A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be a very serious condition. Once the microbes that cause a UTI travel from the urethra to the bladder, they can move further into the kidneys. When this happens, the person afflicted is at risk for severe illness, according to WebMD. Symptoms of a kidney infection include back pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and confusion. If you have any of these symptoms, it is essential you call your doctor and seek antibiotic treatment.
To prevent the infection from spread that far, it is extremely important to treat a UTI when you first notice symptoms such as a frequent and intense urge to urinate or a painful, burning feeling in the bladder or urethra during urination, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. UTIs are typically caused by bacteria, which is why natural antibacterial home remedies can be effective in fighting uncomplicated UTIs. Home remedies that act as diuretics and anti-inflammatories are also helpful in soothing the pain of a UTI.
1. Parsley water. Parsley water can be an effective diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often, according to Everyday Roots. Urinating more often is key to treating a UTI because you need to flush your body of the toxic microbes causing the infection. To make parsley water, add 1 cup (30 to 40 g) of chopped parsley to 1 to 2 cups (240 to 475 ml) of boiling water. Let the leaves simmer in the hot water for 6 to 10 minutes. Strain the leaves and drink the water while it is hot. You can also add ice to make a refreshing parsley iced tea.
2. Cucumber. Cucumbers are mostly water, making them useful in increasing the amount of fluids you consume. Everyday Rootsrecommends munching on cucumber slices, in addition to drinking at least eight glasses of water, when treating a UTI.
3. Ginger tea. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, which means it can bring much relief to the pain and discomfort of a UTI, reports Everyday Roots. You can either drink store-bought ginger tea or make your own by simmering sliced or grated ginger in boiling water.
4. Horseradish. You may be familiar with horseradish for its ability to clear the sinuses, but you may be surprised to know the spicy root can also be effective in treating UTI. This is because horseradish has a powerful antimicrobial effect. In fact, unlike cranberries, which inhibit bacteria growth, horseradish straight up kills bacteria. To use this home remedy, consume 1 teaspoon (3 g) of grated, fresh horseradish twice daily, says Everyday Roots.
5. Kombucha and sauerkraut. According to UrineInfection.net, a healthy diet of probiotic-rich foods, such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and miso, will promote good bacteria and fight bad, infection-causing bacteria.
6. Baking soda and water. According to Everyday Roots, one of the best treatments for a UTI is drinking 1 teaspoon (3 g) of baking soda mixed in 8 ounces (240 ml) of water. This is because baking soda is an alkaline substance that can help neutralize the acidity of urine. This method is especially helpful if you are experiencing a burning sensation when you urinate.
7. Cranberry juice. We said we weren’t going to include cranberry juice, but this age-old home remedy can be a life-saver, particularly for women who suffer from recurrent UTIs, says Everyday Roots. When using this home remedy, make sure you consume 100 percent natural cranberry juice, and not cranberry juice cocktail or another sugary substitute. Women with recurrent UTIs can drink one to two 8-ounce (240 ml) glasses of cranberry juice daily to help prevent future infections.
UTIs are some of the most uncomfortable infections. Unfortunately, according to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman has a 20 percent risk of experiencing a UTI in her lifetime. So next time you have symptoms, take immediate action and use these home remedies. Remember, if your symptoms persist, you must call your doctor promptly to avoid complications from the infection moving to your kidneys.
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RESOURCES: WEBMD, NIDDK, EVERYDAY ROOTS, URINEINFECTION.NET, AND AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION