If you have been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection at least once in your life, then you have a good idea of how difficult this condition can be.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an “infection in any part of the urinary system”.
It can affect the ureters and kidneys but more often, infection occurs in the lower urinary tract where the bladder and urethra can be found.
Among the signs and symptoms, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, burning sensation during urination, and pain in the back or lower abdomen are the most common.
UTI occurs when bacteria such as E. coli enter the urinary tract and spreads to the bladder.
You should not ignore this condition even when you can tolerate the symptoms.
That’s because it can lead to a more serious infection of the kidneys that may possibly result in renal failure, and put your life at risk.
Fortunately, there are natural home remedies for urinary tract infections that can alleviate the symptoms and at the same time, resolve the problem before it worsens.
There is enough scientific evidence to support the efficacy of these natural ingredients for improving urinary tract health.
Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections
Following is a list of natural home remedies for urinary tract infections.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is originally known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects but recent research also confirms its antimicrobial properties .
Numerous studies point out that tea tree oil inhibits the growth and spread of Escherichia coli and other harmful microorganisms [2, 3, 4, 5, 6].
This makes it a highly important UTI treatment since E. coli accounts for 80 percent of all urinary tract infections .
Researchers from New South Wales, Australia explain that exposure of E. coli strains to the minimum concentration of tea tree oil was enough to halt the bacteria’s respiration, and at the same time, enhance the “permeability of bacterial cytoplasmic” .
At the University of Western Australia, disc diffusion experiments were conducted to identify which of the active compounds in tea tree oil worked in neutralizing bacteria .
Among the compounds tested, terpinen-4-ol was the most active against most of the bacterial strains, including E. coli .
How to use tea tree oil for UTI:
Add 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt and six drops of tea tree oil to the bathwater. Soak in the bath for 10 minutes for 10 days.
Also, Read Tea Tree Oil for Skin Tags: 8 Natural Remedies to Try Now!
Cinnamon is proof that not all that tastes delicious is bad for you.
Unlike other sweets, this one doesn’t shoot up your blood sugar levels, but in fact, can ward off diabetes.
It is loaded with protective antioxidants and essential nutrients that can keep you in top health.
It can also be used to relieve vomiting, diarrhea, infections, cold, muscular spasms, diarrhea, and erectile dysfunction, among many others.
This great-tasting spice is also a great way to combat UTIs.
A study conducted in Egypt showed that cinnamon has “strong inhibitory action” against UTI-causing bacteria .
The findings, which were published in the Journal of Applied Sciences Research, stated that cinnamon exhibited antibacterial activities against Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus .
The active compounds in cinnamon such as cinnamaldehyde account for its antimicrobial properties.
Its efficacy as an antibacterial makes it an ideal treatment method even for severe cases of UTI.
Cinnamon herbal tea for UTI:
- Mix 1/ 2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of warm water.
- Stir well.
- Drink the tea once a day for one to two weeks.
- Three to four cups daily is recommended for more severe infections.
Also Read: How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold
Called a superfood, blueberry is a potent antioxidant that has long been used for therapeutic purposes .
Many of its pharmacological effects are associated with the presence of infection-fighting polyphenols .
Its antioxidant level is higher than those of strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and plums .
A 1991 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that blueberry contained an inhibitor that prevented adhesion of uropathogenic E. coli to the cells in the urinary tract .
In other words, blueberry prevented E. coli from attaching themselves to the urinary tract and causing infection.
It also has a “cleansing mechanism” that enhances the toxicity effects of blueberry against pathogenic microorganisms .
Moreover, blueberries are packed with nutrients that boost the body’s immune defense against infection-causing bacteria.
Add 1-2 cups of fresh blueberries to your cereal. Eat this every morning for two to three weeks.
4. Baking Soda
The uses of baking soda for your home and health are countless.
Baking soda can be used as a natural deodorant and household cleaner, as an effective itching remedy, and as a dry powder to keep skin smooth and fresh.
It can also be used to relieve a number of health issues like urinary tract infections.
Earth Clinic describes baking soda as a natural substance that “restores health, cleanses the body, and eradicates toxic substances”.
Its ability to promote pH balance and neutralize acidity in urine not only gives relief from pain but also speeds up recovery.
Moreover, baking soda has also been found to stop the growth and spread of bacteria such as E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus, both of which are known to cause UTIs .
How to use baking soda detox for UTI:
- Mix 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water.
- Drink this solution once a day for one to two weeks.
