Women's Health

5 Natural Ways to Quickly Treat a UTI

These doctor-backed cures don't require meds.

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You’re relaxing by the pool when suddenly you feel that prickly ‘gotta go’ feeling you know by three dreaded letters: UTI. And while it hardly seems fair, summer is peak season for these infections since dehydration encourages bacterial growth in the bladder. The good news: These natural tricks treat a bothersome UTI in a hurry!

Go for cranberries this way.

Cranberries are well-known for their healing powers, but you’ll get even better results plus cut your risk of needing antibiotics by 60 percent if you take a particular kind. A surprising new Rutgers University study suggests you’ll absorb 240 percent more of the key bladder-healing compounds (soluble PACs) by choosing a supplement made from cranberry juice instead of whole cranberries. One to try: Gaia Cranberry Concentrate.

Sip a sweet-tart tea.

Enjoying 36 oz. of hibiscus tea daily trims up to three days off recovery time and curbs the risk of future UTIs by 40 percent if you make it a habit, suggests research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Study co-author Pete Chou, M.D., says hibiscus compounds called glycosides block the growth and spread of bladder bacteria.

Try a sweet cure.

It’s D-mannose, a fruit sugar. A study in the World Journal of Urology found taking 1 tsp. of D-mannose powder (or 2,000 mg. in capsule form) daily kick-starts healing in 24 hours and lessens even chronic UTIs by 75 percent. That’s better than daily antibiotics. Experts say it makes bacteria slippery so they can’t stick to bladder walls.

Power up H2O.

Add 1 tsp. of baking soda to a glass of water twice daily, and you’ll cut symptoms in half, Canadian scientists say. This remedy stalls the growth of bacteria and makes urine less acidic, so it’s less likely to irritate your bladder lining and trigger muscle spasms.

Seasonal yum!

Stone fruits like peaches and nectarines are at their peak now, and enjoying two servings daily lessens your odds of a bladder infection by 60 percent, Mexican studies show. The fruits’ vitamin C and carotenoids energize the immune cells that destroy bladder bacteria.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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