Nearly half of all women will experience a painful attack of cystitis at some point in their lives. Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, and it can be the result of infection, irritation, or bruising, or even a combination of these three factors. Women are more prone to cystitis than men because the tube (urethra) that runs from the bladder to the outside of the body is much shorter (about 5cm/2ins) in women than it is in men (about 18cm/7ins).

This means that bacteria can more easily travel to a woman’s bladder than it can a man’s. What’s more, the opening to the urethra is close to both the anus and the vagina in women (in men, it’s quite a distance away), which provides even easier access for bacteria to enter the urethra and to make its way up to the bladder.

What are the symptoms of Cystitis?

The symptoms of cystitis make the diagnosis crystal clear, and if you have ever suffered from cystitis in the past, you’ll recognise them immediately.

The two most common symptoms of cystitis are:

  • An overwhelming urge to urinate every few minutes, normally with little urine to pass
  • Burning pain during urination

Other symptoms may include:

  • Dragging pains in the lower abdomen and back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A painful burning sensation at the outer end of the urethra
  • Dark, often foul-smelling urine, which may also contain some traces of blood
  • Fever, if there is an infection present

What are your choices?

The natural approach to cystitis involves treating the underlying cause of cystitis while encouraging your body to heal itself. The fundamental aim is to help you restore your health so that you are less susceptible to future attacks of cystitis.


The supplements recommended below have been studied in clinical trials and have been found to be effective in connection with cystitis. For best results you should take them over a period of three months, at the end of which you should be reassessed in order to monitor improvements and changes and then adjust the supplement programme according to your new condition.
The aim is to use supplements that have been found to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of cystitis – partly because they promote a good acid/alkaline balance and also because they try to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary system and the bladder.
The supplements are also designed to help restore your health, which will naturally encourage your immune system to eliminate any unhealthy bacteria.

Multivitamin and Mineral

A good quality multivitamin and mineral would form the foundation of your supplement programme to make sure that you are getting a ‘little bit of everything’. You then add in those nutrients in slightly higher amounts which are known to be helpful for cystitis.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important vitamin in all cases of infection, and it also helps to boost immune activity. Many studies have shown that vitamin C helps to increase immune function. In the case of cystitis, vitamin C has been shown particularly to inhibit the growth of E. coli. Buy the vitamin C in an ascorbate form (the label will read magnesium or calcium ascorbate). If the label says ‘ascorbic acid’, it will be too acidic for cystitis sufferers.


Vitamin A and beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A, found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables) help to maintain healthy cells. By keeping cells healthy, you are more likely to prevent an invasion by bacteria. Vitamin A is also important for a healthy immune system.


This is a digestive enzyme that comes from pineapples. Bromelain is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been shown to have a beneficial effect on urinary tract infections, including cystitis.


Zinc is an important mineral for the immune system and it needs to be taken both when an infection is present and to prevent a recurrence. It is recognised for it anti-infectious properties (in other words, it can help to prevent an infection from taking hold).


Probiotics helps to restore the ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ bacteria (known as flora) in your body. When you have an attack of cystitis it may be beneficial to use a vaginal cream that contains acidophilus as well as taking it orally. It is better to take probiotics in supplement form when you suffer from cystitis rather than yoghurts or probiotic drinks as the levels of the beneficial bacteria will be higher.


We’ve known for some time that cranberries help cystitis and that they significantly reduce the bacteria associated with urinary tract infections. It was originally believed that cranberry juice reduced the symptoms of cystitis by making the urine more acidic – obviously not a desirable effect, as it is the acidic urine that causes the burning sensation.

We now know that cranberries work in a complexly different way. It seems that certain substances called condensed tannins in cranberries can stop bacteria such as E. coli from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.

For bacteria to infect your urinary tract, they must first stick to the mucosal (mucous membrane lining) walls of the tract. If they are unable to do so, they cannot multiply and are flushed from the body when you urinate. If you have had chronic cystitis in the past, it is worth using cranberries as a preventative measure.


Garlic has often been called ‘nature’s antibiotic’ and it has been found to control many bacteria which have been implicated in cystitis such as E coli, proteus, klebsiella and staphylococcus.


The aim of the herbal remedies is to boost your immune system to fight off infection.


In order to fight off infections without the need for antibiotics, and to prevent further infections causing cystitis, you will need to strengthen your immune system. Echinacea is the herb of choice here, as it has been shown to increase the white blood cell count and activity in order to effectively engulf bacteria and viruses.

Echinacea appears to be more effective when taken on and off. I suggest taking it for 10 days, then taking a break of three days before repeating for another 10 days.


You should not take the above herb if you are on medication unless it is recommended by a registered, experienced practitioner.

For more information on which other herbs to use for cystitis, see the rest of the Understanding Cystitis ebook at The Natural Health Practice which you can download.


There are a number of tests available that are extremely useful and are well worth considering. These tests can give you invaluable insights into understanding what is going on in your body at the moment and can tell you what vitamin and mineral deficiencies and heavy toxic metal excesses you may have. They can let you know what your general condition is and how well your digestive system is functioning and then explain what action you need to take to rectify any imbalances the results may reveal.

The analysis of these results lets you know what supplements you need to take in order to bring your body back into balance and into optimum health. This is also designed to help prevent these problems from recurring in the future. You would then be re-tested after three months to monitor your progress and to adjust the supplement programme accordingly.

Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme (hair)
Find out what the mineral and heavy toxic levels are in your body

This test measures the deficiencies and excess levels of 12 different minerals (including calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc) and 6 heavy toxic metals (including aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel) that may be present in your body. Find out more – Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme (hair).

Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme
Discover what vitamins and minerals you need and should be taking

The analysis of this comprehensive questionnaire will give you a three monthly supplement programme to help balance any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you may have. Find out more – Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme.

Omega 3 Deficiency Test (blood)
If you want to find out if you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids from your diet and whether you have the correct balance of essential fatty acids.

Signs of an Omega 3 fatty acid are dry skin, lifeless hair, cracked nails, fatigue, depression, dry eyes, lack of motivation, aching joints, difficulty in losing weight, forgetfulness, cystitis pain. If you have also tried to lose weight by going on a low-fat or no-fat diet, you are likely to be deficient in these essential fats. It is now estimated that we are getting ten times more Omega 6 fats from our diet than Omega 3 and over the last century there has been an 80% decrease in the consumption of these Omega 3 fatty acids. When you eat Omega 3 fats they are converted to substances that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Find out more – Omega 3 Deficiency Test (blood)

Many of the women I see in the clinic have been taking evening primrose oil supplements – an Omega 6 fatty acid – for many years as it can be helpful with PMS. But you can end up with too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 in your body. Some women are also taking combinations such as Omega 3, 6, and 9 in supplement form because they have heard that we need a good balance of all the Omega fatty acids. This is true, but you have to take into account what your own levels may be in the first place. It is no good adding in more Omega 6 if you have already got enough or in fact too much in your body. (You can now have a blood test to tell you if you have the correct levels of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in your body see below). To check whether you have sufficient levels of Omega 3 please click Omega 3 Deficiency Test (blood).

After three months you would then have a re-test in order to monitor your progress and adjust your supplement programme according to your new condition.

If you need help in obtaining any of the supplements, herbs or tests mentioned above, click, Cystitis options at The Natural Health Practice. They can supply all of them for you online or if you prefer to talk to somebody first you can also order by mail order on the telephone. The products supplied by this company are always of the highest quality.

Plan of Action


Ensure you are getting the right nutrition. Follow the dietary recommendations outlined in the free The Foundation of Health ebook For more information on the special dietary recommendations for cystitis, read the rest of the ebook on Understanding Cystitis ebook at The Natural Health Practice


The supplement programme below should be taken for at least three months in order to achieve best results

Nutrients & amounts

A good multi-vitamin & mineral supplement   Zinc 15mg
Vitamin C 500mg (4x per day) Bromelain 500mg
Beta-carotene 2mg Probiotic 22 billion beneficial bacteria

To avoid having to purchase numerous supplements for all of the above and to make the process easier, I have put together a supplement programme which contains all the nutrients mentioned above and in the correct dosages. For more information about these click Cystitis Supplement Programme.

In my book ‘The Natural Health Bible for Women’ I explain the impact of nutrition on cystitis and also give in great detail a list of the most important nutrients and herbs required in order to help you.

If you would like to order these special supplements now, you can do so through the Natural Health Practice by clicking Cystitis Supplements at the Natural Health Practice.


Good herbs should include:

Herbs & amounts

Cranberry 3.6g
Echinacea 300-400mg
Garlic 1000mg
At the end of three months you should reassess your condition and adjust your supplement programme accordingly.


The tests below have been specially selected to be the most helpful if you are concerned about cystitis.

Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme (hair)

Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme

Omega 3 Deficiency Test (at home finger prick test)

After three months you would then have a re-test in order to monitor your progress and adjust your supplement programme according to your new condition.

If you need help in obtaining any of the supplements, herbs or tests mentioned above, click, Cystitis options at The Natural Health Practice. They can supply all of them for you online or if you prefer to talk to somebody first you can also order by mail order on the telephone. The products supplied by this company are always of the highest quality.

Read More

Understanding Cystitis Ebook

The section above forms part of a larger ebook on Cystitis.

In the rest of the ebook you will learn what the medical approaches to cystitis are and how to combine them with the natural approach. This is called Integrated Medicine and is the way that health of the future is moving towards.

You will also learn what medical tests will give you an accurate diagnosis of your condition and if you really need to have them. The medical treatments for cystitis are then examined which can include looking at either drugs or surgery. Each treatment is then discussed and the pros and cons of the options explained.

The Integrated Approach to cystitis is considered in some detail so that if appropriate you can know how to combine the best of both conventional and natural medicine.

At the end of the ebook is a practical step by step summary of what you can do to help yourself.

If you would like to read the rest of this ebook click, Understanding Cystitis ebook at The Natural Health Practice and you will be given details of how you can download the whole ebook.

The Natural Health Bible for Women Book
Or if you would like even more in depth advice about Cystitis then read ‘The Natural Health Bible for Women’ book – An international best seller.


The contents of this site are for information only and are intended to assist readers in identifying symptoms and conditions they may be experiencing. This site is not intended to be a substitute for taking proper medical advice and should not be relied upon in this way. Always consult a qualified doctor or health practitioner, especially if you are pregnant, taking the pill or on any medication. Your situation will need to be looked at individually and you should not attempt to self treat. The author and publisher cannot accept responsibility for illness arising out of the failure to seek medical advice from a doctor.

The views expressed by third parties placing material on these pages are not representative of the views of the author or publisher. The Author and Publisher cannot monitor the content not produced by us and has not reviewed all the third party material published on this site and the Author and Publisher accept no liability whatsoever in relation to the content of third party material placed on these pages.