A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is defined as an infection in any part of the urinary system such as in kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra but most of the infections involve the lower urinary tract such as bladder and the urethra. Infection which is related to bladder can be very painful and annoying as well but serious consequences can occur if this infection spreads to the kidneys.
Women are more prone to urinary tract infections as compared to men. In men over 50 years of age, bladder infection is usually associated with an enlarged prostate gland or infection in the prostate.
What are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
- A burning sensation while urinating
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- Cloudy appearance of urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Pelvic pain in women especially in the centre and around the pubic bone.
- Blood in the urine
Types of Urinary Tract Infection
1. Bladder (Cystitis)
Its symptoms are:
- Lower abdomen discomfort
- Blood in urine
- Frequent, painful urination
- Pelvic pressure
2. Urethra (Urethritis)
- Burning sensation during urination
3. Kidneys (Acute pyelonephritis):
- High fever
- Upper back and side pain
- Shaking and chills
What are the Causes of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Urinary tract infections typically occur when the bacteria typically enter the urinary tract through urethra and start multiplying in the bladder. Our urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders but these defences sometimes fail. As a result, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full- blown infection in the urinary tract.
Diagnosis and Treatment: Various tests such as analysing the urine sample can detect urinary tract infection.
A thorough urine test and a culture sensitivity test is performed to confirm a bacterial infection and also to identify the strain of bacteria.
Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for urinary tract infections according to modern medicine. Doctors may also prescribe an analgesic that numbs the bladder and urethra to relieve burning while urinating.
Urinary Tract Infection according to Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, it is believed that urinary tract infections are due to the imbalance of Pitta dosha in the body. This infection results in various complications such as inflammation of urethra, infection in the bladder as well as in the kidneys.
According to Ayurveda, if we get habituated to holding the reflex due to our busy schedule, our urinary system will get habitual to withhold the urine and cause many diseases especially related to uro-genital system. Urinary Tract Infection is one of the condition that may occur due to withholding or suppressing the urge to urinate.
Therefore, to keep the urinary system healthy, it is advised not to suppress the natural urges.
The best way of treating any disease in Ayurveda is to pacify the vitiated dosha as well as to avoid or keep away the causative factors.
Top 7 Superfoods to treat Urinary Tract Infection are
1. Amla (Indian gooseberry)
Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C which helps in building immunity and hinders the growth of harmful bacteria responsible for causing infection. Take 3-4 spoons amla juice mixed with 1 spoon of sugar candy powder. This juice can be taken 2-3 times a day.
Dip Amla powder, smashed raisins and sugar candy over night and drink this water on an empty stomach in the morning.
Coriander is an excellent herb for curing urinary tract infection. According to Ayurveda, the vitiated Pitta dosha is responsible for causing urinary tract infection. Due to vitiated Pitta dosha, burning and itching sensation while urinating occurs. Due to the cooling properties of coriander, it provides relief from this uncomfortable feeling.
Coriander Seeds: Coriander seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties and protect us from infections. Take 1 spoon of coarse powder of coriander seeds and boil them in 1 glass of water. Filter this water through sieve or a sterile cloth. When this water comes at room temperature, consume it.
Buttermilk is one of the most effective remedies for UTI. It is acidic in nature but quite soothing. Drink buttermilk throughout the day. Take half glass milk and add more water to it. Drink this in every 15 minutes or 1 hour. Add coriander juice, mint juice or rose petals to it to avoid burning sensation. This remedy relieves itching.
Rinse the private parts with buttermilk or curd. There is no need to put any ointment. Buttermilk works as a natural healer.
4. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is acidic in nature. In Urinary Tract Infection, bacteria clings to the urethra and to flush out the bacteria from the urinary tract, cranberry juice works as an acid. Drink cranberry juice twice a day without adding sugar into it.
5. Rose petals Jam
Take fresh rose petals, dry them and add sugar. Keep the rose petals in a tight container and take 2 spoons of this jam in the morning and 2 spoons in the evening.
6. Watermelon Juice
Drink 8-10 glasses of freshly prepared watermelon juice daily without adding sugar into it. Watermelon Juice is such an effective remedy for UTI that you don’t require any prescription of medicine.
7. Plain Water
Drink 8-16 glasses of water after every 15-20 minutes to flush out bacteria from the system and for cooling effect and to avoid burning sensation.
Precautions and Diet
- Alcohol and coffee should be avoided.
- Fluid intake should be more. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
- Urge for urination should not be suppressed.
- Include cucumber in the diet as it relieves burning sensation during sensation. Take 1-2 glasses of cucumber juice daily.
- Take tender coconut juice everyday with jaggery or coriander leaves.
- Include vegetables such as carrots in the diet as carrot juice helps in building immunity and also improves metabolism. It also maintains normal pH level of urine and relieves burning sensation as well.
- Include radish in the diet. Take radish juice twice a day.
- Avoid working under sun.
- Avoid pungent, spicy, sour and salty food as these foods can increase the acidity in the system and thus can make the urine more acidic.