10 Home Remedies for UTI
By: Arlene Gentallan
Urinary tract infection can be a recurring issue for women. Women are more prone than men to develop UTI because of their short urethras. E. coli (Escherichia coli), which are natural inhabitants of out gut (colon), are the most common cause of UTI. Because the anus and urethra are near each other, it's easier to get infection.
What is UTI (Urinary tract infection)?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the urethra, urinary bladder, ureters, and kidneys. In UTI, bacteria enters the urethra into the urinary bladder where they grow in number, causing infection.
If untreated, infection can go up through the ureter into the kidneys.
"Cystitis" Urinary bladder infection
"Urethritis" Urethral infection
"Pyelonephritis" Kidney infection
Classic Signs & Symptoms of UTI
- Strong frequent urge to go to the bathroom to urinate
- Scanty urine output
- Pain when you urinate
- Back pain
- Cloudy urine
- Blood tinged or dark color urine
E. coli (Escherichia coli) don't generally prefer alkaline environment. They can thrive in acidic environment.
Related Article: 6 Facts about E. coli and UTI you should know
What is the best home remedy for UTI? Here are some of the popular alternative medicine you can take when you have uti. You can also take these to prevent recurrence of your uti. Choose among them and see which works best for you.
Garlic contains allicin and other sulfur compounds which has antimicrobial property. Garlic is a powerful antibiotic. Studies has shown it effective even against multi-drug resistant bacterial. You can consume 3-4 cloves of garlic per day.
Do take note that allicin is destroyed by heat so it's best to take garlic raw and crushed. Mix it with honey so you can bare the taste.
Note: Garlic alkalizes urine.
2. Green Tea
Green tea, one of the best form of antioxidant, used for various health issues is shown to be an effective home remedy for UTI. In a study by Wanda Reygaert and Ilir Jusufi, they've found out that Green tea has antimicrobial property against E. coli, the bacterial that commonly cause urinary tract infection. They concluded that:
"The results of this study have shown that green tea can have an antimicrobial effect on E. coli bacteria that cause UTIs. This is the first time that green tea has been reported to have this kind of effect"
Note: Green tea alkalizes urine.
Ginger has potent antibacterial property which works as an effective natural home remedy for UTI. Ginger kills E. coli. It also relieves inflammation, lowers blood sugar and thins the blood. Daily consumption for adults should not exceed 4-5 grams.
Note: Ginger alkalizes urine.
Peppermint contains "menthol" and "menthone" which has potent antibacterial activity. It can also ease the pain Recommended intake of peppermint tea is around 3 cups per day.
Note: Peppermint alkalizes urine.
5. Lots of Water
Water is an indispensable home remedy for UTI because it aids in flushing bacteria and cleaning your urinary tract. Make it a habit to drink at least 11 cups or 2.7 liters for adult women and 15 cups or 3.7 liters for adult men.
6. Coconut Water
Drinking coconut water, as opposed to plain water alone, can help rehydrate you because it contains electrolyte and minerals (sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium) which helps replenish those lost from fluid therapy. Coconut water is also a natural diuretic.
Note: Coconut water makes your urine alkaline.
7. Hot compress
You can place a hot compress over your pelvic area as an alternative medicine to relieve the pain caused by UTI. You may also find a hot shower relaxing, but don't soak yourself on the bathtub since it's a potential source of bacteria.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda ease pain of UTI by making urine alkaline. Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with a 1 cup or 8 oz. water, then drink it once in a day. Take it on an empty stomach. Be sure not to take too much or it can lead to metabolic alkalosis.
Note: Baking soda makes your urine alkaline.
9. Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is a popular home remedy for UTI. It has a component preventing bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall. These aids in flushing the bacteria easier. It also makes urine acidic. There's no agreed recommendation as to how much of it's juice you have to drink. Studies shows that drinking 8 oz. juice a day can prevent recurrence of UTI.
Cranberry does not have antibacterial activity, but aids in helping flush out bacteria from the urinary tract. Be careful though, cranberry juice is effective as a home remedy for uti but it is not recommended if you have kidney stone because cranberry contains oxalate which can aggravate your kidney stone.
Note: Cranberry makes your urine acidic.
10. Vitamin C
Studies have shown that Vitamin C has can kill bacteria. It also boost your immune system. Getting your daily requirement of Vitamin C from natural sources such as fruits and vegetable may help reduce your chances of acquiring UTI.
Note: Vitamin C makes your urine acidic.
Healthy Habits to avoid UTI
- Drinks lots of water.
- Avoid bladder irritants such as chocolate, caffeine citrus, and carbonated drinks such as soft drinks.
- Use cotton based underwear.
- Don't fight the urge to urinate.
- After urinating, wipe from front to back
- Avoid soaking in the bath tub; shower instead.
- Urinate after intercourse to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra.