UTI or urinary tract infection can occur anywhere in the urinary tract – the bladder, kidneys, ureters or urethra. It can affect children and adults. It occurs due to infection caused by bacteria which attack the urethra and bladder. Women are more susceptible to UTI compared to men since they have a shorter urethra. Diabetes, menopause, birth control devices, old age, bowel incontinence, urine retention in the bladder, kidney stones, pregnancy and use of a urinary catheter are some causes of UTI. Some symptoms include cloudy urine, burning sensation during urination, low fever, chills, and others. A urine analysis and culture can detect UTI and it can be treated with medication and simple home remedies.
Benefits of Cinnamon for UTI
Cinnamon is got from the bark of a tree that grows widely in Sri Lanka, China, India and other regions of South East Asia. It is available as dry powder, capsules, tea or liquid extracts. Cinnamon can be used for medicinal purposes and to spice our food. The two common cinnamon varieties which are used are Cassia and Ceylon Cinnamon. Cinnamon has been used in traditional medicine to treat bronchitis, control diabetes, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal conditions. However, scientific evidence about its benefits for any specific medical condition is not yet sufficient.
There have been some studies conducted on laboratory animals on the uses of cinnamon extract – cinnamaldehyde for treating bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Trans-cinnamaldehyde extracts were examined for their effectiveness in treating urinary catheter infections developed by patients in a hospital. The E.coli bacteria were responsible for causing UTI. Various concentrations of trans-cinnamaldedyde were found effective in preventing occurrence of E-coli in catheters. This suggested that trans-cinnamaldehyde could be used to coat the surface of catheters or used as an ingredient in a catheter lock solution to help prevent UTI in such patients.
HIV patients with oral candida who were given cinnamon showed improved symptoms against flucaonazole-resistant candida. Test Tube studies have also found that cinnamon extracts and cinnamon oil has anti-parasitic and antifungal properties and can treat yeast infections and other infections caused by bacteria like Candida albicans and H.pylori bacteria.
There is no dosage of cinnamon for UTI. For general medicinal purposes, the typical recommended dosage is 1-4g a day of ground cinnamon bark and 0.05 – 2g a day of cinnamon oil.
Used as a spice in food and beverages, cinnamon is likely safe for most people. Since there is no maximum dosage of cinnamon capsules, you must exercise caution when taking it. Cassia cinnamon contains significant quantities of coumarin and this could cause kidney and liver problems. Topical use of cinnamon oil could sometimes cause mouth ulcers (chewing gum) or irritation of the skin. These symptoms usually disappear when you stop using the product. Pregnant women should avoid using high doses of cinnamon bark or cinnamon oil. Cassia cinnamon could interact with blood clotting, diabetic or hepatotoxic drugs. Always consult a doctor before taking cinnamon for UTI.