written by Maral Misserian
What is a bladder infection?
Bladder infections are known as cystitis or inflammation of the bladder. They are common in women, but very rare in men. More than half of all women get at least one bladder infection at some time in their lives. However, a man's chance of getting cystitis increases as he ages, due to in part to an increase in prostate size.
There are different causes of bladder infections:
- Many times bladder infections develop after taking antibiotics.
- Other causes include venereal disease, endometriosis, stress, contraceptives, kidney malfunction, food allergens, and constipation.
- Bladder infections can also be caused by waiting too long to urinate. The bladder is a muscle that stretches when full and shrinks when empty. “Holding it” can cause the bladder to stretch past its capacity. This leaves old urine in the bladder and results in bacterial growth.
- They may also be due to a depressed immune system. Antibiotics do not help in these cases and may actually attack the bladder lining.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of bladder infections are scalding pain experienced on passing water as well as pain in the groin before, during and just after urination. Cystitis may be accompanied by an intense desire to pass water even though the bladder is empty.
Herbs to Help Cystitis
Barberry- a laxative and a bitter
Couchgrass- a diuretic, demulcent (soothes intestinal muscles) and an anti-microbial
Yarrow- a diuretic and antiseptic
Other herbs- Skullcap, Lemon balm and Vervain are all antispasmodic and carminative (promotes intestinal peristalsis). They will also help strengthen the immune system and combat all kinds of infections.
If you are experiencing a bladder infection it is best to seek advice from a qualified practitioner before taking any herbs. For a simple, every day tea to maintain bladder health, you can try out the recipe below:
Fresh Raspberry Cranberry Tea
1 cranberry tea bag (make sure it is a medicinal quality, such as Traditional Medicines brand of tea)
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
2 cups boiling water
1. Pour the boiling water over the cranberry tea bag and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add in the fresh raspberries and serve. You can add a little bit of honey if you prefer.
Maral Misserian is a Personal Trainer and soon to be a Holistic Nutritionist. Maral believes that the two essential elements of good health are exercise and proper nutrition. She combines these seamlessly into personalized programs for a healthy, and as a result, happy lifestyle for her clients.