There are some recently discovered natural treatments for urinary tract infections (bladder infections) that work astonishingly well and give fast (24 hour) symptomatic relief from the awful burning and painful urination. Here are 10 of the best home remedies in no particular order...
Article by Troy Sawyer (Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach, Sports Nutritionist)
Updated March 21, 2023 -- This post contains affiliate links
Urinary tract infections are rampant in Westernized countries. But here’s a few surprizing facts that most people (including doctors) aren’t aware of…
A urinary tract infection (or UTI) is the second most common infection people receive each year after respiratory infection. The statistical figures in the U.S. are somewhere between 8-10 million Americans, most of which are women (women have shorter urethras, hence why they’re more prone). In fact, further statistics show that a urinary tract infection will affect half of all women at some point during their lifetime and results in more than 8 million visits to the doctor each year. 2
And the worst part is the statistics are still continuing to go up dramatically each year!
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection or bladder infection (which is highly likely and probably the reason why you’re here searching for UTI remedies) you will definitely know the symptoms. It usually starts out with a frequent need to visit the ladies (or mens) room. But once there you find you can only squeeze out a piddle here and a piddle there. The worst part is of course the terrible burning sensation you get in your bladder or urethra.
That stings to high heaven!
You can also get aching or pain in your lower abdomen, along with having cloudy looking urine that smells like a dead cat! But these aren’t the least of your problems though because a urinary tract infection can quickly spread to the kidneys and cause kidney damage. The infection can also make its way into the bloodstream and poison your blood.
Along with the symptoms already mentioned, if you have a kidney infection you will likely experience a fever, back pain, side pain and strong abdominal pain. To be on the safe side, if you happen to be at this level then we suggest you seek help from a health care professional right away.
The biggest problem with a UTI or bladder infection is most people go straight to their doctor and are given antibiotics to treat the infection. Although this can help short term, long term it can turn out to be a disaster treatment. Antibiotics should be your last resort when it comes to treating a urinary tract infection for two reasons...
Number one - antibiotics rarely kill the microbes that actually cause a UTI, particularly Escherichia coli, which is the bacteria responsible for 90% of all UTI cases. And number two - antibiotics kill off the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, which then allows the growth of harmful bacteria. So further down the track you'll very likely end up with other problems (along with a painful re-occurrence of your urinary tract infection) such as chronic candida overload (thrush). This is a serious problem as candida fungus release toxic "candida buds" that eventually find their way into the blood stream and poison your blood!
Natural remedies for UTI's really do work a treat and should definitely be your first method of choice. As with all natural treatments and home remedies though, you must be diligent and consistent in applying them or you will not get the desired results (and will only end up wasting your money). On the up-side though, if you do follow the recommendations listed below to-the-letter, you will not only get rid of your bladder infection very quickly, you will get rid of it for good and never have to put up with another one again!
Cranberries are a "tried and true" natural treatment for UTI's that have been used successfully for well over a century. In fact, this is the standard remedy and treatment you'll find on virtually every natural health website. The reason they work so well is twofold. Firstly, they contain substances called proanthocyanins (condensed tannins), which help to stop the UTI causing bacteria (Escherichia) from clinging to the walls of the urinary tract. This allows your own urine to flush out this bacteria.
The second reason is they contain a powerful substance called D-mannose. D-mannose has been the subject of numerous articles and reports in recent years in regards to treating urinary tract infections. One laboratory study, published in the PLoS One Journal back in 2008, found that D-mannose was also able to stop the Escherichia bacteria from sticking to the cell walls of the bladder. So what basically happens is the bacteria like the D-mannose more than the bladder walls so they naturally go to it and cling on. You then simply "pee them away". Nice!
Best Ways to get Your D-mannose and Proanthocyanins…
Of course, you can easily get your proanthocyanins (and D-mannose) from eating cranberries or drinking the juice. The down side is that you need to eat and drink a lot and they are quite high in sugar. The better alternative is to take cranberry supplements. And studies have shown that the tablets are far more effective anyway!
