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Top 12 Natural Home Remedies for UTI

Home remedies for UTI - Dr. Axe

Urinary tract infections are some of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all infections. More than 50 percent of women will develop a UTI and UTI symptoms in their lifetimes, and because antibiotics are the most common conventional treatment for UTIs, bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant and recurring infections are a major concern. (1) For this reason, it’s important to use home remedies for UTIs that eliminate bacteria completely and reduce the risk of developing recurrent urinary tract infections.

Some of the best home remedies for UTI include drinking plenty of fluids, staying clean and dry, and consuming things like cranberries, probiotics, vitamin C and using essential oils. Read on for all 12 of my top home remedies for UTI.


12 Home Remedies for UTI

1. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking water or fluids throughout the day helps flush bacteria from your system. A 2013 study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas found that chronic low fluid intake may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections — just one of many reasons to stay hydrated. (1) Drink at least one glass of water for every meal and snack of the day in order to flush out bacteria that can lead to infection.

2. Urinate Often

Urinating often and when the urge arises ensures that bacteria isn’t growing in urine that stays in the bladder. It’s also important to urinate soon after sexual intercourse in order to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra. Studies have found that holding urine for a long time allows bacterial to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a urinary tract infection. (2)

3. Stay Clean and Dry

Women should wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement. This ensures that bacteria doesn’t get into the urethra. It’s also important to wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear, which allows air to keep the urethra dry. Wearing tight jeans or material like nylon can be problematic because moisture can be trapped, allowing bacteria to grow.

4. Avoid Using Spermicides

Spermicides can increase irritation and allow bacteria to grow. Using unlubricated condoms can also cause irritation, so choose lubricated condoms that don’t contain spermicides. A 1996 prospective study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that among sexually active young women, the incidence of UTI is high and the risk is strongly and independently associated with recent sexual intercourse, along with recent use of a diaphragm with spermicide. (3)

5. Probiotics

Because of the development of bacterial resistance, one of the most promising home remedies for UTI, especially recurring UTIs, is probiotics. Research published in the Indian Journal of Urology explains that benign bacterial flora is crucial for preventing the overgrowth of microorganisms that lead to illness. The use of antibiotics destroys beneficial bacterial flora, and pathogenic bacteria are selectively enabled to overgrow on internal and external surfaces.

Probiotics help support the human body’s normal flora that serve as a line of defense. Eating fermented foods also helps restore the body’s natural flora and recolonize the bladder with helpful bacteria. Some of the healthiest fermented foods include kefir, kimchi, probiotic yogurt, raw cheese, sauerkraut and kombucha. (4)

6. Cranberry

Some studies suggest that cranberry juice may decrease the number of UTIs a person develops over a 12-month period, particularly for women with recurrent UTIs. (5) Although there’s limited or mixed evidence concerning cranberry’s ability to manage UTI symptoms, there is evidence that cranberries can be used as a preventive strategy. Animal studies show that cranberry products appear to work by inhibiting the growth and colonization of bacteria that cause infection, including E. coli, the most common bacteria seen in urinary tract infections. (6)

7. Garlic

Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed raw garlic, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. In its pure form, allicin has been found to exhibit antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria, including multi-drug-resistant strains of E. coli. Garlic also has antifungal properties, particularly against candida albicans, which causes yeast infections. (7)

8. D-Mannose

D-mannose is a kind of sugar that’s related to glucose. It’s on this list of home remedies for UTI because it can prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.

A 2014 study published in the World Journal of Urology tested whether D-mannose powder is effective for recurrent urinary tract infection prevention. In the study, 308 women with a history of recurrent UTIs were divided into three groups: one that received D-mannose power in water for six months, the second received nitrofurantoin (an antibiotic) daily and the third did not receive treatment. Overall, 98 patients had recurrent UTIs: 15 in the D-mannose group, 21 in the nitrofurantoin group and 62 in the group that received no treatment. D-mannose powder significantly reduced the risk of recurrent UTIs, and patients in the D-mannose group had a significantly lower risk of side effects compared to patients in the nitrofurantoin group. (8)

Top 12 home remedies for UTI - Dr. Axe

9. Vitamin C

Vitamin C makes urine more acidic, inhibits the growth of E. coli and enhances immune function. A 2007 study evaluated the role that daily intake of 100 milligrams of vitamin C plays in urinary infection treatment during pregnancy. Researchers found that vitamin C treatment for a three-month period was able to reduce urinary infections, improving the health level of the gestating women. (9)

10. Clove Oil

Research published in Phytotherapy Research indicates that clove oil has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral activity. Another clove oil benefit is that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s used to relieve pain and promote healing. (10) Clove can be taken internally for two weeks at a time, but I recommend that you do it under the care of a health care provider or nutritionist.

