Many of us have bladder issues. These include overactive bladder, bladder control problems, bladder pain, and changes in urine quality. These health issues can be disconcerting, inconvenient, and even embarrassing. Fortunately, there are natural remedies you can use at home to restore your bladder health to give yourself better health and peace of mind.
As we age, bladder control issues can arise naturally or as a result of illness or other health conditions. Women in particular are at risk of bladder issues including incontinence, given the greater complexity of their urogenital organs--due to the demands of gestation and childbirth. However, bladder issues are not inevitable and can be reversed. Exercises and changes in diet, as well as dietary supplements, can help restore your bladder health.
Natural Cures: Cranberries have always been said to benefit bladder health, and Israeli researchers have confirmed that components of cranberry juice help to flush infectious agents from the bladder. Horsetail, saw palmetto, and cornsilk also are used for bladder issues.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Apple Cider Vinegar
[YEA] 12/02/2009: Pam from Orange County, Ca: "I was awaked from feeling the urge to pee this morning. And later when I went again, I felt the burning sensation and a bit of blood in my urine. I immediately mixed 2 tbsp of organic Apple cider vinegar and 4 oz of water to drink. I also tried dabbing ACV to where I pee for 20 minutes, and the burning sensation subsided when I went again, which was about 30 minutes later, but I saw more blood in my urine. I was worried for a while and thinking if I should go see a doctor instead. But, I continued drinking ACV every hour. Then, by noon I felt normal again. I don't feel the urge to go, no more burning sensation, and no blood in the urine.
I'll continue to drink ACV, 2 tbsp 8 oz of water (I cut down the ACV as I feel better already), for the next couple of days to make sure the infection is completely gone.
Thanks to the Earth Clinic and all the people posting their experiences with the ACV remedy. I'm now pain free. I cannot thank you enough."
"Hematuria: Blood in the urine. Hematuria may or may not be accompanied by pain, but it is always abnormal and should be further investigated. Painful hematuria can be caused by a number of disorders, including infections and stones in the urinary tract. Painless hematuria can also be due to many causes, including cancer."
12/01/2012: Mesem from Manosque, France replies: "Bladder Problem- I thought I had found a good osteo to treat my pelvic problems. I saw the osteo 2X. After the first treatment I wanted to continually urinate during 2 days. Now after a second visit I have symptoms as for an infection;burning and need to urinate often. I am drinking Cider vineger but the problem persists. I don't know what what she did to provoke this and she (osteo) is not at all helpful. Irresponsable practioner! This is rather worrying. Any ideas on what is going on inside me? I guess she has upset the muscles that support the bladder and has induced a pocket where bacteria can multiply."
[YEA] 11/17/2009: Milly from Wales, Uk: "Urinary Problems: Started taking apple cider vinegar after reading of all the health benefits. I really like it with tomato juice. After about a week I noticed that I sleep through the night without needing to get up to visit the bathroom. I am very happy about this and feel far more energetic during the day. Thank you earth clinic!"
Bladder Issue Remedies
06/06/2013: Jade from Oblivion, Ohio: "Good afternoon, I appreciate all the information I have found on your site. I noticed that you reference chronic aspartame and processed foods as causing renal problems. I am a 34 year old woman. For most of my life, I've consumed processed foods, especially diet soda and many other what I thought were healthy diet foods along with sugar.
For the past few years, I have had trouble with urinary frequency and leakage and get recurrent mild UTIs. From my research, I am guessing this is due to my terrible lifestyle habits. I am fortunate that I do not have hypertension or diabetes. Six months ago, I did a complete diet and lifestyle overhaul and started seeing a naturopathic physician. I've cut out all of the diet and processed foods. I don't take any medications, only herbs. I eat an 80% raw diet, juice, and blend. My energy level and thyroid function have improved dramatically, but I am still struggling with my kidneys/bladder. I take probiotics and cranberry supplements. I've tried D-Mannose as well. What would you suggest to repair my kidney and bladder trouble with the suspected cause of food toxins?
