UTI Home Remedies
Most UTI’s can be cleared up without the need for antibiotics and this is why most doctors will not prescribe antibiotics for a UTI unless you have had the symptoms for at least 3 days. UTI’s are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and also lots of women find that a common side effect of using an antibiotic to treat a UTI is that they then develop thrush which can sometimes be worse than the UTI that they were initially treating. However you should always see a doctor if you experience a high temperature with chills, have blood in your urine or have the symptoms of an upper UTI.
When you start to notice the signs of a UTI it is not always possible to get treatment straight away however there are many home remedies you can try which can help you.
Drink More Water
Drinking water can be very useful in helping to treat UTI’s and also helps to prevent them. If you are prone to UTI’s making sure that you drink the recommended 2 litres of water per day will help to quickly flush bacteria through your urinary tract making an infection less likely. If you have already been struck by a painful UTI a good trick is to drink 1 pint of water every 20 minutes for 3 hours, you will need to be close to a toilet as most of these 3 hours will be spent flushing out the bacteria from your system, however after the 3 hours has passed you will notice that the intense pain has subsided and your infection is either gone or a lot more manageable.
Although there is lots of conflicting scientific evidence people who regularly suffer with UTI’s are often advised to drink cranberry juice to not only help with the symptoms but also to prevent infections from reoccurring. Cranberry juice is full of antioxidants which can create a slippery coating on the walls of your urinary tract making it hard for bacteria to get a grip and cause an infection, it is also believed to make your urine more acidic which makes it inhospitable to bacteria. Previous studies have shown that women who had persistent reoccurring water infections cause by E-coli had a 20% decline in infections when they drunk cranberry juice daily for 6 months. If you do not like the taste of cranberry juice there are many supplements available which can be used instead.
Blueberries can help prevent UTI’s in a similar way to cranberries, they stop bacteria sticking to the urinary tract wall thanks to a compound which they contain called proanthocyanidins. They also contain lots of vitamin C, this is very helpful as vitamin C is proven to stop bacteria growth when consumed in large quantities. Both fresh blueberries or unsweetened blueberry juice are both suitable to use. If you are looking to cure a UTI rather than prevent one then blueberry juice may be more beneficial as consuming more fluids will help to flush the infection through faster.
Ginger is known to have antibacterial properties, this makes it great for fighting E-coli. The natural PH balance of your urine makes your bladder perfect for bacterial growth, however making your urine either more acidic or more alkaline will prevent bacteria sticking to the bladder walls. Ginger works in the opposite way to cranberry and will make your urine more alkaline and preventing bacteria from breeding. You should never use cranberry juice and ginger together to fight an infection as they will counteract each other. Drinking ginger tea will help to keep you hydrated and push the bacteria through your urinary tract faster than using ginger alone. Ginger is full of antioxidants and is also a fantastic natural pain-killer thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Baking soda is one of those items that most people will already have in their cupboards at home but did you know that it is also great for helping with a urine infection? Drinking baking soda will make your urine more alkaline and stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. When a UTI strikes dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water and follow with another glass of water. You should feel a relief from the pain when you go to the toilet next. This can be used once or twice a day and many people have found that using baking soda has helped to clear up their infection very quickly.
Parsley can help with UTI’s thanks to its anti-fungal properties, it is known to cleanse the kidneys and the urinary tract. Parsley is also a diuretic and can help to flush the bacteria through your system. It is recommended to drink 4 cups of parsley water daily for 7 days to clear up a water infection however after 3 days the symptoms will have improved. To make the parsley water It is best to mix 4 teaspoons of diced whole parsley (including roots if possible) with boiling water and allow to soak for 20 mins. You then need to strain use a strainer to remove the parsley. You can drink this either hot or cold.
Like parsley, celery seeds are a diuretic and helps to produce more urine and flush infections through the urinary tract. Found in the flowers of the celery plant, celery seeds are also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. You can eat the seeds as a snack after a meal or to add extra fluids and increase urine flow you can also soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes, strain and then drink. It is advised to eat a handful of celery seeds once or twice a day after food to help prevent UTI’s from occuring.
Cucumbers have a very high water content and are also very tasty. Adding more cucumbers to your diet will help to prevent future water infections by adding more water to your system. They are also good for getting extra water into your body when you have a UTI and have drunk more than your fair share of water or juice. Cucumbers are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and also contain vitamin C which is great for the immune system as it helps to fight and prevent infections. You should always store cucumbers in the refrigerator as otherwise they can quickly lose their nutrients. Store cucumbers which have been cut tightly wrapped in the fridge inside a Tupperware container for no more than 2 days.
UTI’s can be extremely painful and a way of easing your pain is to apply heat to your tummy, back or inner thighs (depending on whether you have an infection of the upper or lower urinary tract). A hot water bottle, a heat pack or a microwave beanie are all very effective and are great to use whilst you are waiting for other treatments to work. You should try to keep warm when suffering from a water infection especially in the bladder, kidney and abdominal areas. You can also use an electric blanket or a warm towel to help.
Pineapple is great for treating UTI’s thanks to an enzyme it contains called Bromelain. This enzyme gives pineapple its anti inflammatory properties which helps to fight bacteria within your urinary tract system. This fruit is also full of antioxidants including lots of vitamin A and vitamin C, these are proven to help to boost the immune system and ward off infections. Pineapple can be used to help an existing UTI or to prevent from future infections happening. Try having a cup full of fresh pineapple daily or a glass of fresh pineapple juice. It is not recommended to use canned pineapple as these usually contain lots of preservatives.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is a very powerful herbal remedy which has been found to cure even the most stubborn of UTI’s. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli are two of the main bacteria found to cause water infections, these bacteria are becoming resistant to most antibiotics and are extremely difficult to get rid of however because olive leaf extract contains many anti-bacterial agents including oleuropein it has been found to provide complete relief in as little as 24 hours. If you are prone to UTI’s it would be beneficial to olive leaf extract capsules daily to stop UTI’s from reoccurring. The capsules will need to contain at least 300 mg’s of oleuropein as anything less than this will not be strong enough.
Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) works in 2 ways to help with the symptoms of a bladder infection, firstly it strengthens your immune system, making you less susceptible to infections and helping to ward off any existing ones. Secondly it makes your urine more acidic which makes the bladder walls more slippery stopping bacteria from growing there. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables or you can also purchase supplements to take. You will need to take a large dose of vitamin C to feel the benefits it can provide. If you take a regular dose of vitamin C it can help to prevent future water infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When choosing apple cider vinegar to treat a UTI it is important that you buy one which contains “the mother” as this part contains additional minerals and nutrients. Apple cider vinegar containing “the mother” is more cloudy than regular apple cider vinegar and is usually marked as organic, unpasteurized or unfiltered. Apple cider vinegar is acidic, meaning that it helps to stop the bacteria growth in your urinary tract by lubricating the walls of your bladder. It is advised to mix 2 – 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water and drink up to 3 times a day. Taken daily this is a good way of stopping water infections from happening.
Alka Seltzer is not only great for headaches, heart burn and stomach aches, it also is a great home remedy for cystitis and other water infections. Like baking soda, Alka Seltzer contains sodium bicarbonate, this makes the PH of your urine more alkaline which stops the infection producing bacteria from staying in the urinary tract. Alka Seltzer also helps ease the pain of a water infection fast. To treat a water infection dissolve 2 tablets in a glass of water up to 3 times a day. Some people do worry that the pain-killer in Alka Seltzer can sometimes make you feel your infection has cleared up when it hasn’t so it should only be taken for a few days. As with all home remedies, if symptoms persist after 3 days you should always consult your doctor.