5 Natural Remedies For Cystitis & UTI | That I Swear By

natural remedies for cystitis

Recently I had a urine infection and I hadn’t had one for ages, so it somewhat took me by surprise.  When I got that familiar burn, I was like DAMMIT, where’d that come from?!

And more importantly…what on earth do I do now?
Because as a new and happy devotee to healthy eating and natural medicine (which are transforming my health by the way), I absolutely DID NOT want to go near antibiotics and damage the gut which I’ve spent 2 years nourishing and repairing.

So I quickly set about looking into natural remedies for cystitis and came up with this little list.  And I have to say, these are some SERIOUSLY GOOD natural remedies!

And yes, they DO WORK because I’ve researched them.  I’ve found many people online who’ve have had success with them, as well as scientific studies that reference their effectiveness.

But more importantly I’ve tried them out myself.  So I know they’re good.

And what’s really brilliant about these particular natural remedies for cystitis?
They do the job quickly and gently, without damaging your gut health.  Or causing all the harmful side effects that antibiotics do, like diarrhoea, constipation and thrush.

So anyway, you’re probably in some discomfort right now and want to know what the remedies are, so let’s take a look…

5 Natural Remedies For Cystitis & UTI

1  D-Mannose

D-mannose was a new one for me.  Turns out it’s a type of natural sugar in the glucose family (commonly found in blueberries), and it appears to be one of the up-and-coming stars of natural remedies for cystitis.

A 2014 randomised clinical trial, compared the effects of D-mannose, nitrofurantoin (a traditional antibiotic) and placebo, on 308 patients with recurrent UTI.
Over the 6 month trial period, a total of 98 patients developed UTI flare-ups.  And of those, 15 were taking D-mannose, 21 were on nitrofurantoin and 62 the placebo only.  So the trial confirmed that D-mannose significantly reduced the risk of recurrent UTI, equally as well as the traditional antibiotic treatment [1c].

Another 2016 pilot study confirmed that D-mannose has great promise as a treatment for acute UTI symptoms. The study found that D-mannose works by preventing harmful bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, thereby increasing its barrier function [1a].

For me, after a week of using the other treatments below (which all made me feel a world more comfortable), D-mannose knocked my infection on the head within 12 hours.  No more cystitis. Gone.

Dosage: In trials D-mannose has been given effectively at oral doses of 1.5g (1500mg) once or twice a day [1b].

When supplementing with D-mannose, look for these sorts of high-strength products, which contain minimal filler ingredients.  A great example being Nutracraft’s Pure D-Mannose 1500mg on Amazon.

2  Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

Cranberry is probably the most well known of all natural remedies for cystitis.
And although it may not always be the most effective treatment, it definitely deserves a place on the list as an awesome fall-back option.  Indeed I’ve found huge relief from using cranberry and was mighty grateful to have to hand in the cupboard!

Scientific studies confirm that cranberry has antimicrobial action against E. Coli and can be used to reduce UTI symptoms [4][4a].  Some studies even found cranberry to be as effective as antibiotics in treating a flare-up of the condition [4b].
Though in the long-term, it may not make such a good preventative treatment [4c].

In the old days, you had to reach for cranberry juice as a remedy, and drink loads of the stuff (which wasn’t great due to the high sugar content).
Nowadays, there are various cranberry supplements available, which make use of its  bioactive compounds.

Cheaper products from supermarkets tend to be full of bad filler ingredients like talc and maltodextrin.  So when choosing a cranberry supplement, check the ingredients list and go for products with pure extract and not too much else added.

Some better examples of cranberry supplements include – Best Naturals Cranberry Concentrate and Solgar Natural Cranberry Extract.

3  Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

Baking soda is one of the oldest natural remedies for cystitis, and certainly one that leads to quick relief from symptoms.  I’ve found that when I take baking soda for a UTI, it makes me 80% more comfortable within about an hour.  It’s blissful relief!

