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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and the Natural Cure I’ve Found

“Girls only get UTIs if they’re sluts.”

A guy actually said this to me once. His statement was so full of false judgment that I didn’t even bother to beg his pardon or respond.

To start with, since it needs clarification for the less informed, a UTI is not an STD. While UTIs can be related to sexual activity—amongst monogamous couples and free lovers alike—I had my first infection well before I was sexually active. Children, men, women, and everyone in between can get a urinary tract infection. Your only prerequisite is a urinary tract.

So what exactly is a UTI? Consider yourself very lucky if you don’t know, and allow me to redirect you to WebMD. (I picked this link because it puts the description of a UTI in pretty simple layman’s terms.) What are the common symptoms of a UTI? Burning when peeing, urine that has a foul odor, pinkish or red urine (yes, that’s blood); the feeling that you have to pee more, but nothing of very little comes out; cloudy urine, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Because of the anatomy of females, we girls are more prone to getting UTIs than guys are. There are three cramped little holes down there which set the scene for a multitude of health problems. (Our anatomical layout does not make us sluts.)

Now, allow me to get personal if I may…

I’ve been officially diagnosed with chronic UTIs. If I get one, I know I’ll get a series of several more in the following months. Despite being such a common recurrance among women, western doctors still don’t know how to cure and prevent UTIs other than to put the girl on antibiotics and give her a leaflet with suggestions that, for me, were unhelpful. These handouts I’ve left urgent care centers with all say the same thing: finish your antibiotics, call your doctor if your pain gets worse, drink fluids; pee whenever you have the urge to, and also right before and after you have sex; wipe front-to-back. After years of doing everything right, my stubborn infections continued to reocur. I had seven UTIs last year alone. I took six rounds of antibiotics, which caused more problems than they helped (hello, yeast infections), and finally I began looking at natural remedies. There are so many more than the proverbial cranberry juice.

When I recognized immediately that I was at the start of my seventh UTI last year, I decided to give homeopathy a try. Clearly western medicine wasn’t helping me with this issue. I’ve seen naturopaths and alternative medicine specialists before for other health concerns, since I prefer to try natural remedies before succumbing to drugs if need be, but I never had for a UTI. Peeing red always alarmed me straight to the nearest ER. Since I now knew I wouldn’t benefit from what pharmaceutical companies had to offer me, I took a friend’s referral and met with a lovely woman named Tara Davis.

Tara has been a practicing natural healer for decades, specializing in women’s health. When I met with her last fall, she had just returned from India where she had been studying Ayurvedic medicine. I explained to her my recurring infection and she listened patiently before putting her fingers to a pulse point on my wrist. I don’t know how, but from that simple action she was able to tell me that my infection was near the entrance of my urethra only—it had not yet spread up my urinary tract or into my bladder. She also picked up on other unrelated health concerns, including my TMJ and my lower back pain, due to a twisted disc in my lumbar region. Again, I don’t know how she knew these from gently holding my wrist for several seconds, but she wasn’t wrong.

IMG_3922Tara prescribed me two natural curatives I’d need to treat my UTI:

1) Yarrow root tea. I drank this for 40 days straight, once in the morning and again in the evening. No one I talked to at Whole Foods knew what yarrow even was, but I did find dried yarrow root sold in bulk at Co-Opportunity, a natural foods store in Santa Monica. Since I’m a tea addict anyway, this was an easy step for me to incorporate into my lifestyle. I put about two teaspoons’ worth of the dried up root into my loose leaf tea strainer, let it steep in hot water for a few minutes, and when I sipped the tea, I was pleased to find that its flavor was mild, reminiscent of chamomile but earthier.

2) Himalaya Herbal Healthcare’s UriCare. I took three of these herbal supplement capsules three times daily for 10 days at Tara’s direction. The capsules contain an Ayurvedic blend of herbs, which, according to the label, “…keeps the kidneys and urinary tract flushed and working at optimum efficiency.”

After two days on Tara’s regimen, it no longer burned or ached when I peed. The feverish feeling that usually lingered for a week was gone on day three. I felt 100% by day five, though I continued to take the UriCare capsules and drink the yarrow root tea for the durations Tara had advised. I was cured. This natural remedy worked just as quickly and effectively as the antibiotics had, without the antibiotic side effects. In fact, there was only one (quite welcome) side effect that I noticed, which Tara said was due to the yarrow root tea: regular bowel movement.

Last month, I had the slightest twinge of burning when I peed one morning. I didn’t wait to find out if it would turn into a full-blown UTI, and right away I followed the same directions Tara had given me. By the end of that first day, I knew it was indeed a UTI, but by the end of the second day, all of my pain was gone. Tara again counseled me and gave me directions to continue taking the yarrow root tea for three months, to nip my urethral infection for good. So that is what I will be drinking every morning until the end of June.

Tara’s website, www.tarahealing.org, is under construction at the moment and will hopefully be up and running soon. However, if you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to have a consultation with Tara yourself for any health concerns, please reach her at tarahealing@live.com. She is a delightful woman with keen intuition and a well-rounded homeopathic background.

Part Four: TMJ