About 50 percent of women will experience a bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives, and many will have multiple infections. Women suffer from the problem more often than men because their urethra is shorter, so bacteria can enter the bladder more easily.
Dehydration is often a factor, but there are a host of traditional remedies to combat pain and the continual urge to urinate. Bear in mind that these remedies are most effective when applied early.
• Hot cornsilk tea can help flush out the bacteria causing inflammation and soothe the pain. Strip the fine hair from a corn cob and steep in 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water.
• Drink two large glasses of cranberry juice a day to relieve the infection. Cranberry may also help to prevent infections from occurring.
• Heat reduces the pain caused by a bladder infection or UTI. Place a warmed wheat hag between your legs or over your bladder, or soak in a hot bath.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR: If your UTI is extremely painful or is not noticeably better after 3 days, consult a doctor.
Bladder and UTI Relief Tea
This soothes pain, disinfects and flushes out bacteria causing a bladder or urinary tract infection. Dried buchu and horsetail are available from health food stores.
- 1/4 cup (50 g) dried buchu
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) green beans
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) dried horsetail
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) each of dried fennel, calendula flowers and peppermint
Combine all the ingredients. Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the mixture to 1 cup (250 ml) cold water and boil for 5 minutes. Steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink 1 cup (250 ml) three times a day.