Top 8 Natural Remedies to Help Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Anyone who has experienced a urinary tract infections knows how difficult they can be to effectively treat. There are numerous infectious microbes behind the nasty infections but E. coli and E. faecalis are among the most common.

Fortunately there are many foods and herbs that have proven their effectiveness against these bacteria and other microbes linked to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Here are some of the best ones:

Cranberries and cranberry juice

I’m not referring to the process, sweetened cranberry juice and other products found in most grocery stores. I’m talking about real cranberries—fresh or frozen—as well as 100% cranberry juice that hasn’t been diluted with sweeteners or sweeter juices (like grape or apple). Cranberries contain high levels of proanthocyanidins that help prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract. Additionally, they contain a compound known as arbutin that can also be helpful in the treatment of urinary tract infections.

A study published in the Journal of Medical Economics found that drinking cranberry juice was an effective strategy to help prevent UTIs. Ideally, drink one to two ounces of cranberry juice diluted in several ounces of water three times daily for a few weeks.

Dandelion

Those pesky lawn weeds should become one of your best friends if you’re dealing with UTIs. That’s because the leaves are nutrient-packed powerhouses that help boost the health of the urinary tract but also because the leaves act as a diuretic to flush excess fluid from the urinary tract, thereby helping to flush harmful bacteria out as well. And, unlike pharmaceutical diuretics that deplete the body of important minerals like potassium and calcium, dandelion leaves contain them to maintain healthy levels of these nutrients. Of course, stay clear of any dandelions on lawns that have been sprayed or are close to busy roads. Choose small leaves in spring before the leaves become too bitter-tasting.

Green tea

Green tea is one of the best superfoods for its many healing benefits, including fighting brain disease and cancer, but recent research published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine shows that natural compounds found in green tea also demonstrate the ability to kill E. coli bacteria in laboratory studies. Green tea contains the potent antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is most likely responsible for the beverage’s anti-infectious properties as well.

More research needs to be conducted on humans to assess the antibacterial benefits of green tea, but considering the lack of side-effects and the plentiful number of health benefits from regularly drinking green tea, it might be a great addition to your UTI prevention or treatment strategy.

Juniper

Often added as a flavor-enhancer and starter in the making of sauerkraut, juniper berries are also helpful in the treatment of UTIs. A study published in the journal Molecules found they demonstrated effectiveness against E. coli bacteria, which are the primary bacterial cause of UTIs. A tablespoon or two of juniper berries are best boiled in a quart (or liter) of pure water in a pot on the stove. After the mixture reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 45 minutes. Strain and drink the tea a few times daily.

Oregano

I jokingly tell my clients that oregano kills everything in its path except healthy tissue and beneficial bacteria, but it’s almost true. Oregano, particularly the essential oil extracted from the plant, has demonstrated antimicrobial action even when antibiotics fail thanks to the highly potent plant compounds known as carvacrol and rosmarinic acid. Research in the journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease showed that oregano was effective against multiple strains of Klebsiella bacteria, which can sometimes be implicated in urinary tract infections. Choose a high potency product specifically designed for internal use and follow package directions.

Probiotics

While the most common advice among health professionals is to take a broad-spectrum probiotic for whatever ails you, that’s simply not effective in dealing with specific health concerns like a urinary tract infection. Most probiotic strains have little to no effectiveness against the infectious microbes implicated with UTIs. It’s a far more effective strategy to supplement with the strains that have been identified in research to demonstrate effectiveness against UTIs. The two main probiotics that have demonstrated their ability to prevent UTI infections in women include: L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri so it is best to make sure your probiotic supplement includes these two strains.

Thyme

While thyme is mainly used in the cooking of meat dishes and stews, it warrants a broader place in our lives, including in the treatment of urinary tract infections. That’s because it is a broad-spectrum natural antibacterial agent that has shown effectiveness against E. coli bacteria.

Turmeric

Research in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry found that the active ingredient in turmeric—a common curry ingredient—curcumin, is effective at reducing inflammation and damage to urinary tract, including the kidneys. Add a tablespoon of turmeric to your favorite curry or take curcumin supplements (follow package directions for the product you choose).

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking.

304 comments

Ruth S
Ruth S6 days ago

Also, drink a lot of water!! Thanks.

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Marie W
Marie W9 days ago

Thank you for posting.

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith4 months ago

good herbs

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Chad A
Chad A5 months ago

Nice.

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Lindi Smith
Lindi Smith5 months ago

And do not remain seated on a flushing toilet ... a great preventive measure!
Otherwise alla that nasty bacteria gets misted on to your parts and can cause UTIs!

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Julia S
Julia S5 months ago

Thank you!

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Richard A
Richard A5 months ago

Thank you for this article and tips.

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Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Carole R
Carole R5 months ago

Good to know. Thanks.

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Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D5 months ago

Cranberry juice and thyme are my go-to cures and have never failed me. TYFP Will share with my friends!

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