Approximately 50% of women and 10% of men will develop a UTI during their lifetime. Symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, a painful burning sensation when urinating and a frequent urge to urinate. The body’s immune system can usually fight off a UTI within five days, but a lingering infection can be treated with antibiotics.
Here are ten natural home remedies for UTI you can try to relieve pain and speed up recovery time.
1. Uva Ursi
Uva Ursi, commonly known as Bearberry, is a plant that grows in northern climates. Both Europeans and Native Americans have traditionally used their leaves to treat urinary disorders. Bearberry contains arbutin, which converts to hydroquinone in the urine. Hydroquinone kills or inhibits bacteria in the urinary tract. The plant also has diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects. Dried Uva Ursi leaves are available in supplement form. To treat remedies for UTI, take one 500 mg capsule three times daily with meals.
D-mannose is a simple sugar found in various fruits and vegetables. It is also available as a health supplement for treating UTIs. Many strains of E. coli bacteria have the ability to attach to d-mannose present in the bladder with tiny thread-like pili. Researchers have theorized that supplementing with d-mannose cures a UTI by saturating the E. coli pili, making the bacteria unable to cling to the bladder walls. The recommended daily dose is 1,500 mg.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary for the production of anti-microbial peptides that fight off infectious bacteria. The vitamin boosts levels of the peptide cathelicidin in the bladder when it becomes threatened by a UTI. Cathelicidin destroys dangerous bacteria such as E-coli, leaving beneficial bacteria unharmed. Take a 2,000 IU vitamin D supplement daily to help your body overcome remedies for UTI and to help ward off future infections.
Yogurt and probiotic drinks contain bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These friendly bacteria colonize the urinary system where they produce lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, byproducts that create a toxic environment for E. coli. If you are on antibiotics for a UTI, eating yogurt will repopulate your body with beneficial bacteria to help prevent future infections. It will also reduce the incidence of diarrhea and other negative side effects.
5. Cranberry Juice
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria. Cranberries contain hippuric acid which inhibits the growth of E. coli and reduces the ability of bacteria to adhere to the lining of the urethra and bladder. Hippuric acid also prevents bacteria from spreading from the bladder to the kidneys. Drink three 8-ounce servings of pure cranberry juice a day to help your body recover from a UTI. If you suffer from frequent UTIs, a daily glass of cranberry juice may prevent infections from recurring.
Drinking plenty of water will make you urinate more frequently and help to flush the bacteria out of your system. Drink eight ounces of water every hour and visit the toilet each time you feel the urge. Avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol which can irritate your bladder and increase the pain. Also, avoid sugary drinks. Large amounts of sugar can restrict the ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C combats a UTI by making your urine more acidic, creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria. It also strengthens your immune system to help it fight the infection. Supplement with 2000 mg of vitamin C per day, or more if recommended by your doctor. Include plenty of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables in your diet. Try drinking strawberries smoothies. They are higher in vitamin C than orange juice.
8. Baking Soda For UTI
Pain and burning during urination with a UTI are caused by acidic urine. Baking soda is alkaline and neutralizes the acidity. For rapid relief, mix one teaspoon of baking soda into one cup of cold water and drink twice a day until the infection clears up.
The antibiotic properties of horseradish can help to destroy the bacteria that cause UTIs. Chemicals in horseradish become concentrated in the urine, delivering the antibiotic effects where they are needed in the bladder. Horseradish is also a diuretic, stimulating the body to eliminate urine and flush out bacteria. Herbalists recommend grating fresh horseradish root and eating one teaspoon three times daily to clear a UTI. However, some people experience a beneficial effect simply by eating commercial horseradish sauce with food at lunch and dinner.
Pineapple is often cited as a home remedy for UTIs. However, it is most useful when eaten in conjunction with prescribed antibiotics. Pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain which can help to increase the levels of antibiotics absorbed by the body.
In a study of people with remedies for UTI, 100% of the participant’s given antibiotics along with the enzymes bromelain and trypsin were cured of their infection, compared to only 46% of those given antibiotics and a placebo.