I remember my first UTI like it was yesterday. That’s because it wasn’t that long ago. Last year I had my first UTI, and I was shocked by how much it hurts! My urine had a light pink tinge and it felt difficult to empty my bladder. There was no doubt in my mind that I needed to start a natural treatment for UTI as soon as possible! I needed to figure out how to get rid of a UTI within 24 hours!
I personally chose to drink lots and lots of water with lemon juice and a little vitamin C. I also applied milk kefir externally and had complete faith that would be enough to do the trick. The pink tinge cleared up within 12 hours and by the next day I was peeing pain-free! I continued this regimen all week, though, because I didn’t want to risk that horrible feeling returning.
There are several natural treatments available for urinary tract infections. You can try what you think will work best for your body, or based on what you have available.
Here are the best natural treatments for UTI:
1. Water with lemon juice
Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best, but in a pinch bottled lemon juice such as this one works just fine. The lemon juice is acidic and helps acidify your urine to make your urinary tract inhospitable to bacteria.
2. Water with apple cider vinegar
I personally would only use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother. I love this brand that is sold in glass (anything acidic is best stored in glass!). This works similarly to the lemon juice, acidifying things and making those bad bugs unhappy.
3. Water with baking soda
Baking soda works extremely well. This is just regular ol’ baking soda you would use for food, laundry, baths. If you need a recommendation, this brand is the one I use.
D-mannose is the sugar in cranberry juice. There isn’t really a recommended dose, but it is recommended to use it frequently throughout the day. D-mannose is not metabolized by the body. It works by binding to E. coli and helping it get out of your system.
The only thing is not all UTIs are caused by E. coli! You can add this in with any of the above. I personally prefer this D-mannose powder, it has a mildly sweet taste and isn’t offensive. Some prefer to take tablets, though, and that is fine as well.
5. Milk kefir
While drinking the milk kefir is great to help your body’s overall ecosystem, for quick UTI relief you want to use this one externally. Apply to the external areas of your private parts. The good bacteria will work their way in to wherever they need to go to fight those menacing bugs that gave you this crappy UTI!
Related Post: How To Make Milk Kefir At Home
6. Pee often
As much as it hurts, you need to flush the bacteria out of your body ASAP! Drink lots of beverages. Many like to drink cranberry juice, but I prefer lots of water with lemon juice. It has less sugar and more acidity. You can add D-mannose or cranberry powder.
7. Cranberry pills
Some like to keep these on hand, especially if they have recurring UTIs. The pills are basically made of concentrated cranberry juice. It is still very important to pee often, so take with ample amounts of water.
8. Avoid Sugar
You want to avoid having sugary things that will promote the growth of bacteria and yeast. Put away the sugar, honey, agave, candy, cakes, muffins, maple syrup. Embrace sour and tart things during this time, or binge on a bowl of soup!
9. Uva Ursi
This hasn’t been tested in humans much, but some early evidence shows that it works as an antimicrobial and can also reduce inflammation. Both great things that can help stop a UTI in its tracks (pun intended!).
Because of limited research, I personally choose to avoid uva ursi. A compound in it breaks down to hydroquinone which can cause liver damage. It isn’t recommended for use for children, pregnant/breastfeeding moms, or those with digestive disorders such as Chron’s disease. It is also not recommended to use with acidic things, such as majority of the other natural treatment options for UTI on this list.
You probably know how much I love garlic! If you don’t, I use garlic for everything. I love it in food, such as these delicious garlic sourdough bread rolls. But I also love to use garlic as a home remedy.
Related Post: Homemade Garlic Oil For Ear Infections
Garlic is antimicrobial. It helps with a variety of bacteria and viruses. You can take garlic internally or insert an uncut clove in your vagina if you’re a woman. Some choose to use a needle to put a piece of thread that makes it easy to pull it out later, but in general it is not necessary and will come out on its own.
11. Vitamin C
Vitamin C bolsters your immune system and helps defend you against pathogens. It also creates an acidic environment which is great for fighting urinary tract infections. I personally choose to use 500mg of vitamin C every 2 hours, and always use this brand. This can be mixed in with the lemon juice.
12. Baking Soda Bath
A bath with 2-3 cups of baking soda can be very soothing to your urethra and help lessen symptoms. It is a basic solution and counteracts the acidity in that area. It sounds counter-intuitive, but there are many anecdotal accounts of this working quickly to soothe pain. A sitz bath would work just as well. You can often buy bulk packs of baking soda at stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, and it’s a great idea to always keep on hand!
When should you see a doctor for your UTI?
While I am pro-natural health and encourage everyone to take control of their own health, I am far from being anti-doctor. Your doctor is an important part of your health, and should be your biggest ally!
If any of the following apply to you, I would notify your doctor once you realize you have a UTI and discuss what natural remedies you want to try first:
- you are pregnant or nursing
- your child has the urinary tract infection
- you have diabetes, high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances (such as high potassium levels)
- you have nausea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain
- you have more than a light pink tinge of blood in your urine
- you are 65 or older
- you are on any type of prescription medication (some natural herbs such as garlic and uva ursi should not be taken with certain medications)
You should also consult your doctor if symptoms do not begin getting better after a full day of treatment. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if symptoms worsen.
Your doctor will take a culture and prescribe antibiotics. I don’t love antibiotics, but sometimes they are necessary. A UTI that does not get better can worsen and lead to kidney infection. This can cause lifelong issues. There are many things you can do to rebuild your gut health after antibiotic treatment (post on that coming up soon!), so do not feel guilty!