How to Treat a UTI With Natural Supplements
Urinary tract infections hurt. Really hurt! They are uncomfortable and frustrating. And I know you want them gone quickly.
If you head to the doctor right now, they will undoubtedly give you antibiotics. But is that really your only option?
Could there actually be some all-natural ways to treat your UTI? There are! I’m here with 7 top all-natural UTI treatments.
Antibiotics: The Typical Treatment
When you have a UTI, the go-to treatment by any doctor will probably be antibiotics. And if you have chronic bladder infections, they may put you on long-term antibiotics.
So the reason to go “natural” by using these supplements below is to avoid antibiotic use. And there are plenty of reasons you may want to do this:
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- You do not want to build up an antibiotic resistance in case you have much more serious infections later on
- You do not want to mess with your gut flora and lower your immune system for the future
- You do not enjoy the side effects of antibiotics, like nausea, headaches, and even yeast infections
- You try to keep modern medicine as your “back up” plan in general
If any of these reasons apply to you, here are your alternatives.
7 Natural Supplements for Treating UTIs
Now we get to the 7 natural supplements you can take for treating your infection. Make sure you read through to learn what to do if these natural supplements do not fix the problem – or what to do if your symptoms get worse.
If you were only going to take one natural supplement to help treat your UTI, it should probably be this first choice: D-mannose. This is a natural type of sugar that combats E. coli (the most common bacteria responsible for UTIs).
The key to D-mannose’s success is that it doesn’t allow the bad bacteria to stick to your bladder walls. This way you can just flush it out with your urine.
While cranberry juice can have a very little amount of D-mannose, it is much better to just take it in supplement form when you have an infection.
2. Hibiscus Extract
Hibiscus is an incredible flower for healing all sorts of different health problems – from helping manage your cholesterol to lowering your blood pressure.
But the potent hibiscus extract can help a UTI.
This flower has been shown to combat E. coli and other bacteria types. And it is shown to be successful in treating candida albicans, which can be responsible for chronic bladder infections.
Since it is slightly diuretic, you will be using the bathroom more frequently. This helps you flush out the bacteria. On top of it all, hibiscus is actually a powerful antioxidant, which we know help boost our immune systems and our general health.
You can also enjoy a hot mug of hibiscus tea while you are treating your UTI. The warm, soothing liquid can be a comfort what you are in pain.
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There is bad bacteria (like the kind that causes urinary tract infections) and then there is good bacteria (like the kind that heals your body and helps keep you healthy). Probiotics are the good bacteria.
Probiotics are essential whether for UTI treatment whether or not you use antibiotics.
- If you don’t use antibiotics… the probiotics can help support your healing systems
- If you do use antibiotics… the probiotics can help re-balance your gut health so you don’t get a yeast infection after your urinary tract infection
You can take a probiotics supplement, just make sure to look for one that is 50 billion CFU or more (that’s the unit measurement of live bacteria). Another great way to get probiotics is through fermented food. My favorites are:
- Sauerkraut: I have this with meals multiple times a week. It can add nice flavor to meat, roasted veggies, or you can enjoy it just on its own.
- Yogurt: It’s important that you do not choose a high-sugar yogurt. Don’t choose one that’s artificially flavored either.
- Kombucha: I like to get the glass bottles of flavored kombucha for ease, but you can also make your own. Here’s a really cool video showing the interesting – and slimy – way it’s made:
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help you with urinary tract infections in multiple ways.
- First off – most of us already know that vitamin C is a huge immune system booster. Just like you’d take your vitamin C when you have a throat infection or sinus infection, you can also take it for a bladder infection.
- Next up – Vitamin C actually makes your urine more acidic, which is excellent for minimizing bacterial growth.
So if you’re anything like me, you try to boost your vitamin intake not only through supplements, but also through foods. And in most cases, that is a fabulous choice. But be careful with your UTI.
You may want to limit the amount of citrus fruit you eat, as it can sometimes make your bladder feel more irritated. Stick with a supplement and veggie sources like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or spinach.
Make sure you keep taking and eating plenty of vitamin C after your infection is over. It can help prevent another!
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils have incredible medicinal uses that can help treat your UTI. Here are my favorite choices:
- Clove: This essential oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- Myrrh: Like clove, myrrh essential oil fights against bacteria and parasites, as well as fungus.
- Lemongrass: Not only is lemongrass great for fighting against bacteria,
it isespecially effective at dealing “ drug resistantorganisms” – which makes it especially helpful for those with recurrent UTIs
- Oregano: This essential oil has been proven to be antimicrobial against E. coli.
The One Good Thing blog recommends rubbing oregano oil (with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or coconut oil) on the bottom of your feet and on your abdomen with a hot compress.
I like to do this with any of these oils. Since your feet do not have sebaceous glands, there is no barrier between the essential oils and your skin. This helps them better absorb into your body.
(Just make sure you don’t put these oils on the opening of your urethra or anywhere near your genitals.)
6. Uva Ursi
Uva ursi is an herb that’s been traditionally used for UTI treatment for centuries. More modern research has shown it can be used as a real treatment, especially at the earliest sign of infection (so if you’ve had symptoms for a few days, it may not be as effective.)
Some of its benefits stem from antiseptic properties and diuretic properties. There’s lots of different ways you can take this herb, and this video gives you the full rundown:
But it’s important to remember: just because something is all natural and herbal does not mean it is safe to take it however you want as long as you want. Uva ursi comes with restrictions.
This herb can be toxic to your liver if you take too much. So never take it for more than 5 days in a row – and don’t repeat use in the same year. Because of this toxicity possibility, play it safe and take it under the guidance of your medical professional.
If you’re pregnant/breastfeeding or if you have digestive health conditions (like Crohn’s disease), any sort of kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, or ulcers… do not take uva ursi.
Okay, water may not be a “natural supplement” – but it’s arguably one of the best natural solutions you have!
Water is key for UTI treatment and prevention.
The more urine you have, the more any bacteria in your bladder or urethra can be flushed out. You need to constantly drink enough to get that much urine.
So if you are trying to treat a UTI, make sure you drink enough to be constantly flushing out your bladder (even though it hurts to urinate right now.)
And if you are trying to prevent a UTI, be sure to stay fully hydrated every single day. Use the color of your urine as the ultimate indicator. If it’s any darker than a pale yellow, you need more water.
When Natural Supplements Aren’t Working
I’m a firm believer in going natural whenever possible. That’s why these natural UTI supplements make me so excited. But we also have to turn to modern medicine sometimes.
A urinary tract infection can move up from your bladder into your kidneys. At this point, it becomes really dangerous. Often you need immediate medical attention.
So if your symptoms do not get better in a couple days after using all-natural treatment options OR if they get worse, you should seek medical care right away. This is especially true if you start having any of these symptoms of a kidney infection:
- Side pain
- Back pain
Even if you do not wind up with a serious kidney infection, it is possible that your UTI will need a round of antibiotics to clear up. Take those antibiotics with a probiotic (a few hours apart) to keep your gut healthy.
Then follow all the UTI prevention steps so it doesn’t happen again:
- Use the bathroom right after having sex
- Avoid spermicide or spermicide-coated condoms
- Wipe from front to back
- Stay hydrated
Treating Your UTI Naturally
As you can see, there are lots of options available to you for treating your UTI naturally.
Normally it’s best to combine multiple methods for ultimate effectiveness. There’s no reason not to use every single one of them in your fight against your UTI (unless, of course, you determine that uva ursi is not right for you.)
Then remember – if your symptoms don’t get better or if they get worse, head to your doctor for a check up.