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The Best Home Remedies And Tips For UTI Relief

UTI

Today’s post addresses a health issue that are surprisingly common, especially among women—urinary tract infections (UTIs). Around half of all women experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and while men can get UTIs too, women get them up to 30 times more often than men. (Extremely unfair!)

UTIs (sometimes called a “bladder infection”) occur when harmful bacteria gets into the urinary tract. And since women’s urethras are both relatively short and located perilously close to sources of UTI-causing bacteria (the anus and the vagina), there’s really no mystery about why women get UTIs so much more often than men do.

But knowing how they happen doesn’t make having a UTI suck any less! As someone who has dealt with recurring UTIs over the years, I can honestly say that there are few things in the world that make me feel more miserable than the burning sensation and I-have-to-pee-but-can’t feeling that comes along with urinary tract infections.

But the good news is that there are plenty of ways to lessen your suffering! Whether you’re already taking antibiotics but are still experiencing discomfort, or you deal with recurrent UTIs and are certain this is just a “run-of-the-mill” infection, today’s post is filled with useful tips and remedies that can help you rest easier.

Note: I am not a doctor, and this blog post should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing intense pain, fever, nausea, or vomiting, seek medical attention right away, because untreated UTIs may worsen and spread to the kidneys and other parts of the body.

UTI

Essential Oils For UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

Antibiotics are still the most common method used to treat UTIs, but due to increased antibiotic resistance on a global scale, doctors and researchers are becoming increasingly interested in alternative and natural treatments. The possibility of using essential oils to treat UTIs, especially oils that possess antibacterial properties that work against antibiotic resistant strains, is being explored in health studies all over the world.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the most promising essential oils for UTI and bladder infection treatment.

Defend Essential Oil Blend

Defend is a blend of several essential oils with powerful antibacterial properties. The reason I wanted to mention it here at the top is because all five of the single essential oils that are considered beneficial for UTI treatment are actually ingredients in Defend.

Personally, that realization simplified things a lot! Instead of having to choose between five single oils, I can grab my trusty bottle of Defend and get the benefits of all five. :-)

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is well known for its ability to pack a punch against bacteria. A 2012 study found that oregano essential oil slowed and even stopped the growth of Escherichia coli and other harmful bacteria—even including strains that resisted other treatments like antibiotics.

Clove Oil

Clove essential oil also showed promising results against drug resistant bacteria in a 2016 study, in which researchers observed that clove oil had strong inhibiting and killing effects against several strains of E. coli.

Cinnamon Oil

The major component of cinnamon essential oil is cinnamaldehyde, representing 70–80% of its overall makeup. Cinnamaldehyde has natural antimicrobial properties, and in a 2011 in vitro study, was shown to interfere with the adherence of UTI-causing E. coli.

Rosemary Oil

According to a 2013 review, particular monoterpenes and phenols found in rosemary essential oil (as well as thyme and sage) contribute to its antibacterial activity against E. coli and other pathogens.

Eucalyptus Oil

In a 2016 study, researchers concluded that eucalyptus essential oil may kill or slow the growth of E. coli, S. aureus, Listeria innocua, and several other harmful pathogens.

UTI

How To Use Essential Oils To Relieve UTI Pain

Apply It Topically

To help reduce discomfort, dilute 2 drops of Defend (or your essential oil of choice) in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, then apply to your abdomen or the soles of your feet. Cover the application area with a hot compress or heating pad and rest for several minutes.

Diffuse It

Another simple way to use Defend to relieve symptoms is through aromatherapy. Fill your diffuser’s reservoir with fresh water, add as many drops of Defend as are recommended by the manufacturer, then turn it on and relax for a while.

Add It To A Bath

I like this approach because it’s sort of the best of both worlds between topical application and aromatherapy. It’s very relaxing and a great way to take your mind off the misery of dealing with a UTI.

If you add Defend or any other essential oil directly to your bath water, it will just float on the surface and not do you much good. So instead, I recommend stirring 5-8 drops of Defend into 1 cup of Epsom salt, then adding the infused Epsom salt mixture to your bath water.