You can also buy specific D-mannose supplements (such as these) which contain high and concentrated amounts of the compound. These supplements are very fast acting and work extremely well. In fact, famed holistic doctor, Dr Joseph Mercola, says…
“D-mannose can help cure more than 90 percent of all UTI’s within 1 to 2 days”. 1
Because the D-mannose supplements do work so well and so quickly, you may only need to take them for a few days at best. However, many UTI sufferers opt to continue taking them at a lower (maintenance) dose indefinitely… just for insurance. According to D-mannose expert, Dr. Jonathan Wright, an effective treatment and dose for an adult with a UTI is 3 to 5 times the single serving (1/2 tsp or 1 tablet) recommended by the manufacturer. He also recommends this dose be taken every 3 to 4 hours while awake until your UTI symptoms are completely gone, which usually takes between one to two days.
The great thing about taking both the cranberry and D-mannose supplements is they don’t harm your friendly gut bacteria either, which as you're about to discover is absolutely crucial when it comes to successfully treating a UTI.
There is a strong and definite link between low levels of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and vagina, and the occurrence and reoccurrence of bladder infections in women…
A ten week study funded by the National Institutes of Health back in 2011 found that the women who took a probiotic supplement experienced a significantly lower reoccurrence of urinary tract infections (RUTI's) compared to the ladies who received a placebo. Professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Dr Ann Stapleton, said…
“During a UTI, gut bacteria like E. coli take up residence in the vagina and displace good bacteria, called vaginal lactobacilli that normally live there. Women take antimicrobial medications to combat these infections and the medications wipe out all bacteria, both good and bad. But for some women, the bad bacteria grow back to cause a recurrent UTI. The probiotics help to restore the natural bacterial environment to make it hard for the bad bacteria to cause another infection”.
Dr Stapleton also went on to say this in a news report…
"We know that if we look at people around time of [urinary tract infection] and right before that, these lactobacilli are gone from the vagina. That's what suggests that replenishing them might stop a urinary tract infection from happening again." 3
The only thing we would add here is men need to take probiotics just as much as women - not only because they help to prevent and treat UTI's - but because they also help to improve your digestion, along with preventing and treating many other candida causing health problems as well!
Best Sources of Probiotics…
Because of the pathetic nutritional nature of the foods we eat today and our “overindulgent” lifestyles, every person on the planet should be taking a high quality probiotic supplement every day. Of course, if you're a regular UTI sufferer then this becomes even more important. You also need to look at fermenting and culturing your own foods and consuming them on a daily basis for an extra supply of healthy bacteria. This is actually something that was practised regularly in the old days, but sadly today, has become a lost art.
We highly recommend you check out this website for some terrific and easy ways to naturally culture and ferment your own food and drinks… Cultures for Health.
And remember this important fact... you can NEVER have too many probiotics and good gut bacteria. In fact, the more you have and the more you consume the better, so be sure to eat and drink as much of them as you possibly can!
In addition to this, women with a urinary tract infection should also use an intravaginal probiotic suppository (a small tampon like device that's inserted into the vagina). Use this for the first two weeks of an infection to completely kill off all candida and promote the growth of friendly bacteria in the vagina. These suppositories are incredibly effective and can easily be bought from your local pharmacy (drug store) or online from places such as Amazon.com.
The biggest benefit of using this remedy for your bladder infection is the speed in which it works. In fact, you’ll be enjoying almost complete relief in just a few short hours… it really does work that fast. You may also have some sea salt or pink rock salt sitting in your pantry right now so you can get started straight away. What the Himalayan pink rock salt and sea salt do is alkalize your body (which is crucial for curing a UTI). The acid in your urine is also neutralized, which then destroys the bacteria that’s causing your urinary tract infection. Because the body is alkalized and any acid in the urine is neutralized, the pain and burning sensation that’s frequently experienced when visiting the bathroom is also quickly eliminated.
