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Ask the Herbalist--Urinary Tract

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QUESTION: I read the content on your website -very good info. I was wondering if you can answer a couple of questions. 

My Doc says I have to much protein in the urine, 335 mg/per h.  I understand that is mild condition.   I am 56 years of age and not diabetic and don't have high blood pressure.  I am taking Nexium once a day and another medication for the thyroid. 

Do you have any advice on how to correct this protein in the urine condition. Not sure, but I believe this condition only started appearing within the last few months. 

ANSWER: My first suggestion is that you observe a low protein diet.

That means eliminating animal foods. In particular all read meats and pork. Avoid also alcohol, white sugar and excessive dairy. 

Eat good protein sources. include beans, lentils, millet, peas, soybeans, and whole grains in your diet. Enhance your diet with plenty of fresh fish, salmon and mackerel in particular, fresh garlic and onions, honey and brown rice. You also need to increase your daily fiber intake. Eat plenty of local fresh fruits and vegetables. 

You should also increase your calcium intake since the daily intake of protein will double the excretion of calcium in the urine. You may want to supplement this with Calcium carbonate 1,000mg 2xs day. When you look for a calcium supplement, be sure the number of milligrams on the label refers to the amount of elemental calcium, and not to the strength of each tablet. 

It may be only a mild condition, but you need to avoid uremia which is an excess accumulation or protein in the urine. Kidney stones is also another condition you may want to keep in check. 

One good remedy that comes to mind is the Ganoderma mushroom.

I would also include Dandelion root tea 3xs day to clear out any toxins.

QUESTION: I have interstitial cystitis and have been taking elmiron for over a year and it seems to be getting worse. Is their anything else I can try to relieve the symptoms? I am currently taking peppermint pills for bacterial overgrowth.

ANSWER: The first thing you need to do is body cleanse in order to bring your body back to a state of more normal functioning.  We carry a good cleanse formula called Life Force with Triphela.  Raw fruits and vegetables and fresh, raw vegetable juice is essential for improving general body health.  You also need to drink adequate clean water.  Google 'the Water Cure'.  Be sure and take enough whole sea salt as in Celtic Sea Salt as it contains the full range of trace elements the body needs for daily living.  Adding a pro-biotic to your diet will help bring your digestive tract back to a healthy balance.  I have attached our body cleanse regimen for your information.  We have an excellent bladder/kidney formula, Pee King, that we recommend. Also our blend Free n Clear with Chinese herbs.  Reduce or eliminate white flour products, dairy, white sugar, alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee from your diet, too.  Here is a list of other herbs you can add to your diet, and daily intake as well:  - aloe vera juice, 1/3 c three times daily; - acai berry juice, 1 oz three times daily: 3 cups of fresh raw juices, like a mixed vegetable, or mixed fruit, the live enzymes will help you tremendously; papaya juice, or papaya enzymes before meals

QUESTION: My son 14 years old has problem in left ureter i.e. left ureter is partially dilated in the level of iliac vessel crossing.  Please advice for medicine to cure this. 

ANSWER: Here are some suggestions, as to the support you may chose to use for your son. Not knowing if this is a genetic predisposition, or if it is something that has occurred as he grew older, I will suggest the following:
- take a close look at his diet, refined sugars, chemical dyes  ( such as in Tang orange juice, or products like it
- look at the downloads below, for ideas on cleansing and cleaning and healing for the body
- herbs to take:
- calendula pills, 3 in AM, 3 in PM
- astragalus pills, 2 -3times per day
- our formula, Fee n Clear for the urinary system
      Please email us back with information on what the symptoms are that your son is exhibiting, so that we can  be of further service to you.

QUESTION: I was on the website and saw that there was a question about urinary reflux
of a 4 year old.  I have an almost 6 month old daughter that has been diagnosed with this.  She has already had one UTI so was then tested for the reflux.  She has also been treated with antibiotics to be taken for a year. I don't want her to be on the antibiotics for that long.  Already we have been fighting yeasty diaper rashes and now thrush.  She has it in her mouth and as I'm breastfeeding on my nipples.  I'm not sure what to do now.  I know that I can't effectively fight the thrush with her still on an antibiotic that is killing all the good bacteria also.

ANSWER: Well you're right to avoid the antibiotics in my opinion. For the UTI, cranberry juice, natural, not cocktail, is the best thing going. Of course it's very bitter, so you may have some trouble getting it into her. You need to eliminate all sugars from both of your diets while this is going on. That's probably contributing to the yeast infection. 
           For the thrush, you might apply tea tree oil to the nipple area several times a day. Pau d'arco tea is also very effective. Also, crushed garlic, believe it or not, may be very helpful for you and your little one. If she has thrush and you're nursing, you are in danger of getting into a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Keep everything scrupulously clean, you, the baby's mouth etc. Try rinsing or swabbing the inside of her mouth with gauze soaked in salt and garlic.