UTI

Other Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections

D-Mannose

D-mannose is a type of sugar found in cranberries and other fruits, and is available as a dietary supplement. Rather than killing bacteria, D-mannose makes it harder for bacteria to adhere to the walls of the urinary tract so that it can be flushed out during urination.

Vitamin C

In addition to giving your immune system a boost, vitamin C increases the acid content of urine, which also makes the urinary tract less hospitable to bacteria. For those who suffer from frequent UTIs, consider this 2007 study found that women who took 100 mg of vitamin C daily showed a reduction in symptomatic UTIs.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry has a long history as a home remedy for urinary tract infections, and although recent research has found somewhat mixed results, there have been promising results on the effect of cranberry on recurrent UTIs. One 2015 study found that treatment with cranberry juice capsules equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice minimized the occurrence of UTIs by half in a randomized trial.

According to a 2020 review of alternative therapies for UTIs, the mixed results from studies on cranberry may be due to the fact that different studies used different cranberry formulations (juices, beverages, capsules, etc.) So if you plan to use cranberry as a home remedy, seek out 100% pure cranberry juice (or capsules of pure cranberry) to ensure you’re getting its beneficial components.

Probiotics

Lactobacilli are the dominant microorganisms in “vaginal flora” (the naturally occurring bacteria that live inside the vagina) and play an important role in maintaining vaginal health. Taking certain probiotic supplements (particularly ones containing Lactobacilli) may help maintain the balance of bacteria in the urinary tract and reduce the incidence of recurrent UTIs.

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Do’s And Don’ts To Prevent UTIs

Finding a helpful remedy for a urinary tract infection is great, but you know what’s even better? Preventing the infection from happening in the first place!

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts that can help you avoid the conditions that can lead to a UTI:

DO Wear Cotton Underwear

Both women and men should wear breathable cotton underwear to stay fresher and drier throughout the day. If you wear pantyhose, be sure to pick the cotton-lined variety.

DO Urinate After Intercourse

Make a habit of urinating after sexual intercourse, even if you don’t feel like you “have to go.” Urination is a simple and effective way to flush bad bacteria out of the urinary tract before it can cause problems.

DO Practice Good Hygiene

For the most part, the vagina does an excellent job of keeping itself clean and healthy. But you can do your part by practicing good hygiene, including bathing regularly, washing your hands frequently, and wiping front to back after using the toilet.

Related: This Homemade Feminine Wash Will Keep You Fresh As A Daisy

DO Drink Plenty Of Water

Like I mentioned before, urination helps flush bacteria out of the urinary tract, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help ensure that you’re urinating regularly. Drinking water also dilutes your urine, which naturally reduces bacterial concentration.

DO Eat Probiotic Foods

Fermented and cultured foods are packed with probiotics that can help maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the urinary tract. Find opportunities to incorporate more probiotic foods and drinks into your diet, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, kefir, and sour pickles, among others.

DON’T “Hold It”

When you feel the urge to urinate, take a break and go do it! Holding your urine can lead to a backup of bacteria in your bladder, which may ultimately result in a UTI.

DON’T Apply Essential Oils To Genitals

This may go without saying, but I’m going to say it here anyway. The vulva, vagina, and urethra should be off limits when using essential oils, because essential oils are highly concentrated and can easily irritate the sensitive mucous membranes in these areas.

DON’T Ingest Essential Oils

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: avoid ingesting essential oils. In my opinion, the potential benefits just don’t outweigh the risks!

DON’T Apply Undiluted Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated, which means it’s always best to dilute them with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. To learn more about carrier oils and how dilution works, check out this post.

Do you have any tried-and-true methods for dealing with UTIs?

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Natural Remedies

  • Two years ago I was in for my annual physical and I had yet another UTI. My wise doctor sent me to a urologist. To make a long story short, he found bladder cancer and I am.on the path of being cancer free. The only sign or symptoms was those darn UTI’s. I’m in a clinical trial and the drugs they are using on my look very positive for a quick and full recovery. Be proactive and follow up with a specialist if you get UTI’s.