Some Do’s and Don’ts to Follow When Using This Remedy…
Sea salt and pink rock salt are very safe to use, so there’s no need to worry. Just make sure you ONLY use either certified organic sea salt or genuine Himalayan pink rock salt. Do not use normal table salt! This stuff is toxic and dangerous. Our personal favorite is the Himalayan pink rock salt. Pink rock salt is wonderfully alkalizing and contains over 84 naturally occurring minerals and trace elements. Even Dr Mercola recommends everyone regularly salt their food to taste with Himalayan Chrystal salt (pink rock salt).
To use, all you do is add a teaspoon of finely ground pink rock salt to a glass of warm filtered water and stir. Once it’s completely dissolved, drink down. Either first thing in the morning or before going to bed are the best times to have this drink, however, if you’re suffering from a UTI right now then take this concoction straight away. You’ll only need to have it once, or twice at the most on the first day before your UTI is gone. After this you can either cease with the drink altogether or continue to take it every day to prevent further occurrences (which we highly recommend). If you do decide to continue taking it, keep the dosage in the range of ½-1 teaspoon of the rock salt mixed in water once a day. And don’t forget to use the Himalayan pink rock salt to salt your food to taste as well!
Note: If you use this cure and continue with it, do not go with the baking soda remedy (#7). Only use one of these at a time (you’ll only need one anyway). Do make sure you use the apple cider vinegar though and continue to take the ACV even after your UTI has cleared up (see #7 remedy for more information on this).
This UTI remedy is a favorite of Dr. Jonathan Wright. In fact, it doesn’t just work spectacularly well for bladder infections, it also works a treat on upset stomachs, gastro and food poisoning, along with other horrible stomach bugs such as the dreaded “Bali belly” (if you’ve ever been to Bali and had this then you’ll know what we're talking about). Potassium iodide is a very powerful anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial agent and is highly alkalizing to the body. Because a UTI is primarily a bacterial infection, potassium iodide gets a hold of it and kills it… fast! The "alkalizing" also helps to rid the body of infection and promote rapid healing. 4
This is one supplement my wife and I always have in the house and we never go on holidays without it. Although I never get sick (I don’t, that’s the honest truth) I always have some on hand or close by just in case anyone else needs it.
It’s definitely worth its weight in gold!
You can buy potassium iodide online or from any well-stocked health food store. Take the maximum amount recommended on the bottle - in either liquid, granule or capsule form - for one to two weeks. Here's what it looks like if you're interested... Potassium Iodide (SSKI)
A Swedish study published in the PLoS One journal back in 2011 found that vitamin D offers some strong protection against urinary tract infections. Researchers discovered that an antimicrobial peptide known as cathelicidin helps to ward off harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including those that trigger UTI’s. And vitamin D is the crucial nutrient that induces the production of this powerful peptide.
"In the light of the rapidly growing problem of resistance to common urinary tract antibiotics, we suggest that vitamin D may be a potential complement in the prevention of UTI. Determining the vitamin D status of individuals with a history of UTI may be of importance to evaluate their ability to fend off intruding bacteria." 5
Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, vitamin D doesn’t harm your healthy gut bacteria either, nor does it interfere with the growth of healthy vaginal bacteria (lactobacillus). This is extremely important, not just for the treatment of a bladder infection, but for long term prevention as well. The current RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU’s, which is woeful and will help very little. According to famed vitamin D researcher, Dr Cedric Garland, you need a minimum of 4000 IU’s of vitamin D each day, and if you want to prevent and treat your UTI you will definitely need this amount to activate the production of cathelicidin.
Although regular sun exposure is a great way to increase your vitamin D levels, a much safer (and easier) way is to take a good quality vitamin D3 supplement (the same as what the sun makes). Just make sure the vitamin D you buy also contains vitamin K2 for enhanced absorption.
You can have a read this excellent article if you’d like more information on what your REAL vitamin D levels should be… 4,000-8,000 IU’s of Vitamin D Needed Each Day.
Blueberries are fantastic for helping to relieve the symptoms of a UTI. In fact, they contain the same bacteria-inhibiting properties as cranberries (they’re from the same family). Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which has also been found to be a terrific treatment and cure for urinary tract infections. Both are rich in vitamin C as well - a powerful antioxidant and immune builder. In addition, vitamin C helps to keep the bladder healthy and working correctly so be sure to eat as much of these fruits as you can!
