Ayurveda for urinary tract infection, Cause, symptoms, and treatment

By Dr Sharda Ayurveda In Urinary

What is UTI (urinary tract infection)?

Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine, acknowledges the human body's ability of the to cleanse, repair, and efficiently maintain bodily systems. Urine infection treatment in Ayurveda plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body and promoting overall well-being.

The urinary system comprises of kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, and renal pelvis. The infection in this tract is denoted as Urinary tract Infection. The infection is mainly caused by the microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Usually, our body’s immune system puts a fight whenever a foreign entity disturbs its peace, but whenever microbes overcome the body’s self-defense mechanism, immunity is compromised and infection occurs resulting in uneasiness and discomfort.

As the human body digests food, nutrients are extracted and converted into energy. During this chemical process, a waste product is created, which is eliminated to regulate blood volume, pressure, pH, control the level of electrolyte and metabolite. The waste product Urine contains the by-products of our body’s metabolism — salts, toxins, and water which becomes an excellent indicator of something abnormal going on in the body.

Like any other system, the urinary system is susceptible to infections making the conditions of an individual miserable, sometimes the pain is intolerable and the infection if untreated becomes serious. 

Complications of urinary tract infection

  • Recurrent infections, especially in females.

  • Kidney damage may occur due to untreated UTIs.

  • Urethral narrowing in men.

Symptoms of UTI

The main underlying symptoms existing in these infections are a strong urge to urinate, passing a frequent small amount of urine, burning sensation while urinating, cloudy, smelly urine, and sometimes the presence of blood in the urine. In the case of females, pelvic pain is commonly seen. 

Since Urinary Tract Infections is a broad term, the symptoms are different for different affected organs present in the urinary system.

Kidneys (acute nephritis)

Infection in the kidneys is a result of an obstruction in the urinary tract.

  • Back pain/ side pain
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Urinary bladder (cystitis)

Bacterial infection in the bladder that has often moved up from the urethra. 

  • Pain below umbilicus
  • Frequent, painful urination.
  • Blood in the urine.

Urethra (urethritis)

Infection of the urethra, a hollow tube used to drain urine from the bladder. 

  • Burning sensation
  • Discharge

Causes of UTI

Primarily, the cause of UTI is the gut bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli) which enters the urethra through the anus. Although, the urinary system is designed to keep such invaders away sometimes the system fails to do so. After finding the ideal conditions to multiply, it proliferates itself in number and leads to inflammation. This occurs because of poor genital hygiene, using unclean toilets, having sex with multiple partners, and using urinary catheters. 

The condition may also worsen if the person is already suffering from kidney stones and if there is an enlarged prostate.

Despite bacteria, the fungus, yeast, and other viral species are also responsible for microbial colonization and hence urinary infections. Most infections that occur are in the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. The infection usually begins in the urethra and then moves up to the bladder and other urinary tract parts.

The primary basis of Ayurveda is the concept of universal interconnectedness ie., the body’s composition (Prakriti) and the life forces (Doshas). The focus lies in establishing and maintaining a proper balance of these energies (Doshas). As per Ayurveda, UTIs are clubbed under a broad term called 'Mutrakrichha’ which includes kidney disorders and urinary tract infections. The imbalance within ‘Pitta Dosha’ results in these infections. ‘Nidana’ means causative factors, which aggravate the condition. The below-mentioned factors aggressively react in this disorder:

  • Less intake of water
  • Consumption of too hot, sour, or spicy foods.
  • Tobacco and Alcohol usage. 
  • Suppressing the natural call. (Vega Dharana)
  • Habit of retaining urine in the bladder for a longer duration.
  • Overexposure to sunlight.
  • Stress

Risk factors of urinary tract infections

UTIs are more common in women as compared to men because of the female anatomy, as women have a shorter urethra than men which shortens the distance for the bacteria to reach the bladder.

Also, certain birth control methods and the declining of estrogen hormone after menopause increases the risk of infections. Many women experience more than one infection in their lifetime.

Other risk factors for UTIs include babies born with urinary tract abnormalities, suppressed immune systems, and recent urinary procedures.

Ayurveda for urinary tract infections (UTI)

Ayurveda is an ancient healing science existing in nature. It is derived from the Sanskrit language meaning science of life. This practice aims at balancing thinking, lifestyle, diet, and the use of herbs for healing and rejuvenating mind, body, and soul. Ayurveda works on the basic functional principles or Doshas which are present in everyone- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Further, these Doshas are the combination of five basic elements present in nature, earth, fire, water, air, and space.

Vata Dosha comprises air and space denoting energy needed for the movement, Pitta Dosha comprises water and fire indicating energy required for digestion or metabolism, and lastly the Kapha is the combination of water and earth which is required for lubrication and structure.

The cause of diseases in Ayurveda is believed to have an imbalance in all these energies. Ayurveda focuses on balancing all the 3 doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha for the management and recovery of any disease. 

Why Ayurveda?

As the holistic science, this mode of treatment works on the root cause of the treatment rather than just working on the symptoms, this methodology uproots the cause of the disease and also gives effective results in no reversibility of the disease.

 As it is an ancient practice, Ayurvedic treatment work wonders, and its efficacy can be seen with no side effects. Naturally aided treatment with slight modifications in diet and lifestyle relieves the affected individuals tremendously.

The body’s bacterial balance is restored by the Ayurveda in natural and simple ways by suggesting and promoting healthy bacteria and fighting the harmful ones. Urine Infection Treatment in Ayurveda disorders involves flushing out infection with detoxification, cleaning out blockages of the urinary tract, and administering herbs that tone the kidneys and normalize the functioning of the Apana Vayu.

Ayurvedic Management for Urinary Tract Infections

Diet

Dietary changes help in the reduction of the symptoms. So, to ease your discomfort one must add the required changes to the diet.

