URINARY TRACT INFECTION AND AYURVEDIC TREATMENT - Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla, M.D. (Ayurveda) Everytime Lakshmi went to thebathroom; she felt a burning sensation. Though she knows thatsomething was wrong, she was too embarrassed to tell anyone aboutit. At times, she had an intense urge to go to the bathroom, but whenshe went, she could only urinate a little.Lakshmi’s experience is not unusual—in fact, her problem, urinarytract infection (UTI)—is the most common reason for which womenvisit a doctor. About one out of five women gets urinary tractinfection during her lifetime. That is not to say that men do not haveUTI’s. However, they are not prone to infection as often as women do.Symptoms Many a time, the symptoms are not very obvious. But most often, the symptoms are only too obvious to neglect. The person urinates more frequently than usual. There is a sharp pain or burning sensation in the urethra while passing urine. There could be blood in the urine. The person has a feeling as if his or her bladder is full after passing urine. The person experiences soreness in the belly, back, or sides, and chills, fever, and nausea.Guidelines and Ayurvedic Remedies Removing the cause of trouble can treat the problem. However, there are ayurvedic remedies that will reduce the burning sensation: Wash the genital area and drink a glass of water before intercourse. Urinate before and after intercourse.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day, preferably hot to dilutethe urine and flush bacteria out of the bladder. Barley water andcoconut water can be used to dilute the urine.Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, chillies, and coffee. Restrict intake ofbeans, pulses, spinach, tomatoes, and ladyfingers.Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Empty your bladdercompletely when you pass urine. Do not give bacteria a chance togrow.Get plenty of rest.Wipe properly after urinating or having a bowel movement toprevent the bacteria from anus entering the urethra.Wear cotton undergarments. Bacteria thrive in warm and wetconditions. Cotton helps keep you cool and dry because it letsthrough airflow. Do not wear tight jeans, pants, or undergarments.Avoid bath tubs. Take a shower instead of a bath.Avoid using strong soaps, feminine hygiene products, and antisepticcreams that may irritate the urethra.Eat a cup of curd made with active, live cultures daily. Curd containsLoctobacillus acidophilus, which may create an acidic environmentand prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria.Taking Vitamin C in the form of fruit juices regularly may make urinemore acidic and less hospitable to bacteria. Take six grams of equalparts of amla and jaggery everyday.On the other hand, a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)alkalises the urine, which makes it less hospitable to bacteria.Apply hot compresses over the bladder. Do the same, but this timewith a cold pack after half an hour. Powder of Saltpetre(Shorakshar), applied over the bladder and covered with a wet clothalso gives better results.Boil 20 grams of corncob hair (hair of maize) in water and drink theinfusion.Internally, take half a cup of decoction of equal parts of fruits ofGokshura (gokhru) and coriander (dhania), thrice a day.Most of the ayurvedic practitioners prescribe shilajit for thiscondition. Paashaanabheda (Bergenia ligulata) root powder will alsohelp. Take a teaspoonful of the same.You can prepare an effective remedy by mixing the powders ofcardamom—one part, root of paashaanabheda—half part, purifiedshilajit—half part, and long pepper—half part. Take this preparationin doses of three to four grams with half a glass of water in whichrice has been washed, twice a day.
Elaadi-choorna, taarakeswara ras, Chandraprabhavati, Pravaala- bhasma, Chandanaasava etc., are some of the important ayurvedic medicines which can effectively treat this condition. Consult your ayurvedic physician before using these medicines.The channel carrying urine, our bodies liquid waste, is called mutra vaha srotas. Theorigin of the channel begins at the kidneys, the bladder is the container, the ureters are thepassageways, and the end or opening is the urethra. Bladder infections (cystitis), inflammation of the urethra(urethritis), and kidney infections are all more common in women than in men. Whenmen have urinary tract infections, it is usually secondary to a more serious health concernsuch as an enlarged prostate.Urinary tract infections or UTIs, are infections that occur within the urinary tract, mostcommonly with the bladder or urethra, causing symptoms of burning upon urination,frequent urination with not much urine, and feeling a frequent urge to pass urine. Therecan be blood in the urine, or cloudy, strong-smelling urine.According to Ayurveda, UTIs are due to an imbalance within pitta dosha. Ayurvedaswisdom offers guidelines to balance pitta dosha and strengthen the urinary tract in orderto avoid recurring infections. First understanding and removing the cause begins thehealing process. Main factors that aggravate pitta dosha and contribute to UTIs are:*Eating foods that are too hot, sour, or spicy.*Drinking alcohol.*Suppressing the urge to urinate.*Habitually retaining urine in the bladder for long periods of time.*Exposure to extreme heat, and overexposure to sunlight.*Emotions of anger, impatience, jealousy.*Environmental factors such as working with fire, chemicals, or toxic fumes.*Not drinking enough waterDietAyurveda recommends choosing a diet that will pacify pitta dosha to help cleanse andeliminate the toxins that are bringing too much heat to the body. Drink plenty of water tohelp flush bacteria out of the urinary tract. Pure cranberry or pomegranate juice areexcellent purifying drinks that reduce excess pitta and also reduce proliferation ofbacteria.
The following foods have an adverse effect on the bladder and should be limited oravoided: alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, coffee, chocolate, refined andprocessed foods, refined sugars.LifestyleBacteria can flourish when conditions are warm and moist. Here are a few tips to helpyou stay cool and dry.*Empty bladder after taking a bath and sexual intercourse.*Wear cool, loose fitting cotton underwear and clothing.*Dry thoroughly after shower or bath. Change into dry clothes as soon as possible afterswimming.*Women should consider sanitary pads for their menstrual cycle, avoiding tampons.*Cultivate emotions of peace and contentment.HerbsKidney supportive Ayurvedic medicines contain Gokshura and Punarnava, two herbsknown specifically for their ability to support proper functioning of the urinary tract. Theformula works to cool and soothe the entire urinary system, including inflammedmembranes caused by urinary tract infections.Shatavari is sweet and cooling herb that helps to relieve pitta inflammation in thegenito-urinary system. Many current studies have confirmed Shatavaris antimicrobialactivity against bacteria that are frequently present in urinary tract infections. Coriander,or Cilantro, is a helpful household spice to have on hand for high pitta conditions suchas burning urination. A fresh juice can be taken to instantly dispel excess pitta from thebody. Coriander seeds can be used in a tea, either by itself or along with cumin andfennel, as a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory for burning upon urination.YogaInclude yoga poses that target the kidney and abdominal area such as Bhujangasana(Cobra pose), Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana (Bridge pose), and Dhanurasana (Bow pose).These help to massage and tone the kidneys and improve the function of genito-urinaryorgans.Ayurveda, an ancient healing system is best for treating the urinary tract infection causedby bacteria in the urinary tract as it balances the infection-fighting properties of theurinary system.
According to Ayurveda all living things are characterized by three active doshas Vata,Pitta and Kapha and believes that aggravated Pitta produces heating toxins in the bodywhich accumulate in the mutra vahi strota (urinary channels) causes UTI.Ayurvedas integrated approach to UTI includes a healthier life style, modified diet,intake of herbal supplements and practicing yoga as follows:Lifestyle : • Mental feelings like excessive stress and anger are to be controlled. • Not to sleep excessively in the daytime after eating. • To go to bed early and get enough sleep at night • Not to expose to sun and heat excessively • Wear loose-fitting and cotton clothes.Diet : • Drink plenty of water as it cleanses your body by diluting and flushing out the unwanted substance. • Take Vitamin C rich diet as it prevents the bacterial growth due to the acidic environment created in the bladder and the urinary tract. • Avoid processed food like cheese, chocolate and dairy products. • Do not take spicy food, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. • Not to take carbonated drinks like beer, soda or any other drink with fizz. • Avoid foods and drinks that are difficult to digest like white flour products.Herbal supplements:Ayurvedic herbs like Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris), Punarnava (Boerrhavia diffusa),Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Chandan (Santalum album) are the effective naturalcures.Yoga:Gomukhasana (Cows face pose), Pawanmuktasana (The knee to chest), Ardha MatsendraAsana (Half spinal twist) are few useful yogic practices to fight UTI.Urinary tract infection(UTI)A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that begins in the urinary system. It canbe painful and annoying. It can also become a serious health problem if the infectionspreads to the kidneys. Women are most at risk of developing a UTI. In fact, one infive women will likely develop a UTI during her lifetime, and many will experiencemore than one. The Ayurvedic name of UTI is mutravahi sankraman.