11. Myrrh Oil

Several human and animal studies show that myrrh oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. Historically, it’s been used to treat wounds and prevent infections. (11) It can be applied topically with a warm or cool compress, or rubbed into the skin. Use caution when using myrrh internally; make sure to use a pure, high-quality product and do it under the care of your health care provider.

12. Oregano Oil

A 2012 study evaluated the antibacterial activity of oregano oil. Researchers found that oregano was active against all of the clinical strains of bacteria that were tested, and it successfully inhibited the growth of E. coli, the bacteria most commonly seen in UTIs.

Researchers believe that oregano essential oil can be used as an alternative antibacterial remedy for enhancing the healing process in bacterial infections and it’s an effective means for the prevention of antibiotic-resistant strain development. In fact, oregano oil benefits may be superior to prescription antibiotics because oregano doesn’t cause antibiotic resistance and it has no harmful side effects. (12)

When taking oregano oil internally, mix it with water or coconut oil. I don’t recommend taking oregano oil for more than two weeks at a time, and it should be administered under the guidance of your health care provider.


UTI Causes and Symptoms

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is caused by organisms that are too small to be seen without a microscope, including fungi, viruses and bacteria. Despite the body’s many natural defenses, certain bacteria have the ability to attach themselves to the lining of the urinary tract and inhabit the urethra, bladder and kidneys. The majority of UTI cases are caused by E. coli bacterium that can live in the bowel and vaginal cavities, around the urethral opening, and in the urinary tract. (13)

Other significant pathogens that can cause UTIs include Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Klebsiella pneumonia. In diabetic patients, Klebsiella and group B streptococcus infections are more common. Pseudomonas infections are more common in chronically catheterized patients.

Urinary tract infections are extremely common, especially among sexually active women ages 18 to 24. Although a UTI isn’t typically complicated or life-threatening, it does cause pain and suffering and negatively impacts one’s quality of life.

Generally, symptoms of a UTI in adults may include:

  • pain when urinating
  • a burning sensation in the bladder or urethra when urinating
  • a strong, frequent urge to urinate, but only passing small amounts
  • muscle aches
  • abdominal pain
  • feeling tired and weak
  • urine that appears cloudy
  • urine that appears red or bright pink (a sign of blood in the urine)
  • strong-smelling urine
  • pelvic pain in women
  • confusion or delirium (in elderly patients)

Typically a UTI is uncomplicated and clears up within two to three days of treatment. More serious causes that are sometimes seen in the elderly, people with suppressed immune systems or pregnant women require antibiotics and won’t be cured for seven to 14 days.

There are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing urinary tract infections. These risk factors and high-risk groups include:

  • sexual intercourse
  • spermicide use
  • diaphragm use
  • catheter use
  • women who are pregnant
  • women who are postmenopausal
  • people with suppressed immune systems
  • people with diabetes

A major challenge of UTIs is that they tend to reoccur. Recurrent UTIs are mainly caused by reinfection by the same pathogen. With each UTI, the risk that a woman will continue having recurring infections increases. Research suggests that following an initial UTI, one in five women will develop another UTI within six months.


Precautions Regarding UTIs and Home Remedies for UTI

Although these home remedies for UTIs have been studied and proven to be effective, it’s important to use these natural treatments with the guidance of a health care provider. Uncomplicated UTIs should be treated within two to three days. If the symptoms do not subside within that time period, see your health care provider to be sure there aren’t complications.


Final Thoughts on Home Remedies for UTI

  • A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is caused by organisms that are too small to be seen without a microscope, including fungi, viruses and bacteria.
  • UTI symptoms include pain and a burning sensation when urinating, muscle aches, cloudy urine, and abdominal pain.
  • Groups that are risk of developing UTIs include women who are sexually active and/or use a diaphragm, women who are pregnant or postmenopausal, people who use catheters, and people with suppressed immune systems.
  • There are several home remedies for UTI that are available, including cranberries, raw garlic, probiotics, vitamin C and D-mannose. Oregano, clove and myrrh essential oils may also help to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
  • “Toilet habits” like being sure to clean yourself thoroughly after using the toilet or sexual intercourse and wearing loose-fitting clothing may help to avoid UTIs.

