A bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI), can come on suddenly or slowly. It may have few symptoms or include significant pain, urgency, and blood in the urine. Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and baking soda can be very effective to relieve the pain and infection of a bladder infection when used at early onset of symptoms.
Bladder Infection Natural Remedies
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, taken in a glass of water with or without the addition of honey is a very useful remedy for a bladder infection. Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps to fight infection. For more information about using apple cider vinegar for a UTI, see this page.
2. Baking Soda
Perhaps the least expensive remedy for a UTI is baking soda. Simply add ½ teaspoon baking soda to a glass of water. Consume this remedy 3-4 times the day an infection is realized. Assuming symptoms have improved by the second day, reduce the frequency of the dose to twice daily for several more days until symptoms are completely resolved.
Baking soda water is best taken on an empty stomach, between meals or with a light meal. Taken with a large meal, it can cause bloating.
This remedy helps to alkalize the body. However, some bacteria do not mind an alkaline environment. If that is the case, a different remedy may be needed.
Cranberry juice or capsules is a common natural solution to bladder infections. For some, cranberry juice is an adequate remedy. For others, it does not seem to be enough to completely resolve the problem.
Cranberry capsules are easy to take and there is no concern about added sugar or artificial sugars.
A quality cranberry juice is not easy to find. Labels must be read to ensure that cranberry juice is the only ingredient. Many products labeled, “Cranberry Juice” contain other juices, sugars, artificial sugars including sucralose.
Cranberry juice alone is almost impossible to drink undiluted. It can be diluted in water or 100% grape juice. Attempt to consume 4 ounces at least 4 times daily for an acute infection.
D-Mannose is a simple sugar that keeps bacteria like E. Coli, a common cause of UTI’s, from attaching to the wall of the bladder. A common dose of D-mannose powder is 2 grams (1 teaspoon) twice daily. Once symptoms resolve, taking it daily for several more days may prevent a recurrence.1,2
Frankincense essential oil can be massaged into the lower abdomen or dropped onto a panty liner and the benefits of the oil will be absorbed into the body. Essential oils are strong; only a drop or two is needed each time. Reapply several times a day.
6. Plantain Tea
Plantain leaf (not the fruit that looks like a banana) is a common weed. A simple tea made from the leaf makes an excellent herbal remedy for a bladder infection. At the first sign of a UTI, make one quart of plantain tea.
How to Make Plantain Tea for a UTI
- Add 3 generous Tablespoons of dried plantain leaf to a quart jar.
- Boil 1 quart of water.
- Pour the water over the tea.
- Let the tea steep for 30-60 minutes or overnight.
- Strain out the leaves.
- Sweeten with honey or stevia if desired.
- Consume the quart of tea over the course of an entire day.
- Repeat the following day if needed. If this does not reduce symptoms in 24 hours, try another remedy. After symptoms are resolved, consume at least one cup of plantain tea daily for a week. (Use 2 teaspoons plantain leaf for each cup of water.)
6. Sea Salt
Salt is an antibacterial compound. Sea salt, added to water is an easy remedy for a UTI.
- ½ – 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup of water
Consume the salty water on an empty stomach, once. Repeat the next day if needed. If symptoms have not resolved, consider another remedy.
7. Uva Ursi
The herb uva ursi is an herb that is specific to the urinary system. Capsules or tincture can be used.
8. Corn Silk
The silks from a corn plant are useful as a natural remedy for bladder complaints, including UTI’s. Always use organic corn silk. Tea, capsules or tincture of cornsilk can be used.
9. Vitamin C
1,000 mg of vitamin C 2-5 times a day supports the immune system while it is fighting infection. Sodium ascorbate is easiest on the digestive system and, if bought in powdered form there is no concern about added sugars or artificial ingredients.
A zinc supplement supports the immune system and can help the body recover more quickly from a UTI.3
Remedies for UTI with Pain
In addition to the above remedies, the following remedies can be used to help with pain.
As a natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric can be taken to reduce pain from inflammation. Turmeric is an antibacterial as well. 4 capsules can be taken 2-4 times a day, or try Golden Milk several times a day.
12. Castor Oil Packs
For significant pain or bladder spasms, castor oil can help to easy pain and relax the bladder. Castor oil packs can help immune function.
How to Use a Castor Oil Pack for a UTI
- Take a large cotton or flannel cloth and fold it up until it is 6 inches by 4 inches.
- Place a length of plastic wrap (from the kitchen) on the counter.
- Place the cloth on the plastic wrap.
- Pour 1-2 Tablespoons castor oil onto the center of the cloth. Allow it to absorb into the cloth. Add more if needed. The whole cloth should have castor oil on it, but should not be soaked or dripping.
- Apply this castor oil cloth to the lower abdomen, keeping the plastic wrap in place as a backing to protect clothing. Use cotton underwear and a cotton camisole to keep it in place, or use an ace bandage. This can be used any time pain is experienced, but is easiest overnight.
- Wear old clothes and don’t use favorite bedding as castor oil can leak.
- Apply a heating pad. Use the heating pad for a while but not overnight, due to risk of burning. A hot water bottle or hot rice sock can be used instead.
- After 2 hours, or in the morning, remove the castor oil pack. Massage any left over castor oil into the skin, or wash off in the shower if desired.
Castor oil can be used with the process of a castor oil pack, but the castor oil pack is very soothing and worth the effort.
13. Healing Bath
A warm healing bath with ACV, Epsom Salt or baking soda plus frankincense if you have it on hand is relaxing, healing and can bring pain relief. Use one cup of the preferred remedy and soak for 20 minutes in a warm tub.
14. Dietary Changes
Keep sugar and processed foods to a minimum. Consume plenty of water or herbal tea. Coffee and soda should not make up the majority of liquid intake.
15. Lifestyle Practices
Always empty the bladder after intercourse!
Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement!
Make it a habit to drink plenty of pure water or herbal tea every day.
Do you have a natural remedy for a bladder infection? Please send us some feedback!