CausesThe cause of UTI is aggravated pitta dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humour thatsymbolises heat or fire. So a diet and lifestyle that increases pitta dosha causes UTI.Pitta is aggravated by foods that do not suit the constitution; foods that should notbe eaten together, like milk and fish or milk and salt; and excessively sour or spicyfoods or those that increase heat in the body. Pitta is also increased by foods anddrinks that are difficult to digest, white flour products, white sugar products, alcohol,tea, and coffee. Smoking, and drinking very little water, also increases pitta dosha.Pitta dosha is also aggravated by excessive hunger, eating food during indigestion,suppressing urges of flatus, urination and stool, excessive sleep in the daytime aftereating, and staying awake for long at night. Mental feelings like excessive stress andanger also increase pitta. Excessive exposure to sun and heat also cause aggravationof pitta dosha.Aggravated pitta produces heating toxins in the body. These heating toxinsaccumulate in the mutra vahi strota (urinary channels) and imbalance the infection-fighting properties of the urinary system. Bacteria can grow in the system and leadto UTI. Many chemical drugs work on bacteria, but these do not work for infection-fighting properties and heating toxins. Thus such infection recurs. Ayurvedicmedicine balances the infection-fighting properties of the urinary system and pacifiesheating toxins. That is why it is best for treating UTI.SymptomsNot everyone with a UTI develops recognisable signs and symptoms, but mostpeople have some. These can include a strong, persistent urge to urinate; a burningsensation when urinating; passing frequent, small quantities of urine; blood in theurine or cloudy, strong-smelling urineUrinary Tract Infection is an invasion of the kidney, ureters, bladder or urethra by thebacteria of the urinary tract. This bacterium enters the opening of the urethra andprocreates in the urinary tract causing urinary tract infection. It can infect anyone butwomen are more susceptible to this disease.If UTI is not properly treated in the earlier stages it is likely to spread to your kidneys,which can become a serious health issue. The infection of the bladder can develop intocystitis which is a very common problem faced by women.Symptoms of Urinary Tract InfectionFollowing are the major urinary tract infection symptoms:1. Constant urge to urinate2. Burning sensation and traces of blood3. Fever, vomiting along with other pains4. Bouts of vomiting and nausea5. Backache and pain below your ribs
Causes of Urinary Tract InfectionFollowing are the major urinary tract infection causes:1. Bacteria in the urethra2. Sexual intercourse3. Having different sexual partners4. Holding back the urge to urinateNatural Home Remedies for Urinary Tract InfectionFollowing are some of the effective home remedies for urinary tract infection:1. Take cranberry juice to fight urinary tract infection. It disallows bacteria to cling to thecell, which line the urinary tract.2. Prepare a mixture of 1/2 tsp baking soda in eight ounce glass of water. It is veryhelpful on the first signs of urinary tract infection. The presence of baking soda in yoursystem raises the acid-base balance of the acidic urine.3. For acute urinary tract infection take 1/2 tsp of tincture every hour. It is an effectivenatural remedy for urinary tract infection.4. For severe UTI blend equal parts of pipsissewa, buchu, echinacea, and uva ursitinctures. Have 20 drops of this blended mixture every two hours for first two days andlater 1 tsp four times a day, till you have completely recovered. Have a soothing tea suchas marshmallow root to counter the strong antiseptic effect of urva ursi.Urinary Tract Infection Treatment and Advice1. Drink plenty of water. It cleanses your body by diluting and flushing out the unwantedsubstance.2. Prepare an essential oil by using equal parts of sandalwood, bergamot, tea tree,frankincense and juniper. Mix all these ingredients to make an oil to be rubbed over yourbladder area. Continue this massaging technique for three to four days once thesymptoms subside.3. Take Vitamin C rich diet as it prevents the bacterial growth due to the acidicenvironment created in the bladder and the urinary tract.4. Avoid processed food like cheese, chocolate and dairy products.5. Do not take spicy food, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. Also avoid carbonated drinkslike beer, soda or any other drink with fizz.6. Wear loose-fitting and cotton clothes.Urinary Tract Infection Information
Home Remedy for Urinary Tract InfectionOur urinary system comprises of kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. A bacterialinfection that affects the urinary tract of a person is known as urinary tract infection(UTI). Though the infection can affect any part of the urinary system, it is usually thelower urinary tract i.e. the urethraand the bladder that is mostaffected by it. Women are moresusceptible to UTI than men. Although it is painful and discomforting, urinary tractinfection can be quickly and easily treated. Read on to know more about the causes ofUTI, along with its symptoms.Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection • Bacteria in the urethra • Sexual intercourse • Having multiple sexual partners • Holding back the urge to urinate • Prolonging urination • Abnormal structure of the bladder • Failure to empty the bladder completely • Sexual positions • Tumor in the urinary tract • Stones in the urinary tractUrinary Tract Infection • A burning sensation on passing urine • Passing urine more frequently than usual • Sensation of needing to pass urine, but being unable to do so • Blood in the urine • Feeling unwell • Fever • Chills • Nausea • Vomiting • Tender or heavy belly • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine • Pain on one side of the back, under the ribs Causes & Symptoms of Urinary Tract InfectionAn invasion of bacteria into theurinary tract causes UTI (Urinary