Baking soda is a simple but very effective remedy for a bladder infection. The soda neutralizes the acidity in your urine, which then helps to relieve the symptoms, and in turn, speed up the recovery process. The other benefit of baking soda according to sodium bicarbonate expert, Dr Marcus Sircus, is it detoxifies and cleans the kidneys, along with providing rapid healing of these two vital organs. So if you have a urinary tract infection and its spread to your kidneys, you definitely need to get some baking soda into you straight away!
Apple cider vinegar is another natural treatment for a UTI that you should strongly consider. ACV is a powerful health tonic and healing elixir and is actually one of the best anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal remedies in existence! It also helps to recolonize the digestive tract and vagina with crucial "friendly" bacteria.
The father of medicine, Hippocrates, loved using apple cider vinegar and it was one of his all-time favourite treatment modalities. The beauty of ACV is it not only cures just about every ailment in existence, it’s dirt cheap to buy and lasts for ages!
How to Take Your Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat and Cure UTI’s…
Baking soda can be bought from just about anywhere (you probably even have some in your house already). Bob's Best Baking Soda is the most reputable brand, but most are okay. To quickly treat and cure a urinary tract infection, either mix up one rounded teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of filtered water and drink once daily on an empty stomach. Or split the dosage by mixing up half a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink this twice daily on an empty stomach.
With the apple cider vinegar, you must make sure the brand you buy is organic, raw ACV and still contains the “mother” apple (very important). Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is the best on the market and the one we recommend you use. For this, mix one to two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of warm filtered water and drink 20 minutes before eating - do this twice daily. If you find the apple cider vinegar too strong or bitter to drink then simply add a teaspoon of Manuka honey to sweeten. Or if you find you really can't handle the taste of the liquid, go with the tablets or capsules instead.
In addition to this, you can also use the baking soda and ACV as a genital wash. Just add a tablespoon of each to a good sized bowl of water and use this to wash and clean the genitals. Do this twice daily if possible. This "bathing" will not only help to remedy and cure your UTI, it's also highly soothing as well.
How Long do You Take the Baking Soda and ACV for?
The baking soda should be taken for at least a week to treat and cure a UTI. However, you may want to consider taking it for longer. Baking soda provides many positive health benefits, mainly because it alkalizes the body. Personally, I have a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water twice a week and have been doing this for many years. Like I said, I never get sick and the extra energy boost you receive from taking the baking soda is amazing (your body uses the bicarbonates from the baking soda for digestion rather than using up and wasting its own internal bicarbonates).
So I highly recommend you do the same!
In regards to the apple cider vinegar and how long you should take it for, this one is very simple… for the rest of your life!
ACV is not like a prescription, you don't just take it until the infection clears up. Of course, treating and curing your UTI right now is important, but the last thing you want is to have reoccurring bladder infections. Apple cider vinegar will stop this from happening, along with providing many other positive health benefits. Life extension specialist and ACV advocate, Paul C Bragg, regularly used apple cider vinegar and drank it every day for most of his life and he remained healthy and active well into his nineties!
Olive leaf extract contains some powerful anti-viral and
anti-bacterial agents and has been found to be effective against Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, one of the bacteria that causes bladder infections. This is particularly
important for UTI sufferers as Pseudomonas aeruginosa has a low susceptibility
to antibiotics. The main active ingredient in olive leaf extract, oleuropein,
is also extremely effective at killing the Escherichia coli bacteria, the other
infection causing culprit of UTI’s. Complete relief can be found in as little
as 24 hours with the OLE, and if you decide to stay on a maintenance dose, it’s highly unlikely that you'll ever get
another urinary tract infection again!
When purchasing an OLE supplement, you need to make sure the brand you buy has an oleuropein content (the main ingredient needed to treat a UTI) of at least 20-25% (300 mg’s of pure oleuropein). Anything less will not be effective enough. The truth is, most of the OLE supplements out there just don’t stack up. Some are very good but others (usually the cheaper varieties) are rubbish. This is why we only recommend the super strength varieties to our clients. These are the strongest olive leaf extracts available. Amazon supply some of the best OLE's available anywhere and are 100% trustworthy. You can check out their product info here if you're interested... Super Strength Olive Leaf Extract.