Thank you, :)"Replies
06/06/2013: Just Me from Usa replies: "I feel strongly that diet tea sent me over to the dark side of bladder trouble. I had not drank it for very long. I thought I had a bladder infection and heavily dosed myself with cranberry juice which made it worse. I found out I had IC, interstitial cystitis. You may have a similar issue. If so, you need to drop acid foods including green/black tea, coffee, sodas, etc. Go to a medical cite for a list of what you need to eliminate."
06/07/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Any of the forgoing remedies will improve healing. Zinc/Vit-A, Comfrey Leaf (Tea), Omega 3 Fatty Acids like Fish or Flax Oil, Raw Kidney Glandular. Also, 1 grm GABA before retiring will boost Human Growth Hormone levels around 25%. HGH causes the release of IGF (Insulin Growth Factor) which can restore healing powers to youthful levels. There are also natural non-dietary means of boosting HGH in the body; YouTube has many videos showing these methods.
Let us know how you're doing."
09/12/2011: Lucia Luna from Santa Barbara, California: "My husband has recently had a problem with his bladder enlarged which makes it so he has to self-catherize himself 4 times a day. What really bothers him is the the pain he has on his right side. What l have been doing in massaging the area that hurts. Seems to work but what l would like to know is will the castor oil treatment really help?"
[YEA] 12/04/2011: Bill from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: "Chromium Picolinate dramatically helped in my issue of frequent urination. I take 200 mcg 15 minutes before meals (3 meals a day). Hope this helps somebody."Replies
04/20/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "Chromium picolinate helps regulate blood sugar and your bladder was probably trying to balance your system through urine excretion before you started on the supplement
Coconut oil also helps with the regulation of sugar in the body and brain, it helps stabilize the imbalance of sugar that can cause candida problems, usually brought on by fight or flight hormones as a response to stress."
09/19/2012: Anon from Anon: "Make a cup of coffee and put 1/8 teaspoon or so of clove powder in it. If you get a full feeling but can't seem to easily empty the bladder. Seems to open things up. Takes a couple hours to have an effect."Replies
04/26/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash replies: "HELPS.... To get the urine to flow.... Use cranberry or pomegranate juice."
04/27/2013: Kathy from the USA replies: "Potassium "...stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes... Blackstrap Molasses contains more calcium than milk, more iron than many, and more potassium than any food. It is an excellent source of B vitamins." (Nutrition Almanac, Third Edition) When I could not go and read this, I tried a TBS of BSM in a glass of warm water and my flo resumed. This is what worked for me so I try to have some every day. Just remember it is a source of sugar and the B vitamins stimulate your appetite."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/13/2013: Jfrost231 from Hackettstown, New Jersey, United States: "Hello, I have been suffering irritation and burning while I urinate for about a year now. I'm 17, and it started last year when I first got a UTI. I went to the doctor, got antibiotics, (Cipro to be exact) and it went away. Then a couple months later, I had the same problem again, so I thought I would go back to the doctor, which I did, I got Bactrim, and I would be cured. Nope. And ever since I have been trying so desperately to rid myself of whatever it is I have. I have tried apple cider vinegar, which I think made it worse, sea salt water, cranberry pills, kidney bladder health pills, as well as a variety of other pills. I have changed my diet, to only drinking water and pure cranberry juice (which helps). I cut out as much sugar as I can. I am and have been sexually active since it started, but my partner and I have used all the necessary precautions to avoid something like this happening in the first place. Now recently, I was told by this amazing indian lady who runs a health food store in my town told me to take D-Mannose for a few month, I have been on D-Mannose for three months, from November to February. But I stopped because the three months was up, and I was feeling awesome that entire time little to no pain at all. If there was any irritation, it was so small that it didn't even bother me. I know for a fact that my problem has nothing to do with my bladder or kidneys, it is all urethra. But recently, this past week, I have been drinking this detox tea, it is supposes to rid the body of your toxins and it is obviously released through waste. I have been in such awful pain with urination. So I am wondering, is it the tea that is irritating my urethra? Are the toxins being released from my body making me have burning and irritation while I urinate? I only started drinking this tea this week. I want to continue taking the D-Mannose, but I don't know if it will be harmful for my body. Am I allowed to take D-Mannose as a daily supplement? is it safe? It was helping me so much and it sucks that the joy ends. I need opinions, I need answers. I am stopping the tea, but if it continues, I don't know what to do. I'm considering going to a urologist. Help!"Replies
03/14/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Jfrost231: Since you are not responding well to multiple forms of treatment, you might have a parasite infestation; in particular the bladder fluke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schistosoma_haematobium"
04/20/2013: Joy from Battleground , Wash replies: "Creams and condoms and other vaginal products can cause an allergic response. Using the pill can change your system to have bladder and vaginal problems if you are on one that is not right for you
The estrogen in the pill can cause a blood sugar problem and weight gain.