Tract Infection). The bacteria enter from the opening of the urethra and proceed furtherinto the urinary tract. Some of the causes of UTI include sexual intercourse, multiplesexual partners and holding urine for too long. Urinary tract infection can be very painful,if not treated in time. It can also spread to the kidney, causing serious health problems.Though the disease can affect members of both the sex, women are more susceptible to it.Some of the common symptoms of urinary tract infection are burning sensation whileurinating, a constant urge to urinate, blood in the urine, fever, vomiting, nausea, backacheand pain below the ribs. In the following lines, we have provided some of the best homeremedies for treating UTI.Home Remedy For Urinary Tract Infection • Baking soda is effective in curing urinary tract infection. In an eight ounce glass of water, add ½ tsp of baking soda. Mix this well and drink it. • Have plenty of water in a day, as this would help in diluting and flushing out the unwanted substances from the body. • Drinking cranberry juice is another effective way to treat urinary tract infection. For people who cannot have pure cranberry juice, mixing it with some apple juice is an option. • Mix equal proportions of sandalwood, bergamot, tea tree, frankincense and juniper oil. Rub this combination of oil in the abdominal area once a day, for three to four days. • Mix equal parts of pipsissewa, buchu, echinacea and urva ursi tinctures. Have 20 drops of this mixture, every two hours, for the first two days and 1 tsp of this mixture, four times a day, later on. • Another useful remedy for UTI would be to boil the leaves of blue brinjal plant in water. Cool the decoction, strain it and have an ounce of it two times in a day. • Boil some coriander seeds in water. Cool the decoction, strain it and have an ounce of it two times in a day. It will increase the urine flow. • The seeds of carrot are useful in treating urinary tract infection. They can either be taken as an infusion or as a decoction. • In a bowl of water, put some petals of lotus and pink rose and bring it to boil. Strain the liquid after it cools. Have an ounce of this, three times a day. • Chameli plant decoction is helpful in curing urinary tract infection. In a bowl of water, put chameli plant and bring it to boil. Allow it to cool. Strain the liquid and drink it once daily. • Juice of cranberry is found to be an effective home remedy for urinary tract infection commonly known as UTI. It is not possible to have cranberry juice directly; one has to take it along with apple juice. It dissolves the bacteria responsible for UTI.
• Have half teaspoon of tincture every hourly; this is very much effective in acute cases of UTI. However, in severe cases, take buchu, uva ursi, and pipsissewa and Echinacea tinctures in equal amount and blend it. Take twenty drops of this tincture at the interval of two hour; this should be for first two days. Then one should go for one teaspoon of tincture four times a day till u get complete recovery. This is one of the useful home remedies for urinary tract infection• Tea prepared from marshmallow root is also found to be good in treating UTI as it is a having powerful antiseptic effect.• Baking soda is one of the best and most easily available home remedy for urinary tract infection. Make a mixture by taking half teaspoon of baking soda and eight to nine ounce glasses of water.• Consumption of echnacea capsule and goldenseal or Oregon grape root is very good to increase your vitality and fight against infection. This is one of the best home remedies for urinary tract infection• Commonest way to treat urinary tract infection is to drink lot of fluids, as it is very much important to have free excretion of urine.• Aromatherapy also is considered as effective way to treat urinary tract infection. Take bergamot, frankincense, sandalwood, juniper and tea tree in equal amount. Prepare an essential oil from these materials and rub it on the area of urinary bladder. This treatment must be done for four to five days even after your symptoms have subsided. This is one of the effective home remedies for urinary tract infection• Some of the Ayurvedic herbs like varuna, patola, gokshura, punarnava etc have beneficial effect on urinary track infection. You either can go for single herb extract or can go for the formula containing those herbs. These are effective natural cures for urinary tract infection.• Drink plenty of water. Water flushes out the toxins and improves the kidney functions.• Try to avoid spicy, junk and very hot food. This may increase the burning sensation in urinary tract.• Try to avoid the food having sour taste.• Alcohol, non-vegetarian diet, smoking is to be avoided.