UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are extremely uncomfortable, even painful. Luckily, antibiotics are not the only way to treat a UTI. Many natural remedies exist that not only treat infections, but can help prevent them in the first place. Below we’ve listed several of the most common.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Water is your best friend, whether you’re trying to heal from or to prevent a UTI. Because UTIs are caused by bacteria inside your bladder or urethra (and, if the infection goes on long enough, your kidneys), you need to flush them out. Water gives you something to flush with, so drink as much as you can. The rest of the time, it will help keep passages free of bacteria to prevent infections.
Drink Cranberry and Other Fruit Juices
Cranberry and fruit juices contain natural UTI-fighting substances, so drink up. Just be careful not to overdo it. Juice is still loaded with sugar, so don’t have more than a few glasses a day, and don’t consider it a substitute for H2O.
Mix It Up with Baking Soda
One of the reasons you avoid peeing when you have a UTI is the burning sensation, which is caused by acidity. Drinking a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a glass of water can help neutralize this burning, making it easier to bear the infection.
See the Herbalist
In your effort to treat and prevent UTIs, it may be helpful to supplement your diet with herbs and other natural substances. D-Mannose, for instance, is a naturally occurring substance found in some fruits (and is the reason cranberry juice and others are so effective). You can usually buy this at a natural health food store, though if you can’t, ask an herbalist. Other treatments include goldenseal, Oregon grape root and urva ursi, the last being especially effective. If you do take herbs, be sure to let your doctor know when they ask about medications: herbs count.
Don’t Avoid the Bathroom
This last isn’t so much a remedy as a piece of advice. Since urinating when you have a UTI is often painful, it’s tempting to wait until you “really” have to go, but don’t. Every time you feel the urge, you should obey it: your body is expelling some of the bacteria causing the problem with every trip to the bathroom, so it truly helps.