  • Anyone who has suffered from recurrent urinary tract infections recognizes the symptoms. When I get the first signs of the UTI, I take the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate and it nips it in the bud and provides relief. It contains methenamine, a substance that arrests the growth of bacteria in urine, and sodium salicylate, a mild analgesic. I take them like they say on the package and these pills work quickly providing much needed relief from the burning and pain of a UTI.

  • 1 cup Pineapple juice
    1 teaspoon Cream of tarter
    Mix well. Drink once a day for 3 -5 days consecutively. Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine,spicy food, acidic food,carbonated drinks, and you should start feeling relief really soon. If infection is really bad drink solution for 7 – 10 days. It really works.

  • Many years ago a friend on her honeymoon (spent in a fire lookout tower without modern plumbing) got a dangerous infection. The doctor said that the problem was that she should have been sitting in a hot bathtub (after all that honeymoon sex). I learned that if you alternate showers with nice hot baths at least weekly you avoid UTIs. I taught that to all my daughters, and even when camping, I heated up water and put it in a little wash tub and they retired to our tent and soaked in that every several days when we camped all over Europe for the summer. Result in my family — almost no UTIs, ever.

  • How long do you take the essential oil protocol? I followed your instructions and I am feeling relief of symptoms but I do not want to stop the taking the essential oils too soon as they usually suggest you continue your antibiotic until it is finished even if you are feeling better.

  • I’ve suffered from a number of UTIs in the past. Lots of women experience them, especially if you’re sexually active. The best thing to DO is pee after sex. This is a must. Afterwards, I also drink a glass of water with some 100% cranberry juice added to it (maybe 1/4 cup). Make sure you get the real stuff, not the juice cocktail that has tons of sugar. I buy R.W. Knudsen Just Cranberry.

  • I have suffered for decades with UTI’s. Over the years being dirt poor and most of the time without insurance I have learned to make sure I drank loads of water which I don’t mind. I can’t handle cranberry juice but I use the Cranberry Fruit pills I get at Wal-Mart. I use the gel caps so they melt easily to get them into my system. Now being 66 I don’t have the thirst I once did and anytime I realize I have not drank enough during the day I’ll take 5 to 8 of the Cranberry Fruit gel caps in an effort to stop what is in the offing If I don’t fight fast and hard to stop it.

    I take 2000mg of Vitamin C daily but if I feel I’m getting sick I up it to 3000mg. I’m a care giver to an elderly lady with compromised immune system so I try to stay well so I don’t carry anything to her. Staying clean and dry is not easy when your heavy but it defiantly makes the difference in avoiding UTI’s Cotton is the best to wear and when your fighting UTI’s not wear constricting clothes that will add to the heat and moisture for the bacteria to thrive in makes a huge difference.

    Jillee I am glad I stumbled on to your site thanks for sharing.

  • I’ve had UTI’s forever! So painful. I now see a urologist who suggested a cranberry supplement called Ellura. I buy it on Amazon. It is not cheap, but worth every penny for those who can afford it. It helps keep the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the urethra. I also spoke with my GYN and asked her to be careful when examining me to not come in contact with urethra. That’s how I got my last UTI. Hope this helps.

  • My daughter is prone to them. As soon as she feels one coming on she takes cranberry/vit. C pills, drinks cranberry juice, eats yogurt, but most important….She will drink LOTS of water. Like a couple of cups an hour. The water helps flush and dilute the bacteria.

  • Cystex. Works EVERY time, & 100% better than Azo with no orange pee. Wal-Mart is the only place in my town that always has it. It was a pharmacist who first recommended it years ago while I was on a cross-country road trip. Really bad timing for a uti!

    • I use “Cystex” daily after pharm. recommend. Best price on Amazon.com plus d- mannose and now adding vit C. Please be forewarned, do not ignore symptoms that get worse too long, I just finished long course of debilitating antibiotics because I was complacent. Love homeopathic treatments because I have developed so many allergies in my (long) life.

