Herbs are very effective at preventing and relieving urinary tract problems. Blueberries and cranberries prevent and soothe urinary tract infections. Corn silk, marshmallow root, and chickweed soothe an inflamed urinary tract. Gravel root and hydrangea relieve and prevent kidney stones. Juniper, parsley, and dandelion leaf work as diuretics, which increase excretion of excess fluid from the body.
Many people know that cranberries are supposed to prevent urinary tract infections. Do you know how cranberries do this? They do it in three ways. Cranberries and blueberries have a property that prevents bacteria from clinging to the cells in the bladder. Mostly, the bacteria are left floating and are quickly excreted by urine, as opposed to becoming lodged on the inner walls of the bladder where they can grow. Even more fascinating is that researchers are finding that this property, called anti-adhesion, may prevent cancer cells and bacteria which cause stomach ulcers from lodging in the body too.
Another way that cranberries prevent urinary tract infections is by making the urine more acidic. Urine that is slightly more acidic is less conducive to bacterial growth.
The third way that cranberries fight urinary infections is by their antimicrobial actions.
Cranberries are also used to treat some types of kidney stones. The composition of the vast majority of kidney stones is calcium. These types of stones are much less likely to grow if you regularly consume cranberry juice. Stones formed of uric acid and other types of stones do not respond favorably to the use of cranberry. People who have a history of kidney stones should ask their health care provider what kind of stones they have before employing cranberry juice to prevent kidney stones, as some stone formation may be hastened with frequent consumption of cranberry juice. It’s important to use unsweetened cranberry juice or unsweetened cranberries for healing purposes, as sweetened cranberry juice does not afford the same benefits. Juice sweetened with artificial sweeteners may aggravate the condition.
Ordinary corn silk, preferably from local organic corn is one of my favorite herbs. It’s incredibly soothing for an irritated urinary tract. Relief is just a cup of tea away. Use the sticky, light colored part of the silk to make tea. The tea tastes a lot like corn. You can also try to freeze the fresh corn silk and use it when corn is not readily available. Corn silk tea is a very effective tea with no harmful side effects.
Chewing on a piece of parsley after a meal will freshen your breath and settle your stomach. Records documenting parsley’s healing effects are available from ancient records dating back to ancient Rome! Parsley has diuretic properties and helps increase urinary flow. This can be beneficial whenever there is congestion of fluids in tissues or if you have high blood pressure.
Parsley can aid in the prevention and expulsion of kidney stones. You should use fresh leaves, though the root and seeds are useful as well. I believe that most dried parsley is useless for medicine and flavoring. Freeze-dried parsley has a bit more staying power, but I believe that fresh is unsurpassed.
Urinary Tract Infections are painful and irritating things to deal with—fortunately, herbs can help you pass the infection quickly, and even reduce your chances of getting one.
For preventative purposes, drink 1/2 cup to 1 quart of unsweetened cranberry juice daily. If a urinary tract infection is present, at least 2 cups daily should be consumed.
Consult with your health care provider if relief does not occur within 24 hours or if you develop fever, back pain, or blood in the urine. If you suffer from frequent urinary tract infections, check with your health care provider as well, as an underlying disorder may be present.
Corn Silk Tea
This tea will relieve pain in the urinary tract very fast.
- 2 cups corn silk (the silky part on the corn plant)
- 4 cups boiling water
Pack two cups of corn silk into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let sit covered for at least one-half hour, or you can leave it overnight. Drink one cup at room temperature at least four times daily.
Kidney stones can be immensely painful, and if they’re severe enough, can warrant surgery. Get rid of them using this wonderful tea!
Stone Breaker Tea
The herb used in this recipe comes all the way from the Amazonian Rainforest and has even been reported by urologists in their journals to break up kidney stones. Here’s the best part: the stones are broken within 48 to 72 hours if the herb is useful in the particular type of kidney stone the patient has.
- 3 Tbsp. Quebra Pedra herb
- 2 qt. distilled water
Place the distilled water in a 2-quart stainless steel pot (not aluminum). Add the herb to the pot. Cover and cook over very low heat. Your goal is to simmer the herb until the water is reduced to half its original volume. This is how you make it very potent. Turn off the burner at the end of the cooking time. Remove 1/2 cup of the decocted tea and place into a coffee cup. Let it cool, then drink. Repeat the process every 1 to 2 hours until kidney stone is dissolved and urination returns.
Healthy Recipes for Urinary Tract Health
Parsleyed Chicken Pasta
This recipe is a terrific base recipe. Try using seafood, tofu, or different meats instead of the chicken. Change the vegetables with the seasons. Create entirely different flavors by using cilantro, basil, or sorrel instead of the parsley. I like pasta made of whole grain or rice-based ones. These give the benefit of whole grains with a light, traditional pasta flavor, and texture. You could also use spinach pasta in this recipe.
- 8 oz. fettuccine or pasta of choice
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 lb. chicken breast tenderloin
- 1/4 lb. shitake mushrooms
- 1/8 cup dry white wine
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 cups baby spinach or other tender greens
- 2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
- 1 Tsp. lemon zest
Boil pasta, following label directions. Drain and set aside. Sauté chicken, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil until all are lightly browned, and chicken is cooked through. Add wine and lemon juice. Add spinach and parsley. Toss constantly until spinach and parsley are tender and bright green. Add pasta. Add additional wine if needed for moisture. Heat thoroughly. Remove from heat. Toss with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
Very Berry Chocolate
This recipe is a special treat. It’s rich in antioxidants and berries that benefit urinary tract health, and chocolate is a good source of magnesium. If you have to eat chocolate (who doesn’t?), at least you’re getting healthy nutrients along with your fix! If you can keep your family away from it, this recipe will keep in the refrigerator for about three weeks.
- 1 cup of equally mixed dried cranberries, blueberries, cherries, and walnuts
- 7 oz. dark, organic, (65-75% cocoa solids)
- 1 Tbsp. coffee brandy
Combine fruit and nuts. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add coffee brandy. Stir 1/2 of fruit and nut mixture into melted chocolate. Pour into a 9”x 11” pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spread to edges. Sprinkle remaining fruit and nut mixture over the chocolate. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until hard. Break into serving-sized pieces.