Best 10 Proven Home Remedies To Prevent Urinary Tract Infection

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Urinary tract infection or UTI is one of the most common health problems faced by people today. This painful infection is 10 times more prevalent in women than in men, with almost 50% of females experiencing this condition at least once during their lifetime.

Once you have experienced UTI, it tends to recur. Pregnancy, intercourse, menopause, holding urine for prolonged periods of time, etc. are the most common triggers for this infection. Usually, UTI is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, frequent urge to urinate, and a burning sensation while urinating. While doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat this condition, there are many home remedies that can not only ease the symptoms of UTI but also prevent the recurrence of this painful ordeal in the future.

Firstly, let us now look at what exactly a urinary tract infection is.

What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?

  • When bacteria, fungi, or virus infect any part of your urinary tract, it results in urinary tract infection or UTI.
  • When the immune response of the body is down and due to unhygienic causes, these microbes are not eliminated by the body and remain inside the urinary system, causing an infection. Infection of the urethra is called urethritis, and that of the urinary bladder is called cystitis.
  • At times, these microbes (usually bacteria) can also travel back up the urinary tract and cause infection in the kidneys (1).
  • It is important to distinguish between a bladder infection (cystitis) and a kidney infection.
  • A kidney infection is much more serious and can develop from an untreated bladder infection.
  • Fever accompanies a kidney infection but is usually not present with a bladder infection.

1. Cranberry Juice

  • What You Need
    Unsweetened cranberry juice
  • What You Have To Do
    Drink half a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice on a daily basis to prevent the infection. If you are already suffering from this infection, drink four glasses of this juice daily to protect your kidneys. Avoid adding any artificial sweetener to the juice.
  • If the flavor of cranberry juice is too pungent for your liking, you could dilute it with apple juice and water. Remember that drinking lots of water during a UTI is very important.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Drink at least four glasses of cranberry juice every day until the infection clears.
  • Why This Works
    Cranberries, members of the berry family, are excellent for treating UTI, especially in their juiced form. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins that prevent the E.coli bacteria from crossing the urethra walls (2). They also possess antibiotic properties that help fight infections.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

  • What You Need
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon honey
    Juice of half a lemon
    1 cup water
  • What You Have To Do
    Mix two tablespoons of ACV with lemon juice, honey, and water. Drink the concoction.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Drink this healthy concoction twice a day until the infection clears.
  • Why This Works
    From shiny hair to pimple-free skin, there are numerous wonders that apple cider vinegar (ACV) is capable of, including the treatment of UTI. ACV is chock full of essential enzymes and nutrients such as potassium that inhibit bacteria that cause UTI to thrive (3). ACV is also rich in acetic acid, which promotes the growth of good bacteria and kills the bad bacteria.
  • However, be aware that ACV can increase the acidity of the urine and increase burning and irritation. So, if this occurs, stop the ACV.

3. Baking Soda

  • What You Need
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    A glass of water
    What You Have To Do
    Mix the baking soda in a glass of water and drink it.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Drink this concoction as frequently as possible.
  • Why This Works
    Baking soda exhibits properties that help fight UTI. It is alkaline in nature and helps neutralize the acidity of your urine when you are suffering from UTI (4). If your urine is less acidic, you should experience less pain and burning while urinating.

4. Garlic For UTI

  • What You Need
    3 cloves of garlic
    Medicated gauze
    What You Have To Do
    Peel the garlic and wrap them tightly in the medical gauze to make a pessary.
    Insert this into the vagina, keeping one end of the gauze longer and hanging out to facilitate removal. Keep this in for two to three hours. Remove it, wash the area and dry it completely.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Repeat this process twice or thrice in a day. You can use a pessary containing up to five garlic cloves overnight. Continue doing this for three to four days.
  • Why This Works
    Garlic possesses strong antimicrobial properties. When inserted into the vagina, it can help kill the bacteria and/or fungi causing the UTI (5).

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5. Yogurt

  • What You Need
    Plain yogurt (unflavored and unsweetened)
  • What You Have To Do
    Enjoy a bowl of yogurt after every meal.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Since yogurt is good for overall health, make this a regular inclusion in your daily diet.
  • Why This Works
    One of the best (and tastiest) ways to keep both your bowel and bladder in good health is to ensure that your daily diet comprises at least one serving of yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics that increase the concentration of good bacteria in your body while warding off the bad bacteria (6). Yogurt is also a great diet supplement when you are consuming antibiotics for UTI treatment as the antibiotics can create a shortage of good bacteria in your system.

6. Goldenseal

  • What You Need
    Goldenseal capsules/liquid extract
  • What You Have To Do
    You can buy an over-the-counter goldenseal capsule or its liquid extract from a drugstore and consume it as prescribed, which is usually one to two capsules daily.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Continue taking this herbal supplement until the infection goes away.
  • Why This Works
    The compound berberine contained in goldenseal has the same effect on our body as proanthocyanidins contained in cranberries. Berberine prevents bacteria from attaching to the urethral walls, and thus prevents and treats UTI (7, 8).

Caution

7. Tea Tree Oil

  • What You Need
    10 drops tea tree oil
    The bathtub full of warm water
    What You Have To Do
    Mix the tea tree oil in the warm water and soak your body in it for a few minutes.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Follow this procedure twice every day until the infection clears.
  • Why This Works
    A research study published in an issue of the Clinical Microbiology Reviews reported that tea tree oil has remarkable antibacterial properties and can even work as an alternative treatment to antibiotics (9). This oil has the capability of fighting bacteria like E. coli, Mycobacterium avium ATCC 4676, Haemophilus influenza, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. E. coli is one of the most common bacteria responsible for UTIs.

8. Uva Ursi

  • What You Need
    Dried uva ursi leaves
    Tea
  • What You Have To Do
    Soak dried uva ursi leaves in water overnight.
    Mix these leaves with tea leaves while brewing tea and drink it every day.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Enjoy this tea twice or thrice a day until the infection clears
  • Why This Works
    Uva ursi is a popular herb that possesses remarkable therapeutic as well as curative benefits that help treat UTI. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that treat and prevent UTI (10).
  • Caution
    Ensure that you consult your doctor before consuming this as uva ursi does not suit everybody.

9. Vitamin C

  • What You Need
    Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers, papayas, broccoli, etc.
  • What You Have To Do
    Enjoy one serving of vitamin C-rich foods daily.
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Stick to one serving of citrus fruits every day until the infection clears. Citrus fruit is acidic. While some acidification of the urine can be beneficial, be aware that too much acid in your urine can increase the pain and cause a burning sensation during urination.
  • Why This Works
    Vitamin C plays a huge role in helping to treat urinary tract infections. Foods such as oranges, berries, leafy greens, and bell peppers help acidify the urine and inhibit the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract (11). You can also consume vitamin C supplements.

10. Green Tea

  • What You Need
    1 green tea bag (decaffeinated)
    A cup of hot water
    What You Have To Do
    Brew a cup of green tea and have it every morning and evening
  • How Often Should You Do This
    Drink this tea twice a day every day until the infection clears.
  • Why This Works
    A study conducted in 2013 observed the antimicrobial activity of the catechins EGC on E.coli bacteria responsible for UTI (12). This research proved that a daily cup of green tea could not only help fight UTI but also prevent its recurrence.
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