Also Read Baking Soda for Acne: 12 Easy Ways You Can Use
5. Marshmallow Root Tea
A plant native to Africa, the marshmallow bears small light-colored flowers, and short and round leaves.
Rich in polysaccharides, this plant possesses mucilaginous, antitussive and antibacterial properties, among others.
The root and leaves of the marshmallow plant are typically used to make medicine, says WebMD.
These parts are applied to ease pain and swelling in the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract.
A popular remedy for urinary tract infection, marshmallow root is believed to have a soothing effect on the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract.
Live Strong explains that this is due to the high mucilage content of marshmallow root.
How to prepare marshmallow tea for UTI:
- Add 1/4 cup of marshmallow root to warm water in a glass jar.
- Cover the jar with a lid.
- Leave it overnight.
- Strain the solution.
- Take this tea once a day for one week.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
The list won’t be complete without apple cider vinegar, which is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that strengthen the body’s immune response to infections.
As you know, vinegar has always been known to be a natural antibiotic that can ward off many strains of bacteria, including the top cause of UTI, which is E. coli .
Apple cider vinegar is a great way to combat UTIs without the use of antibiotic medication.
There are many other benefits that you can get from apple cider vinegar, most of these are even backed by scientific research.
This vinegar is also said to aid in weight loss, lower levels of blood sugar, and benefit the skin and hair.
So this means that if you use this as a remedy for urinary tract infections, you’ll also be doing your health a big favor.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 glass of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Dissolve apple cider vinegar in warm water.
- Stir in lemon juice and honey.
- Drink two times a day for two to three days.
Also Read: 20 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair + How to Use it
7. Uva Ursi
More commonly known as bearberry, uva ursi is a popular folk remedy for urinary tract infection used by Native Americans since the 2nd century, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
With emerging studies that prove its ability to treat and prevent UTIs, more and more people are using this herbal remedy today.
A 2002 study published in the World Journal of Urology lists uva ursi as one of the botanical plants that help treat UTIs by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract .
Another way it helps is by neutralizing the activities of the bacterial strains and preventing them from forming and spreading in the urinary system.
This mode of action is most probably due to the active compounds in uva ursi such as hydroquinone and arbutin, which as research shows, are highly active against harmful microorganisms.
Uva ursi is a potential treatment not only for urinary tract infection but also for other related health issues such as nephritis, urethritis, and cystitis.
How to use uva ursi as a herbal tea for UTIs:
- Boil 3 grams of uva ursi leaves in a pot of 5 ounces of water.
- Remove from heat.
- Let it steep for 15 minutes.
- Drink this tea for four to five days.
8. Indian Gooseberry
Did you know that in India, Indian gooseberry is deemed a “sacred tree”?
Not only is the fruit of this tree nourishing and delicious, but it also contains various essential nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, carotene, phosphorus, and many potent antioxidants.
It can help cure many diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, upset stomach, eye problems, joint swelling, diarrhea, obesity, and osteoarthritis.
This plant, also called amla, is another excellent remedy for urinary tract infections.
Several studies indicate that this fruit possesses antibacterial and anti-microbial properties that can stop bacterial pathogens responsible for UTIs [14, 15, 16].
Indian gooseberry’s anti-microbial activities are due to the presence of phytochemicals such as phenolics and flavonoids .
Its main compounds namely beta-caryophyllene, beta-bourbonene, thymol, 1-octen-3-ol, and methyl eugenol demonstrated a broad spectrum of inhibitory effects against harmful microbes .
How to prepare Indian gooseberry drink for UTI :
- Pour 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder and turmeric powder each into a cup of water.
- Boil solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drink the tea three times a day for four days.
9. Coriander Powder
When you find out what coriander can do for you, you won’t look at it the same way again.
Coriander is said to have beneficial effects on those who suffer from menstrual pain, smallpox, skin disorders, mouth ulcer, diarrhea, high cholesterol, diabetes, and vision problems.
This isn’t a surprise since this herb is an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and carotene.
If you have been diagnosed with UTI, this should also be part of your natural treatment.
Many studies confirm coriander’s strong antibacterial and anti-microbial activities against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus [18, 19, 20, 21].
As mentioned previously, these strains of bacteria are known to cause infections in the urinary tract.
Apart from controlling the cause of infection, coriander can also help get rid of the burning sensation during urination.
How to use coriander seeds powder to relieve UTI:
- Pour 3 tablespoons of coriander seed powder, and 1 tablespoon of unrefined sugar into 3 cups of water in a jar.
- Leave it overnight.
- In the morning, mix the solution.
