Herbs used to treat urinary tract infections and cystitis (cranberry, goldenrod, bearberry)

Herbs have been used since traditionally for a long time, and are what pharmaceutical drugs are made of originally. The herbal actions are not always easy to distinguish, as there are usually more than one. These herbs are well-known as urinary antiseptics, used to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs), urinary tract inflammation, and other urinary tract conditions that require support.

If you have chronic UTIs, herbs may not be strong enough to solve your problems. See our UTI page for more information.

Urinary herbs can work in multiple ways, from soothing the urethral mucosa to killing bacteria. It’s good to use a combination of herbs to treat a UTI, and you can add in other treatments like reflexology.

Typical herbal medicines used to treat urinary tract infections are:

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)

This is a urinary antimicrobial and anti-adhesion herb that may or may not help your symptoms, depending on which bacteria are causing your issues.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

This herb has a handful of effects on the body, including the urinary tract, but may act as a diuretic to assist urinary tract infections.

Bearberry, uva-ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Bearberry is a urinary antiseptic.

Using herbs to treat a urinary tract infection should be undertaken under the guidance of a trained herbalist, who can help you with your overall health. Your wellness matters when it comes to fighting off infections.

Herbal medicine should not be used in those who are pregnant or breastfeeding unless under the guidance of a qualified, experienced practitioner.

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.