Uva ursi is a herb that is regularly used by health professionals to cure UTI's. The active ingredient in uva ursi is a substance called arbutin, and this contains powerful antiseptic properties that help clean the kidneys and urinary system. To use effectively for urinary tract infections, make up a tincture or tea containing uva ursi and drink at least once a day when you have a UTI occurrence. Continue until the infection clears up then discontinue as long term use of this herb isn't recommended.
Sugar is one of the worst culprits when it comes to urinary tract infections (and candida), so you really must keep your sugar intake to a minimum if you want to prevent further UTI’s. This includes avoiding high sugar fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, bananas, figs, grapes, guava, kumquats, lychees, mangos, pomegranates, beets, corn, parsnips, peas, potatoes and winter squashes (particularly acorn and butternut). All other fruits and vegetables are okay to be eaten.
As a further prevention, you must also cut out all refined and processed foods, along with all diet and “sugary” soft drinks and fruit drinks. These man-made disaster foods are not fit for human consumption anyway and all they do is clog up your insides, including your digestive system and waste disposal system, along with helping to guarantee that you'll get another UTI in the future!
Drinking water allows the body to flush bacteria out of the urinary system. Because you'll be using some potent remedies - including the cranberry and D-mannose tablets - it’s important that you drink plenty of filtered water everyday so these treatments work effectively and flush you out properly.
You'll already be drinking a reasonable amount of water with the baking soda and apple cider vinegar or the pink rock salt drink, but this will still not be enough. Aim for between two and two and a half liters of pure filtered water per day. Peeing is probably painful at this stage so you may be tempted to drink less water, not more - but don’t do this! Drinking lots of water will actually help you to get rid of your UTI symptoms, especially the pain and burning, much more quickly.
DO go to the toilet when you need to. Holding on is not a
good idea. The problem is if you do hold your urge to urinate, you're more
likely to get a build-up of bacteria and end up with a bladder infection again.
DO go with the flow. After urinating, be sure to wipe from front to back to stop any bacteria from getting near the urethra. This helps to prevent further UTI’s.
DON'T drink alcohol. Alcohol is a strong irritant to the bladder and will send you to the toilet unnecessarily.
DO cut out caffeine. Avoid caffeine-loaded soft drinks and chocolate, along with tea and coffee. Caffeine also irritates the bladder and will interfere with the remedies listed above.
DO wear cotton. Anything that comes into close contact with personal and private areas should be cotton. Women should wear cotton underwear or cotton-lined panty hose to stay dry and “breezy”. Men should go for boxer shorts.
DO clean your genital area prior to sexual intercourse. The last thing you want to do is allow a UTI infection back in. After you have sex, go to the bathroom and urinate to get rid of any bacteria.
DO take showers instead of baths and avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzis. You have less chance of developing a urinary tract infection from showering than from having a bath.
DO use white unscented and unbleached toilet paper. This prevents any potential dye and chemical reactions that many women have from the use of “fancy” toilet papers.
So there you go. You now have everything you need to not only treat and get rid of your bladder infection right away, but also prevent any more from popping up. Like we said earlier though, you must be diligent and consistent with your efforts or you’ll just end up wasting a lot of time and money and still be in pain. Or, you might use some of these remedies and get rid of your UTI, but then become slack further down the track only to see it return again. (The reason we're bringing this to your attention now is so you hopefully don’t fall into this trap!)
In addition to this, because urinary tract infections and yeast infections are closely related, we recommend you click on the link below and take the time to read our “natural remedies for yeast infection” article. If you’ve had UTI’s before then there’s a very good chance that you'll have (or have had) yeast infections on top of this. So you might as well nip them in the bud completely while you’re here as well!
Good luck and all the best to you.
Go from home remedies for a UTI to natural remedies for yeast infections
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