What is a UTI?
A “UTI” is a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria usually from the intestines (such as E. Coli). The infection can ascend into the bladder and kidneys if it is not treated with antibiotics. Some women like to try a natural, alternative approach before trying antibiotics. The key is to start natural remedies at the onset of symptoms which include burning with urination, feeling urge to urinate even after you just went, urinating more frequently, odor in your urine, and urine is darker yellow than normal.
Natural Remedies: 1. Hydrate – Start drinking more water. Normally we should be drinking 1/2 our body weight in ounces. So if you are not drinking that amount, definitely drink more water! Water helps flush out the toxins.
2. Cranberry – Drink unsweetened cranberry juice (not concentrate) because bacteria thrives off of sugar. You can also take D-Mannose which is a sugar extracted from cranberry that prevents E. Coli and bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder.
3. Vitamin C – This is a powerful antioxidant to boost the immune system and can make urine more acidic to prevent growth of certain bacteria. Take at least 500mg daily at onset of symptoms.
4. Probiotics – Taking a probiotic, containing specific strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14, to improve the vaginal flora may be beneficial as well. If you have frequent UTIs, taking a probiotic daily can definitely reduce frequent infections.
5. Echinacea – An herb that is known for helping to boost the immune system to fight viral infections causing the “common” cold but is also great to help fight UTIs. This herb also contains anti inflammatory properties. This can be taken as a tea or tincture.
6. Uva Ursi – An herb, also known as bearberry, that has been found to have diuretic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti astringent properties and may be helpful in treating UTIs. You can drink this as a tea, tincture or as capsules. Also, do not take Uva Ursi for more than 5 days and do not give to children.
If you are looking for an alternative approach to treatment of UTIs, try these remedies. Do not take herbs if you have a history of liver disorders. Also keep in mind that if your symptoms are not improving, improve but then return, or they worsen after 2-3 days of trying these remedies, immediately seek medical attention for prevention of a kidney infection. If at any time you develop fever, back pain, nausea, and/or vomiting, also immediately seek medical attention as these are symptoms of a kidney infection.