Infections of the Urinary tract are quite common (also known as UTI – Urinary Tract Infection). Almost one in two women as well as one in twenty men get one and for many women, it’s a recurring infection.
Many of us are quite familiar with the various symptoms, such as burning sensations while passing urine, recurrent urination, a cloudy or even very smelly urine as well as discomfort in the area. Fever, pain in the back as well as vomiting could also take place if the infection evolves to be more serious and eventually moves to the kidneys. If this takes place, it is extremely important to pay a visit to your doctor as an untreated an infection could easily lead to damaging of the kidneys.
A urinary tract infection could vary from a bladder infection to a kidney infection. An infection in the bladder called Cystitis, is the most frequently observed UTI.
WHY DO INFECTIONS OCCUR?
Bacteria are usually not found in the urinary tract since the area is sterile, but they could gradually enter the urinary tract and then multiply, which would then cause an infection. This could occur during sexual intercourse or incorrect wiping after urination (specifically for women). The urethra is quite short and straight, which makes it easier for parasites to travel into the bladder.
Immune system changes could make a person more vulnerable to infections and so could hormonal level changes.
Diagnosis is relatively simple. A urine test could easily identify the root cause of infection and treatment is usually carried out via the administration of antibiotics.
Recurrent infections however are quite common and many studies have demonstrated that women are at a 20-30% higher risk of facing a recurrence of infection within three to four months of an initial UTI.
According to research, women are at more risk of repeated urinary tract infections if they:
- use a diaphragm or spermicide jelly for contraception
- have a new sexual partner
- suffer from frequent constipation
- had their UTI at or before 15 years of age
- have a family history of urinary tract infections.
Overuse of antibiotics could eventually cause a disruption in gut flora health resulting to a greater susceptibility to additional infections. Gut flora makes up two thirds of the immune system.
This is where herbal remedies can be valuable. Many herbalists used the following seven herbs that have a high level of success. At PCI we have developed a cleanse that was formulated to rid the body of bacterial infections such as UTI’s.
This is also known as uva ursi. In a placebo study of about 60 women with recurrent UTIs, bearberry effectively defeated and prevented further infection. Bearberry has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and acts as an astringent and healer to the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. It is also known to be a diuretic.
Different to the root which balances liver and digestive health, this herb is and effective diuretic used to flush the bladder and relieve symptoms.
Cornsilk (which is part of our Freedom, Cleanse, Restore formula)
Has soothing mucilaginous properties. This calms the irritated mucous membranes. It also has a diuretic effect. It is very rich in silica and several other minerals, which all aid in strengthening the tissues.
This has similar properties and effects as cornsilk.
Did you know that genuine marshmallow candy was made from ingredients coming from this plant? Marshmallow has a softening anti-inflammatory effect on irritated mucous membranes situated in the urinary tract.
Strictly speaking not a herb but widely used by herbalists. Cranberry helps prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract walls and clears out the bacteria from the urinary tract to help promote urinary tract health. Maintaining a clean urinary tract could reduce the frequency of recurrent cystitis.
Goldenseal (which is part of our Freedom, Cleanse, Restore formula)
Is a strong antibacterial and mucous membrane healer specified for inflammation of the urinary tract wall.
To view a list of the herbs that we have in our PCI cleanse please click here.
WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL WAY TO TAKE THE HERBS?
All of the above mentioned herbs, with the exception of Cranberry and Goldenseal, may be taken in a herbal tea. Simply add 1 teaspoon of each in one litre of boiling water, steep for about 6-7 minutes and make sure to consume it on a daily basis. Organic herbs are recommended. You may also take these herbs in a herbal solution form which usually contains concentrated elements of herbs and can offer maximum therapeutic benefits. A health practitioner could ensure any medication and/or supplements does not interact with your herbs. When prescribing herbal remedies, a herbalist should consider one’s age, constitution, sensitiveness, allergies, robustness, temperature, weight, current status of health as well as personality. They can then can choose the most effective remedies for you.
Always tell your health practitioner if you’re pregnant and/or breast-feeding since many herbs may actually be contra indicated.