Also women must always wipe from front to back."
04/03/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash: "Some fitness instructors develop bladder leaks and pelvic floor issues because they don't relax the muscles enough between the tensions for muscle building, causing muscle failure.
Some children have too much tension leading to bowel or bladder control failure and need bio feedback to get beyond the stress of tensing muscles and overloading them."
04/19/2013: Joy from Battleground, Wash: "Just been reading to find some answers and found a site that talked about MALIC ACID in apple juice and apple cider irritating the bladder and weakening the system supporting it.
They also talked about absorption problems causing vitamin and mineral deficiencies and how they cause hormone imbalance and how the hormone imbalance affects the muscles that hold the bladder in place.
They said APPLES DO NOT CAUSE THIS PROBLEM and encourage eating apples."
[YEA] 07/19/2010: Jimmy from Citrus Springs, Fl, United States: "REMEDY FOR URINATION WHEN ON TRIP
My elderly great aunt would go to the spice cabinet before going for a ride or shopping where she would be gone for several hours. One time while waiting for her at age 92, I asked her why she went to the spice cabinet all the time when we had to take her someplace she said "I will not have to go to anyone's bathroom anywhere to urinate." She took a half a teaspoon of nutmeg and put in her left hand PALM and lick all of it then drink a small amount of water and that would take care of any urge.
I asked her where she learned that and she said from my grandmother as when she was young they would sell eggs from the horse cart and didn't want to stop for that anywhere. I witnessed that when taking her ANY PLACE THAT SHE NEVER HAD TO GO USE A BATHROOM ANYWHERE. I would say it worked very well for her as she was a very modest lady and never wanted to bother anyone."Replies
10/21/2010: Su from Durban, Kzn, South Africa replies: "Is this safe to do everyday? I usually go to the bathroom 8 times a day, wanting to reduce it to at least 4 times a day ( I drink 1.5litres of water and 300ml of tea everyday) 27 years old. Thanks"
05/03/2013: Cheryl from Stearns, Ky: "I am looking for a herbal cure for protein in urine. I know there is a cure but doctors don't want you to know about it. I am sick of their meds. They make things worse sometimes."Replies
05/04/2013: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Cheryl: Proteinuria is often a sign of Liver problems. And Liver problems are also, many times, a result of Gallstones.
Here's the E. C. Liver Problem page: http://earthclinic.com/CURES/liver_damage.html
Also be very careful with any pharmaceutical meds that are known hepatoxic; Acetaminophen is a common toxic drug."
05/04/2013: Lloyd from Charlotte, Nc replies: "Relative to "protein in urine" problem... Are you speaaking of increased creatine levels which are evidence of kidney failure? In that case, creatine is merely a marker to the back up of toxic material in the system and is demonstrating the severity of the kidney failure. I'm thinking that maybe you are refering to some other issue. If so could you be more specific on what proteins you are speaking of and the medical diagnosis by the doctors you are refering to. And symptoms you are having."
