A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacteria caused inflammation of the urethra or bladder, and is very common in adult women. Most doctors agree that urinary tract infections should be treated promptly with antibiotics to prevent the spread of an infection to the kidneys. Alternative medical practitioners, however, suggest that some natural remedies for urinary tract infections exist, though this belief is not widely supported by the medical community. If a fever or kidney pain develops, experts recommend seeing a doctor immediately rather than relying on natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberry and blueberry juice are frequently cited as the best natural remedies for urinary tract infections. Proponents recommend drinking at least two glasses of naturally sweetened or unsweetened juice per day as soon as symptoms appear. Some also suggest that these juices may be used daily as a preventative measure, though only one small glass per day is recommended in that case.
Certain herbs have long been used as natural remedies for urinary tract infections. These include marshmallow root, goldenseal, uva ursi, and flat leaf parsley. These remedies may be found in supplemental caplet form, but are considered to be more effective when used as teas or tisanes. Drinking herbal infusions will more directly send the herbs to the bladder, where they should serve as antibacterial and diuretic agents that may help flush out growing bacterial colonies.
If bacteria gets into the bladder, it must be flushed out for the infection to subside. Normally, antibiotics will simply kill the bacteria off, but some believe that increased water intake can help reduce the bacterial count by flushing the bladder out regularly. Some proponents also find that water intake can help relieve symptoms of urgency and burning sensations while urinating.
Baking soda is one of the most common natural remedies for urinary tract infections, as it raises the pH of the urine and may help relieve symptoms. Proponents recommend diluting a small spoonful of baking soda in a glass of water and taking at the first sign of symptoms. People with high blood pressure or a sensitivity to sodium may want to avoid this remedy, as baking soda is extremely high in sodium.
According to some alternative medicine practitioners and frequent UTI patients, changing a simple bathroom behavior may actually help rid the body of bacteria. By straddling a toilet backward, with knees facing the tank and back held straight up, it may be easier to void the bladder completely, thus flushing out more bacteria and sometimes reducing feelings of urinary urgency.