At some point, many of us will come down with a bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or cystitis. While it’s a short-term problem, it’s definitely a nuisance. Consider these herbal medications, which heal bladder blues like infection and irritation.
Uva ursi Traditionally used by North American indigenous peoples, uva ursi is an antimicrobial herb. It helps to relieve symptoms of mild bladder infections, like burning and frequent urination. This is an excellent herb tincture to use if you have recurring infections. “You can use uva ursi prophylactically. Thirty days of treatment can decrease the likelihood of an infection for a year,” says Dr. Terry Vanderheyden, St. Francis Herb Farm’s medical advisor, and a naturopathic doctor and registered herbalist in Barry’s Bay, Ont.
Goldenseal A tincture of goldenseal soothes inflammation of urethral mucus membranes, and is used as an overall treatment for UTIs.
You may also consider a herbal tincture that contains a variety of herbs known to nurture and heal the urinary tract. “Herbs like dandelion, juniper, horsetail, yarrow and goldenrod are mild diuretics, which helps to improve the function of the kidney and bladder,” says Dr. Terry. Juniper and goldenrod are also antimicrobial, as is echinacea. Marshmallow coats and soothes irritated mucus membranes in the urinary system.
Whether a bladder infection is a once-in-a-while problem or an oh-no-not-again situation, rest easy knowing there are gentle and effective herbal medicines to help restore bladder health.
Check your diet for food sensitivities, which can undermine overall immune health and make it tougher to fight off infection. Sugar, dairy and gluten are common culprits.