Baking soda works by raising the pH of your urine and making it more alkaline.  This is effective for 2 reasons – it lessens the burning sensation you feel when you urinate AND it kills the bad bacteria which thrive an acidic environment.

And the best thing about baking soda?  It’s in pretty much everyone’s kitchen cupboard.

Dosage: ½ -1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.  Best not taken on a full stomach, so it doesn’t mess up your digestion.  And not more frequently than every 2 hours.
(And by the way, don’t confuse baking soda and baking powder, they’re NOT the same.)

Note!  Be careful if you have high blood pressure, as sodium bicarbonate raises your blood pressure temporarily.  If you do have hypertension, it’s probably best to skip this remedy.

4  Uva Ursi (Bearberry)

Uva ursi is an ancient herbal treatment, used traditionally for urinary infections and chronic diarrhoea.  In the body it produces powerful anti-microbial compounds, including tannins, arbutin and hydroquinone [2].

Apart from destroying bacteria, these compounds can confer a protective effect on mucous membranes, such as the bladder and urethral lining.  As well as providing anti-inflammatory benefits and tightening cellular structure [2a].

A 2013 scientific risk assessment of hydroquinone derived from uva ursi extract (420mg), found that at that dose, the herb was a safe therapeutic option for treating lower urinary tract infections.

A variety of Uva ursi supplements are now available at these doses, including Swanon’s Herbal Urinary Care, which combines uva ursi and cranberry extracts together.

5  Probiotics

There is never a time in life where I don’t recommend taking daily probiotics.  They come up in pretty much every list of natural treatments I write.   And that’s because your gut bacteria ARE SO IMPORTANT TO EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR HEALTH.

In cystitis, you have a bacterial infection of the bladder and that means that your body is out of balance.  Taking probiotics is part of getting rebalanced again.
Upping your body’s levels of good bacteria, to counteract the levels of bad and boosting your immune system.

If you think this sounds like baloney, studies are already showing that taking probiotics may be the single most important alternative option in the treatment of chronic infection.  With a whole lot of research going on in the field of recurrent UTIs (RUTI) and probiotic use [5][5a].

Other Essentials To Practice!

Even if you’re treating yourself with these natural remedies for cystitis, be sure to combine them with the following habits –

  • Drink, drink, drink (and then drink some more) – one of the most critical things with a UTI, is to keep flushing yourself through as much as you can.
    The natural remedies for cystitis will be doing their work to fight the infection, but you also need to keep yourself hydrated to flush the nasty bacteria out of your body.  So keep drinking plenty and weeing plenty!
  • Cut out the acidic drinks while you have a UTI – The last thing you want to do when you have an inflamed bladder and urethra is make yourself more sore by drinking acidic drinks.  So AVOID liquids like soda and soft drinks, orange juice, citrus, alcohol, coffee.  This will also help to make your urine pH more alkaline and discourage further bacterial growth.
  • Practice good hygiene! – When you go to the loo, always wipe from front to back, so as not to keep spreading bacteria to your urethra.
    Always wee immediately after sex, to flush your urethra clean.  And even better have a shower, if you’re prone to UTIs.

And As A Final Thought

If you really must take antibiotics for cystitis, which is what a regular doc will give you, remember they’re like a nuclear bomb for your gut bacteria.

So always take HIGH STRENGTH PROBIOTICS alongside antibiotics, to try and lessen some of the damage to your microbiome and overall gut health.  And you can also heal your gut by eating fermented foods regularly.
Because after all, your gut bacteria make up the majority of your immune system and you need to keep them alive and well!

So my friends, what are your experiences with UTIs?  And what natural remedies for cystitis do you find yourself reaching for when you get that awful burn?

Would love to hear your own experiences x


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, you are not my patient.  This is not medical advice and it is not intended to replace medical advice.  When it comes to your health and wellbeing, you are responsible for your own health.  So feel free to use this article on natural remedies for cystitis as a springboard to do your own research and empower yourself on your healing journey.

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