02/04/2013: Atul from Sterling, Tx: "My husband, 43 yrs. old, takes medicines for cholesterol with a low dose, has to get up every night while in the middle of his sleep to use the restroom for urination, thereafter looses his sleep after that. He's been experiencing this problem for almost 3-4 months now and wouldn't know how to help this. He's been on medication for a year now. Don't know what could it be due to? Any suggestions please?"Replies
05/01/2013: Molly from Corte Madera, Ca replies: "Sorry to hear about this. I used to get up one or two times a night and thought this was totally normal as this was the case with family members and Oprah :). I later had terrible insomnia that I treated first with drugs but later cured with diet and a temporary supplement to regulate my cortisol levels in the evening. I went off sugar first, then gluten, then dairy. I discovered I no longer needed any of the meds I was taking (one for sleep, one for the side effects from the first - depression). Amazingly to me, I have never had to get up at night to urinate since. I don't know if your husband's meds could be effecting his hormones (I now know my problem was a hormone imbalance), but trying an elimination diet or adjusting his medication might be something to explore. Speaking with a naturopath might also help as you search for an answer. It seems like daily ACV, oil pulling, and/or eating naturally fermented, live foods like sauerkraut might be other things to try just to increase immunity and strengthen his system in general by countering or flushing out toxins. Good luck! Hope you both are sleeping better soon :)"
11/15/2012: Jfrost231 from Hackettstown, New Jersey, United States: "It has been a year that I have been living with constant discomfort irritation near the end and after urination. My first UTI was last year, I took the antibiotic Cipro and I was fine after that. But a month later, I thought I had gotten another one and I took another antibiotic for that but a different one. Though, my pain and irritation has not completely gone away since. I have tried so many different natural remedies as well, for about 6 weeks, I took apple cider vinegar religiously while drinking nothing but water and sugar free cranberry juice. That didn't work, then I took cranberry supplements and increased vitamin c intake while still taking Apple Cider Vinegar and cranberry juice... Didn't work. Then I went to a health food store and got Kidney Bladder remedy that has juniper, parsley, ginger, uva ursi, marshmallow root, cramp bark, and goldenseal root as directed. Still. Didnt. Work.
Then I went to the doctor and he had me checked and put me on a antibiotic before the tests results got back to him, and I didnt have an infection to begin with. It's not my bladder that I ever feel pain with, I dont really even know what it is. I just have adjusted to a certain amount of discomfort and irritation I feel daily, but sometimes it feels a lot worse like it does now. I am sexually active, my doctor told me to start using condoms along with the birth control I already use, I did, but that only make it worse. I now pee everytime after sex and often use lubricant, but I still have the little discomfort and irritation near the end of my stream and after urination. So what could it be? What are the possibilities? And what should I do? I just don't know what to do... My mom thinks I should see an OBGYN, and if they can't figure it out, a urologist. But I hope I don't have to see a urologist... I hope that its not that severe, but then again. I just dont know. I need some insight based on professional or a large amount of experience. Thank you."Replies
11/16/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Jfrost231: First, I read somewhere that taking Vit-C together with Cranberry Juice or Uva Ursi substantially downgrades the medicinal effect of both. Taking these at different times, on-the-other-hand may prove most beneficial.
Second, like so many illnesses that seem to have no remedy, one must investigate the Cause & Effect relationship by the method of logical deduction. I speak from a general knowledge that your Kidney/Bladder problems are an end-stage (effect) and the cause doesn't appear to be an infectious disease or organism, and your valiant and recommended attempts at correcting or strengthening have also failed. So, something is continuously stressing your Kidneys/Bladder. Finding exactly what, will be difficult, but a whole-body detox program is definitely your first move. Check out the Detoxification section here on E. C. And begin incorporating some of these remedies. You will find some of my post stressing also the purification of exterior environments which includes air, food, and water (must stop any continuous source). Heavy Metals, Zenobiotics, and Parasites are your target nuances. In the presence of either one of the first two formentioned, the ability of the little Liver Fluke (and it's 4 stages) can reproduce without check as the immune & detox systems can't kill them. This means the bloodstream can be flooded with thousands of these tiny parasites which would explain the stress that the K/B is under.
Thirdly, any kind of Liver disorder or disease can stress the kidneys, so tweek for any Liver/Gallbladder problems."
11/20/2012: Jfrost231 from Hackettstown, New Jersey, United States replies: "So you think I should try just one of those things for an extended period of time? I will try that, but my mother who is a nurse told me that I could use a yeast cleansing, not that I have a yeast infection, but yeast can cause a lot of predicaments and ailments to the body. If your idea doesn't work... What should I use for a yeast cleansing? My diet for the past few years have consisted of mostly foods containing yeast. The past few week I have cut sugar out for the most part, i've been only drinking water, and I'm still in pain. I just really dont know what to do. But I will try what you say. If that doesnt work, I really dont know."