Read Next: 9 Candida Symptoms & 3 Steps to Treat Them


Top 12 Natural Home Remedies for UTI

Josh Axe

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51 Comments

  1. Gloria Hensley on

    All articles “assume” that UTIs are always caused from e-coli – – but the latest bacteria that has occurred for me is UTI (or bladder infection) caused by Strepococcus or enterococcus faecalis. There is very little information on natural treatments for this type of UTI bacteria. Macrobid antibiotic works great, but I have had so much of it, now I feel my gut is out of balance. I use probiotics and don’t eat white sugar or white flour, I am on a low-carb diet because of a genetic GCK gene that is ‘mutated’ causing malfunction of insulin release (MODY2). I know all illness starts in the gut – but from my studies, not too much at all how to counter the effects of this weird enterococcus bacteria causing my constant UTIs. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • James on

      Hi, have you tried aloe vera? I take a couple of leaves of aloe vera place
      in blender and mix with 25% honey and add one shot any liquor that has at least 40% alcohol. Aloe vera is a very good antibiotic and so is honey.
      The alcohol make the mixture last longer in the fridge. I take only two tablespoons per day.

      Reply
    • Jackie on

      Try uva ursi. Had several years of constant UTIs infection from faecilis. Out of desperation found uva ursi. 20 drops in distilled water a dayfor 2 weeks. Works great used before antibiotics. Germany went back to uva ursi as first line defense. Antibiotics given sparingly. Can give liver toxicity if more than a month. Many articles on web. People who put comments on Amazon helped me.

      Reply
    • Sheer on

      The article addresses other types of bacteria in the section “causes and symptoms”, also from the article it stated Oregano oil was effective against all bacteria strains tested AND e.coli, so this would indicate other strains of bacteria in addition to e.coli were tested. Maybe Oregano oil would be worth trying?

      Reply
  2. Char on

    I’m a little confused as to the carbs listed as foods to consume during a candida cleanse. As is agreed by all, sugars need to be eliminated during a candida Cleanse as they feed the candida. It’s my understanding carrots, peas, legumes, lentils etc and other high carb veggies turn instantly to sugar, creating as many issues as sugar by feeding candida /fungi toll and counter productive toward eliminating it. Conflicting reports become very confusing as to which protocol to follow or embrace as one contradicts the other. The high carb warm veggie food recommendation is surprising and I’m wondering if you can expound more on why you feel this heals vs feed candida.

    Sometimes the more schools of thought we hear and read, the more confusing and exasperating it is to find peace with the true path and direction to follow. With all due respect, I’m just very curious about the high warm carb feeding recommendation during the cleanse days. I have never heard of this addition to a candida cleanse/detox.

    Reply
  3. Liz on

    Eating a couple of grapefruits a day and avoiding sugar will get rid of urinary tract infections too. Antibiotics made mine worse, so I did these 2 things and my infection was gone in 2 days! I love your website, Dr. Axe. You’re my favorite!

    Reply
  4. Susan Young on

    I have very bad thinning hair, tired all the time,sleeping problems, lack of motivated, loss of libido, increased depression. My medical diagnoses are hypothyroidism (on synthyroid), bipolar ( on Celexa), insomnia (on Trazadone), Interstitial cystis, diabetes 2 ( diet controlled), arthritis in both knees ( can’t take NSAIDS), lumbar disc degeneration,. Interested in what I can take for my chronic diseases.

    Reply
    • Robert Bigos on

      With all of your health problems, your depression is understandable. I don’t think celexa is the best drug for bipolar disorder. I’d get another opinion. I’d also see another doctor for IC. I take imipramine and I used to take oxybutin. If they help at all, you don’t have IC, but there’s another irritant. I’d try some steroid injections for your disc problem. Try to not drink anything but water. I hope some of this helps.

      Reply
    • Teresa on

      I have been where you are at…Synthroid : thyroid, Cymbalta- osteoarthritis, Lamictal, Trazodone, Seroquel- depression, insomnia, Actos- type 2. I was 15 pounds from 300. I have disc degenerative
      disease after being in a bed for a year and finally back surgery I will be 44 this month and married for a year now after 4 yrs of immuno therapy and yoga. Check out immunotec.com or Medline articles on Immunocal. I am a distributor but not trying to sell you. I have seen some amazing things with this stuff.

      Reply
      • karen on

        my sister is on Trazodone, Seroquel, Insulin, and has no gall bladder and was just diagnosed with lung cancer from smoking. Stage 2 cancer. Her immune system is too weak to undergo chemo. Would immunocal help her? Thank you.

