Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infection affecting about 250 million people annually. Bacteria can enter the urinary system through various sources. The main issue arises when regular use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance, making treatments difficult. Therefore, using natural remedies for treating UTIs is always a healthy choice. Let’s find out the proven natural cures for urinary tract infections.
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What Do You Mean By Urinary Tract Infection?
Any infection affecting the urinary system is termed a urinary tract infection (UTI). The urinary system includes kidneys and the urinary bladder, ureters, and urethra, but UITs primarily affect the lower parts of the urinary system (urinary bladder and urethra).
If the infection is limited to only the lower urinary system, it can be recovered without any severe organ damage. But, if the infection spreads into the kidney, it leads to severe complications and makes treatment difficult.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection
Not all patients suffering from UTIs experience symptoms. Others may experience any of the below-mentioned symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Constant urge to urinate
- Cloudy urine
- Foul smell during urination
- Urine that looks cloudy
- Reddish or pinkish-colored urine
- Pelvic pain
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection
E. coli is the primary bacteria causing urinary tract infections among most people. The most causes of urinary tract infections include:
- Entry of bacteria into the urethra, which spreads toward the bladder. The immune system often kills these bacteria, but UTI can occur if immunity fails to combat bacterial entry.
- Intercourse causes bacterial entry into the female urinary system. Women’s vagina is close to the urethra, allowing bacteria to enter their urinary systems easily.
- Bacteria spread from the gastrointestinal to the urinary system. When a person is suffering from an intestinal bacterial infection, infectious agents can travel from the anus to the urethra, causing UTIs.
Proven Natural Cures For Urinary Tract Infection
Different bacterial infections can be efficiently treated by using natural remedies. Let’s discuss the proven natural cures for urinary tract infections in detail.
Increase Your Uptake Of Vitamin C
Increased vitamin C intake is considered one of the best natural ways of combating urinary tract infections. Several scientific studies have also shown the effective recovery from urinary tract infection symptoms with vitamin C intake. Evidence shows that vitamin C consumption and other UTI remedies, such as antibiotics and probiotics, can improve UTI symptoms.
There can be two reasons why vitamin C is good for treating UTIs naturally, as mentioned below:
- Vitamin C makes the urine acidic. Acidic environments in the urinary tract prevent bacteria from growing, thus preventing infections. There is an optimum pH for each particular group of bacteria. Alteration of the pH of the urine due to intake of vitamin C makes pH unfavorable for bacterial growth and alleviates the symptoms of urinary tract infections. But remember, there is a need for more scientific proof to clarify the ability of vitamin C to make urine acidic.
- Vitamin C helps in boosting immunity. By stimulating the functioning of the immune cells, vitamin C promotes the phagocytosis of bacteria. Additionally, these cells prevent tissue damage and help restore degraded cells. This immunity-boosting ability of vitamin C makes it effective in treating bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections.
Therefore, it is always recommended to increase the consumption of vitamin C through natural foods or supplements. The vitamin C-rich edibles include grapes, kiwifruits, oranges, guavas, strawberries, pineapples, chili peppers, kale, broccoli, and spinach.
Increase Your Water Intake
Increasing water intake is an effective natural remedy for treating urinary tract infections. When you drink more water, there is an increase in urination. More urination helps in flushing the bacteria out of the body. Removing the infectious bacteria caused by frequent urination promotes healthy recovery for UTI symptoms.
On the other hand, if someone is limiting their water intake, it lessens the urination frequency. Delayed urination gives bacteria a growth medium and a chance to reproduce and spread. It means that reduced fluid or water intake inhibits the recovery from the infection and can worsen the condition. Therefore, patients suffering from UTI should increase their water intake by drinking pure water or other fluids such as juices.
Patients suffering from UTIs are often recommended to increase their intake of probiotics. Probiotics are nothing but health-friendly microorganisms that provide beneficial effects to the body. Sometimes, due to the excessive consumption of antibiotics, the naturally occurring culture of good bacteria decreases in the gut and nearby areas, including the urinary tract. A decrease in good bacteria allows harmful bacteria to grow and cause infection, leading to different bacterial infections throughout the body.
Regaining a good bacterial culture in the body by taking probiotics reduces the risk of infection and helps alleviate the symptoms of bacterial infection. You can increase probiotic intake simply through fermented foods such as yogurt and kefir. Probiotic supplements are also available in the market, which can help patients treat UTIs.
Adapt Healthy Hygienic Practices
A hygienic routine is necessary to alleviate urinary tract infection symptoms effectively. Make sure your surrounding environment is bacteria-free. A dry environment is the best way to prevent bacterial growth. Furthermore, ensure your urethra is kept healthy by maintaining a healthy environment.
It is advisable to wear cotton clothes and underwear that is loose. Alternatively, sweating can lead to bacteria growth and worsen the condition. A fragrance-free personal hygiene product can also help prevent the spread of bacteria.
