Cystitis is an acute or chronic infection of the urinary bladder. It causes an urge to urinate frequently, often not passing a lot of urine and nearly always accompanied by a burning sensation.
It is surprisingly common in women, mainly because of the close proximity of the anus, vagina and urethra and the short length of the urethra which allows for very easy transmission of bacteria from one area to another.
However it can also be caused by infected urine being sent to the bladder from the kidneys.
Generally the infection is bacterial but can be aggravated by bruising during intercourse, stress or a diet that is too acidic (often too high in sugars).
It can also become a more frequent problem as a woman’s oestrogen level decrease, due the gradual thinning of the mucus membranes, making them more susceptible to infection.
The best course of action is to immediately when the first ‘stinging sensation’ is felt is to start drinking a lot more water.
Heaps! To help flush out the urinary tract.
Also immediately stop any intake of highly acidic foods and beverages, especially sugar, wine, coffee and chocolate but also limiting foods as red meats and cheese. Increase alkaline foods such as fruits and green vegetables.
An excellent herbal combination to take is a 50/50 blend of Pau D’arco and Corn silk, taken 3-5ml in water 3 times daily until all discomfort has cleared. Then reduce the dose to twice daily for a further 7-10 days to ensure that all infection and/or inflammation has gone. This blend can be further improved by the addition of a small amount of Golden Seal as an anti-biotic.
Cranberry juice can also be effective if used consistently and in an unsweetened form, its mode of action being to help stop bacteria adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, however it won’t help stop E.coli based cystitis.
Pau D’arco and Corn silk have a different mode of action and together are both soothing and antibacterial as well as being particularly effective against Candiadis.
Use the ‘Contact Us’ page if you need a specific herbal blend.
If menopausal changes are suspected to be contributing to the problem, then you need to add Black Cohosh as well to any herbal blend. Better still, take it (or some other hormonal balancing preparation) separately, in a higher dose and over a much longer period.
Where there is chronic on going problems with negative laboratory results and no improvement noted if antibiotics (or herbal remedies) are given then it is possible that a condition called ‘interstitial cystitis’ is the problem.
This is where there is a chronic inflammation of the space between the lining of the urinary bladder and the bladder muscle. The symptoms will be much the same as ordinary cystitis but intercourse may also be painful and the urine may be cloudy with an unpleasant odour.
In this case the above treatments may help but there also need to be the addition of anti-inflammatory agents.
Golden Seal can be effective as the action of this herb can ease inflammation of the bladder as well as being anti-bacterial. Quercetin may also be useful as can Willow Bark or a
standardised product of the same.
See page on ‘Urination – excessive’