As a researcher and author, John provides information in an easy-to-understand way that helps readers understand their condition.
Before going into detail about how to cure urinary tract infections (UTIs) without antibiotics, please watch this video and listen to internationally renowned Dr. Joseph Mercola as he discusses urinary tract health issues and how to treat a UTI naturally.
How to Cure UTI - Dr. Mercola
Here's a short summary of the key issues raised by Dr. Mercola:
Size of Problem
- some 50% of women in the US have urinary tract infection issues
- around 11 million visits to health professionals
- 10 times more women than men suffer UTIs -- added by me
Symptoms and Signs
- burning sensation when urinating
- more frequent urination
- less flow-through than usual
- cloudy or dark urine color
Prevention is Better Than Cure
- 16 x more effort and resources to treat an infection than to prevent it
Prevention Through Lifestyle Changes
- drink plenty of water
- go to the bathroom when you feel the need -- not holding it in
- wipe from front to back to prevent bacterial contamination
- empty bladder after intercourse and scrupulously clean the area
- shower instead of bathing
- avoid non-natural feminine hygiene products - use only natural products
Try to Avoid Antibiotics
Doctors will usually propose antibiotics to cure urinary tract infections but these kill your good bacteria as well as your bad. You can use natural home remedies for urinary tract infections. Dr. Mecola suggests:
- taking good bacteria (probiotics) through food and / or supplements
- taking cranberry extract tablets - not juice (unless guaranteed sugar-free: my note)
- taking D-Mannose which is a naturopathic remedy for urinary tract infections.
How to Cure Urinary Tract Infections Without Antibiotics
If you already have a urinary tract infection here are 5 ways to help treat it naturally, without antibiotics, two of which Dr. Mercola mentioned in his video.
1. Cranberry Tablets
Cranberries contain antioxidant compounds called 'proanthocyanins' which prevent bacteria sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and multiplying. This also makes it easier for bacteria to be flushed out of the system. In addition, it is thought that cranberries help to deodorize urine.
300 mg to 400 mg of pure cranberry tablets, twice daily, is recommended by The American Academy of Family Physicians.
It also recommends 8 ounces of unsweetened cranberry juice 3 times per day as an alternative.
2. Raw Garlic
Garlic has been used for centuries because of its natural antibiotic properties and is a popular home remedy for urinary tract infections.
Add 2 mashed cloves to 8 ounces of hot water and steep for 5 - 10 minutes. Drink 2 cups per day until the symptoms disappear.
Alternatively, mix a few drops of olive oil into 2 well-mashed cloves and swallow directly (don't chew) with a spoon. The oil is there to protect the stomach.
And, of course, you can add fresh garlic to as much food as you can, e.g., dips, dressings, salads, etc.
3. Parsley Infusion
Parsley has many adherents when it comes to treating urinary tract infections. It has natural diuretic properties which helps to increase urine flow and so flush bacteria out of the urinary tract.
It contains apiol, a volatile oil that acts as an antiseptic, helping to kill or inhibit bacteria in the urinary tract .
It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help ease the inflammation and pain of UTI.
- Bring 4 cups of water to the boil and leave to cool slightly, i.e. so not at boiling temperature.
- Finely chop-up 4 heaped teaspoons of parsley.
- Add to the water and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes.
- Drink 4 cups per day for 7 days.
- By day 3 you should find the symptoms greatly reduced and by day 7 they should have gone.
Note: Not to be used by pregnant women, since some chemicals in the parsley can induce uterine contractions and raise fetal heart rate.
Probiotics are naturally occurring live microorganisms (sometimes called 'friendly bacteria') in your body that help to keep bad bacteria in check and fight infection. They can also be found in certain foods and in supplements.
Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad, so that the increased use of antibiotics has lead to our beneficial bacteria numbers becoming increasingly compromised. Thus there are more and more advocates for supplementing the body's natural friendly bacteria as an essential health strategy.
Furthermore, research carried out by the University of Washington and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2011, suggests that taking probiotics may help to combat chronic urinary tract infections.
Although probiotic intravaginal suppositories were used in the research, probiotics are also available in capsule form at pharmacies, health food stores and online. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are commonly used strains.
And, of course, you can get probiotics in foods such as, unsweetened natural yogurt, pickles, fermented foods, miso soup, dark chocolate, and more.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda neutralizes the acidity of your urine thus helping to decrease the 'burning' sensation as you urinate when you have a urinary tract infection. It also provides a urinary environment which helps to discourage bacterial growth.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in an 8 ounce glass of water. Drink a glass 3 times a day for 2 days. If the symptoms are still there after 2 days then stop this particular remedy.
Note: Go to a salt-free diet whilst taking baking soda as it is high in sodium. But if you suffer from high blood pressure you should not use this remedy at all.
Never ignore the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Left untreated the infection can spread to the kidneys where it can cause kidney disease, septicaemia and even death.
At the very first signs, consult with your doctor / physician for a correct diagnosis. Then discuss with them the advisability of using natural treatments instead of, or in conjunction with, antibiotics.
References for How to Cure Urinary Tract Infections
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for proper medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and you should not assume that it is. Always consult your health-care provider / physician / doctor before taking any medications, natural remedies, supplements, or making any major changes to your diet.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Has this Hub been helpful?
Michele on July 24, 2018:
Thank you. I will discuss these remedies with my doctor. I have a bad UTI right now, and while antibiotics usually do the trick, I’d like to see how these food/supplement suggestions might work. Just as a side note, there should be a disclaimer included that if the symptoms don’t resolve or get worse, a physician should be consulted—as you mentioned, a UTI can quickly turn into a much bigger problem. Still, I appreciate the tips, a couple of which I’d never heard of before.
Irene Tasker on June 06, 2017:
Will try some of the remedies you advise, as I have A UTI nearly all the time even with antibiotics. I will try the cranberries first then the parsley.its a nightmare for me as I play golf and it can be very embarrassing. Thankyou
Haniya on March 23, 2017:
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 19, 2013:
I enjoy fresh garlic daily just finely chopped on my food the best flavour comes from this old herb
JCielo (author) from England on February 11, 2013:
Thanks Rajan. Your comments are always respected and appreciated.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 09, 2013:
Very informative and useful as always John. You always present facts so well. Thanks.
voted up and useful.
JCielo (author) from England on January 17, 2013:
Thanks catgypsy. Hope this helps your friend.
catgypsy from the South on January 16, 2013:
Great hub and it came at a good time for me. A friend of mine keeps getting these and I will pass this on to her. Thanks!