Acute bladder inflammation (cystitis) is a common condition, and is typically associated with frequent urging to urinate, pain associated with urination, and abdominal or pelvic pain or tenderness.  Urine may be cloudy, or have an altered colour or odour, and in some cases there may be blood in the urine (haematuria).  Fever is sometimes associated with cystitis, however this is more often an indication of a deeper problem involving the whole urinary tract, and including the kidneys.  Urinary tract infection involving the kidneys is a deeper and more serious situation which can deteriorate quickly, so professional care is strongly advised – never delay seeking help from your usual medical provider while you attempt home treatment.

In Chinese medicine, the bladder is associated with the emotions of resentment, jealousy and suspicion.  There is a phrase in common English usage: ‘pissed off’, which suggests anger, irritation or resentment.  In the whole person approach of homeopathy, we often find that acute – and especially chronic, recurrent – urinary tract infections are associated with emotional trauma, abuse and buried emotions.  Professional care for a recurring tendency to such infections will often include support in acknowledging and healing the underlying emotions.

Acute cystitis can be treated at home with a remedy or remedies that accurately match your own individual symptom picture.  The proviso here is this – where there is any cause for concern, especially indicating a deepening problem, or where your symptoms do not respond swiftly to a remedy, professional care is strongly advised without delay.

Here are some of the remedies most often indicated in acute cystitis:


Burning stinging pain during and after urinating, they feel as if scalded internally.  Irritation and burning at neck of bladder.  Frequent urging to urinate, difficult to retain urine even for a moment.  Symptoms often accompanied by restlessness, and they are usually thirstless, having to force themselves to drink.


Violent burning cutting pain – before, during and after urination.   Intolerable urging to urinate, urine passed drop by drop.  The picture is similar to Apis, but the painful burning is even more violent in Cantharis.  

Nux vomica

Irritable bladder with painful, frequent ineffectual urging.  Itching, burning at neck of bladder.  Painful spasm of bladder or urethra.  Pressure on bladder before urinating.  Symptoms are typically worse in the later part of the night and in the morning.


Burning pain during and after urination, with frequent urging.  There is often a burning pain in the urethra when not urinating.  One of the main remedies for cystitis in pregnancy and especially after delivery.  Staphysagria is also the main remedy for cystitis after abdominal/pelvic surgery or catheterisation.  The physical symptoms are often associated with feelings of being abused or invaded, or with buried or pent up emotions.


Severe cutting pain during urination.  Sarsparilla is one if the main remedies for cystitis, especially where the pain is felt towards the end of urination.  The person typically feels cold and shivery, with chills that spread from the bladder to the back and upper body, after urination.  

Arsenicum album

Intense burning pain in bladder during urination, with coldness of extremities and great thirst.   Think of Arsenicum where there is internal burning, and marked subjective chilliness, with aggravation from external cold in any form (eg cold air, cold applications, cold drinks).  The person typically feels restless, anxious and exhausted.  There may be a feeling of weakness in the abdomen after urination.  


Painful urging with frequent desire to urinate, with sensation of pressure on bladder, worse for lying on the back.  Feeling as if the bladder is too full, and the area feels sensitive to touch.  Pain in bladder and urethra during and after urination.  The pain is felt as burning, or spasmodic, and feels worse for walking, and better for local pressure.  There may be a sensation as if a stone is rolling in the bladder. 

Merc sol

Burning pain before, during and after urination, with passing of small quantities of urine.  Urine causes itching and irritation of the skin, and is typically strong or offensive smelling.  There is frequent urging at night.  Soreness to touch in region of bladder. 

Uva ursi

Burning and tearing pain in bladder or urethra during urination.  Frequent urging, with spasms of bladder.  Constant ineffectual straining, or with passing of only a few drops.  Urine contains mucus or pus, with strong pungent odour.  

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