    • Cystex is amazing! Really the only thing that helps with the pain. It takes too long to get in to see the doctor so I take cystex immediately both the pills and the liquid (d-mannose). I take the liquid until its gone and the pills for about a week. You need to know that they work so well that if you take it before going to the doctors, they wont find anything in your urine specimen. WIth cystex, I can skip the antibiotics and the expensive trip to the doctors.

    • They can be pretty pricey, so it’s best to start a collection with just one or two oils – they will last a LONG time! And remember to use the code “JILLEE” for 10% off your order :-)

      • The cost of the oils isn’t as expensive as the Doctor office visit and then the prescriptions to be filled. And yes, the oils last a long time. You won’t have to use the whole bottle for your treatment

  • I used to have many UTIs when younger, the type known as “Honeymoon” because I did not know how to avoid it. Now I have similar symptoms if I have sex and don’t drink enough water. I lose much liquid during sex (female ejaculation) and need to drink much water both before and after to stay healthy.

    • After sex, urinating helps to flush out the bacteria from the urethra. Drinking lots of water allows you to pee and eliminate any e-coli that might have made its way inside.

  • I have had the same results with cranberry. I drink a small glass of cranberry juice at first indication. I carry the cranberry pills with me all the time in case I feel like I might be getting one when not at home. I have not had a UTI in many years. Before this I would get one at least twice a year from the time i was 8 when I ended up in the hospital. The success speaks for itself. I am now 70.

    • Having kidney stones I’ve been advised to stay away from cranberries but if there was any on hand they’d be used.Have followed all the rules take d-mannose–Vit C–Zinc and lots of water—-This present one is my 6th in as many months–but I also have a chronic low WBC.Iwish I could get a break for a couple of months.I envy you your success

      • You have parasites. Parasites can be microscopic as well. Bacteria and virus are forms of parasites. Parasites hide in the internal organs and build protective coatings around themselves–hence cholesterol and stones. Look for Wendy S Fogg herbal treatment online. MMS Jim Humble protocol over 6 months to a year is another great parasite killer and detox.

  • It’s dangerous to try to treat UTIs at home. I know antibiotics aren’t good for us but getting sepsis is even worse.
    Left untreated, UTIs can go into sepsis which can be fatal. The singer Jewel almost died from an untreated bladder infection.

  • Use a blow dryer to dry your girlie privates after a shower -set on low heat or just air.
    This will keep things from staying moist which is a “garden” for bacteria growth.

  • I agree with the comments about cranberries. I used to get UTIs all the time and tried vitamin c but nothing worked till I started taking cranberry supplements. I haven’t had a UTI in years now!

    • Same here. I got them several times a year and did those dreaded trips to the doctor. Until…….. I started taking a cranberry capsule once a day. No more UTI’s. Ever. It’s been 10 years. Knock on wood.

    • I have had the same results with cranberry. I drink a small glass of cranberry juice at first indication. I carry the cranberry pills with me all the time in case I feel like I might be getting one when not at home. I have not had a UTI in many years. Before this I would get one at least twice a year from the time i was 8 when I ended up in the hospital. The success speaks for itself. I am now 70.

  • As another nurse, I must concur CRANBERRIES whether in pill form or juice or even fresh or dried berries will stop or prevent UTIs. Additionally, you need to watch your blood sugar as this had a tendency to contribute to repeat UTIs.

  • I love you Jillee. But on this one, I’m going to have to agree to disagree. I am an RN who has dealt with UTIs myself, but also helped develop a protocols for sepsis in the hospital (more about that in a second). They are horrible! The only thing that has been (controversially) proven to help prevent and sometimes help cure UTIs has been cranberries. You can take daily cranberry tablets or capsules or drink juice (preferably without sugar) to help prevent them if you are prone to the “run of the mill” UTI (which can also be mostly avoided by meticulous hygiene). During an attack, you can double up on both. But unfortunately these bacteria are so insane, they can lead to a LIFE THREATENING issue called sepsis where the bacteria invade the bloodstream! At that point, you will need IV antibiotics, hospitalization, and maybe more. The elderly are especially vulnerable to this! Now, doesn’t that little course of antibiotics sound just fine? Just eat lots of yogurt and/or drink Kefir and/or take probiotic capsules to avoid the yeast infections. ((Hugs))!!!

