Herbal Health Information on Urine Infections

A one off case of a urine infection is easily dealt with, with antibiotics and like any other acute infection such as earache that is the right course of action to take.

It is with the recurrent or chronic urine infections that the herbs can be of enormous help.

This condition can cause burning and stinging on passing urine, frequency of passing urine, a desperate urge to pass urine and is life affecting due to the need to be near a toilet all the time.

You may be surprised to know that urine is normally sterile and used in the past for sterilising wounds inflicted by war. In olden days surgeons used to get the men to wee directly on to the open wounds as it was probably the only sterile fluid around with which to wash the wound out! Bacteria can only enter the bladder from the skin externally via the urethra, which is the tube carrying urine from the bladder to the outside. So no matter how clean you think you are it is worth taking extra care with your personal hygiene if you suffer from urine infections. Unfortunately the vagina lies on top of the urethra and over enthusiastic sex can cause injury to the urethra in women, leaving it more prone to infection, so you may need to be a little careful.

As usual I am starting with dietary advice.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Tea and coffee aggravate the kidneys

Do not eat any oranges or tomatoes or drink their juices. These two fruits seem to be too acidic for the urinary system and will irritate the bladder lining.

Cranberry juice is good and stops bacteria sticking to the wall of the bladder.

As with the gut it is a good idea to coat and protect the bladder wall lining to prevent it being further irritated by bacteria. There is nothing better than Marshmallow to do this job.

We saw the Marshmallow growing profusely in the Cuckmere river video, when I explained to you about the mucilage content of the marshmallow. It is this that coats mucous membranes and for the bladder, it is the leaf of the marshmallow that is used.

St John’s wort is antibacterial and anti viral and can be toning for the bladder. Also seen in the Shingle Beach video.

The best urinary antiseptic is an herb called Buchu which I love to smell, as it smells of blackcurrants and is apparently the flavouring used in the old “Spangles” sweets.

The hairy bit that comes out of the top of a corn on the cob is called corn silk and is a diuretic, but also coats and protects the bladder due to its mucilage content.

An irritated bladder also needs relaxing as it goes into spasm causing a constant feeling of wanting to “go”.

We saw Crampbark in the West rise marsh video and I explained it was a muscle relaxant. Well the bladder wall is just a muscle and Crampbark works very well to relax it if it has gone into spasm. Pulsatilla works well as an anti spasmodic to prevent the bladder cramping up.

A typical mix of herbs in tincture form I would use in clinic for someone presenting with recurrent urine infections is:-

Marshmallow leaf


Crampbark Pulsatilla

But it obviously depends on what the patient tells me and what the symptoms are.

It is also worth boosting the immune system generally to avoid bacteria taking hold in the bladder and for this there is the trusty Echinacea. You can get this in tincture form or as tablets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

You will find over the counter remedies with some of the above herbs in them, but make sure they are licensed or visit a qualified Medical Herbalist.

My Clinic details can be seen by clicking here or on the “Clinic” tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

Pulsatilla, the nerve tonic.

Pulsatilla is a nerve tonic and relaxant. It has anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and is a mild analgesic (pain killer)

I use it for imbalances in the female reproductive system such as PMT and find it especially useful for period pains, especially when mixed with Cramp Bark, which is  a muscle relaxant.

Cramp Bark, is discussed seperately in the West Rise Marsh walk and on the web site.

Pulsatilla is also an herb I very often put into a mix to help people relax and get to sleep. When I first started to practice, with a case of facial acne which was proving difficult to clear up, so I phoned my mentor at the time who advised me to use Pulsatilla as it has skin cleansing properties. Well it certainly made the difference and I now rarely leave it out of any skin mixture.

I use it in tincture formwhich you will be able to buy from any good herb supplier. I will not advise any dosage here as strengths of tincture varies, so follow the instructions on the bottle.

You will also find it in tablet form and again please follow the instructions.

Do not confuse it with the Homeopathic Pulsatilla preparation which has completely different actions.

As usual, if you have any other medical conditions or are pregnant, please see a qualified Medical herbalist or your Doctor.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/herbal Health Information.

Walk Around West Rise Marsh with video


My name is Linda Bostock, I qualified as a medical herbalist in 1993 after completing a four year diploma course at the school of Phytotherapy in East Sussex and have been running my clinic of herbal medicine since then, first in Slough and now in Eastbourne.

Over the next few months, I will be filming a number of herbal walks, firstly in the beautiful part of the country I live in, East Sussex, and then wider afield. I would like to invite you to come with me either through my text description or the films that I will be making.

The first herb walk is in an area near where we live in Eastbourne called West Rise marsh, which is a great dog walking place. It is a lake formed from an old gravel pit and like many once abandoned areas is now a mini nature reserve with interesting plant and bird life. The area is now managed by the caretaker of the local primary school who keeps Water Buffalo on the land and I have had interesting times observing the Buffalo, especially the new calf that was born at the end of last year. Throughout the year there are many different water fowls that visit the lake and I have often watched the ungainly landings or takings off of visiting swans. There are always Reed warblers flitting around the reed beds and in the summer Swallows and Swifts swooping around catching insects.

The two plants we are looking at on this herb walk are, Hawthorn and Cramp Bark, but we also stop and look at two other plants, Goosegrass and Water Dropwort.

Cramp Bark


Hawthorn in the hedgerow


I suppose I am the equivalent of a twitcher, except I like to collect knowledge of medicinal plants I have seen growing in the countryside, on my walks, but I don’t have to hide in a little wooden shed to see them!!!!. It still, after all this time, makes me feel thrilled to see plants I commonly use in my clinic, to treat various medical conditions, growing all around us.

I hope you enjoy these herb walks and if you have any interesting plants growing around you please share them with us on the website and we could all have a chat about them.

Sadly with the loss of so much countryside and pesticide use, our plants are all endangered species, an example of which is red clover. Red clover used to grow in all the fields when I was a child. I remember picking it and sucking the flower (we didn’t worry whether the cows had peed on it!) which was slightly sweet from the nectar it contained. Now I rarely see it, but when I do I get so excited!

So keep your eyes open next time you are walking around and look at the plants growing wild/in gardens/in the countryside. They may well be the origins of medicines you are taking.

If you would like to write to me about anything in this article or about medicinal plants you have seen in your area, please complete the form below.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

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