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J Young Pharm. 2010 Jul-Sep; 2(3): 337.
PMCID: PMC2964762

Ayurveda and Urinary Tract Infections

Sir,

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), the second most common type of infection in the body is one the most serious health problem affecting millions of people each year. The urinary tract infection (UTI) involves infection in the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. These are the organs that urine passes through when eliminated from the body. Women are especially prone to UTIs, even though they generally have anatomically and physiologically normal urinary tract.[1] Reasons for this are not yet well understood. These infections can be very serious when they do occur in men; however, UTIs in men are not as common as in women. A urinary tract infection (UTI) also known as Fearnes syndrome is a microbial infection that affects any part of the urinary tract. Normally, urine is sterile. It is usually free of microbes but does contain fluids, salts and waste products. The main cause agent in at least 90% of uncomplicated infections is Escherichia coli, which live in the bowel (colon) and around the anus. An infection occurs when bacteria get into the bladder or kidney and begin to grow. The infection often starts at the opening of the urethra where the urine leaves the body and moves upward into the urinary tract. Abnormalities of the urinary tract that hinder the flow of urine set the stage for an infection.

Although modern antibiotics are being used in UTIs, urinary tract infections can be quickly and easily treated with a herbal treatment with no side effects. Herbs known for the management of urinary tract Infections and other urinary disorders divided in important categories: (a) Urinary antiseptic and anti-adhesion herbs like Juniperus spp., Vaccinium macrocarpon, Salvia officinalis, Punica granatum, Tribulus terrestris, Terminalia chebula, Ocimum sanctum, Cinnamomum cassia, Azadirachta indica and Ocimum sanctum,[2,3] which are effective against major urinary tract pathogens namely E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis (d) Bladder protectives that control bladder and protect from infections comprising of Equisetum arvense, Hydrangea petiolaris and Zea mays[4] (e) Kidney care for instance, Boerhaavia diffusa, Eupatorium purpureum, Agropyron repens and Berberis vulgaris and (f) Herbs for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, most notably Serenoa repens and Prunus africana. All these herbs are discerned to know different type of phytoconstituents and show potential in the treatment of urinary disorders and could be alternative to uropathogen resistance to the antibiotic during a UTI.

REFERENCES

1. Anjum F, Kadri SM, Ahmad I, Ahmad S. A study of recurrent urinary tract infection among women attending out patient department in S.M.H.S Hospital, Srinagar, Kashmir, India. JK Pract. 2004;11:272–3.
2. Sharma A, Chandraker S, Patel VK, Ramteke P. Antibacterial activity of medicinal plants against pathogens causing complicated urinary tract infections. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2009;71:136–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
3. Pereira RS, Sumita TC, Furlan MR, Jorge AO, Ueno M. Antibacterial activity of essential oils on microorganisms isolated from urinary tract infection. Rev Saude Publica. 2004;38:326–8. [PubMed]
4. Bag A, Bhattacharyya SK, Chattopadhyay RR. Medicinal plants and urinary tract infections: An update. Pharmacog Rev. 2008;4:277–84.

Articles from Journal of Young Pharmacists : JYP are provided here courtesy of Elsevier