UTIs (urinary tract infections) are horrible, and they are also very scary to experience. I have researched extensively and have found so many herbal remedies and cures that it is crazy. The issue is that there is so much information out there, that it can be hard to decide what to actually do.
I just knew for me that I was going to try everything I could to cure my UTI, without using a doctor prescribed antibiotic. I still went to the doctor, got tested, and had antibiotics ready just in case I couldn’t do it or in case my situation got worse, but I was determined to research all I could to figure this out a more natural way.
I am not saying that others should do the same, I am only saying that this was my path and choice. I personally believe that antibiotics CAN be very effective for many people, but for some people it is not enough or might not be wanted. I see many people take antibiotics over and over again for the same UTI infection (sometimes for years!) It is absolutely heartbreaking. But I believe there is so much that we can do in order to heal our body and get it back into balance.
First off, I would like to mention that I have taken antibiotics in the past for UTIs. I have taken Bactrim and Cipro. Bactrim was fine and for me effective, however Cipro almost killed me and still affects my health years later (even after only taking a partial dose).
Ever since, I have antibiotic PTSD, and so far I have still been able to heal UTIs and other infections without them.
Goldenseal, in all actuality, is still an antibiotic (albeit an herbal antibiotic). Many placed advise that it only be used for 5-10 days at a time, however I have seen some people stay on it indefinitely and take it as a daily supplement. I don’t personally think it is good long-term, however I do find it very helpful in healing a UTI.
What is Goldenseal and How Can it Help Heal a UTI?
Goldenseal, is a native North American woodland plant. It has been harvested for its medicinal qualities for centuries. Goldenseal’s main active chemical components are Hydrastine, Berberine and Canadine. Cherokee Indians used Goldenseal root as a cancer treatment, as well as an antiseptic. Iroquois Indians used it to heal whooping cough, diarrhea, liver problems, pneumonia and digestive disorders.
According to Healthline:
“Goldenseal is a common herbal remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections. Cell studies suggest that berberine, one of the main active compounds in goldenseal, may protect your body against various bacteria and fungi. For instance, berberine may stop bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder, potentially preventing or helping treat a UTI. Berberine is also believed to keep Candida albicans, a fungus that’s naturally present in the human body, from multiplying in excess.”
Even Webmd.com recognizes goldenseal as an effective UTI treatment:
“Goldenseal is also used for the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections, as well as stuffy nose and hay fever. Some people use goldenseal for digestive disorders including stomach pain and swelling (gastritis), peptic ulcers, colitis, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, and intestinal gas. Goldenseal is used for urinary tract infections (UTIs), internal bleeding, bleeding after childbirth, liver disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), jaundice, gonorrhea, fever, pneumonia, malaria, whooping cough, and an eating disorder called anorexia.”
I first used Goldenseal in 2020 to treat a UTI. I was in a natural food store and spoke to an older man named Alden, who worked there and who had been doing herbal medicine for many years. He suggested goldenseal to me. He recommended that the first day I take 3 pills 3x a day, then move it down to 2 pills 3x a day. Though he was confident in the amounts, I am always hesitant trying new supplements or herbs. I did a lot of research and what I determined was safe was a maximum of 3000 mg per day (of course please use your own judgment and do your own research, but I will share why I came to this conclusion shortly).
I did however, in desperation, still try 3 pills (about 500 mg per pill) 3 times daily that first day, because he spoke with such conviction and I was suffering so badly. I did not notice any ill effects, and later I did happen to have blood tests and even a CT scan for another issue, and all my organs looked fine. That is about all I can say about that dosage (about 4500 mg a day).
What I did find was a safe dosage outlined by rxlist.com:
Dried Root/Rhizome/Tea: 0.5-1 g orally three times daily
Liquid Extract: 0.3-1.0 ml orally three times daily; 1:1, 60% ethanol
Tincture: 2-4 ml orally three times daily; 1:10, 60% ethanol”
I was taking the pill form (AKA: dried root) so 0.5-1 g (or 500-1000 mg) 3 times daily was considered safe. I therefore consider 3000 mg a safe upper dosage (for myself) for this reason. If you choose to take goldenseal, please research it a little yourself (benefits/side effects/reviews online/etc.)
During my research I found AMAZING reviews in many sources: Amazon products with Goldenseal, Drugs.com reviews, Webmd.com reviews, etc.
Here is one example:
“It started out as a kidney infection, then turned into a bladder infection. Plus I was having liver pain. I was in bad shape. Took goldenseal (root) for 7 days. It cleared up all my infections plus my liver is not hurting anymore. WOW!!!”
All I can say is that I believe Goldenseal was a big component of what healed my UTI. Here is what I did my most recent time I healed a UTI:
~8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm – 2000mg pure D-mannose, 2 capsules goldenseal (Solaray or Nature’s way), 40 drops Olive leaf extract (Gaia herbs), 7-15 drops (¼ to ½ serving) uva ursi drops (Natural food store brand, amount per 30 drop serving is 333 mg herb weight), water, Vitamin C 250mg (Ester C brand, as it is not acidic). NOTE: During 12pm and 4pm I only took 1 capsule or about 500 mg goldenseal.
~10am & 10pm – 2 to 3 capsules Garden of Life Urinary Plus Probiotic (50-75 billion strains), 2000 mg pure d-mannose, water, Vitamin C 250 mg.
I followed a very special diet, which I plan to write an article on later, but basically it was a diet that had: no added sugar, it was low in starchy foods, the only fruit I ate was lemons, cranberries, and blueberries, I ate a lot more veggies, easy to digest meats/fish, no spicy food, and no tomatoes. I sort of blended a candida diet with an interstitial cystitis diet (see source 6 for IC diet info and source 7 for candida diet info). I created a UTI tea recipe as well that I found to be supportive and helpful.
After symptoms faded and my bi-daily urine tests I did came out clean, I cut all supplements (except probiotics) in half and continued them for 5 days. I then continued to take probiotics and d-mannose together for another week, and then I aim to take probiotics at 25-50 billion strains for 6 months. Why so long?
“Just one short 5-7-10 day course of antibiotics can kill billions of gut microbes and disrupt the normal balance in your intestinal tract for months or even years.”
Your gut bacteria is part of what helps you prevent a future UTI, not to mention it is also responsible for your overall immune system, digestion, and so much more. Many people who are susceptible to UTIs are often those who have leaky gut.
Anyway, I wish you all the very best on your journey to better health. I hope this information was helpful to you in some way. Please do your own research though before adding supplements. Also, goldenseal is not supposed to be taken when pregnant or nursing. Please ask your doctor first about taking new supplements. If they are not familiar, many doctors use Drugs.com as a research tool for supplements. I have even had a phone appointment with a doctor who once looked up information about a supplement and read information directly off the Drugs.com website to me and told me where to find the information.
Also, please listen to your body. A UTI is a very serious thing and can lead to kidney infections, sepsis, or even death. Not once during my UTI did I have a fever. I also went to the doctor 3 times, had my urine tested each time, and asked them about possible kidney infections. They all said my UTI was an “uncomplicated” one and they were not worried about it being a kidney infection. I watched my symptoms carefully and did urine tests myself often to keep an eye on it. Always be careful when treating a UTI and don’t be afraid to go to the emergency room when it is needed. I am sharing this information in hopes that it will help you in some way, but please use your best judgement always.
Take care and I wish you the best!
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