Exploring Essential Oils for UTI: Does it work? 

Sanjay Kumar
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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essential oils for uti

Urinary Tract Infections are common but can cause pain and discomfort. 

Most of the time, antibiotics can take care of these infections. 

Yet, if someone relies on antibiotics often, they might face unwanted problems like yeast infections.

Essential oils, also called volatile oils, come from aromatic plants through a process known as secondary metabolism. 

These oils can benefit your health and ease UTI symptoms if used safely. 

Some essential oils you might have heard of are Clove oil, Oregano oil, and Herbal oils.

In this article, we will learn about the effectiveness of essential oils, how to use them, and the potential risks that they might come with. 

Essential oils for UTI

UTIs happen when too many bacteria, usually Escherichia coli (E. coli), grow in the urinary tract.

For an essential oil to work against UTIs, it must be able to kill this specific bacteria.

People can use essential oils in different ways. 

After mixing with another oil, they can put the oils in a diffuser to spread in the air or apply them to the skin. 

Some oils shouldn’t be directly placed on the skin or should be used in a weaker form.

The following essential oils might help fight the bacteria causing UTIs:

Clove oil

Clove oil has potential antibacterial effects that can help in preventing UTIs. 

Some studies suggest it could kill antibiotic-resistant E. coli.

Lavender oil

lavender can combat various sources of infectionSource: Madeleine_Steinbach from Getty Images
Lavender oil

Research shows lavender can combat various sources of infection, including E. coli and S. aureus. 

It may also act as an antioxidant.

Oregano oil

Studies revealed oregano oil’s ability to hinder E. coli and other bacteria growth, including resistant strains.

In a study from 2015, a comparison between Oregano and Lavender oils revealed that oregano exhibited stronger antimicrobial properties. 

This indicates its potential to combat bacteria like E. coli.

Cinnamon oil

Cinnamon’s chemical, Cinnamaldehyde, might hinder E. coli growth and help prevent recurring UTIs. 

Using the oil or powdered cinnamon could help in preventing bacterial growth.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil’s wide-ranging antibacterial properties make it suitable when unsure about the infection’s bacteria. 

It may combat E. coli, S. aureus, and more.

Herbal oils

In a 2013 study, herbal oils were found to be effective against E. coli and other bacteria.

These include:

  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Hyssop

Coriander oil

Coriander oil excelled in killing a mix of S. aureus and E. coli, including drug-resistant strains. 

It was enhanced when combined with antibiotics.

Cumin oil

Cumin oil might combat E. coli and other bacterial infections. 

A study compared it to Chamomile and Onion oils, with Cumin oil proving the most effective.

Warning:
While essential oils have shown potential in inhibiting E. coli and other bacterial growth, including resistant strains, exercising caution when using essential oils is necessary. Always dilute Oregano oil properly before application. If used undiluted, they can lead to skin irritation.

How to use essential oils for UTI

Don't directly apply essential oils on the skinSource: Natalie Maro from Getty Images
Safely use essential oils

Using essential oils correctly depends on your type, concentration, and health. 

Before trying essential oils for UTI treatment at home, consult a doctor or an oil expert.

Here are some essential guidelines to ensure optimal results when using essential oils for UTI treatment:

  • Do not consume essential oils, as they can be toxic when ingested and lead to serious side effects
  • Don’t directly apply essential oils on the skin around the vagina, penis, urethra, or any exposed skin. They can cause skin irritation and a strong burning sensation
  • It is important to dilute essential oils in carrier oil prior to applying them to the skin. The general ratio is 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil
  • Carrier oils are safe to use. Popular choices include warmed coconut oil. But be cautious, as some people might have allergies, especially to nut-based carrier oils
  • Safely apply diluted essential oils on the skin near the affected area using a warm compress
  • Consider aromatherapy with small amounts of high-quality essential oils diluted in a carrier oil for fewer side effects. Inhaling essential oils has fewer risks

Remember, children are more sensitive to essential oil side effects. 

Only use essential oils on younger individuals under a doctor’s guidance.

Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should be cautious with essential oils. 

It’s important to seek advice from a doctor or midwife before using these products.

Fact:
To aid your body in combating infections, ensure you rest adequately, consume nourishing foods, and maintain proper hydration. Increasing fluid intake assists in flushing out Urinary Tract Infections.

Potential risks of using essential oils

Supporters of essential oils often emphasize their “natural” qualities. 

However, it’s important to note that their natural origin doesn’t automatically guarantee safety.

Potential risks linked to essential oils include:

  • Poisoning: Essential oils can be toxic if ingested or applied directly to the skin. For example, oils like pennyroyal and camphor can be poisonous when consumed, and even using camphor oil on the skin can be risky
  • Skin issues: Certain essential oils might harm the skin. A study discovered that concentrated lavender oil could damage skin cells
  • Allergic reactions: Essential oils can trigger allergies, especially in those with sensitive skin, Eczema, or existing allergies
  • Sun sensitivity: Oils from citrus fruits, cumin, and the Angelica herb family can react to the sun, causing burns or toxicity. Avoid using these oils before sun exposure or tanning
  • Hormonal impact: Some oils, like lavender and tea tree, might disrupt hormones, potentially affecting fertility, puberty, and even male breast development

Knowing that some essential oils can be dangerous for pets, particularly cats, is crucial. 

Store oils safely and consult a veterinarian before using them in a diffuser.

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Conclusion

Essential oils derived from aromatic plants offer a natural option to manage UTI symptoms. 

Clove oil, Lavender oil, Oregano oil, Cinnamon oil, Eucalyptus oil, Herbal oils like sage and basil, Coriander oil, and Cumin oil have shown potential in combating the bacteria responsible for UTIs. 

Their antibacterial properties make them intriguing candidates for treatment.

It’s crucial to dilute essential oils in carrier oil before applying them to the skin. 

Pregnant, breastfeeding individuals, children, and pets require special consideration due to potential risks.

Some essential oils can cause harm if ingested or directly applied to the skin, causing poisoning or skin damage. 

They may also trigger allergies, react to sunlight, or disrupt hormones. Pets, particularly cats, can be sensitive to these oils.

With careful use and proper knowledge, essential oils may positively affect UTI management.

Frequently Asked Questions

What essential oil is good for Urinary Tract Infections?

Clove oil, Lavender oil, Oregano oil, Cinnamon oil, Eucalyptus oil, Herbal oils, Coriander oil, and Cumin oil are some effective essential oils for UTIs.

Can UTI go away without antibiotics?

Mild UTIs might sometimes clear up as the immune system fights the infection. However, this approach carries the risk of the infection not being completely eradicated. Antibiotics are designed to specifically target the bacteria causing the infection, ensuring more effective and thorough treatment.

Will peppermint oil help with a UTI?

Peppermint essential oil boasts potent antibacterial qualities, making it effective against various infections within the body. Among these infections, peppermint oil can combat and deter the recurrence of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).

Is curd good for UTI?

Curd contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Therefore, consuming curd is advised. Yet, if the issue continues for over three days, seeking advice from a specialist is essential.

Citations:
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