Of the thousands of species of bacteria in nature, only 1 percent cause infections in humans, according to MedlinePlus. Staphylococcus species, Streptococcus species and E. coli are the most prominent among the pathogens. Antibiotics are the drugs of choice to treat bacterial infections but most have side effects. Simple and natural remedies with minimal side effects can be administered at home to treat and prevent bacterial infections, but it is important to note that these methods do not substitute for professional health care.
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Remedies for Bacterial Diarrhea
Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, broths, and juices, can play a major role in maintaining overall health. Fluids can help flush bacteria from the body via urine. Fluids also help to improve circulation of blood in the body, thereby improving immunity and the body's ability to fight infections. The Mayo Clinic warns against drinking apple or pear juices, caffeine and alcohol when suffering from diarrhea, which is commonly associated with bacterial gastrointestinal infections. Consumption of semi-solid foods and low-fiber foods and avoiding dairy products can also help improve bowel movements and diarrhea.
Remedies for Bacterial Ear Infections
Most physicians prefer to wait several days before prescribing antibiotics for ear infections. Home remedies such as pressing a warm bag of saltwater against the ear may provide relief from ear pain and prevent the overuse of antibiotics. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a technique called the Valsalva maneuver that involves taking a deep breath, closing the mouth and then blowing the nose gently while pinching it firmly shut. This process opens up the eustachian tubes and provides relief from the chronic stuffy feeling that accompanies middle ear infections. These techniques along with consumption of fluids and a healthy diet, can help improve the overall immunity of the body, thereby helping the individual fight the infection.
Remedies for Cough and Cold
While the safety and effectiveness of cold and cough medications and antibiotics to treat common upper respiratory tract infections is being questioned, several simple steps can be taken at home to provide relief to the patient and to improve the natural ability of the body to fight the bacterial infection. Cincinnati Children's Hospital advocates the use of cool-mist humidifiers and nasal saline sprays to open up the stuffy nasal passages. Drinking plenty of fluid can also help a person recover from a bacterial respiratory tract infection.
Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis
Place ice packs on the genital area and sit in a cool bath with baking soda or epsom salts to reduce soreness and itching associated with a vaginal infection. Merck Manuals Online Medical Library also recommends flushing the genital area with lukewarm water squeezed from a water bottle, avoiding strong, scented soaps and overall hygiene of the genital area to treat bacterial vaginosis.
Remedies for Bacterial Urinary Tract Infections
Drinking at least one or two glasses of cranberry or blueberry juice per day is known to prevent colonization of the bacteria in the bladder. Drinking large amounts of water and eating a cup of pineapple can also help treat urinary tract infections. Taking vitamin C supplements may also acidify the urine and kill the bacteria causing the infection.