Bacteria do not normally live in the urinary tract, it is a sterile area but they can enter the urinary tract and multiply, causing an infection. The urethra is fairly short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder. Infections are more common just before a period and during the course of a pregnancy. As women age, tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age, as well as after menopause leading to a greater chance of catching an infection.
This is where herbal remedies can be useful:
It is also known as uva ursi. In a double blind placebo study of 57 women with recurrent UTIs, bearberry was shown effective in suppressing further infection. Bearberry acts as an antibacterial, urinary antiseptic, astringent and healer to the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. It is also a diuretic.
Different from the root which has a focus on balancing digestive and liver health, this herb is potent diuretic used to flush the bladder and relieve symptoms like pain while urination, and swelling/inflammation.
It has soothing mucilaginous or demulcent properties. This soothes the flared up mucous membranes. It also has a diuretic effect. It is also rich in silica and other minerals, which help strengthen the surrounding tissues.
The original marshmallow candy was made using this plant. Marshmallow root has a softening and soothing effect on the irritated mucous membranes in the interior of the urinary tract.
Cranberry helps prevent potentially harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract walls and effectively flushes out the bacteria from the urinary tract to help promote quicker healing. By helping to maintain a clean urinary tract this will reduce the frequency of recurrent infections.
It is a potent antibacterial agent and a very effective mucous membrane healer. It is very useful against inflammation of the urinary tract wall.