A urinary tract infection, also known as UTI is a presence of infection in any part of urinary system — kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections affect the bladder and the urethra, which combine to form the lower part of the tract. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder and urethritis is an infection of the urethra. UTI is much more common in women, because of the short length of the female urethra. UTI are rare in men under 60, but the incidence increases as both men and women get older. Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics. But you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place. A high intake of fluids is essential to help flush out the infection from the system. If UTIs keep occurring, it is essential to identify and treat the underlying cause.
- Burning sensation when passing urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Cloudy urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Loin pain, with fever and chills (indicates an infection of kidneys and ureters)
Home Remedies for UTI
- Cranberry: Drink two or three glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice a day to flush out the infection. Cranberry has been used for more than a century to prevent UTIs. Antioxidant found in cranberry, called proanthocyanins prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Don’t drink cranberry juice if you’re taking blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, aspirin, it can interact and cause bleeding. Too much cranberry juice can also cause kidney stones if you’re susceptible. This is due to their high oxalate content.
- Raisins: Boil 25 grams of raisins in 250ml of water until water reduces to half the original volume. Have the mixture twice a day. This is one of the most effective home remedies for UTI.
- Bottle Gourd: Drink a fresh glass of bottle gourd juice mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice. It serves as an alkaline mixture for treating burning sensation in urinary passage due to high acidity of urine.
- Tender Coconut: Have tender coconut water daily for few weeks. Coconut water is a natural diuretic so it helps flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.
- Parsley: Parsley has a natural diuretic properties and helps to cleanse the bladder of infectious organisms. Boil slowly 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley in 2.5 liters water in a covered pot for 10 minutes and strain. Drink this tea over a period of three hours to flush out the bladder.
- Cucumber: Drink one cup of cucumber juice, mixed with one teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, three times a day. It act as a diuretic.
- Radish leaves: Drink one cup of radish leave juice in the morning for 15 days.
- Spinach: Take half cup fresh spinach juice mixed with half cup tender coconut water twice a day.
- Carrot: Take half glass of carrot juice mixed with an equal quantity of water, if there is no fever.
- Sandalwood oil: It has anti-bacterial and diuretic properties. Take two drops in the beginning and gradually increased to five drops in a cup of water with or without two gm ginger juice.
- Sandalwood bath: An aromatherapy bath can help to ease the pelvic discomfort that often accompanies a bladder infection. Add 10 drops of sandalwood essential oil to a bath of comfortably warm water and soak for 20 minutes to ease the pelvic discomfort. Repeat daily until the infection subsided.
- Castor oil: Apply castor oil to lower abdomen and cover with soft flannel and apply heat (such as hot water bottle) for 20-30 minutes. Castor oil acts as anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat UTIs with associated bladder cramping or pelvic discomfort.
Do’s for UTI
- Take probiotics such as yogurt to prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria and may help prevent UTI. There is strong scientific evidence that support the use of probiotics for urological conditions.
- Eat natural diuretics such as watermelon, celery, and parsley, or make a juices out of these foods.
- Drink two or three glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice a day to flush out the infection.
- Drink plenty of water, 2-3 liters a day, to increase urinary output.
- Restrict sugar intake while battling an infection, as it can feed bacteria.
- Apply a warm heating pad to abdomen to minimize bladder discomfort.
- Women should wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
- Empty your bladder soon after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
- Practice stress reduction techniques through meditation or deep breathing exercises.
Don’ts for UTI
- Avoid wearing too tight clothing and underwear. Also avoid underwear made from synthetic materials such as nylon. Always choose cotton underwear.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks which can irritate bladder and tend to aggravate frequent or urgent need to urinate.
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products such as douches and powders, in the genital area which can irritate the urethra.
- Avoid irritating soaps, and take shower rather than baths.
- If you have signs and symptoms of a UTI.
- High fever with chills, nausea, vomiting.
- Upper back and flank pain or blood in urine.