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Bladder Infections

Herbalist Susun Weed uses the Six Steps of Healing and Wise Woman Ways to counter bladder infections.

Herbalist Susun Weed uses the Six Steps of Healing and Wise Woman Ways to counter bladder infections.

“If you let that fiery wise blood just sit there in your belly, great granddaughter,” admonishes Grandmother Growth, “you’ll get the urge to quench that heat. You’ll get a tickle, a twinge, an urgent call. But you won’t have the moisture you need. It’s boiled away. It’s gone up in steam.

“So I’ll say it once more: circulate your wise blood, granddaughter. Spiral it around and up to your crown. Take action on your anger. Pleasure yourself. And you’ll be one of those old crones, like me, whose eyes sparkle with mirth and flash with intention.”

Step 1: Collect Information

Bladder infections are also known as cystitis, urethritis, and UTIs (urinary tract infections). When bacteria grow in the bladder, the resulting infection usually causes symptoms such as: a burning sensation during voiding, overwhelming urgency, frequent but minuscule urinations, incontinence, bloody urine, and pelvic pain. Up to 25 percent of bladder infections in post- menopausal women are silent or symptomless.

Bacteria enter the bladder in three primary ways: when feces are spread to the bladder opening (such as wiping from back to front after toileting), when the tube leading to the bladder is irritated or bruised (as from use of a diaphragm, pelvic surgery, or prolonged/vigorous vaginal penetration), or when there is an in-dwelling catheter.

The thinning and shrinking of reproductive and bladder tissues that may occur in the post- menopausal years contributes to bladder infections in older women, as does lessening of vaginal acidity.

Sometimes tiny ulcerations appear in the wall of the bladder; this is called interstitial cystitis (IC). Some of the remedies in this section are contraindicated for women with interstitial cystitis.

These remedies are substantially the same ones that delighted and aided the readers of my first book: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

Step 2: Engage the Energy

  • Flow, flow, flow. Head off that bladder infection by drinking a glass of water hourly as soon as you feel the first urgency or burning. It is tempting to stint on drinking if you find yourself unexpectedly incontinent, but don’t. Bladder infections only make incontinence worse.
  • Urine is ideally neutral to slightly acidic (pH 5.8–pH 7). Very acidic urine (below pH 5.5) encourages infections. An established infection gives rise to alkaline urine (pH 7.5 or higher), which causes stinging and burning. Test your urine with pH paper at any time except first thing in the morning. Cranberry juice lowers pH; vitamin C raises it.
  • Cantharis is a homeopathic remedy for scalding urine.

Step 3: Nourish and Tonify

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