Urinary tract infections (UTI) are unpleasant and they can be painful. UTI’s can affect men and women, but they are far more common among women. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that up to 60% of all women will experience a UTI at some point in their lives.
A UTI can be painful, and in some cases can lead to more serious systemic infections. UTIs are caused by pathogenic bacteria, with most causes due to infections by S. saprophyticus and/or E. coli. These two bacteria account for close to 80% of all cases.
The most common allopathic (western) form of treatment for UTI is prescription antibiotics. But, those have side-effects, and many people do not like taking them. Here are 5 all-natural ways to treat, and/or prevent urinary tract infections.
- Cranberry Juice – Consumption of cranberry juice has been linked to fewer urinary tract infections. Cranberries are high in anthocyanins that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to fight disease. Cranberry juice also is rich in quinic acid, which, like in quinine, is a natural antibacterial agent.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which means it is not only good for combating colds and flu, but, is key to a healthy immune system that fights disease, and bacterial infections such as UTIs by acidifying urine to convert bacterial nitrites into bacteria-killing nitric oxide.
- Probiotics – When it comes to urinary tract health, probiotics that promote the survival and function of beneficial gut bacteria can be beneficial. Studies show that they combat UTIs in three different ways: they prevent bacteria from adhering to the uterine walls, while producing natural antibacterial chemical, and compete with pathogenic bacteria for resources. Those containing bacteria from the Lactobacillus family have been shown in clinical studies to help prevent UTIs.
- Hibiscus Tea – The flowers and leaves of the colorful hibiscus plant contain powerful antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal compounds that can help to discourage urinary tract infections. A tea made from hibiscus leaves also has a diuretic effect which will help to flush out bacteria while cleansing the urinary system.
- Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds have been found to offer some protection against urinary tract infections. The fatty acids they contain have disease fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that have been shown to help improve bladder tone and support healthy bladder function as well as urination.
Do you suffer from UTI? Have you used any of the methods above? Are there any other natural methods you would like to suggest?