Urethritis, more commonly known as urethra inflammation, is caused by bacterial infection, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It can cause burning sensations during urination, chills, fever, abdominal pain and frequent urination. Although herbs cannot cure this condition, they may help reduce pain and frequent urination associated with urethra inflammation. Talk to your doctor before taking any herb to combat urethra inflammation.
Cranberry is the most effective herb for urinary tract inflammation and infection, according to Phyllis Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." This herb stimulates the production of hippuric acid in your urine, which may inhibit the growth of urethritis-causing bacteria. It may also prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of your urinary tract. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers cranberry safe, it may cause allergic reactions such as rashes and stomach upset. Check with your doctor before using cranberry to treat urethritis.
Uva ursi has a long history of use in herbal medicine -- Chinese healers recommended this herb as a diuretic over 1,000 years ago, according to Michael Castleman, author of "The New Healing Herbs." Ursolic acid, the primary chemical compound in uva ursi, may reduce inflammation of the urethra. Allantoin, another chemical in this herb, may promote the regeneration of healthy urinary tract cells. Talk to your physician if you plan to treat urethritis with uva ursi. The tannins in this herb may cause stomach upset.
European settlers in North America began using goldenseal as an antiseptic during the early 19th century. American herbalists also recommended goldenseal for enhanced energy -- during the late 19th century, it became known as "poor man's ginseng," notes Castleman. Goldenseal may also offer antibacterial benefits, helping to clear infection that causes urethral inflammation, according to Balch. Consult with your physician before taking goldenseal -- this herb may cause nausea, vomiting, skin irritation and dizziness.
Ancient Greek and Roman physicians recommended marshmallow root as a treatment for bruising, toothaches and insect bites. Arab healers prescribed this herb for internal inflammation as early as the 10th century, according to Castleman. This herb may help ease inflammation of the urethra. It may also acidify your urine, helping to destroy bacteria that contribute to urethritis. Check with your doctor before treating urethritis with marshmallow root. In rare cases, this herb may cause diarrhea.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urethritis
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 2010
- "The New Healing Herbs"; Michael Castleman; 2010