If you’ve dealt with a urinary tract infection (UTI) at least once in your life, you surely know what the fuss is about. Experiencing a UTI is irritating, frustrating and painful.
While it should never be taken lightly, repeatedly subjecting your body to antibiotics is not a good solution either. The main culprit of infections affecting your urinary tract is E. coli, which can enter the urinary tract via the urethra. (1)
The bacteria then travel up to the bladder and cause an infection, which is called cystitis. If left unchecked, this infection can move to the kidneys and make the situation worse.
While anyone can become a victim to UTIs, women are comparatively more susceptible to it. (2)
Natural Remedies for a UTI
Usually, doctors prescribe antibiotics for UTIs. But, attacking them with antibiotics every time may make them antibiotic resistant. Antibiotics also harm the good bacteria thriving in your gut.
Many natural remedies can provide relief if used from the first onset of symptoms. So, whether it’s your first UTI or one of many, your best bet is nipping the problem in the bud or risk a lengthy treatment.
If the symptoms persist after using these remedies, you should definitely see your doctor.
Here are five home remedies with which you can help you get rid of a UTI without antibiotics:
Method 1: Using Water
You’ll be surprised to know how many health issues can be addressed with proper hydration. Consuming lots of fluids is the best medicine-free way to tackle a UTI and water is the best choice. (3)
A body well supplied with fluids can flush out the infection-causing bacteria better and faster.
- If you don’t typically reach your daily quota of water intake, make consuming at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day your top priority.
- Even if you drink sufficient water, drinking a few extra glasses of water will go a long way toward a speedy recovery from the infection.
Remember, every time you urinate, however little it may be, you expel some bacteria out of your system. If you provide your body with more than sufficient fluids, you’ll be expelling a lot of infection-causing bacteria, all the while giving your immune system a boost in combating the infection.
Method 2: Using Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has proven to be effective time and again for many in treating UTI’s. However, more research is still required to validate the claims further. (5)
Cranberry juice creates an acidic environment that prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder and making a permanent residence.
When the bacteria are unable to cling to the bladder’s walls, they are easily expelled through urination. This prevents the bacteria from multiplying, ultimately reducing the infection.
For treating UTIs, always opt for unsweetened, unprocessed and organic cranberry juice. It will be very tart, but that’s what is ultimately beneficial.
- Consume about 2 to 3 glasses of cranberry juice daily for good results.
- You can also consume half a glass of cranberry juice daily as a preventive measure.
Consuming cranberry juice can prove especially beneficial if you suffer from recurring UTIs.
- You can also eat fresh cranberries to get the same effect. You can top your cereal, porridge or oatmeal with cranberries, or add cranberries to your smoothies.
Blueberries hail from the same family as cranberries and thus can help you fight UTIs too. You can consume blueberries in the same way that you would the cranberries.
Method 3: Using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is a good home remedy for treating a UTI, as its antimicrobial properties inhibit the growth of E-coli. (5)
The best advantage against a UTI is treating it as early as possible. If you keep some ACV in your kitchen, you’ll have no problem resorting to it should you feel the symptoms in the middle of the night.
One of the best antimicrobial remedies in existence, ACV can beat the infection and ease the symptoms of the UTI. The enzymes and minerals present in the ACV fight off the bacteria that cause the infection.
ACV also maintains an acidic environment, which is unfriendly to the infection-causing bacteria. It also reestablishes the gut with friendly bacteria.
- For the best results, consume raw and unrefined ACV that has the “mother of the vinegar” present in it. This cloudy sediment is what gives the ACV its beneficial properties.
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar – 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Warm water – 1 glass
Add ACV to the warm water
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV to a glass of warm water and mix thoroughly.
- Consume this ACV drink daily to ease the symptoms of a UTI.
To make the drink more palatable, you may add natural sweeteners like stevia. You may also use pure, organic raw honey, which itself has antibacterial properties.
Alternatively, you can consume ACV with any juice in order to help with the taste.
Method 4: Using Garlic
If you’re dealing with a drug-resistant strain of bacteria, garlic may help your cause. (6) Allicin and other sulfur compounds present in garlic have proven beneficial in eliminating a variety of strains of different bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
You can also use garlic as a natural substitute for antibiotics.
In addition to its potent antibiotic properties, garlic is anti-inflammatory. Thus, it also helps bring relief from the exacting symptoms of a UTI. You can either consume raw garlic or drink garlic tea.
- Peel and crush a good-sized clove of garlic and consume it orally. Chewing it is not necessary. You can wash it down with a mouthful of water like a capsule. Consume 3 or 4 cloves a day in this manner.
- Alternatively, completely crush a couple of garlic cloves and add them to a glass of warm water. Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and drink this tea. This tea can be consumed once or twice a day.
Method 5: Using Baking Soda
In a pinch, you can also use baking soda to bring relief from the painful symptoms of a UTI. Baking soda can help neutralize the acidity of your urine, easing the burning sensation every time you urinate. (7)
Baking soda also helps relieve the accompanying pain and boosts the recovery process.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 1 glass
Mix the baking soda into the water
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water.
- Stir until the baking soda completely dissolves into the water.
- Consume this baking soda water once daily, first thing in the morning, for relief from symptoms.
Additional tips for relief
- If your UTIs recur frequently, visit your doctor to find out the underlying cause and get the right treatment.
- Avoid using perfumed bubble bath, feminine hygiene washes, soap or talcum powder near your genitals while suffering from a UTI.
- A shower may be a better choice than a bath while suffering from a UTI.
- Go to the toilet whenever the urge to urinate hits you. Don’t hold in any urine and try to empty the bladder completely every time.
- Developing a habit of wiping your bottom from front to back may help prevent future infections.
- Adopt emptying your bladder as a post-sex ritual. This will prevent any possible urinary infection resulting from having sex.
- Wear cotton panties and breathable garments. Tight garments of unbreathable fabric can promote the breeding of germs.
- Flores-Mireles AL, Walker JN, Caparon M, Hultgren SJ. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nature reviews. Microbiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4457377/. Published May 2015.
- Tan CW, Chlebicki MP. Urinary tract infections in adults. Singapore medical journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027397/. Published September 2016.
- F B, Buendia-Jiménez, et al. [Urinary tract infections: Economical impact of water ... Proges en Urologie. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279629799. Published September 2015.
- Liska DAJ, Kern HJ, Maki KC. Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections: How Can the Same Evidence Lead to Conflicting Advice? Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863270/. Published May 9, 2016.
- Yagnik D, Serafin V, J Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/. Published January 29, 2018.
- Mansour A, Hariri E, Shelh S, Irani R, Mroueh M. Efficient and cost-effective alternative treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections and interstitial cystitis in women: a two-case report. Case reports in medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4283390/. Published 2014.
- Sönmez MG, Göğer YE, Ecer G, Atıcı A, Özkent MS, Öztürk A. Effects of urine alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate orally on lower urinary tract symptoms in female patients: a pilot study. International urogynecology journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28975365. Published July 2018.
Summary of How to Get Rid of A UTI:
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