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Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder and urethra, and can be uncomfortable, painful and irritating. It can be chronic (less intense but lasting a long time) or acute (more intense, but not lasting as long), and may be due to a bacterial infection, fungal infection, or physical irritation. Cystitis is very common and affects at least 15% of women at some point in their lives. It is less common in men but when it does occur it is often much more painful!

Symptoms: needing to urinate often; a burning sensation when urinating; pain in the abdomen; an urgent need to urinate but nothing comes out.

Dietary recommendations: caffeine and excessive sugar irritate the urethra and make cystitis more painful. Especially if you are experiencing chronic cystitis, you must eliminate caffeine. Drink 3 litres of water per day to flush the infection out of the kidneys and bladder. Unsweetened cranberry juice is also very helpful.

Here are some great herbal teas that can be drunk hot 4 or 5 times per day. Mix them all together for a very effective herbal remedy.

Uva-Ursi: Also known as bearberry, uva ursi is a urinary antiseptic and tonic.

Marshmallow root: Soothes and tones all mucous membranes including the urinary tract.

Buchu: An excellent urinary antiseptic and even tastes great!

Cornsilk: Yes, the little hairs at the top of the corn cob are diuretic and flush out the infection.

Dandelion Leaf: A great diuretic that greatly increases urination. An excellent general tonic as well.

If your symptoms don’t improve after trying herbs and water for 3 days, or if you develop a fever or intense lower back pain, see you doctor!

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