Consuming cranberries is one of the effective natural cures for urinary tract infections. Cranberries have a unique combination of compounds, including hippuric acid, anthocyanins, and d D-mannose. All these components are vital in treating and alleviating the symptoms of urinary tract infections.
Cranberries mainly reduce the bacterial ability to adhere to the urinary tract wall. This further prevents bacterial growth and promotes the rapid flushing of infectious bacteria when more water is consumed. You can take cranberries in different forms, including juices and supplements.
But there is a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of cranberries in treating urinary tract infections. Many scientific studies considered other treatments, such as the intake of antibiotics, more effective than cranberry consumption for treating UTIs. Although, the consumption of cranberries can lead to gastrointestinal ailments among some people. Kidney stones are another severe side effect that can occur due to the regular consumption of cranberries.
Garlic is the main herb often recommended to treat several bacterial infections, including UTIs. Allicin, a sulfur-containing compound in significant amounts in garlic, is responsible for garlic’s healing properties.
Allicin provides effective antibacterial properties which protect the body from bacterial attack, thus recovering the symptoms of urinary tract infections. Patients can consume garlic in any desirable dosage form, including raw solid garlic and supplements of garlic extracts.
Remember, patients should not use garlic if they have any garlic allergy history. Consult your doctor about the intake of garlic if you are taking prescribed medications. It is because garlic can interact with different classes of drugs, including blood thinners, and produce side effects.
Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can also help relieve urinary tract infection symptoms. Its antibacterial properties make it helpful for curing UTIs. You can consume this vinegar by mixing it with pure water or other curing juices such as cranberries.
Still, there is no scientific evidence showing the therapeutic abilities of apple cider vinegar in treating UTIs. Regular consumption of this vinegar can also lead to side effects such as tooth decay and throat itching.
Take D-mannose Supplements
The simple sugar D-mannose is often used to cure mild UTIs. By preventing bacteria from adhering to urinary tract walls, this sugar prevents bacteria from growing. Because bacteria are free from the urinary tract wall, they are easily flushed out of the body.
UTI patients can increase D-mannose uptake by eating natural foods such as cranberries and apples. Otherwise, D-mannose supplements are also available. Increased D-mannose intake poses no severe side effects, but regular consumption can lead to diarrhea. Further, blood sugar levels may also increase by consuming D-mannose sources. Therefore, patients suffering from diabetes should avoid using this natural remedy.
Use Baking Soda
Drinking baking soda after mixing it with water is another natural cure often practiced to treat UTIs. Studies have shown that consuming baking soda can help alleviate UTI symptoms, including painful peeing and frequent urination.
For fast relief of UTI symptoms, drink one teaspoon of baking soda after mixing in an 8-ounce glass of water twice a day for at least three days. Remember consuming a large amount of baking soda can lead to serious side effects, including poisoning, so limit the amount you take.
Increase Yogurt Intake
Yogurt containing beneficial bacterial culture can help treat urinary tract infections. Bacteria found in plain yogurts, such as Lactobacillus strains, have been shown to reduce urinary tract infections. Therefore, increasing yogurt intake daily can help patients alleviate UTI symptoms.
Use Certain Oils
Some specific types of oils with antibacterial abilities are effective in treating bacterial infections. The two primary oils patients can take to relieve UTIs are discussed below.
Oregano Oil: This oil has strong antibacterial properties, which can kill the bacteria causing urinary tract infections. E. coli is the main class of bacteria that can be effectively killed by oregano oil, thus removing the leading cause of UTIs. This oil is available in the form of capsules and thus can easily be ingested. Make sure your products are professional grade and labeled GMP. Avoid applying directly to the skin, especially the urethra, as it can cause severe burns.
Cod Liver Oil: This oil can also help in recovering UTI symptoms. By boosting immunity, cod liver oil makes the body able to fight against bacterial infections. Patients can use this oil by taking the cod liver oil supplements available.
Why Should Natural Cures For Urinary Tract Infections Be Preferable Than Antibiotics?
Natural cures for urinary tract infections are always considered preferable to antibiotics because of the following reasons:
- Natural remedies are totally safe to use. Unlike antibiotics, natural remedies often interact with other drugs and bodily metabolism, thus reducing the risk of chronic side effects.
- Unlike antibiotics, natural cures for urinary tract infections do not produce antibiotic resistance in the body. Regular consumption of antibiotics makes bacteria resistant, so any further intake of antibiotics fails to kill the infectious bacteria. However, natural remedies eliminate bacteria from the body without causing this side effect.
What Are The Conventional Ways Of Treating Urinary Tract Infections?
Antibiotics are usually recommended to patients suffering from urinary tract infections. The most commonly recommended antibiotics include:
- Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
Urinary tract infections can be treated effectively with natural remedies. Each of these remedies has antibacterial properties or boosts the body’s immune system, which helps fight bacterial infections. If UTI symptoms do not improve with natural remedies, proper medical treatment must be sought.