Bladder infection, also called cystitis and urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that causes painful urination and a feeling that bladder never completely empties. Urine from the infected bladder may smell strong , look cloudy and contain tinges of blood.
Although UTIs are more common in adults, many children are affected by them too. The infection is much more common in girls than boys. Children who drink very little may be susceptible to UTIs.
Most of the time doctors treat UTIs with antibiotics, however in many cases, natural approaches, such as food, herbs and supplements work just as well.
Cranberry: Certain compounds in cranberry juice prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls, so they won’t cause infection there. It contains arbutin, a chemical compound that is both antibiotic and diuretic that help relieve excess water retention. The only problem with cranberry juice is that you have to drink a lot of it. Naturopaths suggest drinking 17 ounces a day to treat UTIs. Since the juice is naturally sour, it must be sweetened to be palatable. Shop bought cranberry juice is normally very high in sugar.
D Mannose: The first thing I normally recommend for adults and children with bladder infections is pure D-mannose. It is about 10-50 times stronger than cranberry. It’s non-toxic and completely safe, with NO adverse effects. D-mannose can help treat most of UTIs within 1 to 2 days. It makes it impossible for bacteria to stay in the urinary tract. The great thing about it is that it does not kill probiotics along with the bad bacteria, which is the problem with antibiotics. I love and trust this product!
Probiotics: If you take antibiotics for a bladder infection, your probiotics will be wiped out, making you more prone to recurrent infections. The use of probiotics, especially lactobacilli, has been considered for the prevention of UTIs. Since lactobacilli dominate the urogenital flora, it has been suggested that restoration of the urogenital florawith lactobacilli may protect against UTIs. If you or your children are prone to bladder infections, you must take probiotics daily to correct the gut flora. Find the best probiotics on the market for children HERE.
Beta-carotene: Children have long been encouraged by their mothers to eat their carrots – they are particularly important during urinary infections. Because of their high concentration of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is very helpful to maintain the integrity of the mucous membranes. These are the delicate tissues that line the urethra and the bladder.
Cranberry and Buchu: Buchu has long been used as a diuretic and treatment for inflammation and infection of kidneys and urinary tract. It can also be used as an antiseptic. Buchu contains diosphenol, which has an antibacterial effect on the urinary tract. My favourite product to support the urinary system is this one.
Juniper and parsley: Parsley has a long history of use for bladder problems. It is a diuretic that helps empty the bladder. Juniper berries also support the urinary system, especially the kidneys, helping the body`s efforts to maintain proper fluid balance. A great herbal combination and nutritional support can be found here.
Colloidal Silver is a powerful antibiotic and antifungal agent. Taken internally, it can fight infections, such as UTIs. It is useful to take colloidal silver during an infection in order to keep down any undesirable microbes that have arisen in the body. It is important to make sure you buy genuine colloidal silver and be sure to research the product before you use it! This is the one I use in our house for both adults and children.
Nettle tea: Nettle acts as a diuretic and it works well with bladder infections.
Homeopathic Cantharis is probably the best-known homeopathic remedy for bladder infections. It is used when there is a persistent urge to urinate with burning pains during and after urination.
Banishing Urinary Tract Infections:
These are some natural guidelines for preventing bladder infections.
- Encourage your child to drink as much water as possible
- Take showers instead of baths
- Encourage your child to go to the loo whenever they feel the urge
- Make sure your daughter wipes herself from front to back to avoid spreading infection from the anus.
- Do not use bubble bath. Warm, soothing baths with a few drops of natural, gentle castile soap will keep the area clean.