Case Studies: Cure Bladder Infections with Herbs

Patients try an herbal blend to help with bladder pains.

| January/February 1999

From time to time, certain diseases become “popular” among my patients. A few months ago, several patients came to my clinic about sore knees. Soon after, several came in with toenail fungus, then athlete’s foot. Last week, the “star” condition was bladder infection.

Elizabeth, a woman in her late twenties, was one of the afflicted. She walked gingerly into the treatment room and began to describe her symptoms: painful and frequent urination, pressure in the lower pelvic region, and the feeling that she needed to urinate even when her bladder was nearly empty. She was particularly upset because she was training for a running event scheduled the following week.

“You can’t believe what it’s like running on pavement with a bladder infection until you’ve tried it,” Elizabeth said.

She considered taking antibiotics until she saw several newspaper articles about “superbugs,” bacteria that even modern antibiotics can’t touch, possibly because of the overuse of antibiotics during the last twenty-five years. She also read about research showing that some symptoms last longer when treated with antibiotics. But her friend Helen had just gotten over a bladder infection with the help of herbs, so Elizabeth decided to try them herself. I assured her that herbs, along with dietary and lifestyle adjustments, could quickly bring her infection under control.

Traditional Thought

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), two types of body conditions, or conformations, commonly cause bladder infections—the “weak” conformation and the “excess” conformation. In other words, bladder infections occur in two types of people: those who are weak and run down and those who, in spite of being robust, have accumulated excessive toxic wastes and dampness and whose systems are overstimulated. The two types are treated in different ways, but a few herbs, including marshmallow root, a urinary tract soother, and usnea, an antibiotic herb, can be used for both types of people.

Herbal Aids For System Strength

When I examined Elizabeth, her pulse was fast and weak and her tongue had no coating on it, indicating a weak adrenal ­system because of stress, overwork, and overstimulation of her nervous system with coffee and sugar.

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