One of the many things I love about Thanksgiving and Christmas is the availability of fresh cranberries, those gorgeous red globes of goodness that make turkey SO FUN! I don’t really care for turkey, but you dollop some cranberry relish on it, and I’m hooked. Turkey coma here I come!!!
Cranberries are one of the worlds healthiest foods (click here to read why), and they’re also a time-honored aid for bladder health. If you are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), you’ve probably taken cranberry supplements or dosed up on cranberry juice since a component of cranberries can help prevent bacteria from “sticking” to the urinary tract walls.
Even if you aren’t prone to UTIs, you can still jump on the current availability of cranberries to boost your immune system and prophylactically amp up your bladder health! Purchase several containers of fresh cranberries, wash and dry them, and freeze them for later use. You’ll be glad you did… Especially if you feel a UTI coming on.
My recent UTI story:
I haven’t had a bladder infection in years… But last week, I knew I was developing one. I constantly had to urinate, and as soon as I was done I felt like I had to go again. I also felt a sensation that’s hard to describe… not really PAIN, but rather that “something was up” in my bladder and urethra. (It just felt FUNKY. You know what I mean???)
What I did:
The most important thing I did was to trust my intuition and act FAST. Rather then hem and haw and waste time, I began treating myself EARLY — at home — before getting an “official” UTI diagnosis from my doc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not saying to avoid your doc… If you think there’s a problem with ANYTHING related to your health, by all means, have a medical professional evaluate and treat you. However, there’s an element of personal responsibility and empowerment that I think we can ALL “take back” by creating a FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE using natural home solutions. If your intuition tells you to try a home treatment first, then do it! You’ve got nothing to lose if your symptoms are mild and if you are otherwise healthy and strong. When trying home remedies, monitor yourself closely and seek medical care if your symptoms don’t improve or if they worsen.
The first thing I did was to go to my “natural medicine cabinet” and grab my protective essential oil blend (OnGuard, from doTERRA). This blend is a wonderful way to boost the immune system and halt the “bad guys” (bad bacteria) in their tracks.
Three times per day, for three days, I applied a single drop of OnGuard directly over my bladder region, and then another drop directly over my kidney regions (on my back).
Then I whipped up this cranberry-orange smoothie recipe.
As soon as I realized that a UTI was (likely) in the works, my mind went to cranberries. I didn’t have any juice, but I did have a freezer full of frozen cranberries to prepare for Thanksgiving and my family’s favorite raw cranberry relish.
I added orange juice for vitamin C and to boost circulation, OnGuard essential oil for antioxidants and immune support, and probiotic-filled non-dairy yogurt to boost the “good bacteria” in my gut. Balancing your gut flora via probiotic-rich food is great for your health in general, but I specifically used yogurt in this UTI-friendly recipe with the possibility in mind that a round of antibiotics might be in my future if my natural remedies didn’t work.
Thankfully, they worked!
After three days of applying OnGuard directly over my urinary organs and drinking one serving of this cranberry-orange smoothie each day — plus pumping loads of water through my system — my UTI symptoms disappeared.
In the end, who knows?? Maybe I never had a UTI brewing to begin with… But then again, maybe I did!
Either way, I’m glad I had natural solutions on-hand to help me through the discomfort of bladder pressure and frequent urination. These natural solutions prevented a time-consuming trip to the doctor, and might have prevented a course of gut-busting antibiotics. I’ve done so much to improve my gut health over the years (via changing my diet and managing my stress), that I choose to avoid antibiotics whenever possible.
Enjoy this immune-boosting cranberry orange smoothie for bladder health!
Dairy-Free Cranberry Orange Smoothie
Makes one serving. Tart and tangy, and a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up!
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt (try my homemade coconut yogurt!)
- 1/2 cup (handful) ice cubes
- 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 soft, plump Medjool date (pit removed)
- 2 drops OnGuard essential oil blend from doTERRA (if you don’t have OnGuard or choose not to use it, substitute 1 tsp finely grated orange zest, a pinch of ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
Place all ingredients in a blender. Start on low and then increase speed to high. Serve immediately.
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More cranberry recipes from my archives:
My family’s favorite raw cranberry relish (Thanskgiving Recap)
Try my cranberry-orange n’oatmeal (pictured below)! Add dried cranberries, orange zest, and a small spoonful of orange juice concentrate to my N’Oatmeal recipe.
You might also like these women’s health posts:
Thanks for reading. Until next time… Shine on!