| || || |
| Urinary Tract Infection |
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: January 29, 1999
I have a lot of problems with Urinary Tract Infections and was wondering if there are any herbs that can help with this. I usually take care of it by drinking alot of cranberry juice and water, but was wondering about herbs, if there was any that would help.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), with symptoms of urinary frequency and pain due to inflammation of urinary tract linings, occur when the internal balance of the tract is disturbed. The urinary tract is designed to wash out an excess of germs. Among the causes of imbalance are: stress, antibiotics, birth control pills, hormone replacement, vaginal infections, use of tampons, washing the genital areas with soap instead of water, over-douching, poor nutrition, bacteria from the anal area and less frequently kidney stones or other blockage of the tract.
Prevention of UTIs includes correcting any of the above causes, wiping from front to back to avoid introducing bacteria from the anal area and urinating immediately before and after intercourse.
Herbal treatment includes increasing the intake of fluids (water, cranberry juice or herbal teas) to 8 cups a day to dilute and flush out the excess bacteria, and returning the urinary tract lining to normal so that the natural process of flushing out excess bacteria is restored. Unsweetened cranberry juice contains antibiotic substances that have been shown to reduce bacteria in the urinary tract. Seventeen ounces a day is usually recommended.
Amanda McQuade Crawford in "Herbal Remedies for Women" (Prima Publishing) recmmends the following herbal formula:
* Bearberry leaf (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) (contains antibiotic substances): 4 ounces
* Marshmallow leaf or root (Althea officinalis) (soothes urinary tract lining): 3 ounces
* Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium) (urinary antiseptic and anti-inflammatory): 2 ounces
* Cinnamon (antiseptic and relieves spasms): 1 ounce or to taste
To make a tea, steep one ounce of the above herbal mixture in two cups of boiling water for 15 minutes in a glass or ceramic jar or teapot. Drink two to five cups a day for a full week to ten days after all symptoms have cleared. During pregnancy, omit yarrow. This formula may be safely taken for up to four weeks, except during pregnancy. If no improvement is seen within forty-eight hours, a health practitioner should be consulted.