    • Judith Edwards on

      I recently read an article on Dr. Mercola’s website about the “carnivore “ diet, which includes only animal products. Since I was a vegetarian for 7 years previously this idea was startling to me. I searched for more information online and found a lot, including the interviews with the best selling author Jordan Peterson and his daughter. I have dealt with Lyme disease and fibromyalgia and depression for many years. After 2 weeks of only beef and butter and eggs, I am feeling stronger than I have felt in years both physically and emotionally. And to my great surprise, it seems that my grocery shopping costs are getting lowered.

      Reply
  5. Linda Abel on

    My daughter has a condition called interstitial cystitis & has followed a diet for it but at times still is in a lot of pain from a previous meal or unknown cause!! I was suggested oil’s put on an organic tampon however she says they cause her pain to be placed inside of her any other answers to this health problem would be extremely appreciated thank you !!!

    Reply
    • Lea on

      Hi, I recently ran across “Desert Harvest” pure Aloe Vera products….and I just ordered the capsules for my mother’s chronic UTI problem/86. But I read alot of the reviews and all the women were raving how they loved their products for their IC problems……….just sharing with you! Take care!

      Reply
    • Kay on

      Currently using for a mild Interstitial Cystitis flare – Uva Ursi Leaf in capsule 540mg, 1x. day. Reduces inflammation. Drink water though to avoid constipation. As suggested, D-Mannose as a preventative for UTI. Both recommended by my urologist.

      Reply
  6. Kathleen Dean on

    Thank you for the information. My aunt is 91 years old and has been fighting Uris for several years keeps on coming back. She’s in assistant living. They give her antibiotics all the time. I’m concerned that eventually the antibiotics will not wok. She gets very sick and week

    Reply
    • Nancy on

      I use doTerra essential oils for UTI’s. Within 2 days, I have cleared up my bladder infections by using this remedy in gelatin capsules: 3 drops On Guard, 6 drops Oregano, and 2 drops Frankincense. Although I have never tried this, you can rub 2 drops of Cypress topically on your lower abdomen. This has been so much easier and faster without the side effects of the antibiotics my primary care physician always suggests. Also useful is drinking filtered water and organic cranberry juice concentrate.

      Reply
  7. Lauren Jinshil Oliver on

    You need to add to your UTI article:… Many — nearly 50% — of elders (men, as well as women) get UTIs. Often elders show NONE of the symptoms we younger women will suffer. Even lab results may not show UTI. When untreated, UTI can go systemic and cause horrific effects: rigid and painful body, sleeplessness; psychological confusion and failure to recognize known people and inability to control emotions; and more. Many Drs do NOT recognize this. My aunt went into the Emergency Room, appearing “crazy”. Fortunately the ER doc recognized the cause of her distress and placed her on antibiotics immediately. Horribly, the doc who saw her post-ER found no lab results to support the diagnosis. So he declared her suffering Alzheimers — causing her to lose her living situation, and a cascade of terrible outcomes. PLEASE describe this situation, to assure nurses, doctors, sons, daughters and care takers can recognize systemic UTI in elders.

    Reply
    • Lea on

      Hi Lauren, yes, I too feel that there needs to be more awareness and symptoms for the UTI’s, men and women. Freaky experience “twice” when my dad, 86, had one. First time was almost complete body weakness, could not hold himself up, or stand or etc., had to scoot him down the stairs to a wheelchair and 3 clinics before ER. Yes, was a UTI. 2nd time, just plopped over face first onto the carpet in the living room. Now I keep him on an antibiotic usually about every 3 weeks to prevent. Also, my mother’s chronic UTI’s have been a BATTLE constantly…..with having to try various antibiotics, or building resistance………I have felt like twilight zone from her symptoms….mostly with the “seeing people” and seeing children or scenario’s she’ll talk about as REAL……when not realistically occurring. Her tests don’t always in a urinalysis, but takes the culture to show up. Then, you start researching and researching on the elderly and UTI’s…….for antibiotics, and info, or home remedies etc……..The one that worked great and she seemed “normal” and lucid” was the Bactrim…..but hence, was allergic and began getting a rash, so had to stop it. In researching……you read how the antibiotics can cause elderly to have hallucinations, and then you read about Charles Bonnet Syndrome when they have limited vision and have hallucinations, then you read about Parkinsons that causes hallucinations…….and then lotsss of people want to make their “medical” opinion of dementia, and even medical staff. Get enough labs done…….and you find out it’s JUST a chronic UTI…….but there is still the battle of finding SOMETHING that will work and get rid of it to obtain lucidity for her. It all breaks your heart and is frustrating !! What is gut wrenching is to think of all the many elderly that are MISLABELED and are put in nursing homes or etc. because of dementia…….when “some” or most of the time it may just be a UTI. Just thought I’d share in support to you. Take care and blessings!

