Three Herbs for Cystitis

Herbalists know that not everyone with cystitis needs antibiotics or other prescription medication. There have been herbal remedies for centuries in Europe; a culture far more accepting of nontraditional medicinal methods than the US. Below are three herbs designed for cystitis relief.

Corn silk (Zae mays)

Corn silk is also known as corn, Indian corn, maize jagnog, Turkish corn, and yu mi xu. It has been used to treat urinary tract syndromes because of its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. The supplement is produced from the female flower stamen (picked before full bloom) and fine soft silks about 4-8 inches long. It is a good aid to treating the pain of any inflamed/irritated mucous surfaces.

Combining corn silk with couchgrass, bearberry or even yarrow is good for treating cystitis. You may need to experiment to see what works for you. Corn silk is used as a remedy for cystitis, stones, bladder irritation, edema, and gonorrhea. Its herbal medicinal qualities are diuretic, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, tonic, anodyne, alterative, and lithotriptic. It is really a “soother”.

To make an infusion, pour a cup of boiling water on 2 teaspoonfuls of dried corn silk. Leave this mixture to steep for 10-15 minutes. The tea, when used as a medicinal, should be taken three times a day. As a tincture, take 3-6 ml of it three times a day.

Marshmallow Root (Althea officinalis)

A hardy perennial that grows up to 4 feet tall, althea officinalis has white or pink flowers that bloom in late summer. It is generally found in damp salty places. Known simply as “mallow”, it is used as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, mucilaginous, emollient and one of the most effective demulcents. Mallow flowers, leaves, syrup and roots are used in herbal pharmacology and most supplements use the dried root and leaves. The roots of the marshmallow have been used medicinally for the digestive tract for the relief of local irritation, bladder infections, and an immune system stimulant. The leaves are used for the urinary tract, lungs, cystitis relief, urethritis, respiratory infections, and coughs. The roots are very rich in mucilage and can get gummy when they are wet, making it good to protect and coat the gastrointestinal tract.

Mallow can be bought as a tea, powder, extract, capsules or tablets. The normal dosage is 1-4ml of tincture three times a day.

Pipsissewa (Chimaphila Umbellata)

An evergreen shrub native to woody areas, pipsissewa has been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat fevers and to induce sweating. Primarily it is the leaves, twigs and flowers that make up the herbal remedies. It makes a good disinfectant for the urinary tract and herbalist use this plant specifically for that. The plant contains hydroquinones which is why the plant makes a good disinfectant and antimicrobial, but not good for any long term treatment usage. This herbal may interfere with birth control pills due to the phytoestrogenic properties, so talk to your doctor before taking this or any herb remedy. This can be found in tincture, extract, tablet, and tea form.

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