Thursday, November 17, 2011
We think of urine as being unsanitary, but the truth is that urine is sterile, that is, free of bacteria. In order to get a bacterial infection in the bladder or urethra, bacteria have to enter the urethra and travel upwards into the urinary system. Women are five times more prone to UTIs than men because they have much shorter urethra.
UTIs usually involve bacteria from the colon such E. coli and are typically treated medically with antibiotics. Unfortunately, frequent use of antibiotics disrupts the friendly bacteria in the colon, contributing to yeast overgrowth. This can weaken the immune system and make one more prone to future UTIs.
JP-X is a diuretic formula that also contains herbs to fight urinary tract infections. It can be used for UTIs, bladder infections, edema, cystitis and urethritis. Here are the herbs it uses to support urinary tract health.
Dong Quai Root
The sweet, warming dong quai plant is grown in China and Japan and is a part of Chinese Traditional Medicine. It is used as a blood tonic, sedative, antispasmodic, circulatory stimulant and uterine tonic. It enhances blood flow to the pelvic region.
Juniper berries, which are actually miniature female cones of juniper trees or shrubs, were used by Zuni women (native people of America’s past) to aid in uterine recovery after birth. Employed externally as an antiseptic, the aromatic oil of this plant acts as a diuretic when ingested. An infusion of juniper-berries is a traditional treatment for encouraging the start of menstruation, reducing inflammation related to arthritis, and for stimulating and strengthening the urogenital organs. Excessive dosages of juniper tend to irritate or inflame the urinary system and are not recommended for children under two years of age. Juniper is also not a good choice when the kidneys are inflamed or when their is pain and burning in the urinary passages.
Parsley has a rich history of symbolic and medicinal use in western culture. This common table garnish has long been recognized as a mild diuretic. Parsley contains an essential oil that stimulates urination (much like juniper), but it is also a rich source of sodium and potassium, mineral electrolytes used by the kidneys (and other cells) to regulate water and energy flow. Most diuretic drugs deplete the body of potassium, but parsley supports the kidneys by supplementing the body with extra potassium.
The leathery leaves of this plant were used by Native Americans as a urinary tract remedy. Uva ursi is not only a strong diuretic, it is also a urinary tract disinfectant. It contains up to 17% hydroquinones like arbutin, which have a disinfectant action on the urinary tract. It is one of the best remedies for urinary tract infections (UTIs), but is not a good choice if the kidneys are infected at the same time. Uva ursi works best when the urine is alkaline, so drink lots of water and avoid heavy acid forming foods like meat and grain when using it for UTIs. The astringent nature of uva ursi also makes it helpful for urinary incontinence.
This common kitchen spice has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. It stimulates digestion and enhance circulation in the pelvis. It is also anti-inflammatory.
Unlike the puffy treats you put in your hot chocolate, marshmallow root is used for medicinal purposes. It contains mucilage, a water soluble fiber, that soothes irritated mucus membranes. Marshmallow root is soothing to inflammation in the digestive tract, lungs and urinary passages. It is a good remedy for burning or scalding urination, and helps to fight UTIs.
Golden Seal Root Extract
A plant native to North America, goldenseal contains berberine and hydrastine, two isoquinoline alkaloids that tone mucus membranes and help to fight infections in the digestive tract, respiratory passages and urinary tract.
For UTIs or edema take two capsules three times daily with one to two large glasses of water. It is very important to drink extra water when taking an herbal diuretic. This formula is more soothing than Kidney Activator and is better suited to treating UTIs, but it is still irritating to the kidneys and should not be used when the kidneys themselves are inflamed.
Because it contains goldenseal, which stimulates the uterus, pregnant or lactating women should consult their health care professional before using JP-X.
The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products by Tree of Light Publishing
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier
The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody