Overgrowth of the E. coli bacteria in any part of the urinary tract causes urinary tract infection (UTI). The bacterial infection may affect the bladder, kidneys, urethra and ureters. The bladder and the urethra, comprising of the lower urinary system, are most susceptible to bacterial infections.
UTI is conventionally treated with antibiotic drugs. However, despite completing the course of the antibiotic medication, infection may recur. Studies suggest that natural remedies can effectively treat UTI and prevent relapse. The goal of alternative treatment is to kill the bacteria and create an environment unfavorable for the survival of the microorganisms.
How to Cure UTI Naturally
Cranberry is the most popular and effective natural remedy for urinary tract infection. It works by inhibiting the bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus reducing the ability of the infection causing bacteria to grow and multiply in the urinary tract.Cranberry works rapidly. Within eight hours after consuming a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice, the metabolites of cranberry start acting, thereby providing fast relief from UTI. Cranberry juice or supplement is especially beneficial for women susceptible to recurrent urinary tract infections.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed contains antimicrobial compounds that help to treat infections of the urinary tract. Bioflavanoids in grapefruit seed, especially hesperedin, help to stimulate the immune system, thereby boosting the natural ability of the body to fight infections. Urinary tract infections can be treated naturally by taking 100 mg of grapefruit seed extract, thrice a day.
Unsweetened yogurt, other fermented milk products and probiotic supplements are sources of beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria. Studies suggest that inserting probiotic filled suppositories in the vagina help to cure chronic UTI. Changes in the vaginal bacteria are often blamed for recurrent infections of the urinary tract. The E. coli bacteria are usually transported from the anus to the urethra, where they multiply. Colonization of harmful bacteria can be countered by the healthy bacteria strains. Intake of probiotic foods and supplements also helps to fight UTI by boosting immunity.
In Native American folk medicine, uva ursi, also known as bearberry, is recommended for treating UTI. Uva ursi contains antimicrobial components such as hydroquinone and arbutin that help to fight infections. In addition, the tannins of the herb help to tighten the mucous membrane, reducing inflammation of the bladder. About 250 to 500 mg of urva ursi can be taken thrice a day, for up to four days to treat UTI. The herb works best when taken as soon as the early symptoms of UTI appear.
Reishi mushroom is another effective remedy for UTI. The medicinal mushroom works by stimulating the immune system. Infection of the lower urinary tract can be treated by taking 150 to 300 mg of reishi mushroom twice or thrice daily. People on blood thinning drugs should take lower doses of reishi mushroom supplements.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory constituents of cat’s claw can benefit people suffering from UTI. About 20 mg of the herb can be taken thrice a day to treat the infection.