Three types of bacteria, e.coli, chlamydia, and group B streptococcus, cause most urinary infections. They are transmitted by wiping the wrong way on the toilet, by sex, and by some medical procedures, and allowed to grow by poor fluid intake, not emptying the bladder completely, and not urinating frequently enough. Bladder infections are more common in women, especially pregnant women.
Taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C with bioflavonoids four or five times a day will keep bacteria from sticking to the wall of the ureter.
Cranberry Juice is a well-known treatment for bladder infections. Cranberry acidifies urine and inhibits bacterial growth. Purple grape has similar actions. Both should be pure, unsweetened juice from a healthfood store. Do not use sugary or artificially sweetened commercial blends as they do not contain enough cranberry and their added ingredients may feed bacteria and irritate tissues.
Traditionally a garnish, parsley has antibacterial properties. It cleans and is healing for the urinary tract. Drink two ounces of fresh parsley juice mixed with celery, cucumber, and tomato twice a day to treat infection, and eat parsley salads to maintain urinary health. Stomach upset can occur if parsley juice is taken alone.
This root is cleansing and strengthening for the bladder. Drink one quart of tea daily to inhibit bacterial growth.
This herb is related to the cranberry and has similar properties. Its antiseptic quality is specific to treat e.coli infections. Use ten drops of tincture in a large glass of water three times a day for ten days. Do not use longer than ten days, especially in pregnancy.
If symptoms persist, try adding yarrow, an herb with anti-inflammatory properties that complement the actions of Uva Ursi. It can be taken in tincture form or as a strong tea (infusion). Sip one large glass twice a day.
Other Diuretic Herbs
Diuretics promote the release of water from body tissues and relieve the symptoms of urgency and burning that accompany a bladder infection. Infusions can be sipped until symptoms subside. Herbs used for this purpose are: goldenseal, cornsilk, pipsissewa, and buchu.
When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
Take bathroom breaks whenever you need to. Holding urine because you are too busy at work is considered self-abusive behavior by some therapists!
Points to Remember:
- Drink at least two liters of herb teas, juice and water daily.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can irritate the bladder.
- Hot baths relieve pain, but should not be taken during pregnancy.
- Avoid nylon underwear, choose cotton instead
- Women should wipe front to back (clean to dirty). Be sure to teach this practice to girls when toilet training.
- Do not use goldenseal in pregnancy or if there is a history of heart disease, diabetes, or glaucoma.