    • Jillee, thanks for this helpful post! I agree with Loretta about cranberry tablets combined with drinking plenty of water. I’ve been doing that for years since it was recommended by my OB-GYN and haven’t had a UTI since. If I begin to feel that uncomfortable twinge I double the dose and it knocks it out. Drinking water before and after intercourse so that you pee before and right after, has also made a huge difference. Antibiotics are great if you really need them but I prefer preventative natural remedies when possible. Good topic to bring up!

  • I concur with Judi-this is a good practice to develop and teach our daughters.

    Cranberry juice is also helpful because of it’s high Vitamin C content. Whenever I take antibiotics, I also take probiotics to off-set the balance in my body caused by the antibiotic. Since I have been doing that I haven’t had a yeast infection after taking antibiotics.

  • I’m a retired OB nurse and one thing I did not see mentioned is to ALWAYS wipe front to back. If you wipe back to front you will be contaminating your urinary tract with rectal bacteria. Not a good thing.

  • Try 2 Tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (I only use Braggs) with a tall glass of water (at least 8 oz), take up to 3 times a day. Helps me every time! if you drink this every morning it will prevent you from getting them again and the other benefits are awesome too, clearer skin, no more colds and it burns fat too!

  • The herbal tincture blend Uva Ursi works wonders for me. I keep a bottle in frig and use when I even feel a UTI coming on.
    Gaia herbs is what I prefer for brand. You can do your homework and find out how effective this remedy is before trying.
    Not every remedy works on everyone in the ‘natural ‘ realm but is worth trying. I’ve had horrible results from antibiotics that drove ime to try natural healing remedies. UTI s are no fun.

  • This is not a treatment, but it is helpful if you have frequent symptoms of a UTI. Pharmacies carry uti testing strips which you can use at home to determine if you actually have an infection or to rule it out if something else might be causing your symptoms. The strips test for leukocytes (white blood cells) and nitrites in your urine. It is best to use first morning urine for testing. Three test strips are about US$10. The strips are reported to be quite accurate, but if you continue to have symptoms in spite of a negative result, go to the doctor.

  • I forgot to mention. I didn’t actually use shield in the capsules. I used Onguard from Doterra. The ingredients in the blend are the same as the shield. A lot the natural ingredients you find at Sprouts. I was able to find the gelatin capsules , when a tried the allergy capsules. I had mentioned the D Manose to my mom to use for her UTIs but the price was outrageous , $30.00.

  • I suffered for years with UTI’s.until one day my neighbor told me about cranberry pills.took them and it helped me.the next day I felt a little discomfort,but by day three I felt fine.

  • My chiropractor had me use raw garlic, 2 cloves minced with a little water orally or 1 clove vaginally. I used the second method for 2 nights and followed with D-Manoose when it came in from Amazon. I had no symptoms after 1 night.

  • My mom has a history of UTIs. This last one actually turned out to be a kidney infection. She started coming down with it over a weekend, so I made her some capsules which she had helped until she could get to the Doctor. A week later she was in for an appt for something else and they did the test. She got a call that it looked suspicious. I made some more capsules.,It turned out to be negative. She had me make more capsules. She said they really helped to keep the infection from coming back.. She also tries to,drink Cranberry juice , when she feels one coming on.

  • I have had UTI consistently and been on many different antibiotics permanently for at least 2 years i then had surgery to correct prolapse which was stopping my bladder emptying completely 2 months later I was back to square one. I was on prophylactic antibiotics once more, then I saw a different dr and he said try this Hiprex and I have never looked back. It has been the best thing for me and I have been infection free now for most of this last year. Its certainly worth a try.

  • Had U T I’s off and on my whole life. My mother would always have me drink cream of tartar mixed with water and then lots of water and cranberry juice. My daughters use this method also. I usually use 1 Tab. with about a cup of water, then more water.

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