I woke one morning at the end of May and noticed a slight discomfort and burning upon urination. Familiar with urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms I immediately suspected a slight UTI. However, since I have never had an UTI as an adult, I felt confident that it would soon be gone. This was simply an illness I did not get. I drank more water and gave myself a couple shots of berberis tincture (an effective broad spectrum herbal antibiotic) thinking all would be well.
After a few days, when the discomfort persisted, I decided to amp up my attack. I dug out a bottle of Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) a plant that is used similarly to uva-ursi, but without the harshness on the stomach. One of the main ingredients is arbutin, which is hydrolyzed to hydroquinone in the urinary tract where it exerts an antiseptic effect.
A week went by; the UTI persisted. I went online and researched other alternatives. D-Mannose came up high on the list, outperforming cranberry extracts. It is specific for UTI’s caused by E. coli and, since this is the most common bacteria implicated in UTIs, it is effective for 90% of infections. Since the pipsissewa and berberis did not work, I suspected that I had some killer bacteria, not some simple E. coli, but I ordered some mannose just in case.
To cover the 10% of infections caused by other bugs I used monolaurin. Monolaurin is derived from coconut oil and it disrupts the cell membranes of gram positive bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Listeria, Bacillus, and Clostridium.
Unfortunately, the UTI persisted and at the two week mark I headed to the doctor to get a culture to precisely identify who was wrecking havoc in my urethra.
Indeed I tested positive for UTI, but it would take a couple days to get the culture results back. In the meantime the doctor prescribed a three day course of trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole as an antibiotic. I decided to take the drug, since I thought it was worth a try, but by the third day it was clearly ineffective. I needed the culture results.
There was a delay getting my results back. On Friday afternoon, four days after I gave the lab my urine sample it became clear that I was going to go the weekend without a bacterial identity. I eased off on the herbal antibiotics and focused on palliative care. Two things had helped with the bladder discomfort and urethra burn during the previous weeks: one was baking soda and the other was watermelon.
Watermelon is specific for easing the pain of burning urine and I had used it with my daughter when she was a child many years earlier. Fast and effective. You can use the entire melon – simply put watermelon slices in a blender: rind, seeds and flesh and then drink. Or you can eat the melon as you normally would.
As for the baking soda I decided to use 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. This raises the pH of the urine and can be soothing to the tissue. Although not considered a cure, I had tried using it during the earlier stages of the infection in order to potentiate the hydrolysis of the arbutin in Chimaphila. I found it decreased the discomfort from the infection.
With the plan to get an antibiotic that matched my antibiotic resistant bacteria on Monday, I focused on offering my body relief from symptoms during the weekend. I was surprised by what happened. By Sunday night I was completely free of all signs of infection and had lost the five pounds I had gained in the previous week due to inflammation around the infected area. My energy had returned and I felt great!
Then I was even more surprised by what happened next. After enjoying sex on Sunday night, I awoke with all my symptoms back on Monday morning. Within 24 hours I had regained three pounds in water weight also. Sex can be a common contributing factor for UTIs since foreign bacteria can be introduced during the process. This is why it is recommended that a woman pee and even wash after sexual activity. Since I was being careful about UTIs I made sure that I not only urinated, but also washed after sex on Sunday night. I was baffled.
Monday I got my results back. I had an antibiotic resistant strain of Proteus mirabilis, a common intestinal bacteria. The doctor prescribed a seven day course of amoxicillin with clavulanate. Unfortunately, I arrived at the clinic during pharmacy lunch hours and had to wait. However, that gave me some time to search on effective alternative treatments for Proteus spp. I quickly found many research reports using essential oils in the treatment of UTI, especially in UTIs caused by antibiotic resistance bacteria strains.
Then I found a clue to how I had cured the infection over the weekend. I had been traveling to Mt Shasta that weekend and when I filled up the water bottles for the trip I had added several drops of lime essential oil into each bottle. In turns out that research by Prabuseenivasan et.al. shows that lime essential oil can effectively inhibit Proteus.
I decided to hold off on the pharmaceutical antibiotics, because I sensed they would be more harsh on my body than natural products. I also knew if I could clear this once, I could clear it again. The research suggested that essential oils of cinnamon, lime and orange would be the most effective against the bacteria in my urinary tract. I started using a few drops of these several times a day.
I saw immediate results. By Wednesday, when my UTI test strips arrived, I showed no signs of bacterial infection, although I still tested positive for leukocytes. Likewise, my pH was in the healthy acidic range (6.0). My test results on Thursday also indicated the infection was gone.
Then Thursday night I had sex again. This time I was even more cautious. Thinking that perhaps my partner was introducing this Proteus, I allowed no bare skin contact of any of his body parts with my genitals.
This was to no avail. Friday morning I awoke with obvious UTI symptoms and the UTI test showed off the chart bacterial activity and a high level of leukocytes. My urine pH had soared to 8.5, indicative of Proteus mirabilis infection.
Enough was enough! I made an appointment with Dr. Lynne Cockrum-Murphy, a talented ThetaHealer and intuitive consultant. If physical methods will not cure something then there is an energetic pattern holding it in place. In my case it was becoming clear that there was some connection between sexual activity and the recurrence of the UTI that extended beyond mere germs.
It is interesting to note that the only other time I have had an UTI was when I was five years old. That infection was caught during the physical to enter kindergarten, I don’t actually remember having symptoms. UTIs in children are a common symptom of sexual abuse and this is probably how I had contracted it. Of course, this cause was overlooked in my case.
When I considered the energetic purposes that a UTI might serve, the obvious one was “The UTI protects me from sex”. This Dr. Cockrum-Murphy confirmed. As we explored the reasons I might want protection from sex, we found a lot of trauma responses from the five year old. Beliefs like: “sex hurts me”, “sex crushes me”, and “in submission I lose my life”. None of these beliefs hold true today, but apparently I had triggered a layer of trauma that was ready to be released. Once we cleared the beliefs regarding sex, the need for protection fell away. I even tested it with a session of afternoon sex. That evening I tested for the UTI again. It was completely gone. Even the leukocytes were at the lowest level that had been since I got the test strips. I was amazed. I continued to do follow up with oregano essential oil, just to make sure there was not a physical recurrence. It has been two week now, and my urinary tract is doing great.