6 Home Remedies for UTI

Clinical review: Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse

Drinking certain types of tea is a good way to complement prescribed treatment for urinary tract infection. Teas can increase the effect of the medicine prescribed as well as relieve any symptoms faster.  

However, these teas should not replace your doctor’s recommendations, especially when antibiotics are prescribed. 

The most popular teas for urinary tract infection are those with an antimicrobial effect. This property helps to eliminate the micro-organisms that may be causing the infection. Diuretic teas are also beneficial, as they stimulate urine production, allowing for increased urinary flow and cleansing of the tract.

Here are some examples that are scientifically proven to help treat UTIs:

1. Bearberry

The leaves of this plant have been used for many centuries to relieve and treat symptoms related to UTIs. According to some studies, the effect of this plant on UTIs is linked to a substance known as arbutin, which has a strong antimicrobial effect. Hence, bearberry leaves can eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi that are responsible for most cases of urinary tract infections. 

Additionally, bearberry is a diuretic, so it promote urinary flow, keeping the urinary tract clean and free from microorganisms.  

Ingredients

  • 3 g dry bearberry leaves;
  • 200 ml (about 6.5 oz) cold water.

How to prepare

Place the leaves in the water and let the mixture infuse in a closed container and sheltered from light for 12 to 14 hours. Then strain the mixture and drink up to 4 cups per day. The ingredient list above is for one teacup, so if you wish to make more just increase the quantities to make enough for one day.

Attention: bearberry can cause poisoning if overdosage occurs. We recommend that you only have bearberry tea when you have actively have symptoms and for a maximum of seven days. If you experience symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, you should stop taking bearberry.

2. Goldenseal

Goldenseal is another plant that is scientifically proven to treat UTIs. It is rich in substances like hydrastine and berberine, which have an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect. Additionally, there are some studies that show that berberine can prevent some bacteria, especially E. Coli, from binding to urinary tract walls, which allows them to be more easily eliminated.  

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of Goldenseal root powder;
  • 250 mL (about 8.5 oz) boiling water.

How to prepare

Place all the ingredients in a cup for 10 to 15 minutes and mix. Then strain the tea and let it cool down. You can drink two to three times a day.  

It may be hard to find Goldenseal powder but an alternative is liquid Goldenseal root extract. Follow packet instructions regarding dosage or simply take ¼ teaspoon a day. Another alternative is capsules, in which cases the dosage is 450 mg 2 to 3 times a day.

3. Corn silk

Corn silk tea is another popular home remedy used to treat urinary tract problems, including infections. Some studies have shown that corn silk tea has a good concentration of tannins, terpenoids, and alkaloids, making it rich in antimicrobial properties.  

Additionally, corn silk is also a diuretic, which helps with eliminating bacteria through the urine 

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of dry corn silk;
  • 1 cup of boiling water.

How to prepare

Place the corn silk in a cup with boiling water and let it rest for five to ten minutes. After this, strain the mixture and let it cool down. Drink this tea two to three times a day.

4. Dandelion

Dandelion is a plant that has an excellent diuretic effect. It helps to increase urine quantity, allowing the bacteria that are causing the infection to be flushed out more quickly.

Ingredients

  • 15 g leaves and roots of dandelion;
  • 250 ml boiling water.

How to prepare

Add the dandelion to the boiling water and let this mixture sit for five to ten minutes. Strain and drink two to three times a day.

5. Boxwood

Boxwood leaves are diuretic and antimicrobial and seem to help fight microorganisms that cause urinary tract infections. It also stimulates urine production. 

Some studies have shown that these plant properties are linked to the essential oil, which is mainly produced in the leaves. That is because the oil is capable of being absorbed in the stomach and then released into the kidneys, where it mixes with urine and helps to clean the urinary tract. 

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry boxwood leaves;
  • 1 cup of boiling water.

How to prepare

Add the leaves to the boiling water and let this mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain the mixture, let it cool down and drink two to three times a day.

6. Horsetail

Horsetail is one of the most popular natural diuretics in the world and for that reason, it can be a great treatment for a urinary tract infection. It helps in the elimination of microorganisms responsible for the infection. According to research, the effect of horsetail is linked to the presence of an important diuretic substance, saponin.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon horsetail;
  • 1 cup boiling water.

How to prepare

Place all the ingredients into a cup and let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes. After this, strain, cool down and drink up to 3 cups a day.

As it is a strong diuretic, which eliminates various types of important minerals, horsetail should not be used for more than 7 days.

Precautions when taking the teas

If you take any type of tea or natural product to treat health problems, you should do so under the supervision of doctor or a health professional who is familiar with medicinal plants. This is because doses have to be adjusted due to factors such as age, weight and health background. These teas should not replace prescribed medication.

Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under the age of three should avoid taking any type of tea without their pediatrician or obstetrician’s supervision. 

As most teas mentioned have a diuretic effect, it is very important to not use these teas for extended periods of time (more than 7 days) as prolonged use can lead to imbalances of important minerals. 

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em February de 2022. Clinical review por Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse, em February de 2022.

References

  • B. A, Clare; R. S, Conroy; K, Spelman. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Vol.15, n.8. 929-934, 2008
  • T. P, Vijitha; D, Saranya. Corn Silk - A Medicinal Boon. International Journal of ChemTech Research. Vol.10, n.10. 129-137, 2017
Show more references
  • RAKEL, David. Integrative Medicine. 4.ed. Elsevier, 2018. 211-215.
  • R. V, Geetha; ROY, Anitha; T, Lakshmi. Nature’s Weapon against Urinary Tract Infections. International Journal of Drug Development & Research. Vol.3, n.3. 85-94, 2011
Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.