Urinary tract infection is an infection affecting the urinary tract. This infection is more common in women, with nearly 50% of women developing UTI or its symptoms within their lifetime and comprising nearly 25% of clinical bacterial infections in women [R].
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, which have caused UTI-causing bacteria to become resistant. Since infection recurrence is a major concern due to antibiotic resistance, you might want to try the following 9 natural remedies that are backed by scientific studies [R].
Bulbine natalensis belongs to the Asphodelaceae plant family along with aloe vera. It is native to South Africa and is also referred to as ingcelwane, ibhucu, or rooiwortel [R].
The sap in its leaves is often used as a remedy for rashes, burns, and minor wounds. Its leaves can also be infused to treat vomiting, convulsions, STIs, diabetes, diarrhea, and rheumatism [R].
Bubline natalensis is a traditional African medicine that treats a myriad of diseases and infections, but it is just recently that it gained popularity in Western medicine and used as a supplement.
In 2012, the US National Library of Medicine published a study showing the effectiveness of bulbine natalensis extract combined with alcohol against E. coli, a causative agent in inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and UTI [R].
2. Grapefruit Seeds
Grapefruit seed extract was found to reduce E. coli levels in beef samples [R].
Additionally, a clinical trial was done using grapefruit seeds to relieve UTI symptoms caused by different pathogens. The patients were asked to consume 5 to 6 seeds, 3 times a day. After 2 weeks of grapefruit treatment, significant improvements were noted [R].
3. Hibiscus Extract
The hibiscus plant is a natural diuretic. This means that it helps flush out water from your body and some bacteria along with them. It is a great source of Vitamin C. Together, these properties help resolve recurrent UTI [R].
A clinical trial was conducted with 55 women with recurring UTIs to prove this. The patients were asked to drink a supplement with myrrh, vegetable enzymes, and hibiscus extracts. The result was that their UTI and symptoms no longer recurred, and the quality of their lives significantly improved [R].
Clinical observations also stated that drinking hibiscus tea helped with preventing or treating UTI in patients with catheters. Since these types of UTIs are usually harder to treat, hibiscus tea is considered a potent herbal UTI treatment option [R].
4. Blueberries and cranberries
These delicious treats are often used in the prevention of UTIs. Petri dish studies showed that wild blueberry extracts stopped E. coli growth, which is the bacteria most commonly associated with UTIs [R] [R].
5. Moringa Bark
Moringa is a popular vegetable present in many Asian dishes.
In a study conducted with 15 patients with UTI, the bark of a Moringa tree helped in the treatment of UTI symptoms with 65% of the patients tested. About 35% of them also reported having noticeable, if not complete, relief. This study proves the use of Moringa as an inflammation and UTI treatment [R].
7. Horsetail Oil
8. Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C inhibits E. coli growth by making your urine more acidic. It also boosts the immune system, which increases your chances against fighting infectious diseases, such as UTI [R].
In a 2007 study, researchers found that drinking 100 mg of vitamin C daily played a role in the treatment of UTI during pregnancy. Within a 3-month treatment period, UTIs were reduced, improving the health of the pregnant women [R].
9. Oregano Oil
In a 2012 study, the antibacterial properties of oregano oil were evaluated, and what researchers found was that oregano exhibited antibacterial activity against all strains of bacteria tested. It was also successful in inhibiting E. coli growth [R].
Oregano oil may even be a more preferable option in UTI treatment than conventional antibiotics because it helps hasten healing related to bacterial infections and it helps prevent antibiotic resistance [R].
In the intake of oregano oil, however, it is not advised to take it for more than 2 weeks at one time. It should also be taken with water or coconut oil.
Aside from being backed by scientific studies, the natural remedies like the ones mentioned above help prevent antibiotic resistance and there are no known very harmful side effects. However, it is still advised to take the precautionary measure of consulting with your physician beforehand.
We strongly advise you to have a regular check-up with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least every three months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplement mentioned in the list for long-term.