Natural Health: I frequently get cystitis

Plus: how to keep hormones in balance around your period
Natural Health: I frequently get cystitis

Identifying which type of cystitis you are dealing with is vital in terms of the best course of treatment.

I frequently get cystitis with a burning sensation. I drink plenty of water, but my diet could be better - I tend to snack a lot. What natural treatment would you recommend?

It's good to hear you are drinking plenty of water, as this is so important in helping to flush out the bladder. 

Snacking isn’t a problem in itself when it comes to cystitis unless the snack foods are sugar-laden and highly processed.

There are two main types of cystitis – the first and most common is bacterial cystitis – usually a result of the bacteria from the anus (and vagina in females) being carried to the bladder. 

The second is caused by bladder inflammation, often as a result of dehydration, scented personal care products, or holding on to a full bladder frequently. 

Identifying which type of cystitis you are dealing with is vital in terms of the best course of treatment.

D-mannose is the fastest-working natural product for any type of urinary tract or bladder infection. 

It works by binding to the bacteria responsible for bladder and urinary tract infections to flush it out when you urinate. 

This means the bacteria doesn’t get the chance to stick to the bladder wall, where it tends to multiply.

D-mannose is water-soluble, so it is absorbed and excreted rapidly, providing fast relief for cystitis sufferers. 

It is also worth noting that D-mannose is safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it is often the remedy of choice for people who rely on a catheter.

Uva ursi is one of my favourite herbs for inflammatory cystitis and works even more effectively when combined with soothing marshmallow root. 

Marshmallow helps reduce inflammation and works by protecting the kidney area.

It is important not to take uva ursi while using cranberry supplements or even drinking cranberry juice, as the cranberry cancels out the benefits of uva ursi (also known as bearberry). 

You can alternate the two – taking the uva ursi and marshmallow for one week, then alternating with cranberry for one week, taking turns about.

Waterfall D-mannose is available from health stores and pharmacies or you can order it online here.

The homeopathic remedy cantharis is prescribed for the burning sensation, irritation, and constant urination urge associated with cystitis. It can work very well in acute cases.
You need to consult a trained homeopath to determine whether this is the appropriate remedy for you.

                            Weepiness can be associated with pre-menstrual hormonal fluctuations.
Weepiness can be associated with pre-menstrual hormonal fluctuations.

Agnus castus, also known as chasteberry or Monk’s Pepper, is an excellent herbal remedy to treat PMT/PMS and a range of menstrual imbalances. 

It also is very effective in treating weepiness associated with pre-menstrual hormonal fluctuations.

Agnus castus helps balance out emotional pre-menstrual symptoms and regulate bleeding (heavy or light flow, intermittent bleeding, unusually short or long cycles), treat fluid retention and weight gain associated with hormones, clear hormonal acne and spots, reduce symptoms associated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fibroids, and endometriosis.

Some women use this herb after stopping hormone-based contraceptives to help rebalance their bodies. 

Agnus castus should not be taken together with conventional hormone therapy or fertility drugs (contraceptive pill, HRT, Clomid).

Calcium and magnesium are crucial for the menstrual cycle as both are needed for muscle and nerve function. 

Magnesium also helps regulate the oestrogen-progesterone balance, which in turn regulates mood.

Cal-M from G & G Vitamins is a highly bioavailable instant drink powder made from calcium, magnesium and organic cider vinegar, where one teaspoon contains 164mg calcium and 12.6mg magnesium. 

Cal-M is available from, 100g of powder costs €12.90.

  • Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor

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