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Health: Cashew leaf promises cure for urinary tract infections, By Sade Oguntola

Health: Cashew leaf promises cure for urinary tract infections, By Sade Oguntola

Antibiotics can be lifesaving, but using them over a long period might raise the odds of heart disease and stroke in older women with respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and dental problems. Now, experts say that cashew leaf is a natural solution to urinary tract infections.

In a new study, researchers found extracts of cashew leaf is able to kill germs that cause urinary tract infections like Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Ethanol and water fraction of the extract respectively have the highest activity against Staphylococcus aureus, while Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae during the antibacterial screening.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system — the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.

A bladder infection may cause pelvic pain, increased urge to urinate, pain with urination and blood in the urine. A kidney infection may cause back pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.

In a study to determine the prevalence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in Okada, a rural community in Nigeria, women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men.

This study also indicated that Escherichia coli was the most prevalent isolate generally in females, while Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant isolate causing urinary tract infection in males.

The study reported that the resulting extracts were active against the entire three selected microorganisms. The extracts killed the Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae at 2.0, 1.0, 0.5, 0.25, and 0.125 g/l except Klebsiella pneumoniae at 0.125 g/l. However, the two extracts inhibited the growth of the entire three selected organisms at 0.0625 g/l.

The 2019 study in the Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research involved I. A. Hassan, I. Abdulraheem, H. O. Emun and O. M. Shonowo at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Lagos State.

Based on the findings of this work, the researchers said the leaf extract of cashew tree dissolved in distilled water and ethanol with estimated concentration have good potential for the development of antibacterial drugs.

However, they said more research is needed to fully establish the usefulness of cashew tree to humanity as a source of drugs for the alleviation of illness caused by microorganisms so as to fully harness its potentials.

The cashew leaf and other plants are extensively used in traditional and Ayurvedic medicines for the treatment of various diseases such as malaria, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, leprosy, internal worm infections, constipation, wart and sore throat.

The shell of the cashew seed yields derivatives that can be used in many applications including lubricants, waterproofing, paints, and arms production, starting in World War II. The cashew pulp can be processed into a sweet fruit drink or distilled into liquor.

Previously, researchers suggested that UTIs can be affected by one’s diet. In fact, most researchers say diet directly making the pH of urine slightly acidic can be beneficial for fighting off a UTI.

Diet is important in treating urinary tract infection. It supports the body’s immune system, reduce irritation in the healing process and help the body shed bacteria

For instance, garlic is a potent remedy for urinary tract infections. It has a variety of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and immune-modulatory effects. Crush five to six cloves of fresh garlic. Soak them in warm water for five to 10 minutes and drink the water throughout the day.

Eating cucumber throughout the day will encourage urine production to flush out harmful bacteria from the bladder and urethra. Researchers in 2012 Journal of European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology said cucumber is a juicy fruit and its seeds have diuretic properties,

Studies have found that holding urine for a long time allows bacteria to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a urinary tract infection.

Eating fermented foods also helps to restore the body’s natural flora and recolonise the bladder with helpful bacteria. Some of the healthiest fermented foods include probiotic yoghurt and raw cheese.

Research published in the Indian Journal of Urology explains that benign bacterial flora is crucial for preventing the overgrowth of microorganisms that lead to illness.

Some lifestyle measures that may help, including drinking more water to flush out bacteria, or drinking green tea to ward off infection. Studies show that green tea can have an antimicrobial effect on E. coli bacteria that cause UTIs.

In addition, research shows that green tea contains certain antioxidants that can reduce bladder inflammation

*Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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