Natural Home Remedies for UTI or Bladder Infection

Home Remedies for UTI

A bladder infection will affect more than 50% of women at least once in their lifetime. (source) These infections can be very painful and irritating. There are many cures on the market, but a lot of them are chemicals and synthetics. I am always in search of more natural treatment options.

(Not sure if you have a bladder infection? Read about signs, symptoms, and causes here.)

Home Remedies for UTI and Bladder Infections

There are many natural remedies to aid in the healing of a bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection, or UTI. Some are quick and simple, while others may take more time.

  1. Cranberry Juice can help to heal a bladder infection fast. It’s not a myth or an old wives’ tale, it really works. Cranberries have a substance that won’t allow bacteria, primarily E. coli, to stick to the bladder walls. If it can’t stick, it gets washed away and infections can be healed easier. You can take the straight juice or capsules. Cranberry juice cocktail should be avoided because the sugar it contains will actually help the bacteria to grow.
  2. Uva Ursi can be taken for bladder infections. It contains tannins which help to fight the infection and arbutin which acts as an antiseptic in the bladder. It should not be taken by those with kidney disease or by women who are pregnant.
  3. Cornsilk will help mild bladder infections. It is a diuretic and helps to eliminate toxins in the body.
  4. Marshmallow root is a demulcent, which creates a slimy coating inside the bladder. It can help to ease symptoms. Slippery elm and plantain may help in the same way. (Plantain the herb, not the banana!)
  5. Horsetail can also help to ease the symptoms. It contains diuretics which help increase urine production and flavinoids which can help protect the body against damage.
  6. Goldenseal and echinecea can help my boosting the bodies immune system, therefor increasing the healing ability for healing infections. Goldenseal should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing.
  7. Baking soda will help increase the pH of the urine, killing the bacteria. Mix a heaping teaspoon of baking soda in 12 ounces of water and drink. I add powdered orange juice (not the sugared kind, but straight powdered OJ) to cover the taste of the baking soda.
  8. Put good bacteria to work. Foods high in probiotics and good bacteria include yogurt (without sugar), kefir, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and miso. You can also take probiotics as a capsule or tablet.
  9. Limit your intake of irritants like alcohol, spicy foods, soda, caffeine, and nicotine. Smoking alone can decrease circulation and cause an infection to last longer. It also inhibits the absorption of vitamins which could delay the cure of an infection.
  10. Water is perhaps the single most important cure for a bladder infection. It helps to dissolve and transport nutrients, wash away bacteria, and hydrate the body. Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially in warmer weather.

NOTE: Betsy has added the following items and has had great results in treating bladder infections when using them.

  1. D-Mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is very effective in the treatment of UTIs. It has been shown in clinical trials to be effective in treating and preventing UTIs caused by E. coli. It attracts and coats the E. coli, effectively flushing it out of the urinary tract so it cannot attach to the bladder. It can be found in capsule or powdered form and taken daily for prevention, or at the first signs of an infection.
  2. Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a very strong acidic liquid that has been found to be effective in treating many infections, including bladder infections. Read more about it in this article.
  3. Homeopathic remedies can be very helpful in treating bladder infections. Since homeopathy works best when a remedy is chosen based on your particular symptoms, it is recommended that you work with a professional to find the best one. See all the possible homeopathic remedies for UTIs here.

NOTE: Bladder infections, if left untreated, can become very serious. Keep in mind we are not doctors, and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your health care provider. If you are pregnant or nursing, please do your homework and consult with your doctor or midwife to ask about the safety of any natural treatment.

Preventing Bladder Infections

Sometimes an infection will occur no matter what you do, but many bladder infections can be prevented. Here are some tips on how to avoid getting a UTI:

  • Drink plenty of water. This alone is the one thing that may help more than anything else.
  • Urinate frequently. This will help flush out toxins. Voiding only once or twice a day is not good for the urinary tract.
  • Keep the area clean. In warm weather sweat can increase the chances of getting an infection.
  • Wear loose clothing, cotton if possible. Tight clothing, especially synthetic, causes a warm dark environment. Bacteria love that!
  • A preventative dose of D-Mannose can be taken daily for those who suffer from chronic infections. (Find more information here.)
  • Eat yogurt and drink cranberry juice as preventatives.
  • Stop smoking as this will decrease circulation.
  • Keep your immune system strong.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Being tired will only help to run down your immune system.

Have you treated a bladder infection naturally? What has worked for you? 

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Comments

  1. These are all excellent tips. I’m going to share with my daughters as well. The antibiotics the doctor will give you can create other side issues, so it’s nice to have natural alternatives.

  2. Good information UTIs are very uncomfortable to say the least and all the information you have provided I have been incorporating into my life. The simple suggestions for preventing bladder infections are very useful. Thank you

  3. Thank you for the good tips…may I add something?
    D-mannose, after a while, may cause bladder irritation. I’ve used it and so have several women I know and we’ve all found the same thing. If you have a really stubborn infection and keep taking D-mannose, your bladder can get very sore. I’ve never read this anywhere, just personal and friends’ experience.
    Also, another super remedy is high doses of vitamin C. Several years ago I had a bladder infection with peeing blood clots, (talk about painful!) that didn’t respond to all the usual home remedies. Not wanting to resort to drugs, I found Dr. Andrew Saul’s website recommending vit. C. Worked like a charm, within a couple of hours I felt like I’d had a miracle.
    Since it’s easy to add vit. C to my everyday routine, I haven’t had a bad bladder infection since. And if I think one is coming on, I just up my vit. C. With lots of extra water.
    Sorry to be so long winded, but this subject is close to my heart…or bladder.

    • Thanks for the tips Susie. D-Mannose is new to me and I’m still learning about it. It makes sense that since it is a sugar, that it might hinder the results in the long run. Everyone’s body is different, so I think I would try it and see what happens. Betsy has had very good results with it, but someone else may not. And as for the vitamin C, that makes sense too, since it would probably cause the bacteria to not stick to the bladder walls just like cranberry juice does.

  4. Helpful information, thank you for sharing.

    I have treated UTIs for myself over the years, most recently a couple of weeks ago. For me the go-to herbs are echinacea (thanks to Susun Weed’s book on menopause) and yarrow. I also use joe-pye weed, which helps strengthen the bladder and urethra, as far as I can tell. When I’ve used joe-pye weed for a while the infections don’t escalate as quickly and respond better to herbal treatments.

    • Thanks Iris! Yes, joe-pye weed does work for some people as does yarrow and echinacea. Joe-pye weed is also called gravel root for the fact that it does help strengthen the urinary tract.

  5. I just moved to the Bahamas and needed bush medicine fast for my UTI. This weed or herb is called ceresea.
    But it works and the woman here swear by it.
    Take a lg handful and clean it in water. Boil it for a bit and let it steep. I let it steep for a couple hrs. This should be a quart or 2. To make it not so bitter at lemon juice or lime juice. 1 lemon/ lime or more…and salt. Ice tea or warm tea. Also I use apple cider vinegar in water.

    • Thanks JoAnn! I’d never heard of ceresea before your comment and was unable to find out much about it. What I did read was encouraging for bladder and UTI’s. I’ll be sure to try it if I can get o hold of some.

  6. I had a bladder infection twice in a row several years ago and the one thing that took care of never having one since then was something my mother never taught me – always wipe front to back. I had never heard this, but of course it would keep fecal bacteria away. Happy to say I have been UTI infection free.