      Reply
      • Mechelle Owens on

        Lea, all those antibiotics are killing their good gut flora. Maybe consider rebuilding it with probiotics or better still, natural cures instead of the antibiotics.

  8. Martha on

    Another interesting tidbit about UTI prevention: My daughter had consistent UTIs when she was a toddler/preschooler, until a wise friend mentioned something strange that I had never heard of before.
    She said never to put bubble bath or anything other than a little Apple cider vinegar in my daughter’s bath, and to only wash her right before I took her out. I took her advice…and my daughter has never had another UTI (she’s 15 now).🤷‍♀️

    Reply
  9. shelly on

    I also have same only Dr’s did over kill anti biopics..sepsis scare last summer, severe allergic reaction followed, now left untreated kidney infection i have no anti biotics if i get ill !!!! NHS lied to me about the enterocuss faecalis as they transfered it to me dirty hospital tools! untreated kidney infection now deterring my kidneys causing a gene related
    cholesterol prob now cauing angina …that never touched me throughout my life as I have always lived a healthy life style kidneys have spiked the problem heart that is !!
    NHS are trying to wriggle out all ! leaving me 4 dead!!!! be careful I’m trying to look after what s left me my life gone down pan so many ways …NHS have failed me an taken my life effectively .!! please don’t take this bacteria lightlyou esp if goes to kidneys!! hope you manage to get through life without all torture I’m going through x

    Reply
    • Durh on

      You might try seeing someone with some medical knowledge instead of dr google. Your kidney doesn’t cause angina. Nor will your kidney cause you to have a heart problem. Please don’t put stupid stuff out on the web cause some people will be stupid enough to believe it and then claim it’s happening to them when your anatomy doesn’t work like that. If you actually have a kidney infection there is zero chance that it is not being treated. A kidney infection must be treated with antibiotics and no dr is going to allow himself or herself to have their license revoked over something like that. Seriously people stop trying to scare people. Dr google and all the info on the Internet is NOT going to answer your medical questions. There is a reason people must go to school for years to become a dr or pharmacist (an expert on medications) and probably the person you really need to talk to instead of asking people on the Internet.

      Reply
  10. Barbara on

    Thanks for recommendations!
    My urologist isn’t available till next week appt.,
    meanwhile life goes on!
    So I’ll take care myself after helpful information!
    Until then…water, cranberry juice, oregano, garlic -added to foods, heating pad, or warm compress, coconut used externally, cleaning safely….etc. etc.
    If it continues to bother me ER…with God’s help, it shall be well!

    Reply
    • Christina Cellner on

      Heat is a no-no for uti! It only causes the bacteria to fester. CBD oil is known to reduce inflammation that is associated with pain or AZO will help with pain too.

      Reply
  11. Judy on

    Nothing you mentioned, nor a vegan kito diet, kept uti under control for me. The only thing that does is lactoferrin.

    Reply
  12. Elaine Fredrick on

    This works for me: BLADDER INFECTION: Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in full glass of water; drink once a day for three days.

    Reply
  13. lawrence on

    i am a chemist, i had one that involves blood in the urine then i went my own remedy. i used “kaluma” which is another version of menthal plus balm but just a different name. you heat some water then dissolve a little in it then insert your penis in the water for five minutes.

    after doing this for two days despite how severe it was i took a test and found that the bacteria had disappeared.it works very fast in eliminating the bacteria.
    also drink a lot of fluids during this time.
    but this is for because i just dont know how women would apply it.

    Reply
  14. Lori J on

    I’m surprised that Apple Cider Vinegar (such as Braggs’s, not the stuff you buy in the grocery store) isn’t on the top ten list. I, and several women I know, use ACV to prevent and to cure UTI’s. It’s possible that different UTI bacteria respond to different remedies, but I have had 100% success with ACV over the years. The first time I tried it was when I got bad symptoms at night. I think I used 1 TBS of vinegar in 12 oz water and repeated that every time I woke up to use the bathroom. After 3 doses I slept the rest of the night. Next afternoon the doctor said it was 80% gone. If I had kept up with the ACV that morning it probably would have been gone completely, but once I was symptom free, I stopped the ACV. I went ahead and used the antibiotic, but that was the last time ever. I take a little ACV everyday for a lot of health reasons — no more UTI’s.

    Reply
  15. Steph on

    Reoccurring UTI’S,with a culture done, without the presence of E Coli, could be an indication of IC or bladder endometriosis.

    Reply
  16. Suzdraxe on

    Be careful with remedies such as cranberry juice or vitamin C because if you actually have Ic bladder, they will make your pain much worse!

    Reply

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