose powder, dissolve the powder in a glass of water, and then drink the mixture. The powder dissolves quickly, and the solution tastes sweet as well.

How Much D-Mannose to Take for UTI?

The dosage for powder is according to research and physicians:

For preventing frequent UTIs: 2 grams once daily.

For treating an active UTI: 1.5 grams twice daily for 3 days, and then once daily for 10 days.

The capsule comes with a label, so check on the label for the dosage, as it could vary depending on the kind of product it is. However, before using the capsules, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor.

[Read: Simple Steps to Cure UTI]

2. Vitamin C

vitamin c
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Vitamin C, medically known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found primarily in fruits and vegetables and it is also as an over the counter supplement.

Vitamin C boasts several antioxidant qualities; and as your body can not produce vitamin C, it is vital that you depend on foods that could provide it and if necessary even take it as a supplement.

Dietary sources of vitamin C include citric fruits, berries, kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and many more.

Why Does It Work?

The bacteria that are present in the urinary tract has a function of converting nitrates into nitrites; these gram-negative bacteria such as staph and E.coli exhibit this function. However, for that to happen, you would first need nitrates. This is taken care of by our bodies, as the body generally produces nitrates as a by-product of excretion.

Secondly, for the conversion to occur it should an acidic environment. This is where ascorbic acid steps in; it makes the environment in the urinary system acidic and helps in creating the space for the conversion. Nitrites are dangerous to these bacteria. Hence once the conversion occurs, they also tend to die due to the exposure to nitrites.

How to Use Vitamin C for UTI?

Vitamin C supplementation is very simple and could be followed by just using them right from the container. Although it is strictly advised that you check with your doctor/physician before you do so.

How Much to Use?

After a consultation with your doctor, you’d be able to know the dosage that would be suitable for your body, considering it is variable and depends on several factors. However, in a general sense, a daily dose of 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C may be beneficial for managing bladder infections, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center(11).

[Read:  Vitamin C for Treating UTIs]

3. Probiotics

Probiotics Benefits
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Probiotics are bacteria, that if ingested are beneficial to one’s health. Probiotics could basically be defined as the “good bacteria,” and though primarily it helps in the functionality of the digestive system, probiotics are actively present in many parts of the body, including the vagina.

Why Does It Work?

Healthy bacteria such as Lactobacillus species live in the bowel, vagina, and around the urethra and these are termed as the probiotic bacteria that live in our body and help us with several functions such as digestion, the formation of undigested waste and several other functions.

These bacteria help the urinary tract resist invasion by pathogens such as E. coli. However, when the levels of the probiotic bacteria deplete in the urinary tract, UTI risk increases. Hence supplementation could help the body to ward off this infection using the probiotic bacteria.

How to Use Probiotics for UTI?

Probiotics can be taken orally, and this help increases the numbers of Lactobacilli and other healthy bacteria in the vagina and around the urethra, preventing UTI. Although these supplementations are considered to be slightly inferior to antibiotics, this is a safer option as you wouldn’t be creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not only pills, but you could also eat yogurt, kefir, curd and several dairy products that are fermented with lactobacillus bacteria.

[Read: Probiotics for UTI]

How Much to Use?

Although they aren’t dietary restrictions on the consumption of dairy products, however for the capsules it is recommended that you talk to your doctor/physician for the right dosage, as it is variable and depends on several other factors.

Urinary tract infections are a treatable disease, and they can be cured effectively using the natural remedies that are listed above. However, all these remedies are effective for a lower urinary tract infection, for an upper UTI you need to undergo surgery. Before you start using these remedies, it is recommended that you consult with a doctor about your condition and gather enough information and advice to go about using these remedies.

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