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How Do I Choose the Best Herbal Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection?

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  • Written By: Kathleen Howard
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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While antibiotics are frequently used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), some people prefer to clear these infections with herbal medicine. To choose the best herbal treatment for urinary tract infection, look for supplements that contain herbs like uva ursi, horsetail and goldenseal, which are commonly used to treat UTIs. Cranberry, both in juice and capsule form, can also be used to fight these infections. Before treating a urinary tract infection with herbs, you will need to consider both the benefits and risks of herbal medicine.

To choose the best herbal treatment, look for one that will eliminate bacteria and improve the health of the urinary tract. One herb that is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections is uva ursi. This is because uva ursi contains a substance called arbutin. When metabolized by the kidneys, arbutin is believed to possess antiseptic properties. Uva ursi can be used alone or in combination with other herbs to rid the urinary tract of infection.

Horsetail and goldenseal are also commonly used to treat these infections. Horsetail is a diuretic that might decrease bleeding, reduce inflammation, and work as an antioxidant. Goldenseal works as an antibacterial, which is beneficial for reducing bacteria in the urinary tract. These herbs are typically combined with other diuretics like dandelion, parsley and hydrangea to increase urine output and cleanse the body.

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Cranberry is another effective herbal treatment for urinary tract infection. The effectiveness of cranberry is largely due to its proanthocyanin content, which prevents bacteria from becoming stuck to the lining of the urinary tract. Cranberry can be consumed by eating fresh cranberries, drinking unsweetened juice, or taking cranberry tablets. Before using this remedy, one fact to remember is that cranberry and uva ursi should not be combined. When taken together, cranberry will actually reduce the effectiveness of the herb.

To select the best herbal treatment for urinary tract infection, choose one that contains a variety of effective herbs. In addition to the aforementioned herbs, many remedies will contain butter bur, marshmallow root, buchu and corn silk as well as various vitamins and minerals. These substances are used to decrease inflammation, increase urine production, and boost immune system function. While certain substances like uva ursi and cranberry can be used alone, some people benefit from using a combination of herbs at once.

The primary benefits of herbal medicine are that users will limit their use of antibiotics and stop relying on medication. Herbal medicine is also often believed to cause fewer side effects and be easier on the body. Still, there are a few side effects of herbal medicine that need to be considered. Many herbs, including uva ursi, are known to cause nausea, indigestion and abnormally colored urine. In rare cases, frequent use of uva ursi has caused seizures, retinal damage and cyanosis.

Before using an herbal treatment for urinary tract infection, it is important to consult your physician. Other conditions like yeast infections and certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are sometimes mistaken for urinary tract infections. If a urinary tract infection is allowed to worsen, the infection can travel to the kidneys and cause major health problems. While herbal medicine can be an effective way to treat these infections, patients should use herbal remedies under the supervision of their physician.

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