A urinary tract infection is cause by bacteria in the bladder. Kidney stones are caused by deposits of waste material in the kidneys. Both conditions are extremely painful and sometimes do not respond to conventional treatment; however, certain herbal teas relieve pain, resolve an infection and can help you pass a kidney stone. Herbs can cause side effects and interfere with medications, so consult your natural health practitioner before treating urinary tract infections with unfamiliar herbs.
Green tea may prevent bladder cancer in both men and women, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Several studies have confirmed the relationship between drinking green tea and preventing bladder cancer in both sexes. Green tea acts as an astringent, stimulant and diuretic. It is high in antioxidants that help to remove free radicals, which may contribute to cancer growth. Green tea is ordinarily caffeinated and may cause jitters, irritability and insomnia. If caffeine bothers you, purchase the decaf version. Both caffeinated and decaffeainated supplements are available. Standardized liquid extracts are preferable because it is easier to measure accurately the exact amount to obtain between 50 to 150 mg of polyphenols per cup, says UMMC. Do not drink green tea for kidney disease without first consulting your practitioner.
Creosote Bush, Chaparral
In Mexico, Creosote bush or Chaparral is traditionally made into a medicinal tea for use in dissolving kidney and gallstones, according to the Herbal Safety website provided by the University of Texas Cooperative Pharmacy Program. Little scientific research is available; however, years of clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests the herb is highly effective for this purpose. It is a bitter herb and the tea has a strong, bitter taste, which limits is use over long periods. The tea is made by placing the leaves and twigs in boiling water for a few seconds and not more than 1 minute. Remove the herbs and allow the tea to cool. Sweeten with honey. Supplements have been made using Creosote bush, but they are not well tested and not recommended due to their being far more potent than the tea is, and possibly dangerous. The supplements have been banned by the FDA in the US. Creosote bush may cause liver and kidney damage when used in too concentrated a dose or for too long a period. Do not use this herb unless under the supervision of your health practitioner.
Buchu is an herb containing a volatile oil that has antibacterial properties; and is used to relieve inflammation from urinary tract infections, treat kidney disease, cystitis, urethritis and as a diuretic. Buchu is derived from the leaves of three separate plants and is made into a tea. Drinking herbal buchu tea helps increase the volume of urine and exposes the bladder and kidneys to the bacterial-killing compounds causing infections. Buchu should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. It may cause kidney irritation when doses are too high.
Marshmallow is an herb whose properties benefit the urinary tract as well as the respiratory and digestive tracts. Some of the active compounds in marshmallow are volatile oils, tannins, mucilage, asparagines, flavonoids and quercetins. These chemical compounds have medicinal qualities that contribute to marshmallow’s efficacy in treating urethritis, flushing kidney stones and coating the lining of the urinary tract with mucilage, a thin film of mucus that protects delicate mucous membranes. There are no recorded side effects and marshmallow tea is considered safe when used according to directions.
Herbal Safety: Creosote Bush , Chaparral
University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary Tract Infection in Women
“Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments”; Andrew Chevallier; 2000
“Helio Acupuncture Book, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica”; Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble; 2003
“Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies”; Phyllis A. Balch; 2002
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.