The urinary tract system performs the main function of waste removal from the body. It is necessary to keep the system healthy, as a back-up of liquid waste in the body can be very damaging to organs and tissues. There are many approaches to maintaining the health of this system that include diet, exercise and herbal supplementation. Green tea is one supplement that has some scientific backing in helping the health of the urinary tract.
According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, the urinary tract includes all of the organs, muscles and tubes that store and remove liquid waste from the body. The upper urinary tract includes the kidneys and the ureters, while the lower urinary tract includes the bladder and urethra. The urinary tract is susceptible to infection, particularly in women, who experience UTIs 10 times more than men, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Certain herbs are purported to help with UTIs, including green tea.
In the book "Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer," Horner reports that green tea is effective for killing bad bacteria, especially in the bladder. At the same time, it helps to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which helps all the body's systems. Green tea is also an antioxidant and immune system enhancer, improving the immune system's ability to fight the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
According to Lester A. Mitscher, Ph.D., in his "The Green Tea Book," researchers from the University of Minnesota Public School of Health found that urinary tract cancer was less common in green tea drinkers as compared to the non-tea drinkers. Horner also states that green tea drinkers have a 40 percent lower incidence of urinary tract infections than those who don't drink green tea.
If you think you are suffering from a urinary tract infection, see your doctor immediately, as antibiotics may be necessary. Though green tea may be helpful in preventing UTIs and protecting the urinary tract, it's not a cure. Other approaches to maintaining urinary tract health include drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids and exercising regularly. Also, make sure to use the restroom as soon as you feel the urge, and always wipe properly.
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Imaging of the Urinary Tract
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary Tract Infection in Women
- "Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer"; Christine Horner, M.D.; 2009
- "The Green Tea Book"; Lester A. Mitscher, Ph.D.; 2008