Urinary Tract Infections are a more common problem than one would think. While most people would suffer from a mild Urinary Tract Infection at least once in their lifetime, there are instances of individuals contracting them on a regular basis for different health and hygiene related reasons.
How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections.
As the age old saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Preventative measures that can be taken to avoid Urinary Tract Infections altogether are not the most difficult to incorporate into your lifestyle at all and, in fact, are beneficial to your overall health at the same time. Observing good toilet hygiene is a no-brainer since the lack of it is a major reason for people getting infected. Cutting down on sugary drinks can also help to reduce your chances of contracting a Urinary Tract Infections, since sugars feed certain bacteria that develop in the urethra. Lastly, drinking plenty of fluids including water and herbal teas helps flush out bacteria from your system before it gets the chance to develop into an infection.
Do I Have A Urinary Tract Infection?
WebMD, in a detailed guide on understanding Urinary Tract Infections and how to go about treating them, mentions that the most common symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections include a painful or burning sensation while urinating and having to urinate more frequently than you normally would. The possible ways doctors test for such infections is by analysing the white blood count of urine along with checking for blood and bacteria.
Women are more likely to contract Urinary Tract Infections due to a shorter length of the urethra compared to men. Since it is rare for younger men to develop infections of this nature, it is highly advisable to visit a trained medical professional to assess the severity and the nature of the infection and get the required anti-biotic treatment.
A journal article posted on MedScape on ‘Urinary Tract Infection in Males Treatment & Management’ written by Dr. John L. Brush states that:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are rare in adult males younger than 50 years but increase in incidence thereafter. Causes of adult male UTIs include prostatitis, epididymitis, orchitis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis, and urinary catheters. Owing to the normal male urinary tract’s many natural defences to infection, many experts consider UTIs in males, by definition, to be complicated (ie, more likely to be associated with anatomic abnormalities, requiring surgical intervention to prevent sequelae).”
Can Herbal Teas Help With Urinary Tract Infections?
In a very useful article on The Coast, the author explains how herbal teas can help with the management of Urinary Tract Infections. They can be effective during the early stages of a Urinary Tract Infection, when one has slight discomfort and an increased urge to urinate. At this stage herbal teas can prevent the infection from taking hold, resolving the problem early on. For those who suffer from ongoing or more frequent infections, herbal teas can supplement your treatment by strengthening your bladder and overall urinary system, while their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties can alleviate inflammation, discomfort and pain, at the same time providing a more sterile environment for the infection to heal.
Which Herbal Teas Should I Drink To Manage Urinary Tract Infections?
Various herbal teas have powerful antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Herbal teas can work really well in blends to combine these properties to great effect. Everyday Roots lists some blends that are useful specifically for Urinary Tract Infections, also mentioning the exact recipes. You should be able to find a number of recommendations online, but here are some of the more commonly used teas that can be blended to help prevent, or to recover from Urinary Tract Infections:
Used for its diuretic and soothing properties, corn silk is very useful for managing Urinary Tract Infections since it reduces inflammation and directly calms the tissue. It is widely used by those who suffer from chronically reoccurring infections of the Urinary Tract and due to its mildness, is safe to use for the treatment of children with such issues.
The diuretic properties of this herb can help flush out any irritants and bacteria. At the same time Horsetail is believed to strengthen the tissue of the urinary tract due to its high silica content.
Yarrow is known to have antiseptic properties that disrupt the build up or overgrowth of bacteria in the urinary tract to help prevent infections from developing, while being a staple for those who suffer from such infections regularly. Furthermore, it’s anti-inflammatory properties help sooth discomfort and it’s overall nutritional value is great for your general health.
A known diuretic, dandelion helps flush out the urinary system and again, can help with either the prevention of Urinary Tract Infections altogether or the overgrowth of existing infections.
Rich in antibacterial and bactericide compounds, this garden herb not only counteracts harmful bacterias, but with its diuretic effects increases the volume of urine to ensure a healthier urinary tract. It is also a powerful antioxidant that’s helps develop your immune system to fight off diseases and infections and can also be combined with your food.
A specialists’ favourite, Nettle comes highly recommended for treating Urinary Tract Infections due to its healing powers as a bactericide that limits the reproduction of bacteria and it’s diuretic effects which help rid the body of uric acid.
With healing properties that help the mucus membranes of your internal skin, the soothing effects of this herb can reduce irritation while boosting the overall health of your urinary system. It can also add a nice flavour to your blend as an added advantage.
Berries and flowers:
Several fruits, berries and flowers can be really good for the health of your bladder and urinary tract. Teas that are made from a blend of hibiscus and cranberries, for example, are known to reduce incidence of Urinary Tract Infections by 77%. With the benefit of a great taste, they are popularly consumed in the form of iced teas.
As mentioned earlier, infections are not something to be taken lightly. Even though due to modern medicine we have come a long way from back when the smallest of superficial infections would spread throughout the body leading to sepsis, it is important to get yourself checked as soon as you feel there is a problem. There are treatment regiments designed for different types of bacterial infections which involve anti-biotic courses with varying strengths and durations. While herbal teas have properties that could possibly treat mild infections, they are more effective in alleviating symptoms rather than the root causes and should be used as a method prevention and management rather than cure. Most importantly though, by drinking herbal teas, you are automatically increasing the amount of water you consume, which is extremely crucial whether you have just developed, or feel you might be developing a Urinary Tract Infection.