(Natural News) Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common bacterial infections that affect millions of people each year. They often cause pain and frequent urination. In some cases, they can also cause severe complications like nausea, kidney damage, severe back pain and blood or pus in the urine.
Because UTIs are often caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), many physicians prescribe antibiotics as treatment. But dependence on antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which can make a UTI more difficult to treat should it recur.
Fortunately, many natural remedies are effective at treating UTIs and even preventing their recurrence. These include:
Cranberry is one of the most popular home remedies for UTIs. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that it can reduce the risk of infection, a benefit especially useful for individuals susceptible to recurrent UTIs.
For instance, researchers from the University of Sao Paulo Medical School assessed several in vitro studies and clinical trials on cranberries to understand their role in the prevention of UTIs. They found that cranberries prevent the adhesion of E. coli to the lining of the urinary tract.
They also found that cranberries help prevent UTIs by decreasing the virulence – a pathogen’s ability to infect or damage a host – of E. coli strains. Therefore, even if bacteria were to succeed in attaching to the lining of the urinary tract, they cannot cause UTI.
For UTI prevention, drink cranberry juice. Cranberry extract is also available as a supplement in capsule form.
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) may help treat UTIs by killing bacteria lurking in the bladder and urinary tract. In fact, according to the European Medicine Agency‘s Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products, (HMPC), bearberry leaf preparations can be used to relieve symptoms of recurrent UTIs.
Bearberry is also a natural antiseptic, meaning it can help stop the proliferation of infection-causing microorganisms inside the body, such as those that cause UTIs.
Moreover, bearberry leaf is rich in tannic acid, a polyphenol proven to have antifungal and antibacterial properties. The compound called arbutin present in bearberry also helps regulate the pH balance of urine.
Corn silk (Stigma maydis) is a medicinal herb traditionally used by the Chinese and Native Americans to treat bladder infections and alleviate inflammation of the urinary system. In fact, Native Americans use corn silk to treat UTIs.
Corn silk’s potency as a natural medicine can be attributed to its bioactive components, such as flavonoids and terpenoids. These compounds have potent antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Corn silk is commonly consumed as an herbal tea. Natural healers may advise drinking at least one cup of corn silk tea daily to treat UTI.
Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) is thought to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli. In fact, a 2016 review found that marshmallow root is often used to treat infectious diseases because of its antimicrobial properties.
Marshmallow root also helps soothe inflammation and swelling in the bladder. In addition, marshmallow root helps increase urine flow, which helps flush out bacteria and toxins.
For these reasons, naturopaths recommend drinking marshmallow root tea to effectively treat UTI and prevent its recurrence.
UTIs are painful bacterial infections that can affect your quality of life. Fortunately, you can easily treat or prevent a UTI using any of the natural remedies listed above. (Related: TCM found to effectively treat recurring urinary tract infections.)
Learn more about natural remedies for bacterial infections at Remedies.news.