I Have a Bladder Infection (Simple Urinary Tract Infection)

Like many other people, you are suffering from a bladder infection. Such a simple inflammation of the urinary tract – without involvement of the kidneys – can cause the following complaints:

  • frequent urge to urinate
  • burning pain when urinating
  • passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • foul-smelling urine
  • sometimes blood in your urine
  • generally feeling ill

If there is also a fever, a doctor must be consulted to rule out kidney involvement. The symptoms can be very minor, especially in elderly people, and also in small children.

How can pathogens get into the bladder and cause inflammation?

The urogenital system includes the two kidneys and their ureters, as well as the bladder with the urethra, through which urine is discharged to the outside. Normally, a healthy organism prevents bacteria from traveling up the urethra, so that sterile conditions prevail in the bladder.
Under certain conditions, pathogens can nevertheless ascend through the urethra into the bladder, causing inflammation and unpleasant symptoms. This can happen when one or more of the following happens:

  • situations where you become too cold
  • swimming pool visits can promote bladder infections
  • sexual contact
  • contraceptives, as their use significantly increases urinary tract infections
  • phimosis (narrowing of the foreskin)
  • bladder emptying disorders, e.g., due to an enlarged prostate or nerve damage, paralysis
  • non-observance of hygiene, including wiping with toilet paper in the wrong direction
  • in young people who are suffering from lovesickness or other mental suffering, their “uncried tears” may seek another way to release – very often it is the bladder!
  • Older people often suffer from dry mucous membranes or a weakened immune system 

How can you help yourself?

It is best to respond immediately to the first signs, so that the inflammation does not develop strongly:

  • promote your own warmth with warm clothes, warm feet, warm drinks
  • drink as much as possible, but at least 2 liters of warm tea (children at least 1 liter)
  • eat fresh, healthy food ▪ avoid sugar in any form, because sugar weakens the immune system.

External applications

  • Chamomile steam sitz baths
    The rising heat directly brings relief for the burning pain and has a relaxing effect on your abdomen. Children: chamomile steam sitz baths only from the age of 6 and older. Instead, small children can receive a 15 min. sitz bath in a small tub with warm water and one liter of strong sage tea, chamomile tea or thyme tea, given in daily alternation.
    For instructions, see: http://www.pflege-vademecum.de/kamillen-dampfsitzbad.php.

  • Eucalyptus oil bladder compress
    This simple application relaxes and sustainably warms your bladder. Sprinkle approx. 15–20 drops of eucalyptus oil onto a folded cotton handkerchief and place it on the bladder for approx. 1 hour, covered with a woolen cloth.
    Use eucalyptus 10% oil for adults, 5% oil for 6–12 year-olds, 2% oil for infants.
    For instructions, see: http://www.pflege-vademecum.de/blasenwickel_eucalytptusoel.php.

  • Pelvic floor bladder compress with juniper oil
    In case of chronic cystitis and for bedridden patients, it is advisable to apply this compress because it also reaches the pelvic floor with mild but lasting warming.
    For instructions, see: http://www.pflege-vademecum.de/bbb-oelw-w.php.

  • Warm footbaths
    using enough water to reach up to the calves, with 1–2% salt or 3 tbsp. ginger powder, for 15 min.

Experts recommend the following medication

Antibiotics are increasingly triggering pathogen resistance worldwide, which is why it makes sense to initially treat a simple bladder infection without antibiotics. Infants under the age of 3 should, however, always be seen by a doctor.
Experts suggest an alternative to initial antibiotic treatment:

  • Cantharis Blasen Globuli velati WALA and/or
  • Berberis/Apis comp. pill. WALA, initially 5–10 pill. hourly, in alternation, later 3 x 5–10 pill. daily.

Normal course of a bladder infection – when should I see a doctor?

If there are no serious symptoms such as pain in the kidney area, fever, exhaustion, or possibly blood in the urine—all things for which a doctor’s visit is always recommended—you can usually expect that the acute phase will be brought under control with the above-mentioned external applications and medication within a few days to such an extent that you will no longer have any pain. This does not mean that you can stop treatment. Apply the eucalyptus oil compresses parallel to the chamomile steam sitz baths for 1 to 2 weeks. You can use compresses even longer, as required. Continue to drink plenty of warm tea and – very importantly – avoid letting your body get too cold.

Emde B, Riedel J. Anthroposophische Arzneimittel: Beratungsempfehlungen für die Selbstmedikation. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft; 2014.

Karutz, Soldner G, Soldner U, Gnatz B. Einleitung / Kamillendampfsitzbad. Der Merkurstab 2014;67(2):148-150.

Research news

Parental Confidence in Fever Management - Results from an App-Based Registry    
Parents' confidence regarding their children's fever is a key factor in its management and there is still unnecessary anxiety and associated antipyretic overuse. The FeverApp application collects naturalistic real-time data on febrile infections and educates parents on fever management. First entry data of 3721 children (mean age 21 months) was assessed. Antipyretics were used initially in 14.7% of children. Their use was mostly associated with febrile temperature, but also low well-being of the children. Thus, associations were partly in accordance with recent guidelines. All results are published open access: 

Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine