Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Herbal treatment may help treat UTIs

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Urinary tract infections are common, painful, and often recurrent. That's because the bacteria that cause the infection (usually E. coli) can hide in the nearly impenetrable wall of the bladder, where there are plenty of tiny niches for bacteria to ride out the course of antibiotics against them.

New research, however, shows that forskalin -- a common herbal extract -- excites cells and forces the bacteria back out into the bladder where antibiotics can reach it or where it can be vacated via urination. Though in testing forskalin was administered by IV or needle, studies are already beginning to see if the benefit can be found by taking the herbal remedy orally.

If forskalin works -- and it did appear to flush out 75% of bacteria in the study -- it would enhance the current regimen of antibiotic drugs used to treat infections, and lower the risk of side effects and drug-resistant bacteria as well. If you have recurrent urinary tract infections, talk to your doctor before taking anything new to treat them.

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