Ginger for UTIs, how does it help?
Have you ever had a urinary tract infection? Maybe you’re having one right now? Do you get chronic bladder infections, one right after another? All of you want relief, and you want it right now.
The typical treatment for this painful infection is a round of antibiotics. For many people, they can really knock out the infection and you won’t have to deal with one again – at least not for a long time.
But some of us can’t take or don’t want to take antibiotics for a variety of reasons: messed up gut flora, antibiotic resistance, the struggle of getting yeast infections after every bladder infection etc.
Or maybe after recurrent bladder infections, we realize that antibiotics are a band-aid solution at best.
We’re looking for all-natural alternatives that can actually make a difference.
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And others us like to supplement antibiotics with natural choices that make the healing process go faster.
Either way, you have probably read that ginger is a good all-natural treatment option for UTIs. And I want to explore that idea with you.
I’m all about using natural alternatives to heal the body and prevent further health problems, but we need to be sure that we choose methods that are actually effective.
Let’s see what science has to say about ginger. Is it worth taking?
What Is Ginger?
When I speak about ginger as an all-natural medicine, I’m talking about the same ginger you find in lots of foods you enjoy.
You can often taste notes of ginger in Asian cuisines, the ginger spice is often in holiday baked goods, ginger juice is often found in juice blends, and I’m sure you’ve tried ginger ale before.
It is actually a plant that flowers, and mostly comes from parts of Asia, South America, and Africa.
What Does Ginger Do For Your Health?
Ginger is mostly known for its ability to calm all sorts of stomach problems. This is because ginger has ingredients that not only reduce problems in the digestive tract, but it can also work through the nervous system to control feelings like nausea.
Stomach issues that ginger can help includes:
- Motion sickness
- Morning sickness
- Loss of appetite
- Irritable bowl syndrome
To benefit from its stomachache treatments, people often sip ginger ale or a juice blend with ginger or they may eat candied ginger.
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But the health benefits go far behind stomach troubles.
- Ginger can also provide pain relief for anything from arthritis and migraines to menstrual cramps and back pain.
- It may be used as people are coming of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors to help with that transition
- It can treat burns and ward off insect bites
- It’s been used to treat really difficult problems like cholera and malaria too
So with its varied uses can ginger actually heal or prevent a urinary tract infection?
Is Ginger The Answer To UTIs?
Many different health and wellness websites will recommend ginger as a UTI healer. Yet many scientific or medical websites do not mention ginger as a way to either prevent or treat a bladder infection.
So what gives?
There has not been much scientific research into whether or not ginger can significantly improve a UTI. But there has been some research that confirms that natural spices – including ginger – do have antibacterial properties against E. coli
Since E. coli is the No. 1 culprit of bladder infections, some draw the conclusion that ginger will be a UTI helper.
Plus, the anti-inflammatory nature of ginger also makes it a good candidate for helping UTIs.
But again, there are not any solid studies done connecting ginger as a direct or significant helper to urinary tract infections.
Should You Try Ginger? Is It Safe?
For the most part ginger is considered entirely safe. So it becomes one of those “why not” sort of treatments for a UTI. Only a few groups of people need to worry about supplementing with ginger:
- Pregnant women
- Breast-feeding women
- Those with bleeding disorders
- Those with heart conditions
Anyone in these groups should speak with their doctor first. Otherwise you should be free to try this all-natural treatment.
How Can You Take Ginger?
There are lots of was to take ginger if you want to experiment with it and see if it helps your UTIs.
- Cook with it: Adding fresh ginger to your recipes is a great way to boost flavor and health
- Juice it: Juicing ginger and adding it to a fruit blend is a delicious way to incorporate it into your diet. My favorite combo is ginger, beet, and apple.
- Supplement it: Ginger supplements can be found at any health food store. Make sure to follow the dosing suggestions and not take more than recommended.
- Sip It: Ginger tea is an incredibly soothing hot drink, perfect for when you are in the midst of healing up from a UTI.
While ginger ale can sometimes feel nice when you have an upset stomach, it is not the ideal choice as a health tonic. These ginger ale drinks are often filled with lots of sugar. Some don’t even have real ginger; they are just ginger flavored.
So choose a tea or a cold-pressed ginger juice instead.
Other Natural Ways To Improve UTIs
Since ginger is not a sure fire way to treat or prevent urinary tract infections, you shouldn’t leave it on its own. Combine a warm ginger tea with these fabulous supplements for bladder infections:
- D-mannose: This all-natural sugar combats E. coli and helps remove it from your urinary tract
- Hibiscus extract: This beautiful flower has the punch to fight against the types of bacteria most common in UTIs (though the tea is delicious, take the extract form for immediate support)
- Water: I know this isn’t technically a “supplement” – but adequate hydration is one of the most important and effective natural solutions to UTIs. You already have a system in place to flush away bladder bacteria: urine. So make plenty of it!
- Vitamin C: Most of us already know how important vitamin C is in keeping sickness away – and UTIs are no different. Since citrus fruits may irritate your bladder more, stick to a supplement during this time.
- Probiotics: If you take an antibiotic to treat your UTI, you must also take a probiotic. This will resupply your body with good bacteria after the antibiotics have wrecked you gut flora.
Ginger and Your Urinary Tract
So to answer our question at the beginning of this article, ginger probably will not cure a UTI on its own.
But it just may make a really nice addition to other forms of treatment.
So sip your freshly squeezed ginger juice, or add fresh ginger to your dinner tonight and allow its natural power to speed up your recovery time.