Search SAFM

Rapid Relief for Urinary Tract Infections (the dreaded UTI)

Help your clients to avoid unnecessary courses of antibiotics!

I recommend a trio of uva ursi, d-mannose, and alkalizing the urine.  D-mannose (a nonabsorbed sugar) is released from the body via urine and releases the bacterial grip on the lining of the urinary tract.  Uva ursi is a potent, herbal antibacterial.  You may learn more about d-mannose here and here.

I find that both D-mannnose and uva ursi are both easy to source at local health food stores or online (e.g. Amazon).  D-mannose at 1000mg, 2x/day to counter an existing infection.  Uva ursi at 2-3x/day, the maximum recommended dose on the supplement label. My favorite brand is Thorne’s “Uristatin”.  Note that uva ursi is not safe for everyone; it is not recommended for children or individuals with liver disease (but still use the d-mannose on its own which is often quite effective!).  For my clients who wrestle with chronic UTIs, I recommend they take 1000mg d-mannose daily as a preventive measure.

The reason I recommend alkalizing the urine (raise its pH) is that uva ursi is believed to be more effective at an alkaline pH.  You can help your clients to improve the acidity of their urine (and maximize the effectiveness of this remedy) by encouraging them to eliminate (at least temporarily) soda, coffee, black tea, cow dairy foods (especially cheese), too much animal protein, and grains.  This means stopping any cranberry juice too (cranberry extract is fine) – a surprising step to many practitioners.  For the same reason, I would avoid Vitamin C supplements if they are in the form of ascorbic acid (of course, plentiful Vitamin C via natural food intake is very welcome).  Cranberry juice can be effective on its own in mild cases but may interfere with maximum effectiveness if the infection progresses and uva ursi needs to be used.

Of course, you also want to make sure your clients are drinking plenty of fresh, clean, plain water to help to flush the infectious microbes from the body throughout treatment.


P.S. If you know that healthcare Must be transformed to be sustainable and effective, and you know in your heart that You have a calling to be a part of this movement for Healthcare transformation, we urge you to learn about our semester program.

If you haven’t done so already, sign up to receive weekly clinical tips like this via email, and you’ll also get automatic access to a free mini clinical course.

Like us on Facebook to get more great clinical tips and to get notifications of my next Facebook Live!

12 Questions for “Rapid Relief for Urinary Tract Infections (the dreaded UTI)”

  1. 6
    Julie Hager says:

    A female 51-yr old client with interstitial cystitis asked me if the D Mannose & Uva Ursi combination for UTI would have any positive effects for IC?
    Her urine cultures are always negative yet she has the typical urinary symptoms of frequency, pain, burning with urination, thus the IC diagnosis. It’s my understanding this combination is used for active urinary tract infections only. I wanted to double-check that in fact with IC the DMannose would be ineffective unless she had a history of E. coli infections to prevent the E. coli from adhering to the bladder wall. She has removed histamine, oxalates and acidic foods, boosted her immune system, addressed mineral and vitamin deficiencies, gut imbalances, working on stress, sleep is ok, waiting on a Dutch test with her Naturopath, her thyroid panel is ok, she’s using Quercetin and histamine block DAO each day, stinging nettle tea, DGL, with no relief of symptoms. She’s desperate and asked me about trying the D Mannose/Uva Ursi combo just to see if helps somehow.

  2. 5
    Christine Vielhauer says:

    Well, Tracy here’s one that I’m not sure you’ve seen before.
    A 23-year-old male had sexual intercourse (no condom) with a new female partner.
    Shortly thereafter he started experiencing some burning while urinating and after 10 days after went to a walk-in clinic and got tested for a UTI and all STD’s.
    As soon as they looked at it, they said they saw some unusual things in there that should not have been there. They asked him if he had just had intercourse before coming there. He said no, it had been about 10 days. When the lab work came back they again explained that he was negative for all STD’s but that the lab work detected Atopobium vaginae and Gardnerella vaginalis. They mentioned maybe his partner had BV but otherwise, they (2 different doctors in the office) couldn’t explain it. They suggested lots of water and probiotics. This has me very curious! Have you ever seen this?

  3. 4

    In one of the studies, you posted the link to I saw that the probiotics given for UTI treatment were: L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, S. thermophilus, B. bifidum, and L. bulgaricus, living cells not less than 2 billion.
    Are the probiotics enough for UTI treatment?

    • 4.1
      SAFM Team says:

      Probiotics on their own have not been shown to be reliably effective for the UTI treatment. They are a helpful addition to other interventions such as those mentioned in the article above. Probiotics can certainly serve as an effective UTI preventive measure for someone who is suffering from recurring UTIs – please see the answer to the questions below in this thread.

  4. 3
    Julie Hager says:

    Potential client, during our consultation I learned that she has a long-lasting embedded infection resulting in urinary symptoms. Microgen testing showed Enterococcus faecalis. The naturopath has tried multiple antimicrobials and biofilm with no relief. I researched Enterococcus and learned it’s resistant to antibiotics and even biofilm disruptors.
    I help women with interstitial cystitis (IC) and I can see that embedded infections with multiple bacteria besides E. coli are common. I had IC for years and through diet, lifestyle, and natural treatments was able to put it in remission. My approach generally treats IC as autoimmune, always address gut, common for IBS, SIBO, Candida root cause among many other factors especially diet/lifestyle choices contributing to IC.
    Can you provide any insight on treating these stubborn long lasting embedded urinary infections that aren’t E. coli and are resistant to treatments and biofilm disruptors?

