Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect different parts of your urinary tract, including your bladder (cystitis), urethra (urethritis) or kidneys (kidney infection). If you visit the GP with the symptoms of an UTI you will more than likely be prescribed a course of antibiotics. But here we explore the alterative solutions that good nutrition and herbal medicine can afford us.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be debilitating, uncomfortable, and actually create a fear around sexual interactions or even fear around having a night out with a few drinks. A night with sugar rich drinks, or sexual intercourse, can be the trigger for a then painful and annoying infection that causes urinary irritation and the need to go to the toilet several times an hour only to release a tiny amount of wee.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
- More frequent & urgent need to urinate
- pain / burning sensation on urination
- smelly or cloudy pee
- pain in your lower abdomen
- feeling under the weather and exhausted
- in the elderly, severe confusion or agitation can come alongside UTI infections
Here we look at three steps that can support the Urinary tract.
- Bladder and anti-septic herbal tea support
Piss Ease is a combination of some of the following herbs: heather, horsetail, marshmallow, lavender, nettle It provides Urinary antiseptic, diuretic, soothing-demulcent and anti-inflammatory for the bladder and kidneys.
Heather is an often overlooked (in herbalism), commonly found herb of the wild heathlands. It is a prime herbas she contains a compound that is a specific antiseptic for the bladder, this herb also provides anti-inflammatory action.
Horsetail is a herb that can grow to shoulder height is an evolved pre-historic tree. It is extremely nutritive and diuretic containing silica and supporting the whole urinary system.
Marshmallow has the Latin name Althea from the Goddess of healing. Mucilage rich-she soothes and coats membranes within the body, calming heated tissues and soothing inflammation.
Lavender is a powerful anti-microbial, relaxant and anti-inflammatory. It provides a wonderful calming effect which can be extremely useful in the irritation and/or pain of joint and urinary issues.
Nettle is a classic diuretic. Known for supporting spring detoxification, the fresh nettle tips (before it flowers) can be used to add nutritive and anti-inflammatory properties.
Preparing the herbs
All of the herbs, once harvested can be laid on a tray on newspaper and placed in a warm, dry place. An airing cupboard is perfect. Once crispy to the touch, they are dry. Either snip into small bits or leave the roses whole. Mix equal parts of each and place in an airtight storage jar with a beautifully created label on the outside naming the tea and ingredients.
During a UTI, this tea can be drunk 2 pots over the day to maximize its effects.
- Cut out caffeine – protect the nerves and membranes of the body- reduce caffeine and drink marshmallow root cold water infusions…
Caffeine and in particular coffee, causes irritation to the mucous membranes of the body and the bladder in particular as well as overstimulation of the nervous system and depletion of total B vitamins.
Have you ever noticed the scent of coffee in your wee half an hour after drinking it? The caffeine passes through the system and directly affects the tissues. Reducing coffee in your daily diet can really help to protect, and support the nervous system as well as the bladder.
- Hydration all the way. Water alone can treat so many of life’s ails. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj asserts in his book, The Body’s Many Cries for Water, that chronic dehydration is the root cause of most pain and many ailments, opposing the use of drugs to cure conditions that he claimed could instead be addressed by increased water consumption. A doctor, he conducted ground breaking research into using water for stress related conditions which he discovered in adverse conditions whilst being held in prison in Iran.
We recommend drinking one cup of water an hour daily, at least 6 times during the day to improve hydration, especially whilst suffering from a UTI.
So drink a delicious, soothing, antiseptic herbal tea, protect and support your mucous membranes and nervous system by decreasing coffee, and keep well hydrated.
You can use a daily B vitamin to nourish and support the nerves more long-term as well as thinking about relaxing and soothing herbal teas as a daily adjunct. We use our own Heart and Soul tea combination of Lime flowers, Lemon Balm, hawthorn leaves and rose petals to relax after a busy day.