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Taking an apple cider vinegar bath for UTI may help kill the bacteria responsible for causing the urinary tract infection. But is this an effective remedy?
Approximately 50-60% of all women get at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) sometime in life. In fact, one in three will have one UTI with symptoms by age 24. Treatment for UTIs that are symptomatic most often involve antibiotics.
However, let’s say you prefer treatment with natural healing methods. One way to treat UTIs naturally that’s been gaining in popularity is an apple cider vinegar bath.
Some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar are well-known including fighting acne flare ups. These benefits include having strong anti-bacterial properties. In addition, apple cider vinegar may help kill tumors as well as aiding in weight loss and lowering blood sugar. But can a vinegar bath for a UTI really work? Moreover, is there scientific proof an apple cider vinegar bath can kill a UTI?
For many people, the answer is yes. However, there have been no research studies specifically on vinegar baths and UTIs. But that doesn’t mean a vinegar bath can’t help if science has yet to prove that it works. Considering many studies (like this one and this one) have shown apple cider vinegar’s ability to kill bacteria and fungus, it makes sense a vinegar bath can work.
Apple cider vinegar bath: How to take it for a UTI
According to this naturopathic doctor, here’s how to take an apple cider vinegar bath for a UTI:
If you have a painful UTI, take a 20 minute warm or hot bath. Add a cup of organic apple cider vinegar to the bathtub. Sit up in the tub with your knees up and apart. This way, the vinegar will easily enter the vaginal area.
The doctor also recommends adding a few cloves of freshly crushed garlic to the apple cider vinegar bath. He claims this will help kill the bacteria. In fact, the doctor might be correct. This study says apple cider vinegar can help kill the bateria, e. Coli. Moreover, e. Coli. is one of the most common causes of UTIs. Although the study focuses on e. Coli from food, perhaps vinegar can also treat UTIs from e. Coli in the gut?
White vinegar for UTI
For prevention, some natural health experts recommend drinking 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per day. However, if you already have a UTI, some people suggest using white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. In addition to the lack of studies with UTIs and apple cider vinegar, there are also no research trials on white vinegar for UTIs.
However, one natural cure website has a testimonial that many people may relate to. A woman states she hates going to the hospital. And she claims doctors told her she did not have a UTI when in fact she did. It was only after her symptoms worsened that the doctors finally diagnosed her with a UTI.
The white vinegar testimonial continues….
She says that after a month of battling her UTI, she became desperate. Her solution? Drinking a glass of white distilled vinegar.
“I choked it down, it wasn’t easy,” she said.
“I was nauseous for about an hour and a half afterwards, and chased it with a couple of glasses of water.” She continues, “But, guess what? My symptoms were gone the next day, I swear to God.”
Granted, one testimonial does not mean that white vinegar will work for everyone with a UTI.
In fact, another testimonial on the same webpage says it not only does not work, it creates worse symptoms.
“I tried white vinegar and water for my bladder infection, and it did not work at all,” says ‘Laura’ from Ottawa. “I put 2-3 tablespoons in a tall glass of water, then drank another glass of just water immediately afterwards. Maybe the infection was already too far along for the vinegar to be effective. But I just ended up with a sore throat and a vinegar taste in my mouth while I was sitting in the emergency room of the hospital at 1:00 am that morning.”
However, let’s get back to taking a bath for a UTI….
UTI bath remedy
According to this informational urine infection website, baths can indeed help with UTIs. The website recommends baths with Epsom salts, which contains magnesium. To be clear, the website does not describe exactly how magnesium acts on UTI symptoms. However, it claims the magnesium in the Epsom salt soothes pain.
The same website recommends this UTI bath soak for 20 minutes or longer. In fact, the author suggests taking this UTI bath 2-3 times per day. This, according to the author, instantly relieves bladder infection pain.
In addition to the Epsom Salts, you can also add some essential oils. However, a word of caution, do not use soaps or bubble baths with synthetic ingredients. The chemicals may make your symptoms worse. Or, they may interfere with the healing of the Epsom Salt, apple cider vinegar and/or baking soda. Or, whatever other natural ingredient for UTI you’re using.
Apple cider vinegar for UTI pain
There are two common symptoms of UTIs: pain and frequent urination. However, UTIs can cause more problems than just pain and peeing a lot. In order to combat these symptoms, Dr. Oz has some suggestions.
Firstly, Dr. Oz suggests resetting the pH level of the bladder. “There’s evidence that three 8-ounce glasses of prune juice can help make your urine more acidic,” says Dr. Oz’s website. However, if you can’t stomach prune juice, try a mixture of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in with three tablespoons of water.
Here is one theory why apple cider vinegar can help treat UTI pain. The enzymes, and minerals prevent or even kill the bacteria that cause UTI pain. If the bacteria in the urinary tract can’t grow, then at the very least, the UTI won’t get worse.
If you want to try apple cider vinegar as a natural antibiotic for a UTI, here’s a simple way….
Just drink a little bit of it. In fact, you just add 2 tbsp of it to 8 oz. water. To make it easier to drink, add honey or lemon juice and stir. However, remember that to kill the bacteria, you’ll need to do this:
Drink the vinegar at least a few times a day for several days. Or at least until your symptoms are gone.
And don’t forget to manage your stress. In addition, urinate immediately after sex. Moreover, and perhaps the most difficult thing to do, avoid food and drink with added sugars. In fact, if you have a UTI, you may want to avoid most natural sugars all together. This is because bacteria multiply by feeding off of sugar.