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Herbal aides reverse bladder ailments

Dear Humorous Herbalist,

I have an 8-year-old daughter who has a history of chronic urinary tract infections (UTI). Under the direction of a doctor we have worked on good habits such as voiding regularly, drinking plenty of water, increasing fiber intake and taking a very low dose antibiotic as a preventive measure throughout the past year. We recently stopped taking the antibiotic. Do you have any suggestions for any herbal supplements and the recommended dosage for children?

Karrie (via e-mail)



Dear Karrie,

Herbal therapy works extremely well for urinary tract infections in adults and children.



First, let’s talk about eliminating foods, beverages and bad habits that contribute to the infection and discomfort.

Citrus fruits and citrus juices should be avoided because they encourage bacterial growth. Sugar and soft drinks are terrible for anyone suffering from urinary stress as is chocolate, caffeine and refined or processed foods.

Make sure your daughter wears underwear that is 100 percent cotton with no synthetic fibers. Synthetics do not allow the skin to breathe and can aid in incubating an already chronic problem.

If your daughter enjoys swimming, make sure she does not sit in a wet bathing suit for long periods of time as this also antagonizes the condition.

Bath soap should be as pure as possible. Purchase soap from the health food store that is devoid of scent, chemicals and ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate which is a known skin and urinary irritant.

As for addressing the internal problem, according to medical research, approximately 85 percent of urinary tract infections are caused by E. coli bacteria. In one example, the bacterium can be introduced into the urinary tract when fecal contamination gains access to the bladder by traveling up the urethra.

Addressing the E. coli with antibacterial herbal remedies is a good starting point. The herb tea, pau d’arco, is an excellent immune stimulating beverage that nourishes and repairs a compromised system.

Adding fresh garlic to the diet is another easy and effective remedy because of garlic’s broad-range ability to attack bacteria. Colloidal silver is another great treatment to seriously consider.

Silver fights infection in a big way. Colloidal silver is composed of 99.9 percent pure silver particles that are suspended in pure water. Give your daughter one teaspoon, three times a day for 10 days. It’s virtually tasteless and goes to work immediately on the lingering infection.

To address the urinary tract, teas composed of corn silk, marshmallow root and uva ursi are sure-fire winners. Uva ursi is a mild diuretic and antiseptic that is effective against E. coli. Marshmallow root increases the acidity of urine, inhibiting bacterial growth.

It also helps to strengthen and cleanse the bladder. If there is burning during urination, add the herb buchu to the formula. Drinking two cups of pure, cranberry juice (made from the pure, unsweetened concentrate) is another proven beverage for urinary infections.

Since your daughter has been on low doses of antibiotics for one year, I strongly suggest an acidophilus supplement called “PB-8.” It does NOT have to be refrigerated. Have her take two capsules on an empty stomach in the morning.

I am a great believer in using herbs and natural techniques as supportive therapies while paralleling that treatment with the mental/emotional side of the individual.

Whenever any of us create a physical condition that is considered “chronic,” it is vital to delve into the possible emotional connections that could be antagonizing the physical ailment.

This is not a New Age, “woo-woo” approach to health. We are all susceptible to the stresses of daily life – even an 8-year-old child.

Chronic urinary tract or bladder ailments can be linked to fear and/or repressed anger. While we nourish and support the body with natural therapies, there is no reason why we should not nourish and support the mental body as well and, hopefully, discover the root cause of the condition.

E-mail your questions to The Humorous Herbalist at writer8@sopris.net.

The information in this column is not meant to take the place of your physician, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before using herbal therapy.

Laurel Dewey is extending the special offer on autographed copies of her book “The Humorous Herbalist.” Purchase two books for $10 each (that’s $5 off the regular price) and receive a third book FREE. Send $20 plus $3 postage and handling to The Humorous Herbalist, P.O. Box 1984, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. Include names of the individuals receiving the books and Laurel will personalize the greeting.


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