Natural approaches to prevention and treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract

Altern Med Rev. 2008 Sep;13(3):227-44.


Infections of the lower urinary tract are common occurrences in young women, during pregnancy, and in peri- and postmenopausal women. Because of the chronic nature of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and the potential for antibiotic resistance, a natural approach to prevention and treatment is desirable. Clinical research suggests the best natural options for long-term prevention include cranberry, mannose, and probiotics. Botanicals that can be effective at the first sign of an infection and for short-term prophylaxis include berberine and uva ursi. Estriol cream and vitamins A and C have also been shown to prevent UTIs, while potassium salts can alkalinize the urine and reduce dysuria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beverages
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Urethral Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Urethral Diseases / etiology
  • Urethral Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / prevention & control
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control


  • Plant Extracts