May 25th, 2011
By: Elizabeth Walling
Home treatment for a urinary tract infection (UTI) is often enough to resolve the problem if the right methods are used consistently. In fact, using natural methods to treat a urinary tract infection at the first sign of symptoms may help prevent a more serious infection from setting in.
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- urge to urinate more often
- decreased quantity of urine passed
- pain during and after urination ( usually a burning or stinging sensation)
Symptoms of a serious urinary tract infection include nausea, fever, vomiting and constant pain in the abdominal region. If you experience these serious symptoms, please consult a health professional.
Natural Home Remedies for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Cranberry. Perhaps the most well known UTI remedy, cranberries have long been prized for their ability to clear a urinary tract infection. One 2002 study showed that cranberry juice or cranberry tablets relieved UTI symptoms better than a placebo. Pure cranberry juice is recommended, as juice blends may not contain a high enough concentrate of cranberry to be effective.
Blueberry. Although not as well known as cranberries for treating a UTI, blueberries have also been shown to be an effective remedy for a urinary tract infection. You can eat fresh organic blueberries, make a smoothie from frozen berries or even blend pure blueberry juice with pure cranberry juice to harness the healing power of both of these berries.
Pineapple. Rich in vitamin C and bromelain, pineapple can help you fight off infection while also reducing inflammation. Bromelain has been shown to help resolve urinary tract infections, while vitamin C is a known immunity booster.
Uva Ursi. This herb is known for its ability to cleanse the kidneys and urinary system. It has antiseptic properties that can help reduce pathogenic bacteria causing the infection. A tincture or tea made with uva ursi is recommended at least once per day during a UTI.
Water. It`s the standard remedy for almost any illness, but drinking plenty of fluids is extremely important in the case of urinary tract infections. It allows the body to flush bacteria out of the urinary tract. You may be tempted to drink less since urination can be painful with a UTI, but if you keep up your fluid intake you will mostly likely notice a reduction in pain more quickly than if you did not.
January 22, 2010
By Jennifer Warner
Swapping out the usual OJ for blueberry juice in the morning may give your brain a memory boost.
A new study shows that drinking a daily dose of wild blueberry juice improved the memory of older adults with age-related memory problems.
It’s the first study to show a potential benefit of blueberries in improving memory in older adults at risk for dementia.
“The findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term blueberry supplementation can confer neurocognitive benefit,” write researcher Robert Krikorian, of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, and colleagues in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Researchers say blueberries contain a wealth of phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, animal studies have shown that the polyphenols found in blueberries, anthocyanins, have been shown to increase signaling in brain centers associated with memory as well as improve how the brain gets rid of glucose, all of which may help slow memory decline.
In the study, researchers looked at the effects of drinking wild blueberry juice on memory decline in nine adults in their 70s who were experiencing age-related memory decline problems, such as memory lapses.
The participants drank about two and a half cups each day of blueberry juice made from commercially available frozen wild blueberries for 12 weeks. A comparison group of seven older adults drank a similar amount of placebo non-juice beverage for the same time period.
Researchers conducted memory tests, such as word association and list learning and recall tasks, at the beginning and end of the study.
The results showed that those who drank blueberry juice showed significant improvement on learning and memory tests compared to the placebo group.
Researchers say there were also trends suggesting reduced symptoms of depression and lower glucose levels among the wild blueberry juice drinkers, but further research will be needed to confirm these results.
January 18, 2010
By David Gutierrez
A special blueberry drink fortified by processing it with bacteria that naturally occur on the fruit’s skin proved effective at preventing the development of obesity and diabetes in mice predisposed to the conditions, in a study conducted by researchers from the University of Montreal, the Institut Armand-Frappier and the Université de Moncton, and published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Researchers “biotransformed” juice from the North American lowbush blueberry by fermenting it with Serratia vaccinii, a bacteria naturally found on the berry’s skin. They then fed mice either the biotransformed juice or unmodified blueberry juice for three days. All the mice had been bred for resistance to the hormone leptin, thus predisposing them to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and high blood pressure
“Consumption of fermented blueberry juice gradually and significantly reduced high blood glucose levels in diabetic mice,” lead author Tri Vuong said. “After three days, our mice subjects reduced their glycemia levels by 35 percent.”
The mice drinking the biotransformed juice also ate less and gained less weight than the mice in the control group.
“Results of this study clearly show that biotransformed blueberry juice has strong anti-obesity and anti-diabetic potential,” senior author Pierre S. Haddad said. “Biotransformed blueberry juice may represent a novel therapeutic agent.”
The researchers are unsure why the biotransformed juice proves so much more effective, but they believe that the fermentation process enhances the effectiveness of the fruit’s naturally occurring antioxidants. The researchers suggested that these antioxidants might assist the activity of the hormone adiponectin, which is associated with a lower risk of obesity.
The anthocyanins found in blueberries have also previously been linked to a reduced risk of retinopathy, an eye disorder, in diabetics.
“The identification of the active compounds in biotransformed blueberry juice may result in the discovery of promising new anti-obesity and anti-diabetic molecules,” Haddad said.
An estimated 24 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes, and another 57 million are considered pre-diabetic.