Dossier: Home remedies

Bladder infections: What can help?

Frequent discomfort when urinating Urge to urinate: with a small amount of urine and cloudy urine, cramps in your abdomen? These symptoms indicate a bladder infection (cystitis). We show you seven home remedies that may help.

Text: Michael Suter; Photo: Unsplash

Intestinal bacteria that find their way into the urinary tract and bladder are the most common cause of bladder infections. Women are more likely to be affected as they have a shorter urethra than men. These tips might help:


The best remedy for cystitis is water. Drink 2 to 3 litres of water throughout the day. This will help to flush the bacteria out of the bladder. If you have heart problems, talk to your doctor about the amount of fluids you should be drinking as too much can put a strain on your heart.

Warm sitz bath

Sit in approx. 36 degree water up to your h ips Add an infusion of common horsetail, chamomile or sage. The warmth will help soothe cramps and ease pain.

Increasing-temperature footbath

Immerse both feet in warm water. Add hot water until the temperature reaches 39 degrees. Enjoy the footbath for 15 minutes, all the time keeping your upper body warm.

Abdominal compress

A warm abdominal compress helps soothe cramps and increase blood flow. Wrap hot potatoes in gauze, place on your stomach - that’s it.

Cider vinegar

Drink lukewarm water mixed with one tablespoon of cider vinegar three times a day. This home remedy is antibacterial and renders bacteria and germs harmless.


Whether dried rosehip, thyme or nettles: these ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties when brewed in tea. Doctors advise against drinking bearberry leaf tea as it can put a strain on the liver.

Horseradish, cress and radishes

The mustard oils found in these plants have a diuretic effect thus helping to flush bacteria out of the bladder. The mustard seed content in prepared teas is quite low, which is why capsules with nasturtium or horseradish are better. They even kill bacteria.


Bacteria love moisture. So avoid wearing tight underwear made of polyester and regular use of panty liners. Empty your bladder after having sex and drink a couple of decilitres of water to flush out any invading bacteria. Avoid spermicides and diaphragms as they can attack the mucous membranes that protect against bacteria. Too frequent or incorrect intimate hygiene can also damage the skin’s protective acid mantle. Instead of using disinfectant and aggressive soaps or intimate sprays, try pH neutral or acidic washing lotions. Protect yourself from the cold and keep your kidneys warm. Eat a balanced diet. This also helps to keep you healthy.

Expert tip

Dr Wolfgang Bühmann, specialist for urology at Medgate

«If, having taken all the above measures, you still experience pain when urinating for longer than three days, you should contact a Medgate doctor or your family doctor.” A doctor’s appointment is also necessary if you experience fever or pain around the ribs.»

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