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A urinary tract infection is caused by harmful bacteria that spreads from the digestive tract to the urethra. The microorganisms multiply, and can spread to the bladder, and eventually the kidneys. An infection of the urethra or bladder can cause painful urination, an increased need to urinate, and even blood in the urine. Once the infection reaches the kidneys the pain is very intense.
Antibiotics are frequently used to treat infections of the urinary tract. They do weaken the body's defenses, so if you use them be sure to include plenty of vitamin C and yogurt in the diet to strengthen your immune system. Urinary tract infection herbs can effectively heal this condition without harming the body. As a spread of the bacteria to the kidneys is more serious, be sure to address this condition immediately. Talking to a doctor, or even a naturopathic doctor is a great idea to ensure that you are doing everything possible for your well-being.
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Herbs that can be used to treat an infection of the urethra or bladder have several different medicinal properties which are specifically useful for this condition. Anti-microbial and antiseptic properties will help the body fight off the actual bacteria that is causing the infection. Astringent herbs contract tissue, thereby toning the urinary system. Diuretic herbs encourage the release of toxins (including harmful bacteria) through the urine. Demulcent herbs act to soothe irritated tissue.
The following are some of the natural plants that can be used to treat urinary tract infections:
- Bearberry — An antiseptic and astringent that specifically acts upon the membranes of the urinary system, toning and strengthening. This herb also has demulcent properties.
- Couchgrass — This herb has anti-microbial properties, helping to destroy the bacteria. It is a diuretic, encouraging the excretion of the bacteria, and a demulcent, helping to sooth irritated tissue.
- Yarrow — This is a powerful urinary antiseptic herb. It also has diuretic properties.
- Corn silk — Corn silk is a very soothing demulcent for urinary tract infections, it also acts as a diuretic.
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How to Use
Any one of the herbs listed above is helpful, but combining two or three of them will have a much more powerful healing effect. Take two teaspoons total of the dried herbs. Infuse in one cup of boiled water for ten minutes. Drink three cups daily while treating the infection.
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Cranberry is another extremely useful plant for healing infections of the urinary tract. Why? Cranberries produce hippuric acid in the urine. This acid inhibits the growth of more bacteria, thereby stopping the spread of the infection. Be sure to drink a good quality cranberry juice for best results. Drink three glasses a day, as well as eight glasses of clean water.
Urinary tract infection herbs are an ideal solution for healing the urinary tract without harming the body. They are powerful, but they will not work overnight. After drinking all of the herbal infusions, cranberry juice, and water for several days, bacteria will not stand a chance in your urinary tract.
Regardless of the potential for self-healing with herbs, be sure to talk to a doctor, especially if the infection does not go away or lessen within a few days. If there is any possibility that you have an infection of the kidneys, see a medical professional as soon as possible.
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Balch, Phyllis A. " Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).
UTI in Adults (Medicine Net) <http://www.medicinenet.com/urine_infection/article.htm#3whatcauses>
photo by Cliff 1066 (CC/flickr)
photo by Izik (CC/flickr)