    • 3.1
      SAFM Team says:

      When faced with such stubborn urinary tract infections (UTIs), the first thing to consider is the strength and ability of the immune system to protect the body against foreign invaders and then also why the body is allowing one pathogen after another. Is there a sympathetic dominance that is suppressing the immune system, if so what is the cause of that. Or, is there a need for immune system nourishment: vit A and D, zinc and B vitamins – is that due to lack of nutrients in the food or due to food digestion and nutrient absorption issues or due to nutrient transport in the tissues.
      Common issues that drive chronic UTIs are:
      – insufficient hydration – as mundane as it sounds so many people struggle with that and it needs to be affirmed, as constant flushing allows for the active removal of pathogens from the bladder. What’s also key here is promoting and maintaining the alkalinity of the urine vs the acidic pH that helps the pathogens to grow. Therefore, if a person drinks plenty of water but is having a hard time with achieving alkaline pH of the urine this may be a great situation when alkaline water can be helpful.
      – low-grade kidney stones that can cause physical damage in the kidneys and directly lead to the ‘revolving door’ of UTIs; this is a comprehensive post that you may be interested to follow up on:
      – practicing sanitary wiping is another one of those ‘mundane’ concepts, but if there is any debilitation or issue with this simple process this can very easily lead to fecal contamination and infection. Interestingly, that’s the most common route of Enterococcus UTI.

      In the vein of solutions, as I said earlier I would focus on addressing the root causes of the immune system weakness and also support the body with creating an alkaline environment and with probiotics. Friendly bacteria can help the body bring better microbial balance in the urinary tract:

  5. 2
    Nathalie. Keane says:

    Tracy, I have a female patient who is 73 and has had repeated E. coli Bladder infections for years. Every time she is being prescribed antibiotics. She has seen multiple specialists to no avail. I have helped her with basics… gut health, hygiene, water, not keeping the urine in the bladder too long, insomnia, food sensitivities, etc.. I read about your recommendation with the D-Mannose and Uristatin. Is this effective as preventative measure? Her PCP suggested to be on a low dose of antibiotics taken daily for 6 months, and of course, I am am not really happy about this. Thank you.

    • 2.1
      SAFM Team says:

      If the infections are chronic, there is likely another factor at play, perhaps with suppressed immunity or non-optimal pH in the urinary tract. I would check to be sure Vitamin D, vitamin A, and RBC zinc are optimal. I imagine you have already considered stress as a potential immunosuppressant and ensured adequate WBC level in basic blood work. Often infections are chronic due to poor clearance because of small kidney stones? Perhaps something to consider in looking at a urinalysis? If she is sexually active, make sure she is urinating after intercourse to help rebalance pH (semen is very alkaline and can promote microbial imbalance). But as you well surmise, the repeated antibiotics (i.e. constant triage) are not doing anything to help her to retain strong microbial balance in the urinary tract. I would definitely 1000mg d-mannose twice daily to help with prevention and also the juice of one full lemon daily squeezed into her glasses of water (the citrate helps to counter the most common – oxalate – stones). The Uristatin includes uva ursi as an herbal antimicrobial, so I don’t recommend this for ongoing, preventive use. But I have seen Uristatin taken at full dose (e.g. 3 caps, 3x daily, for 10-14 days) wipe out many UTIs and bladder infections from e coli *if* it it started immediately upon the first twinges of a brewing, infectious dynamic. Time is of the essence. It could also be that other infectious dynamics in her body are preventing the immune system from focusing fully on the bladder issues (e.g. chronic viral load), or toxicity may also be involved. As you well said, ongoing hydration with plain, clear water is key. I would also avoid all daily black tea intake given its possible role in kidney stones. If d-mannose is not sufficient, I have also had clients add to this twice daily use of Dr. Schulze’s Kidney tincture to prevent recurrence (again, an herbal remedy – just taken in a little water on an empty stomach).

  6. 1
    Jean Sharry says:

    In a previous Q&A about UTIs, you mentioned Gaia Herbs “Urinary Support”. That item has been discontinued. Would you recommend Thorne Research – Uristatin as a replacement?

    • 1.1
      SAFM Team says:

      It depends on the situation. As the Q&A you reference mentions (thanks for the catch on the discontinuation), I most recommend d-mannose for prevention of UTIs or bladder infections (e.g. Pure Encapsulations: ). Taking d-mannose two or three times daily may be able to wipe out a brewing infection too if the response is strong and swift. If symptoms worsen, however, I do definitely recommend going right away to Thorne’s Uristatin – and taking it three times daily for about 10-15 days (again, a strong response is usually necessary to avoid the need for antibiotic drugs). I have recommended this particular Thorne product *many* times with excellent results.

Ask a Question

Practitioner clarification questions are welcome! Please do not post personal case inquiries.