So what evil forces are at work here when you are suffering like that? Your urinary system is made up of your urethra, which carries urine out of the bladder when you pee, your bladder, which holds your urine, your ureters, which carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, and your kidneys, which filter waste from the blood to produce urine. A UTI happens when bacteria makes its way up the urethra. This can happen in any number of ways… you hold in urine instead of going to the bathroom, having a catheter, and for women not peeing after intercourse increases the risk. But no matter the case the result is the same-misery. If your UTI goes on for more than a few days or gets worse, it is important to see your doctor. If the infection spreads through your urinary system and to your kidneys, you can end up with a nasty situation on your hands. But to fight them off in the beginning, here are some home remedies for UTI’s that can help get things flowing smoothly (and painlessly) once again.

1. Drink Water-A lot of Water

This may not sound like the most extraordinary remedy, but it is one of the most important things you can do when you have a UTI. It can help flush out bacteria, and (almost) more importantly, it gives you something to actually push out when you pee! A lot of home remedies for urinary tract infections are drinks because you should always be flushing fluid through your system to give it a helping hand in getting rid of the nasty bacteria.

You will need…
-An ice cold glass of fresh water

Directions
Drink like a fish stranded in the desert at the first hint of an infection. Get your 8 glasses, and then some more. Keep clearing out your urinary tract and you may be able to bounce back rather quickly-or at least be comfortable!

2. Go Pee!

It may sound obvious, but when you need to pee-UTI or not- do it! If you hold it in, you increase the chance that bacteria will develop and multiply and cause an infection. If you do have a UTI, every time you pee you get out a little bit more of that bacteria. Even though it can be uncomfortable, peeing every chance you get is a vital part of recovering.

3. Drink ‘Soda

No, not soda as in a sugary soft drink, soda as in baking soda, that miraculous substance that can help anything from heartburn to, of course, UTI’s. Baking soda is an alkaline substance-the opposite of acidic-which means it can help neutralize or lessen the acidity of your urine. If you find yourself resisting the urge to pee because of a burning sensation, baking soda can help ease the discomfort.

You will need…
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-8 ounces of fresh water

Directions
Stir the baking soda into the water until it dissolves, and then drink the whole glass. Do this first thing in the morning. Don’t do this for more than a week, or if you are trying to avoid salt, since baking soda is high in sodium.

4. Enjoy Parsley Water

Aside from the fact that it makes a wonderfully refreshing after dinner drink, parsley water can help relieve a urinary tract infection and speed up the healing process by acting as a diuretic. Diuretics are used to treat a number of problems, and work by increasing the amount of sodium your kidneys excrete in urine. When they excrete sodium, they take water along with it, and the amount of fluid in your blood goes down. Less fluid means less pressure on the arteries, this is why it’s used to treat high blood pressure. In the case of UTI’s we just want to encourage an increased amount of urine to keep flushing out bacteria and relieving discomfort. Parsley is thought to work by inhibiting a Na+-K+ (sodium and potassium) pump. By inhibiting the reabsorption, sodium levels rise. To balance out the concentration, kidneys excrete more sodium in the urine. More sodium means more water which means an overall increased output of urine.

You will need…
-Roughly 1 cup of fresh parsley OR 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
-1-2 cups of water

Directions
Bring water to a boil and add the parsley if you are using fresh-which is preferable in my opinion. Reduce the heat so it simmers steadily and let the leaves infuse the water like this for 6-10 minutes. Strain the leaves out and drink the water hot. If it’s a hot summer day, pop it in the fridge for refreshing parsley “iced tea.”

If you use dried parsley, simply place it in a cup of boiling water, cover, and steep for 8 minutes before straining and drinking.

5. Chew Some Celery Seeds

Celery seeds also act as a diuretic, due mainly to one of the constituents of celery oil, butylphthalide. If parsley water just isn’t your thing, chewing a handful of celery seeds can help increase the production of urine. If you want to get some more fluid, make celery seed water (follow the method for dried parsley.)

You will need…
-A handful of celery seeds

Directions
Once or twice a day, snack on celery seeds right after a meal-it can also help with digestion, so why not? If you do this daily, some anecdotal evidence suggests it can help prevent UTI’s.

6. Mmm Cucumbers

This is an easy one for me-I love cucumbers! I don’t know why, but they’re one of my favorite snacks. While other kids at lunch were busy swapping candy bars, I was eyeing the cucumber slices. Thanks to their high water content, cucumbers are a great way to get to get extra fluid through your system when you find yourself having a hard time drinking enough water.

You will need…
-1 cucumber, sliced

Directions
Rinse and slice a cucumber-enjoy!

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