Natural therapeutics for urinary tract infections-a review

Futur J Pharm Sci. 2020;6(1):64. doi: 10.1186/s43094-020-00086-2. Epub 2020 Sep 18.


Background: The recurrence of the urinary tract infections (UTI), following the antibiotic treatments suggests the pathogen's resistance to conventional antibiotics. This calls for the exploration of an alternative therapy.

Main body: The anti-uropathogenic and bactericidal activity of many plant extracts was reported by many researchers, which involves only preliminary antibacterial studies using different basic techniques like disk diffusion, agar well diffusion, or minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the crude plant extracts, but reports on the specific action of the phytoconstituents against uropathogens are limited. Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton (cranberry) is the best-studied home remedy for UTI. Some evidences suggest that proanthocyanins present in cranberry, prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, subsequently blocking the further steps of uropathogenesis. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are beneficial microorganisms that may act by the competitive exclusion principle to defend against infections in the urogenital tracts. Reports on potential vaccine agents and antibodies targeting the different toxins and effecter proteins are still obscure except uropathogenic E. coli.

Conclusion: This review highlights some of the medicinal herbs used by aborigines to prevent or treat acute or chronic urinary tract infections, botanicals with established urobactericidal activity, clinical trials undertaken to compare the efficacy of cranberry products in UTI prevention, and other natural therapeutics reported for UTI.

Keywords: Cranberry; PAC; Proanthocyanins; UPEC; UTI; Urinary tract infections; Uropathogenic Escherichia coli.

Publication types

  • Review