- Drink one cup of this solution three times a day for three days.
10. Cranberry Juice
Of all the remedies for UTIs, cranberry juice is the most popular and believed to be the most effective.
A multitude of studies has been done to investigate and prove the efficacy of cranberry juice as a treatment for UTIs [22, 23, 24, 25].
A 1984 study tested the effects of cranberry juice on 77 isolates of E. coli and found that inhibited adherence of 75 percent of the bacterial strains .
In a clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, participants were asked to drink either commercial cranberry juice or a placebo that was made to have a similar taste .
It was found that those in the cranberry juice group had a marked reduction of bacterial strains in their urine compared to those who took in the placebo .
Another study explains that cranberry juice contains compounds that contained “anti-adherence properties”, averting the adhesion of infection-causing microorganisms like E. coli in the urinary tract .
Most people who use cranberry juice for UTIs report only positive effects, and no adverse reactions.
Since this juice is packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, you’ll be benefiting your health and preventing other diseases when you use this as a remedy for urinary tract infections.
What You’ll Need:
- 1/2 half glass of cranberry juice
- Drink a half glass of cranberry juice three to four times a day for one week.
- Cranberry is not recommended for people who have a history of kidney stones.
Also Read: 12 Cranberry Juice Benefits (Backed by Scientific Evidence)
11. Probiotic Foods
When you are considering home remedies for urinary tract infections, one of the best options is consuming probiotic foods.
So what are probiotics? Probiotics are bacteria lining your digestive tract. They help your body with the absorption of nutrients and fighting infections.
To increase the rate of probiotics in your body, the best option is to identify the foods that will help you. Fermented vegetables such as kimchi, yogurt, raw cheese, and other sour food elements are some of the great sources of probiotics.
Amon all these elements. yogurt might rank the first in containing the highest amount of probiotics. Also, yogurt is easily available and has many more other health benefits but make sure to buy fresh and organic yogurt.
Consume foods high in probiotics daily in a moderate amount by bringing a change in your regular diet.
12. Coconut Oil and Water
There is no scientific research to back the efficacy of coconut oil and coconut water in relieving UTIs or bladder infections.
However, much anecdotal evidence suggests the beneficial effects of coconut oil for treating and preventing UTIs.
Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids that work as bactericidal and fungicidal agents.
Clinical studies reveal the antimicrobial and antifungal effects of coconut oil against drug-resistant Clostridium difficile and Candida strains. [24, 25]
How to use coconut oil for UTI:
There are no clinical recommendations on the specific method of using coconut oil for UTI treatment.
Many anecdotal reports claim that a topical application of the oil on the eternal genital area may relieve the symptoms of UTI. If you are allergic to coconut oil then avoid this method.
Consuming coconut oil is safe. You may ingest three tablespoons (morning-noon-night) daily to kill the bacteria and prevent the risk of recurrent UTIs. Drinking coconut water for UTIs may be less effective than using coconut oil.
When to See a Doctor
UTI may go away on its own. But most of the time it doesn’t. If you are frequently having urinary tract infections then you should seek medical help immediately.
This is because the repeated onset of UTIs for longer periods of time can damage the kidneys. Thus, leading to kidney failure. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotic medications to treat bladder infections.
Moreover, it is very urgent that a pregnant woman suffering from a urinary tract infection seeks medical treatment. No time should be wasted. It is because the infection can spread from the urinary tract to the kidneys.
This can create further problems during the complicated time of pregnancy for both the mother and the child.
Urinary Tract Infection Prevention Tips
Women suffer from urinary tract infections often. The following measures can help prevent urinary tract infections in women:
- Always urinating when you feel like it. The reason behind is this that accumulating urine in your bladder with the increasing pressure can harm the urinary tract. Urine is an excretory product, and, thus, should be excreted as soon as possible.
- After urinating, make the habit of always wiping from the front to back region. It is because by doing this, you will be able to prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra, from the anus.
- Never use any sort of feminine hygiene sprays because those can irritate the urethra.
- Always take a shower rather than sitting in a bath in the bathtub.
- Add citrus fruits to your diet that abound in vitamin C. This way you can boost immunity and kill the UTI bacteria with high acidity levels in the urine.
- Drink more water. You may also chew on ginger, and drink ginger tea and juice to clear up UTIs fast.
- Wearing loosely fitted garments and cotton underwear.
- Always emptying and cleaning the bladder and genital region after any form of sexual activity.
Read Next: Apple Cider Vinegar for UTI Treatment: 10 Practical Ways