Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Infections that occur in the kidney, urethra and bladder are called urinary tract infections. These infections are caused by bacteria like Klebsiella, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus and proteus. Sexually transmitted organisms like Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are also responsible for urinary tract infections.
Urinary Tract Infection as per the Ayurveda Perspective
According to Ayurveda, Urinary Tract Infection or Pittaj Mutrakrichhra, is caused by the aggravation of Pitta Dosha.
Pitta symbolizes heat or fire. So, a diet and lifestyle that increases Pitta causes UTI.
Aggravated Pitta produces heating toxins in the body. These heating toxins accumulate in the mutravahi strotas (urinary channels) and create an imbalance in the infection-fighting properties of the urinary system.
It might lead to bacterial growth in the system, amounting to UTI.
Many chemical drugs work on bacteria, but these do not work for infection-fighting properties and heating toxins. Thus, such infection can often recur.
Ayurveda suggests balancing pitta imbalance(excessive heat in the body) to fight the infection of the urinary system
Ayurveda recommends choosing a diet that will pacify pitta dosha to help cleanse and eliminate the toxins that are bringing too much heat to the body.
- Burning sensation at the urethra
- Burning sensation while passing urine
- Presence of pus or blood in the urine
Women are more vulnerable to UTI than men because the urethra in women is shorter as compared to men.
Factors that make Women get Recurrent Bladder Infections
These factors include:
- too much heat produced in the body,
- kidney or bladder stones,
- or Bacteria entering the urethra during intercourse.
- Bladder infections can also develop from toilet water backsplash or by improper wiping,
- changes in estrogen levels during menopause.
- Increased intake of sour, salty, bitter, oily, spicy, and fried foods.
- Abstain from tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages that aggravate Pitta (Fire) in the body, which leads to the condition of UTI.
- Excessive physical exertion
- Not drinking water for long hours
- Not urinating or holding urine for a long time
- Drinking water before going to sleep
- No tight fancy or nylon panties as this leads to growth of bacteria
- Take a medium bowl of homemade curd early morning empty stomach without adding anything
- Drink lots of fluids throughout the day.
- Eat lots of citric and berry fruits
- Drink coconut water and also eat white malai of coconut
- Increase intake of pitta-pacifying herbs like green cardamom, coriander, red sandalwood, licorice root, etc.
- Take a cold-water bath 2-3 times a day with ½ teaspoon of powdered red sandalwood added to the water.
- Eat gulkand with milk around bedtime.
- Pitta is balanced by a diet of fresh, whole foods (both cooked and raw) that are cooling, hearty, energizing, comparatively dry, and high in carbohydrates.
Maintain Proper Hygiene and Cleanliness
- Don’t ever suppress the urge to urinate.
- After urinating, always wipe from front to back.
- Whenever you go to the toilet, wash your hands.
- Avoid washing your genital area with fragrant soaps and other lotions.
- Always wear cotton underwear and they should not be too tight.
- Before and after sexual intercourse, always urinate and wash your private parts.
- During menstrual periods, use sanitary napkins instead of tampons.
- Move your body, exercise daily at least for 30-40 minutes.
Include yoga poses that target the kidney and abdominal area such as Cobra (Bhjangasana), Bridge (Setu Bhanda Sarvagasana), and Bow (Dhanurasana) pose. These help to massage and tone the kidneys and improve the function of genito-urinary organs.
4 Effective Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection
- Put 3 tablespoons of powdered coriander seeds and 1 tablespoon of powdered rock candy (or unrefined sugar) in a vessel (preferably an earthen pot) containing 3 cups of water. Keep it overnight. Mix well and drink 1 cup of the liquid 3 times a day. This is a very good remedy for pacifying pitta in the urinary tract.
- Baking soda neutralizes acid in your urine.Take half a teaspoon of baking soda.
Add this to a cup of water. Drink it. This remedy also makes you comfortable while you pass urine by making the process less painful. Don’t have too much baking soda though. It is not good for your intestine.
- Use magical herb cinnamon to combat infection. The very common cinnamon herb’s powder is powerful enough to kill those E. coli bacteria causing your UTI. You just have to make tea out of this magical herb and have it 3-4 times a day.
You will need:
Cinnamon powder- ½ to ¾ teaspoon
Warm water- 1 cup
Take warm water in a cup.
Add cinnamon powder to it and mix well. Drink it.
While drinking this tea, keep a spoon ready with you to stir the tea occasionally because if yours is a true herb, the cinnamon will not blend easily with the water. You’ll need to stir and mix it often till you finish the drink.
If you are using cinnamon tea to prevent UTI, it’s enough to drink this tea once a day but if your infection has already set in, have 3-4 cups of it daily.
- Supplement with Cranberry D-Mannose
You can supplement yourself with Cranberry + D-Mannose reduce severity, duration and combat pain, itchiness and burning and other acute symptoms. It’s a powerful antioxidant for optimal urinary tract health and UTIs.
It not only fights E.coli (and other infection causing bacteria) at its source, but also provides powerful, soothing relief.