- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Naturally Curing a Urinary Tract Infection: My Personal Method that Really Works!
Begin Treatment at the First Sign of Infection
You know the feeling. That "oh-oh" in your mind as you feel the early symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Many people visit their doctor for a urine test when they have UTI symptoms, and they are almost always given antibiotics to kill the infection. Personally, I get many undesirable side effects from antibiotics, which makes me feel even worse! At times, I have needed several courses of antibiotics to kill the infection. I found out that, depending on the type of infection, it may not respond to one antibiotic, but submit to another.
Another thing that worries me is that antibiotics kill all of the "good bacteria" that the body needs for good digestion and immunity. Additionally, many experts state that it isn't healthy to rely on antibiotics for every infection because this will likely deplete the immune system. Lastly, one group of antibiotics that is commonly prescribed for UTI is called fluoroquinolones. These drugs can cause permanent damage to the body.
I use at-home test strips that I buy at the dollar store, to check for infection. Once I determine that I am infected, I immediately begin my UTI-killing regimen. I have researched many at-home methods of curing infection. This was definitely a process of trial-and-error. After several years of stubbornly trying to rid UTI at home, I have found the right combination of treatments to rid the infection quickly!
Naturally, garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic is especially effective against bacteria that have become resistant to pharmaceuticals. Dr. Weil states that: "eating raw garlic does not appeal to everyone, but garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb." I also learned that slicing it and letting it sit out for a few minutes increases the infection-fighting enzymes. This also makes the taste a little less strong. I usually thinly slice the garlic, let it sit out for 10 minutes, put it between two slices of Italian bread with cheese. I eat 2 cloves a day until the infection is gone. Dr. Weil also mentions that people with recurring infections would be wise to eat raw garlic daily for prevention.
Find out more: http://home.howstuffworks.com/garlic10.htm
Organic Lemon Juice
Water with Lemon
Ideally, you'll be drinking lots of water to continue flushing bacteria out of your urinary tract. It is helpful to add lemon juice to the water, because it will make your urine's Ph level become alkaline. By creating an alkaline environment in your bladder, bacteria will be unable to proliferate. Lemon juice will also reduce inflammation, and add vitamin C to your body, which will help it fight the infection. I also recommend drinking filtered water, because most tap water is treated with chlorine, which does not benefit your health in any way. Personally, I enjoy the taste of lemon and for me, it makes the water more palatable. If you really don't like the taste of lemon, you could try adding it to some hot water with some raw honey mixed in, to cover up the taste.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is 89% silica. I consume it in my smoothies because it has many health benefits. It is a source of essential trace minerals, including the most important- silica. Silica is a natural diuretic, which increase the output of the kidneys and bladder by 30%, allowing them to flush all the liquid that you drink. It has restorative properties and can help slow the degenerative process of connective tissue. One website describes DE as: "Diatomaceous Earth has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge. It is believed that Diatomaceous Earth sweeps bacteria out of the body by trapping it in its honeycomb shaped skeletal form."
Pure Cranberry Juice
Cranberries have a unique effect on the urinary tract. They contain a compound that prevents bacteria from adhering to the cell wall of the urinary tract. Blue berries can also have the same effect. Cranberry also gives an analgesic effect to the bladder, which may relieve some soreness and cramping. There are three ways to get cranberry into your body. 1) Add fresh or frozen organic cranberries to your smoothie or food. 2) Take cranberry extract capsules, sold at most drug stores or organic markets. 3) Drink pure cranberry juice (avoid added sugar, it MUST be 100 percent cranberry juice). Ideally, you should obtain a juice that is not made from concentrate. Cranberry juice is very bitter tasting, so I either add it to my smoothie or water it down. The antioxidants and phytonutrients in cranberries are great for overall health, and cranberries can be used in your diet as a preventative measure.
Blueberry Smoothie with Pomegranate Juice
I find that a healthy smoothie gives me lots of nutrients to boost my infection-fighting powers. By researching home remedies, I learned that blueberries and cranberries have a specific compound in them called proanthocyanidins. They actually make the urinary tract more "slippery" and make it harder for bacteria to attach and multiply. I also learned that pomegranate juice contains similar benefits to the urinary tract. Pomegranate juice is chock full of antioxidants and nutrients, which makes it a perfect addition to my smoothie. I also put some chopped frozen pineapple, which adds a little sweetness. It turns out that pineapple also has a special infection-fighting enzyme called bromelain. This article explains the benefit of blueberries for UTI's: http://www.livestrong.com/article/432336-blueberries-and-urinary-tract-infections/.
"Blast Away UTI Smoothie"
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup pineapple
- one banana
- 1/2 cup pure cranberry juice
- 1 teaspoon diatomaceous earth
- 3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
- Once the first 6 ingredients are placed in the blender, add water until it covers everything
- Use frozen fruit if you like, so the smoothie will be really nice and cold
Fresh Ginger or Ginger Extract
During my research, I saw many articles that recommended using NSAIDs like Ibuprophen to relieve inflammation in the urinary tract and bladder. A healthier alternative to NSAIDs is ginger. I take ginger extract supplements every day for good health, but I raise the dose when I'm fighting an infection. This will ease the pain, and settle your stomach if it is upset. Fresh ginger can also be used. This website explains how to use ginger for pain and inflammation: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/ginger-better-than-drugs-for-pain.htm
Because I was flushing my system so much, I added a probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements actually add more "soldiers" to the body's naturally existing bacteria army. If I had chosen antibiotics, this army of good bacteria would have been be completely wiped out. Give the body a fighting chance by adding probiotics or eating plain yogurt with live active cultures. If you don't like the taste of yogurt, you could add it to a smoothie to disguise the flavor.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although I'm not fond of the taste, I will add about 2 teaspoons into 8 ounces of water or unsweetened juice. I'll drink this mixture twice a day until the infection is gone. When using apple cider vinegar for health benefits, it is important to buy the organic, fermented variety. I like Bragg's brand because it is sold at almost any grocery store. Be sure to consistently drink lots of water throughout the day, because if you don't, the ACV could increase the burning sensation when you urinate. ACV has malic acid in it, which has anti-fungal and antibacterial qualities. It will help to detoxify the body and provide it with nutrients that boost the immune system.
*I read that ACV effects insulin levels in the body, so this may not be an ideal remedy for diabetic patients.
Changing Your Diet
Do make a conscious effort to avoid sugar at all costs. Consuming sugar is the equivalent of giving the bacteria a feast!! Sugar is what bacteria feed on most, so try not to eat or drink anything with sugar while treating yourself for an infection.
It would be in your best interest to eat lots of leafy greens and vegetables. I try to eat mostly organic, non-GMO foods and avoid any processed food. If your grandmother wouldn't recognize it- don't eat it! Eating well is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and keeping optimum nutrition is key to healing infection.
The information that I am sharing in this article is my own personal method that I have devised. My goal is to help people who are suffering from UTI to heal their own bodies with natural methods. My advise is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advise. As always, see you doctor if symptoms don't resolve or if they worsen. If you are experiencing nausea, chills, fever, and/or flank pain- you may have a kidney infection, which is very serious. Seek immediate care if you have these symptoms. I welcome comments from readers of my article, and I'd love to hear what methods you have successfully tried to cure infection naturally.