7 Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections

Say farewell to that burning sensation.

August 21, 2017
We hope you enjoy the products we're recommending as much as we do! Just so you know, Organic Life may get a share of sales from the links on this page.
UTI infection

Oh, the delicate balance of vaginal flora. We work so hard to keep that area free from bad bacteria by using all the tricks our mothers’ taught us, like wiping front to back, drinking cranberry juice, and peeing after sex (Okay, maybe a friend let us in on that one). But somehow our bacteria still teeters out of equilibrium and the result is an uncomfortable urinary tract infection (UTI).

The truth is we can be doing a lot more to keep our bladder, urethra, and kidneys happy on a daily basis—things like strengthening immune function and reducing the use of antibiotics. It’s true some women are more susceptible to infections, like those who use a diaphragm or are post-menopausal, explains Dr. Jennifer Stagg, biochemist, naturopathic physician, and author of Unzip Your Genes. But making some natural long-term lifestyle adjustments will help keep you happy and your bacteria balanced—and you might even heal a few other imbalances along the way. Here are 7 natural UTI remedies and prevention methods from experts.

(Like what you're reading? Sign up for our newsletter to get health insights, clever kitchen tricks, gardening secrets, and more—delivered straight to your inbox. And follow along on Facebook and Instagram.)

RomarioIen/Getty Images
Consider vaginal probiotics

We’re in the middle of a gut revolution, so you’ve probably heard about the importance of taking daily probiotics, and experts are starting to consider them as treatment for UTIs. E. coli is a natural bacteria that lives in our gut in healthy amounts, but when overgrown travels down and builds up in the urethra causing about 80% of UTIs. Taking concentrated doses of Lactobacilli, a strand of bacteria that normally protects the birth canal, vagina, and urinary system, in the form of probiotics is said to help kill it off.

But not all probiotics are created equal. Beatrice Feliu-Espada, founder and CEO of a plant-based feminine care company The Honey Pot Company, explains regular probiotics typically stop with your gut. “It’s better to take a vaginal specific probiotic, such as Lovebug Probiotic, that can live past your gut acids.” Another option is rotating in probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha or kimchi to your diet, adds Kim Anami, holistic sex and relationship coach. If you have reoccurring UTIs consider making these changes long-term to rebalance the bacteria in your gut.

Related: The Truth About Probiotics


water cups on table
Nawarit Rittiyotee / EyeEm/ Getty
Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated and drinking adequate amounts of water daily can help prevent UTIs, says Sam Kelley, M.A, Holistic Lifestyle Coach at SunKissed Health. Drinking lots of water, and inevitably peeing, helps flush out the colonization of bacteria (a very creepy phrase for what happens in your urethra). Try starting with the recommended 9+ cups of water a day, but of course factor in activity level, diet, and environment. “Nothing can take the place of water, plain and simple,” says Kelley.

Related: This New Online Tool Helps You Find Out If Your Local Tap Water Is Safe To Drink

We hope you enjoy the products we're recommending as much as we do! Just so you know, Organic Life may get a share of sales from the links on this page.
YakubovAlim/Getty Images
Eat raw garlic

Admittedly not the most office-friendly method, Feliu-Espada recommends eating garlic for its natural antibiotic properties. “It is important to smash the clove and let it sit for 5 minutes to release the Allicin,” she says. Try consuming one serving, or a small clove, day and night to see results. Can’t stand the smell? Consider taking a capsule.

woman in bath
Hero Images/Getty
Take warm lavender baths

We haven’t even begun to cover the discomfort of a UTI. Kelly says treating herself to a warm bath with therapy grade lavender essential oils helps ease pain (Here are 5 essential oils you should always have in your medicine cabinet.)

“Warm water can help with that annoying burning pain of a UTI and lavender oil is well known for its antibacterial properties.” Not to mention the simple joy that can come from an aromatic, relaxing, and analgesic bath after a long day of sitting at work feeling like you have to pee every two minutes.

Related: 8 Natural Bath And Body Products That Work Better Than The Stuff With Chemicals

d mannose powder
Photograph courtesy of Amazon
Try D-mannose powder

D-mannose powder is one of the best natural treatments for E. coli related UTIs,” says Feliu-Espada. Here’s how it works: D-mannose is a sugar similar to that found in apples, blueberries, and other fruit. It sticks to the bacteria E. coli, therefore preventing the bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract, and making it easier to flush out.

Studies show that the natural remedy reduces reoccurring UTIs, so this is another long-term treatment with little to no reported side effects. Feliu-Espada recommends taking ½-1 teaspoon with water 2-3 times a day of the powder, which is available in stores and on Amazon

woman drinking cranberry juice
Drink the right kind of cranberry juice

Believe it or not, this age-old remedy still holds up today. One study found that only 8 out of 150 women who drank a concentrated amount of cranberry juice during a six-month period suffered from reoccurrence. But drinking the correct cranberry juice is vital.

“The important thing to factor in (which many people miss) is that it needs to be 100% pure cranberry juice. So, no, Ocean Spray won't cut it,” explains Kelley. Instead, seek out real 100% no sugar added cranberry juice. Yes, the very sour, bitter kind. Real cranberry juice is full of acidic compounds that love to eat the bad bacteria that can harm the urinary tract and vagina, says Feliu-Espada. Can’t take the taste? Kelley suggests keeping an oral cranberry supplement on hand, available in stores or on Amazon.

Related: 6 Crazy-Good Cranberry Recipes

couple disagreeing
PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou/getty
Speak up in your relationship

Ladies, if you have regular UTI issues, you may want to examine your emotional health as well. “Chronic UTIs have their roots in emotional and mental blockages,” says Anami, “If there are unresolved issues lingering in the air, this causes us to feel defensive and, ironically, may weaken our immune system.” 

It's possible that women in relationships with lots of strife and disharmony could be more prone to yeast and UTI infections due to high stress and lowered immune health. “It is a symptom of unrest in the couple, manifesting in her body, more than anything else,” explains Anami. “Lack of communication, sweeping important issues under the rug, and having sex without really wanting to add to the internal stress.”

Related: I Tried Sound Meditation To Relieve My Stress—Here Are 5 Surprising Things I Learned