Mostly affecting women, cystitis is an infection of the urinary bladder that can cause great discomfort through its symptoms (painful and/or frequent urination, urge to pass more urine after urination, bloody urine, strong-smelling urine, pain in the abdomen, lower back or above the pubic bone). While natural remedies are not so efficient during bouts of cystitis, when taken as long-term treatments, they can help prevent recurrence.
The best natural remedies
Native Indian Americans have used this fruit to treat cystitis even 200 years ago. Research studies have found that cranberries contain a group of substances known as Proanthocyanidins that don’t kill bacteria but they do prevent it from attaching to the cells that line the bladder.
There are many forms that cranberries can be used as a treatment, such as fresh cranberry juice and capsules, and it’s not very clear which is more effective.
Blueberries have a similar effect on cystitis as cranberries. They are rich in antioxidants and act as anti-bacterial agents. They can be consumed fresh, as juice or as tea.
Apparently, “berries” are a powerful weapon against cystitis. Juniper berries sustain the production of digestive juices and have diuretic properties, alleviating pain and discomfort caused by cystitis. These berries also have antiseptic effects and can help prevent recurring cystitis.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Studies have shown that Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, has high levels of vitamin C and can be used to treat a series of ailments, including cystitis and other urinary tract infections.
Horsetail sitz baths
Taking a sitz bath using horsetail leaves is not a preventative measure against cystitis, but it is very efficient in alleviating discomfort during cystitis bouts. Steep 100 g of dry horsetail leaves in 500 ml of water for 12 hours. Warm the mixture until boiling point and pour it into the bath water. The sitz bath should last 15-20 minutes. After that it’s recommended to stay covered in a warm place for at least one hour.