Herbal Remedies for Bladder Infections and Cystitis



Herbs have a long history as urinary tract medicines in folk and home remedies, and may help fight the infection as well as soothe the pain.  These herbs can be added to the diet by means of our food and drink intake.  Herbs can be added to meals and can be made into herbal teas and tonics as natural treatments for cystitis, bladder and urinary tracts infections (UTIs).

Herbal teas, tonics and tinctures should be taken daily to prevent the onset of cystitis and urinary tract infections, as well as to treat the symptoms.  Herbal tonics, tinctures and teas flush out the urinary system and reduce painful inflammation of the bladder.


Alfalfa alkalizes the urine and is a wonderful natural remedy for cystitis.

Bearberry has antiseptic qualities that combat infections within the body, including those associated with cystitis and UTIs.

The herb Burdock contains chemicals (polyacetylenes) that kill disease causing bacteria and fungi. It has been used traditionally for urinary tract and bladder infections.

Buchu is a urinary antiseptic and diuretic that can also be taken after the acute phase of an infection has passed in order to restore damaged mucosa.

Buchu works efficiently and effectively as a urinary disinfectant. The volatile oils stimulate urination and renders the urine slightly antiseptic. Bachu is great for use with a bladder infection that is accompanied by a burning sensation, and also if there is acidic urine with a constant desire to urinate with no relief from doing so.

Avoid Bachu if there is acute inflammation.

Celery seed and Dandelion are particularly good for the natural treatment of cystitis, bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs), as they cleanse and clear toxins from the kidneys and bladder.

A tea made of Chamomile flowers or Chamomile tea bags can be made to combat the symptoms of cystitis, bladder and urinary tract infections.

Simply pour boiling water over the flowers or tea bag and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes.  Discard flowers or bag, and drink.

A strong infusion of Chamomile flowers (or tea bags) made into an intense tea or tonic can be added to bathwater in order to ease the symptoms of cystitis, urinary and bladder infections and thrush.

Chamomile contains aromatic compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids, reduce muscle spasms and pains, reduce inflammation and has antiseptic qualities. These compounds have a sedative and relaxing effect.

Chamomile is a wonderful relaxant and is considered one of the gentlest of essential oils, and is most appropriate for use with children.

A tincture made from Chervil root has a history of use as a remedy for arthritic and kidney disorders and as a natural remedy for cystitis and bladder infections.
Juice made from the whole plant is said to be good for bladder infections.

Chervil is a purifying herb that stimulates the digestive system and is a helpful remedy for mild liver and kidney disorders.

The herb Chickweed reduces the appetite, dissolves fat and cholesterol, and is a natural treatment for the bladder and urinary support.

The herb Cornsilk is particularly helpful in the natural treatment of urinary tract infections and cystitis.

Couch Grass is strongly diuretic and has a soothing, anti-inflammatory healing effect on the lining of the bladder.  Couch grass is most useful when there is mucus discharge from the bladder with painful and frequent urination.

Couch grass (Elymus repens) is a perennial grassy herb found throughout the world. Healers use a tea or tincture from the dried roots and rhizomes to treat inflammatory disorders of the urinary and respiratory tracts.

The active ingredients include mucilage, volatile oil and polysaccharides.  Mucilage coats and protects inflamed mucus membranes and the volatile oil is antimicrobial.  Couch grass is a natural remedy for cystitis and UTIs as it has demulcent properties that can soothe irritated and inflamed membranes.

Dandelion root helps to cleanse the system. By promoting the release of fluids from the tissues it helps to relieve the false sensations of urgency characteristic of cystitis.

Echinacea is a renowned herb that has been used throughout the ages as a natural treatments and remedies for cystitis, bladder and urinary tracts infections (UTIs).

Echinacea has antibacterial and antiviral attributes and properties making it an ideal treatment.

Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties and is an excellent treatment for infections and acts as natural antibiotics, making it a wonderful remedy for bladder and urinary tract infections.

Ginseng can be taken if/when the condition of cystitis and urinary tract infections become chronic.

Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) is a tall perennial with clusters of bright yellow flowers. Herbalists use the aerial parts as a diuretic and antiseptic to treat kidney and bladder infections. Goldenrod is rich in flavonoids, saponins, phenolics, volatile oil and polysaccharides, and it has analgesic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Goldenrod tea increases urine output and fights bacteria.  The herb also reduces the inflammation and spasms that accompany cystitis.

(Avoid Goldenrod if you have allergies to members of the Aster family)

An infusion of Ground Ivy is said to ease the symptoms of cystitis and urinary tract infections.

Horse Chestnut can be taken if/when the condition of cystitis and urinary tract infections become chronic.

HORSETAIL (equisetum arvense)
Horsetail contains a large amount of the valuable mineral silicic acid, and is mildly diuretic and astringent and is useful in the natural treatment of UTIs, bladder infections and cystitis.

Hydrangea aborescens, also called Seven Barks (because its stem bark peels off in several layers of different colors), was used by the Cherokee Indians for treating the urinary system. While Hydrangea is considered to be a solvent, it is also a soothing nutrient that helps the body expel excessive water and toxins.