  1. Intake of spicy foods should be reduced. Along with caffeinated products as they can irritate the bladder lining making it difficult to urinate.
  2. Drink as much water as possible. 
  3. Fresh lemon juice, coconut water, cranberry juice, orange juice, sugarcane juice, and pineapple juice are very beneficial.
  4. Consume seasonal fruits such as apples, grapes, peaches, berries, pomegranates, figs, and plums in abundant quantities.
  5. Probiotics such as curd and yogurt may help correct any imbalances caused by bacterial infections.
  6. Usage of cinnamon in cooking and tea as it has an antibacterial effect. 
  7. Cumin spice works wonderfully well as a diuretic as it cleanses the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, removes waste material, salt, excess water, impurities, and combat infections.
  8. Coriander drink will nourish and cool the urinary tract and accordingly flush out the toxins.
  9. Include fiber in your diet.
  10. Rather than conventional salt, consume pink Himalayan crystal salt, rock salt, or sea salt which does not put a burden on the kidneys and bladder.
  11. Include cucumbers in your diet as they are highly rich in water content.

Lifestyle

The lifestyle of the person determines one’s health. So, following lifestyle habits must be adopted to ensure a disease-free life.

  • One must be careful with personal hygiene, vaginal cleaning should be done properly, as proper cleaning reduces the chances of bacterial growth. 
  • To relieve pain one can take a bath with warm water, or apply a heating pad in the abdomen region.
  • Cotton and loose-fitting clothes and innerwear should be preferred.
  • Use dry clothes after bath.
  • During menstrual periods, women should practice good personal hygiene practices.
  • Wipe from front to back after defecation.
  • Urinate before and after sexual activity and properly maintain hygiene in your genital area.
  • Restrict exposure to extreme heat and sun.
  • Do not hold the urge to urinate as it retains toxins in your system.
  • Avoid dampness and moisture that can cause urinary infections.
  • After urination, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria away from the urethra.
  • Usage of feminine products in the genital area as they irritate the urethra.

Ayurvedic Herbs

 Ayurvedic formulations and herbs make the treatment an effective one as it preserves normal pH which reduces the bacterial load. Herbs that are known for the management of such infections are:

  • Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris): This herb has importance in treating UTIs as it helps in reducing inflammation. It is a diuretic in nature. 
  • Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa): This herb works in rejuvenating the whole body. Since it is diuretic and anti-inflammatory it reduces the urea and creatinine levels in the blood. Additionally, it also helps with kidney stones.
  • Varuna (Crataeva nurvala): This herb is a blood purifier and maintains homeostasis in the body. As it has diuretic properties it increases the production of urine in the body. In the case of males, it reduces benign prostatic hypertrophy.
  • Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia): This herb is an immunity booster. Moreover, it also reduces fever and other symptoms related to this infection.
  • Bangshil:  This herb aids to cure genito- urinary tract infection. By acting as an antiseptic and antibacterial it helps in the treatment of mild prostatomegaly, urethritis, vaginitis, and pyelonephritis.

Panchakarma

The holistic treatment eliminates the toxins and purifies the body, mind, and consciousness. This method works beneficially on overall health, wellness, and self-healing. This treatment helps in rejuvenating the human body and has proven to give desired results for infections in UTIs.

  • Snehana: Here there is oral administration of medicated ghee. Therapeutically the effective components can be transported to different tissues of the urinary tract. This also helps achieve neurological control of bladder musculature.
  • Swedana: This process involves inducing sweat with the help of steam. This restores cell metabolism and flushes out accumulated body toxins. 
  • Vamana (Emesis): This therapy removes the toxins from the upper part of the body providing relief from pain and discomfort caused due to UTIs through emesis.
  • Virechana: Therapeutically purgation cleanses the body by herbal concoctions. It is a very important step in this infection. This involves a complete emptying of the digestive tract resulting in clearing the blockages.
  • Basti: It is the process of medicated enema that purifies the urinary tract. Here suitable herbal powder and natural medications are used to maintain the pH and neurological control of the urinary bladder.
  • Uttara Basti: This is different from the common Basti procedure as an enema is performed through the urethral route. This procedure is very helpful in chronic UTIs.

Yoga and breathing exercises

 Yoga is committed to restoring the depleted energy present in the body. Yoga can be beneficial in attaining relief from the signs of UTI. It works wonderfully in the body’s favor.

Following characterized Asanas stretches the body and hence strengthens and tones the affected muscles showing efficacy.

Surya Namaskara

Benefits- This asana helps in toning almost the whole body- including the lower abdomen portions.

Pranayama

Pranayama

Benefits- This combination of meditation regulates the proper blood circulation in the body.

Shatkriyas

Shatkriyas

Benefits- Here the emphasis is on digestive and respiratory systems as this asana eliminates all toxins from the body.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Utkatasana

Benefits- Digestive system, urinary system, and heart are replenished with the help of this pose.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Trikonasana

Benefits- This asana strengthens the urinary system of the body as this asana focuses on the stretching of areas like the lower abdomen, hips, groin, and pelvis.

Squat Pose (Malasana)

Malasana

Benefits- This asana provides ample relief, as the stretching tones the lower back, groin, and abdominal muscles.

Urinary tract infections can be painful and trouble-some and a healthy system is vital for a healthy individual. It can be easily and successfully managed with the help and guidance of Dr. Sharda Ayurveda as the main aim here is to achieve the results through personalized prescribed diet, lifestyle, herbal medicines, and cleansing therapies.

Article By:

Dr Sharda Ayurveda

At Dr. Sharda Ayurveda emphasis is made on treating the patients with the power of Ayurveda and traveling along with them in the path of natural and safe healing. The satisfaction and recovery of our patients is our utmost priority.

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