11/20/2012: Gloria from Portland, Or replies: "I have had a similar bladder issue. What finally worked for me was taking lots of Turkey Tail Mushroom herb in capsule form. I took/still take sometimes 6 capsules 3 x per day. Got them online. Also - getting lots of sleep (early to bed) and completely cutting out sugar helped tremendously. The symptoms will return now if I eat any sugar at all (feeds the yeast, for one thing). I have had no symptoms of yeast infection during this whole time, just bladder irritation as you have been experiencing. Hope this helps. Lots of luck! The Turkey Tail is a great immune system support and stimulator, no side effects."
11/20/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Jfrost2231, I would highly suggest you try Chinese medicine. My daughter has this same issue but it flares when she eats any kind of sweet. The remedies from the health food store don't really seem to resolve it but, when we take her to our Chinese herbalist, the herb formulas work immediately. If you can find a Traditional Chinese medicine Dr.or herbalist, I am absolutely certain they can help you. Still, the cranberry juice won't hurt! And cutting out all sugar and yeast for now will help too. I wish you the best. Lisa"
11/21/2012: Tammy from Eugene, Oregon replies: "Sounds like my problem. I was diagnosed with inersticial cystitis which is cronically inflamed bladder. Recommended diet is to get off of anything that is acidic. Some things can be added back later to see if it is a known irritant for you. Each of us is different. I can now use tomatoes but not green or black tea and no citrus. Cranberry juice is a big nono. Sugar and simple carbs make us acidic so they need to go. I have gluten issues and anything with gluten in it also irritates IC. Coffee is off the list as well as chocolate. Look IC up on line and you will find a list of foods to stay off of."
11/29/2012: Hannah from Paris, France replies: "Mmmm, I was going to say the same thing Tammy. Sounds like Interstitial-Cystitis to me... I'm also a victim. Find a good doctor who knows what Interstitial-Cystitis is and has experience treating it! I think that's the most important. Get her/his opinion, and then work from there. If it is IC, you might be overwhelmed at first, so for me it's been important finding a doctor I can trust! I hear virgin coconut oil is a good natural lubricant... Maybe try that for sex? I've been using it to relieve burning... it has a nice cooling effect.
If it's IC, know that everyone's body is different, so don't freak out if you see the foods that you can't eat at first, you might be able to tolerate certain foods that others can't... Experiment... But carefully :) I find that ACV PLUS baking soda helps as well. I take 1tsp ACV to 1/2 tsp of baking soda... I have looked on the other pages here and a larger amount of ACV is recommended, but I have a very sensitive body, and I find the ACV constipates, and constipation just puts more pressure on the bladder which makes the whole cycle worse!
Hope this is somewhat helpful...Good luck!"
08/22/2012: Angie from Concord, Nc: "I have been diagnosed with bladder prolapse and fibroids. My doctor wants to do a partial hysterectomy and fix my bladder with a biological sling.The pressure and achy feeling is terrible. Are there any ladies out there who had this surgery and how did it go?"Replies
08/23/2012: Hashiaussie from Melbourne replies: "I have just be diagnosed with a cystocele (see this website) at age 53 and first steps from my doctor are - over the counter prescribed oestrogen cream as an intravaginal dose every night for two weeks and then twice a week after that. At the same time I am to start work with a specialist physiotherapist to strenthen the existing sling and then, and only then a look at surgery (doctor says highly unlikely and very undesirable). To counteract possible fibroids causing the urinary prolapse, I will have some further internal checks but I am inclined to take the Blackstrap Molasses path to reduce their size in the meantime(also on this website). I also have achy heavy feeling and am having non-sweetened cranberry juice morning and night to stave off urinary infections as well as increased vitamin D and kidney herbal tea. I have been off gluten for years which massively cuts down any bloating and a lot of what would be painful pressure. Good luck"
05/07/2012: Myt1 from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, U.s.a.: "My mom has this question: I have diverticulitis which can be helped by taking GPS extract But, my sigmoid colon has penetrated my bladder wall causing me to have bladder, urinary infections for last 6 mos. If I take the liquid Grapeseed Extract - will it help the bladder, too or do I really need to have bladder wall repair surgery?
Please help if you can, thank-you in advance. : )"