QUESTION: Hi,  I am 34 year old woman that has had a bladder dysfunction all her life. When I was pregnant with my 4 children this basically stopped. I wet the bed about 2-3 x a week . Not always a lot but enough to make me fell "not so great about myself"  Is there any herbal that would help me with this problem.  I already watch what I drink before bed etc.  Remember I am 34,  I don't really need tips,  unless they lead to a cure.

ANSWER: I don't know what you expect me to give you besides tips, 34 or not. There is no "Cure" that will work 100% of the time and anyone who tells you there is, is pulling the wool so to speak. Have you talked to a doctor about this at all to ensure there is no infection of any kind? If so, have they given you anything? There's a lot of unanswered questions here. If it is due to an infection, you can actually drink cranberry juice that will help, as it doesn't allow the infection to cling to the walls of the bladder. There are also cranberry pills, which I personally prefer since I hate cranberry juice! The leakage could be due to the size of your babies, but nightly bedwetting could be something else. Without a firm diagnosis, it's hard for me to send you in the right direction.

QUESTION: My 4 year old daughter has urinary reflux (stage 2). She has now been put on once a day antibiotics to prevent the infections. But I am really worried that she will be on them for far to long. Every thing else they have gave her has become resident to the infections.  And she is till wetting herself all the time. She just cannot hold it. I am very happy with her doctor, who has just been wonderful in trying everything to help her. He even sent her to a urologist who was suppose to be the best in our state...I was not impressed with him at all. He wants he to stay on this medication till she out grows her problem. And if it stops working he want to do surgery. She is starting pre-k this year and I know she needs to get everything under control so she can enjoy being with other kids her own age, and not worry about wetting on herself or more infections. What can I do? I am willing to try anything at this point. I am sick of seeing her hurt. and I am so scared of her being on antibiotics for so long. Any help would be so wonderful.

ANSWER: I like cranberry juice for any bladder or urinary tract infections. Only pure juice, not the cocktail. You can also get cranberry capsules as cranberry juice is quite tart. Horsetail is also effective. Golden Root and Corn Silk are anti-inflammatory. Share this with your doctor as drub interactions with herbs can cause additional complications sometimes.

Do you have any ideas on why if I drink water that hasn't been filtered, I get symptoms of kidney/bladder infection? This started about a year ago. I'm 49, female, with a history of kidney/bladder infections going back to childhood. I would very much appreciate any help you can give me on this.
Thank you in advance for your time.

I think the symptoms you described answer your question. "Regular" water from the tap is filled with chemicals. I don't even let my dogs drink tap water! (We live in a very toxic area of western New York) We only drink distilled water. If the only change you are seeing is drinking undistilled water, then I would say there's something in the treatment of the water there that is causing an infection. Make sure that's the only change that brings these on. (diet, sexual activity, nylon panties, lots of things can bring on a bladder infection)

I was wondering   if you can help me figure out what my father in law is trying to describe to me. He said 'back in the old days' people used to use a herb called - his pronunciation - Ratsbain as a cure for bed wetting. They made a tea out of it. I cannot find anything on this - or anything even close to that spelling.

ANSWER: What your father-in-law is referring to is Chimaphila maculata, pronounced, [ky-MAF-ih-luh mak-yuh-LAH-tuh]. It is also referred to as dragon's tongue, pipsissewa, ratsbane, rheumatism root, spotted pipsissewa, wild arsenic, wintergreen, and striped prince's pine.  The leaves and fruit have been used to increase urine flow, as a tonic, and for treating diarrhea, syphilis, nervous disorders, and ulcers. The plant has an antiseptic influence on the urinary system and is sometimes used in the treatment of cystitis. An infusion of the plant has been drunk in the treatment of rheumatism and colds. A poultice of the root has been used to treat pain while the plant has also been used as a wash on ulcers, scrofula and cancers. All parts of the plant can be used, though only the leaves are officinal.

what type of herbal product would you recommend for urinary tract infection in a man, burning upon urination.

ANSWER:  The following herbs have been used for this problem in the past.

Agrimony, Latin Named: Agrimonia spp   
Cleavers, Latin Named:  Galium Aparine
Sheperd's Purse, Latin Name:  Capsella burse-pastoris
Kava Kava, Latin Named: Piper methysticum     
Honeysuckle, Latin Named:  Lonicera japonica
Sweet Birch, Latin Named: Betula lenta
Cranberry, Latin Named: Vaccinum macrocarpon or V. oxycoccus
Pipsissewa, Latin Named: Chimaphila umbelata
Couch grass, Latin Named: Elytriga repens 
Corn silk, Latin Named: Zea mays
Goldenrod, Latin Named: Solidago odora, S. Virgauria
Hydrangea, Latin Named: Hydrangea arborensis  
Usnea, Latin Named:  Usnea barbata

A good combination would be Kava and Hydrangea for pain, Agrimony and/or Pipsisewa for infection and Corn Silk for soothing the bladder and UT and to help repair and rebuild tissue in the UT.

Lower sugar intake and use unsweetened cranberry juice or a cranberry extract/pill like Cranactin.

You can also use the two herbs Boldo or Buchu if you can find them.