Urinary tract infection is the most common urinary tract problem among adult women and children. It is caused by bacteria that get into the bladder from the skin surface surrounding the urethra. Sometimes, bacteria spread from another part of the body through the bloodstream to the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection is less common in men than in women because the male urethra is long, making it difficult for bacteria to spread to the bladder.
Most UTIs are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems, particularly the upper urinary tract infections. If left untreated, it can cause kidney damage, and if the infection spreads to the blood, it can be life-threatening.
UTIs are usually treated successfully with antibiotics, but you might want to try some natural remedies as they do not have any risk of side effects. Here are the 8 natural home remedies for urinary tract infection.
1. Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is one of the popular remedies for urinary tract infection. While cranberry juice won’t always cure your infection, it can help prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Some studies have found that cranberries contain certain compounds like proanthocyanidins that seems to prevent bacteria from reaching the walls of the urethra and cause UTIs. Cranberry juice also has a very mild antibiotic affect. But keep in mind that these benefits only apply to fresh cranberry juice rather than sweetened cranberry juices.
2. Plain water
Drinking water throughout the day helps flush out bacteria from your system. One study monitored the fluid intake and toilet habits of 148 girls (aged 5 to 17 yrs). The research found that girls under 6.5 years old who had low fluid intakes were more likely to have recurrent UTIs. Another study of 90 Swiss women showed where there was a family history of UTIs, or when they had lower fluid intakes; their risk of developing UTIs was higher.
It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to make sure that your body is flushing out any harmful bacteria that may be hanging out in your bladder. Drinking water everyday should be a must for everyone to prevent urinary tract infections.
3. Probiotic rich foods
Probiotics are good bacteria that can promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, and thus reduce the risk of UTIs. Studies have showed that certain strains of probiotics may decrease the risk of UTIs.
One study found that Lactobacillus, a common type of probiotic, can help prevent recurrent UTIs in adult women. These beneficial microorganisms can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, and natto.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is packed with important nutrients and enzymes that are useful in getting rid of an infection. It contains potassium, which prevents the bacteria that causes UTIs from growing or spreading. Apple cider vinegar also contains acetic acid, which is acidic in nature but has a more alkaline effect on your body. Balancing the pH in your body can help reduce the risk of UTIs.
To get this benefit, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it few times a day. You can also add lemon juice or honey into the mixture. This will further enhance both the taste and health benefits.
5. Baking soda
Baking soda is a very potent natural remedy for UTI. The soda neutralizes the acidity in your urine, which then speeds up the recovery process. The other big benefit of baking soda is that it detoxes and cleans the kidneys along with providing rapid healing of these organs.
Simply add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it once or twice a day. If you have a urinary tract infection and its spread to your kidneys, you can always try this method.
6. Lemon juice
Lemon juice can act as a diuretic agent that encourages the urinary bladder to expel more urine frequently, and thus reducing the population of bad bacteria.
Also, drinking its juice on a regular basis was found to aid in the prevention of recurring urinary tract infections by altering the acid and sugar-rich environment that promotes the bacterial growth.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce UTI symptoms. Slice some fresh pineapple and enjoy them regularly to prevent UTIs. Alternatively, you can also make juice from half a pineapple and drink it.
Blueberries and cranberries are from the same plant family and seem to have the same bacteria-inhibiting properties that can help in the prevention of UTIs. The antioxidant present in blueberries are good for the immune system, and they prevent the growth of bacteria that causes UTIs.
You can add some fresh blueberries to your favorite cereal and have it for breakfast. You can also make fresh blueberry juice and have it daily, in the morning and at night for quick results.