The kidneys are major organs of elimination. They work in conjunction with the Liver, the Lungs, the Skin and the Bowels to help insure a clean internal environment. The body disposes of excess water, toxic waste products of metabolism, and inorganic salts in the form of urine. Because of their excretory function, the kidneys are also largely responsible for the maintenance of water balance of the body and the PH of the blood.
The importance of the Urinary System can-not be over stated. The various functions fulfilled by the kidneys and associated structures show how fundamental to body health and well-being they are. The maintenance of homeostasis is pivotal to any experience of wellness. With a variety of herbal diuretics in our herbal dispensaries, the medical herbalist is uniquely endowed by nature with the means to support and strengthen the complexed physiology that maintains healthy kidneys and water balance in the body.
Infection of the urinary bladder, which is also known as cystitis, takes place when bacteria, usually from sources other than the body, invade the urinary tract and contaminate the bladder as well as urethra. In fact, infection of the bladder is more widespread among women. In such conditions, trickling urination is frequent and despite draining the bladder the patient does not always feel relieved and the urge to urinate remains. The beginning of the infection may either be sluggish or occur all of a sudden and it results in the cramping pains that deepen the suffering. In addition, the contagion may also be gentle accompanied with symptoms of irritation of the bladder while passing urine with no accompanying pain. Since infections of the kidneys owing to untreated infections of the bladder are common, it is advisable that you ask for professional health care provided the pain is acute or if the contagion does not respond to general treatment. The other signs that need to be treated with seriousness include fever, lower-back aches or passing urine with blood.
Chronic inflammation of the bladder in the absence of any contagion is known as interstitial inflammation since the pain as well as the swelling take place between the tissues and never on the urinary bladder walls. However, when there is an infection, the pain and swelling occurs on the bladder walls. The first type of inflammation is especially bothersome to diagnose as well as treat as the results of laboratory examinations mostly negative, since there an absence of bacteria and, hence, even the use of antibiotics are of no use. The major symptoms of this kind of inflammation of the urinary bladder are comparable to the other infections of the bladder, but there is a difference. In the second case, the process is likely to be persistent and recurring.
It may be mentioned here that infections of the urinary bladder mostly occur due to bacteria that result in an inflammation of the internal lining of the bladder. In the case of women, the urethra is short and very near to the anus as well as the vagina and, hence, bacteria are able to get into the bladder without much difficulty. E. coli is known to be useful for the lower bowels, but becomes perilous when it invades the urinary organs. In fact, E. coli is the most widespread or frequent bacterial reason for developing infections of the urinary bladder. It is important to note that the hygiene of the genitals is vital for women, who are inclined to or suffer from chronic or recurrent urinary bladder contagions.
Apart from women, men are also susceptible to infections of the bladder owing to chill or probably problems related to the prostate. In effect, use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, strain and inferior or inappropriate diet all add to worsen the potency of immune system and often produce a propensity for frequent bladder infections. In addition, a number of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) also result in symptoms that are comparable to the symptoms of infections of the bladder.
Interstitial cystitis is basically a chronic health condition attributable to inflammation of the gap between the lining of the urinary bladder and the muscle of the bladder. The reasons for developing interstitial cystitis are various, but generally there is no presence of bacteria in the urinary bladders of patients suffering from chronic cystitis and, hence, use of antibiotics proves to be ineffective in this case. On the contrary, the more widespread infection of the urinary bladder is attributable to bacteria having their origin in the large bowel. Hence, it is imperative to get a urine culture done with a view to conclude whether bacteria are present prior to beginning treatment with antibiotics. It is possible that bacteria may possibly per-sensitize the urinary bladder with the intention that a variety of factors, including specific foods, medications, viruses, hormones, and also exposure to dampness and cold drafts, will commence the process of the chronic ailment.
It may be noted that interstitial cystitis is a progressive aliment that may possibly differ in relentlessness from minuscule ulcers to a totally disfigured bladder. In addition, interstitial cystitis is an ailment that is brought about by the environment and it often reacts to diet as well as changes in one’s lifestyle.
If you are treating interstitial inflammation, stay away from using vitamin C on a regular basis owing to its elevated acidic levels. Instead of vitamin C, you may use calcium ascorbate, which is actually vitamin C bulwarked with calcium. Calcium ascorbate possesses the powers of vitamin C that reinforce the immune system, but devoid of the acidity of vitamin C.
It is advisable that you take vitamin A and vitamin E especially if you are treating recurring bladder infections. Vitamin E helps to augment the supply of oxygen to the cells and, at the same time, puts off scarring that may occasionally become rather acute with the frequent exasperation of interstitial bladder inflammation. Similarly, vitamin A and beta-carotene are indispensible to maintain the mucus membranes that form the internal lining of the walls of the urinary bladder. In addition, they also promote the functioning of the immune system. You also ought to add zinc for a more robust immune system.
Garlic capsules are also very effective in treating infections of the urinary bladder. They work in the form of a natural antibacterial agent. In addition, acidophilus cultures facilitate in putting off bladder contagions associated with Candida and ought to be included in your diet when you take antibiotics. In case the infections are of chronic and recurring nature, taking green-food supplements as well as drinks, particularly chlorella, blue-green algae and spirulina, encourages renewal of the cells.
Drinking herbal teas also help to clear infections and, at the same time, heal the urinary tract. Add one teaspoonful of the herbs to one cup (250 ml) of boiling water and infuse them for about 15 minutes, subsequently filter the liquid and drink one cup of the tea thrice every day.
The are many herbs for which a herbalist can choose for treating kidney problems but the choice will depend on presenting symptoms and under lying cause. Each herbalist will have their favourite herbs to act as gentle tonic for the urinary tract and may include Cleavers, Couch Grass, Cornsilk or Yarrow to name but a few.
In the urinary system the emphasis is on nourishing the tissue and helping to support the normal functioning of the various organs and tissue involved. Stronger diuretic like Dandelion, would not be included in a list of gentle tonic herbs.
Using the herb horsetail augments urine flow by about 30 per cent and also reinforces the supple tissues of the walls of the urinary bladder. To treat persistent bladder infections, you should use a mixture comprising equal portions of bearberry leaves and chamomile flowers. Even dandelion leaves and roots, lemon balm, stinging nettle leaves and roots, birch leaves, yarrow, parsley or rose hips may be taken separately for relief from the symptoms of bladder infections. All these herbs are effective in clearing up the infections.
A favourite Herbal Tea Blend that we make in the clinic and that we have found very effective is a blend of Parsley, Goldenrod, Marshmallow and Horsetail.
Also drinking plenty of water is essential to kidney good health.
If you suffer with kidney infections and would like to know more, ring the clinic on 085-2157479
Medical Herbalism. David Hoffmann