Lots of women suffer frequent Urinary Tract Infections (in this case urethritis and cystitis), and they don’t always go to the doctor to get it sorted either. There are many possible causes for a urinary tract infection, but the basics are that bacteria get up into your urethra, and/or your bladder, and settle there. Women are more susceptible to these, because of the location of the opening of the urethra and its length.

Some of the suspected causes as to why the bacteria are able to settle are:

  • Too much sugar in the diet
  • Not enough fluids
  • Retaining urine
  • Less than optimal hygiene
  • Not urinating after sex
  • Clothing that retains moisture
  • Hormones during pregnancy

The best thing you can do is to avoid getting one in the first place. Here are a couple of tips for prevention:

  • Avoid sweets, citrus fruits, matured cheese, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as far as possible.
  • Take cranberry capsules with buchu extract (Agathosma betulina).
  • Drink cranberry tea and hip tea (makes the environment in the bladder less welcoming).
  • Eat blueberries.
  • Don’t sit on cold surfaces and keep your feet and hands warm.
  • Urinate immediately after intercourse.
  • Use a skirt or loose fitting pants, this way you avoid moisture. (Moisture makes bacteria happy).

If you end up with a milder infection, here are a couple of tips on what you can do to get rid of it and how herbs can help:

  • Drink a decoction of Bird Cherry bark. The ‘tea’ is diuretic and can be used several times a day.
  • Remember to drink a lot of water.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp ground Fenugreek seeds (trigonella foenum- graecum) in some water and drink several times a day. It may have a favorable effect on different infections in the body.
  • Excessive vitamin C in the body is secreted into the urine and makes it sourer. This restricts the bacterial growth and because of this it might be a good idea to take a strong dose of vitamin C morning and evening. Especially in the evening because the urine remains in the bladder all night.
  • 1/2 dl (~1.7 fl oz) of 7 % white vinegar 1/2 dl (~1.7 fl oz) of water 3 tbsp of sugar Drink it morning and evening. If the mixture is too strong, soften it with more water. Warning; if you have a weak stomach, the mixture should be made weaker and 1-2 tbsp morning and evening.
  • 1-2 tsp of Golden Rod (Solidago virgaurea) is mixed with 1 cup of cold water and brought to a boil. Let the tea steep for a couple of minutes before you strain it. Drink a cup of warm goldenrod tea three times a day.
  • Horsetail tea (Equisetum arvense) is a highly valued agent in folk medicine against urethral problems and is mildly diuretic. Drink it as soon as the symptoms set in and you may avoid them developing further. 1- 2 tsp of Horsetail in a cup of cold water is brought to a boil and let steep for 15 – 30 minutes. Strain it and drink a cup three times a day.
  • Sage can have a healing effect on UTI’s. 4 tbsp of sage leaves to a large cup of cold water is brought to boil. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes and strain it. You can mix it with some honey if you want. Drink it in sips during the day.
  • Massage the rump-bone, the one at the bottom of your spine. It’s shaped as a triangular bone plate. This stimulates blood circulation and accelerates the healing process, according to a physical therapist.

You get the best chance for this advice to work if you start treatment with herbs at the moment the symptoms are noticed. If the problem continues, contact your physician. See a physician if you have any of the following symptoms: Nausea, blood in the urine, shivers, vomiting, lower back pain. If it stings when you pee, see your doctor, don’t suffer in silence. When it starts stinging, you’ve had it for a while already, and you don’t want it to travel up to your kidneys. Worst case, it can actually kill you. So some of these infections need antibiotics so as not to risk the health of your kidneys.

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