Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


March 19

Use these herbs to treat Urinary Tract Infections

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Want to get your urinary tract back on track? This tea blend is beneficial for dealing with the symptoms and the root cause (primarily, bacterial infection) of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The herbs in this formula soothe inflamed urinary mucosal membranes through their demulcent, astringent, and anti-inflammatory actions. They are also antimicrobial as well as diuretic—they help clean out bacteria by fostering urination.

It’s vital that the tea be drunk at room temperature, which augments the herbs’ diuretic effect. It is also prudent to take an immune-stimulating tincture—along with the tea—to boost the body’s innate immune efforts in fighting the bacterial infection. Good immune-stimulating medicinals for UTIs are echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), spilanthes (Acmella oleracea), and usnea (Usnea spp.) Besides, you can drink unsweetened cranberry and blueberry juice as well as the tea. Avoid sugar and natural sweeteners until the infection clears.

If the infection gets worse or fails to clear up after three days, talk to your health care provider—antibiotics might be necessary. If you get a fever, lower back pain, or feel really sick and achy, you might have a kidney infection; seek immediate medical attention, as kidney infections have the potential to irreparably harm the kidneys and are best resolved by antibiotics, not herbs.

Most UTIs are caused by bacteria found in the vagina or genitourinary tract (much rarer) but occasionally they are caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If you have had unprotected sex, or your partner has potentially had unprotected sex, you’ll want to rule out an STI as the cause of infection.

1 Tablespoon goldenrod flower and leaf ( Solidago spp.)

1 Tablespoon marshmallow root ( Althaea officinalis )

2 Tablespoons corn silk ( Zea mays )

1½ Tablespoons uva-ursi leaf ( Arctostaphylos uva-ursi )

If the uva-ursi leaf is whole, crush it with a mortar and pestle or grind in a coffee grinder. Add the uva-ursi and marshmallow root to 32 ounces (1 L) of water in a small pot. Simmer covered for twenty minutes. Turn off the heat and add the corn silk and goldenrod. Infuse covered until the tea cools to room temperature and strain. Adults may drink up to 4 cups (32 ounces or 1 L) a day for up to one week.

The measurements in this blend are for dried cut and sifted herbs (store-bought). If you’re using homegrown or wildcrafted herbs—or fresh herbs—use larger amount.

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