Hydrangea is very high in silicon which is needed to maintain flexible arteries, and is especially important for good blood circulation through the filtering tubules of each kidney.  Hydrangea has the ability to strengthen the nerves, the immune system, aids the digestion of fats, regulates blood sugar, and encourages growth and reproduction. These factors also impact demands on the entire urinary system.

Hydrangea is good for stimulating and flushing the kidneys. It is most useful if there is urinary and back pain from kidney involvement .  It is most helpful if there is an irritation of the bladder and urethra with quick, sharp pains.

Hydrangea works quickly on acute cutting urethral pain and is considered one of the best general urinary anodynes.

Juniper is a natural antiseptic which is effective in the treatment of cystitis, bladder infections and UTIs.  Juniper berries contain aromatic compounds that increase the flow of urine and also increases the production of digestive fluids.

Juniper relieves pain and is an antiseptic, diuretic and stimulant. Juniper is useful in cases of chronic cystitis, but is best not used when there is acute inflammation as it may result in irritation of the bladder.

Marshmallow soothes the urinary system and is usually combined with other diuretic herbs to treat kidney and bladder inflammations.  It is also most useful for difficult or painful urination and kidney stones or gravel.  Marshmallow root stops bleeding in the urine.

Parsley leaves and stems can be steeped in boiled water to make a soothing, clearing and cleansing tonic for the liver, kidney and bladder/urinary tract.

Simply pour boiling water over the stems and leaves and allow to cool.  Then strain off water and drink when needed.

Plantain has cooling diuretic properties that make it beneficial for kidney and urinary bladder infections.

Psyllium and Marshmallow both have soothing, emollient properties, and are excellent natural treatments for cystitis, bladder and urinary tracts infections (UTIs).

Slippery Elm is known to strengthen the entire urinary system and has therapeutic, healing attributes and abilities. Slippery Elm is one of a host of natural treatments, cures and remedies for cystitis, bladder and urinary tracts infections (UTIs).

The herb Thyme is said to be an effective natural remedy to ease the painful symptoms of UTIs and cystitis.

UVA URSI (Bearberry)
Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) or Bearberry, is an evergreen shrub also known as bearberry or upland cranberry. Traditional healers use the leaves as a urinary antiseptic for treating urinary tract infections including cystitis. The active ingredient is arbutin, which is metabolized to hydroquinone in urine.

Traditional healers use the leaves to treat infections and inflammations of the urinary tract. The leaves contain arbutin, a phenolic glycoside that metabolizes to an active ingredient called hydroquinone, which has antibacterial, antifungal and astringent actions.

Uva Ursi is effective against E. coli in the bladder and the herb possesses tonic properties making it useful for a weakened liver, the kidneys and other glands. Uva Ursi is a strong, non-irritating diuretic and urinary antiseptic effective for bladder and kidney infections. When combined with Marshmallow it helps to eliminate stones from the kidney and bladder. Uva Ursi strengthens and tones the urinary passages and is effective to treat blood in the urine. Its diuretic properties are at their most effective if the herb is infused into cool or tepid water as hot water alters its diuretic properties.

(Avoid this herb if you are pregnant, have a kidney disorder or gastrointestinal problems.)

Yarrow has the ability to increase perspiration and has astringent and tonic abilities which make Yarrow an effective cure and treatment for cystitis, bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

To resolve cystitis, the urinary system needs to be flushed and the bacteria treated.  Detoxifying herbal teas are an effective way to flush toxins from the urinary system.  Herbs and herbal teas and tonics have been known to be natural cures, treatments and remedies for cystitis, bladder and urinary tracts infections (UTIs) throughout the ages, with herbs being prescribed by healers and herbalists of old.

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  1. Bea Garth says:

    This is a great list of herbal remedies to treat cystitis and kidney problems. Thanks so much! Same with your list of what to eat (and NOT). It has been very helpful for me and my friend G. We both got overworked last week and interestingly both have had a recurrence of old urinary tract problems.

    One remedy you don’t seem to have on here is olive leaf. This is a new one for me too. I make a tea of it along with my other herbs. It has made a noticeable difference! I am recommending it to my friend too. Already it seems to be helping him after two doses. And for me I seem to be way on the mend after just two days being on a more alkaline less fatty diet, and taking several of the suggested herbs.

    I also use cleavers which are a great help. Years ago I didn’t tolerate them I think due to the fact they were/are so detoxing. However they are fine for me now. I just need to remember to have them now and then to help prevent this condition from recurring.

    I often use the uva ursi and marshmallow root if I am really under it (as I have been the last two days) which you do list.

    Your concept of eating a more vegetarian/alkaline diet while in the throws of an irritation/infection of the urinary tract meanwhile is right on! I remember subsisting on salads with a little yogurt one month I had a bad kidney infection around 8 years ago. Now I am not waiting and avoiding eating fish and chicken etc. right away. The dense proteins of meat and fish are just too hard on me right now. And given my history of kidney infections in the past, I probably should never get too carried away with them even though have type O blood and should eat some meat now and then.

    By using diet and herbs since the early 1970′s, I avoided a (much shorter) lifetime of being on antibiotics forever due to chronic kidney infections which were in great part due to inflammation and resultant toxicity from eating the wrong foods. Thank God for the work of herbalist David Hoffman, and now you!

    Again, thank you for publishing such a substantial compendium on the subject!


    Bea Garth

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