Home remedies for cystitis that actually work!
Cystitis is one of the most common infections a woman can get and one of the most painful. If you've ever had cystitis you won't need reminding of the sharp searing pain of a bladder infection. The normal course of action for me was to take antibiotics to deal with the infection which would invariably destroy my gut flora and leave me vulnerable to thrush for which I would need a course of Canesten. When it happens once it's easy to brush it off as a rubbish turn of events but when you get thrush every time you have to take antibiotics for Cystitis you think, enough is enough!
There has got to be a better way. And sure enough there is, in the form of herbs.
Cystitis means inflammation (itis) of the bladder (cyst) and so it's no wonder it feels like your urethra is on fire! If you use this treatment protocol and it doesn't go away in a few days or only gets worse you must see a doctor/health practitioner.
If you're on medication it's important to check this advice doesn't contraindicate with what you already take.
Normal symptoms of cystitis include:
- Cloudy urine
- Sharp pain when urinating
- Urgent need to go frequently
- Urge to go despite small amounts of pee
Urinary tract infections account for 20% of all antibiotic prescriptions in the UK (Smith et.al., 2018). But with the increasing resistance of bugs to these drugs it's imperative we learn how to treat things like cystitis ourselves. Antibiotics won't always be there (Felter, 2019).
Bladder infections should never be ignored as they can travel to the kidney and cause so much trouble it can do damage to the kidneys and you can even lose function in them. Taking pain killers and getting on with your day as normal is not enough. It's important when you treat your own cystitis that you understand a few signs which should always be referred to the doctors:
- Blood in the urine
- A fever
- Low back pain
Quick & Simple Home Remedies
When it comes to cystitis the faster you get to treating it the less severe and long the symptoms will be. Even if it's just a tiny twinge be sure to drink pints of water that day and you will probably flush it out before it has a chance to get worse. Because of the speed with which treatment needs to occur it's normal to find yourself without herbal supplies. So these home remedies are good to know because they're easy to come by.
Apple cider vinegar. This will change the pH of the bladder making it less hospitable for bugs.Bicarbonate of soda. This does the same as the apple cider vinegar.Flat leaf parsley tea. This is a lovely anti-inflammatory and it immediately relieves the pain.Cranberry juice concentrate. Everyone should have this in their house as the shelf life is enormous so you can have it just in case of infections.Thyme tea. This is Antibacterial and really seals the deal on killing the bugs.
- Apple cider vinegar. This will change the pH of the bladder making it less hospitable for bugs.
- Bicarbonate of soda. This does the same as the apple cider vinegar.
- Flat leaf parsley tea. This is a lovely anti-inflammatory and it immediately relieves the pain.
- Cranberry juice concentrate. Everyone should have this in their house as the shelf life is enormous so you can have it just in case of infections.
- Thyme tea. This is Antibacterial and really seals the deal on killing the bugs.
There is one key thing which should always be done in treating cystitis you MUST carry on treating yourself for the infection for one day AFTER the symptoms subside. Many times I've seen infections come back because people didn't do this. There is no harm in taking these home remedies so just keep at it for one whole day once you're feeling fine. Trust me.
Get rid of Cystitis for good with our Cystitis Tea
Emotional Causes of Cystitis
I don't want to over-generalise here so it's important that you know each person will get cystitis for different emotional reasons. But a good starting point is knowing that cystitis often relates to being "pissed off" aka. angry. I would always consider the question "What's pissing me off?" when I get cystitis. When I got cystitis most frequently I was a teen and I was pissed off about most things; the environment, social injustice, my parents, consumerism, etc. etc. Now a days I'm not so angry.I've come to realise my cystitis is a sign that I need to slow down. Cystitis asks me to stay inside the house, cancel all my appointments and nurse myself better. I hope this gives you some inspiration on the emotions which might be leaving you open to getting cystitis.
Interstitial Cystitis and Irritable Bladder Syndrome
In some people (usually women), the symptoms of cystitis seem to come back over and over but there is not bacterial infection. This is called interstitial cystitis. If we break down the word cystitis it actually means inflammation of the bladder. In the case of interstitial cystitis it is usually a case of chronic inflammation rather than irritation caused by infection, this chronic inflammation may be caused by another inflammatory process such as endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon, abdominal cramping, hysterectomy, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, hay fever, asthma, and allergies to foods and medications (Hudson, 2001). This is why repeated use of antibiotics often doesn’t alleviate the symptoms and can lead to other symptoms if necessary. Most of the people who tried our Comfort + Soothe Tea reported they’d been diagnosed as having irritable bladder syndrome.READ OUR BLOG ON INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS
This is just one way to treat cystitis naturally. I'd love to hear about any home remedies you use which haven't been listed. Just put it in the comments below and hopefully we can put a stop to antibiotic use for Cystitis.
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and should not be used without advice from your medical practitioner especially if you are already taking any medicines.
Ahmed, H., Farewell, D., Jones, H. M., Francis, N. A., Paranjothy, S., & Butler, C. C. (2018). Incidence and antibiotic prescribing for clinically diagnosed urinary tract infection in older adults in UK primary care, 2004-2014. PloS one, 13(1), e0190521.
Al-Sorchee, S.M.A., Zaain, L.A. and Saqii, A.H.A., 2016. The effect of nettle leaves and corn silk extracts on the isolated bacteria from children UTI. Tikrit Journal for Agricultural Sciences, 16(2).
Felter, C. 2019. The End of Antibiotics. Council on Foreign relations. [online]
Hudson, T. (2001). Interstitial Cystitis: A New Approach. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, (213), 172.
Lagha R, Ben Abdallah F, AL-Sarhan BO, Al-Sodany Y. Antibacterial and Biofilm Inhibitory Activity of Medicinal Plant Essential Oils Against Escherichia coli Isolated from UTI Patients. Molecules. 2019; 24(6):1161.
Li R, Leslie SW. Cystitis. [Updated 2021 Jul 9]. In: StatPearls [online]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
Krieger JN, Ross SO, Simonsen JM. Urinary tract infections in healthy university men. J Urol. 1993 May;149(5):1046-8Smith DRM, Dolk FCK, Smieszek T, et al, 2018. Understanding the gender gap in antibiotic prescribing: a cross-sectional analysis of English primary care. BMJ Open. 8:e020203. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020203