The term ‘Cystitis’ refers to ‘inflammation of the bladder’. It is a most common complaint in
women. Escherichia coli infections are considered the primary culprit in cystitis. The female
anatomy makes it more convenient for e.coli bacteria, which normally inhabit the colon., to travel
from the rectum to the vagina, up the urethra and into the bladder. This condition is rarely
dangerous but it is generally a forerunner to more serious troubles. The reoccurrence of cystitis
may in some cases be associated with kidney troubles.
The kidney and bladder are the principal strikers in the urinary system. The kidneys are situated
on the back of the abdomen, one on each side of the spine at about the level of the lowest rib.
The bladder is situated in the lower abdomen, in the pelvis. The body is relieved of the greater
part of the waste matter, resulting from the complex working of the whole body’s vital processes
by means of these two organs.
Cystitis is characterised by symptoms which may cause great discomfort. The patient complains
of frequency and burning on urination as well as an almost continual urge to void. There may be
a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen. The urine may become thick, dark and stingy.
It may have an unpleasant smell and may contain blood or pus. The ‘scalding’ sensation on
passing urine indicates that the inflammation has spread to the urethra. Some pain in the lower
back may also be felt in certain cases. In an acute stage there may be a rise in body
temperature. In the chronic form of cystitis, the symptoms are similar but generally less several
and without the rise in temperature. The persistence of the chronic form of the disease indicates
a process of deterioration, almost invariably due to wrong treatment of the acute form by
Cystitis may result from infections in other parts adjacent to the bladder such as the kidneys, the
urethra, and the vagina. Local irritation and inflammation of the bladder may be caused if urine is
retained there for an unduly long time. It may also result from severe constipation.
Continual draining of pus and germs from an infected kidney may injure the epithelial lining of
the bladder. Trouble may also arise from the presence of a stone in either bladder or kidney.
Childbirth injuries and major surgical procedures within the pelvis may also lower the resistance
of the bladder-wall and predispose to the development of the cystitis. There is also the problem
of new brides who sometimes suffer from so-called honeymoon cystitis. The bladder wall may
become swollen and ulcerated so that the bladder cannot hold the normal amount of urine.
Germs may then find their way into the bladder and bring about chemical changes in the urine.
Calcium or lime may thus be deposited in the walls of the bladder, increasing the patient’s
At the onset of acute cystitis, it is essential to withhold all solid food immediately. If there is fever,
the patient should fast either on water or tender coconut water for three or four days. If there is
no fever, raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice diluted with water, should be taken every
two or three hours. By so doing the biochemical energy needed for digestion and metabolism of
food is diverted to the process of eliminating toxins and promoting healing and repair. It is
advisable to rest and keep warm at this time.
Pain can be relieved by immersing the pelvis in hot water or alternatively by applying heat to the
abdomen, using a towel wrung out in hot water, covering it with dry towel to retain warmth. Care should be taken to avoid scalding. A little vegetable oil gently rubbed into the skin , will avoid too much reddening. This treatment may be continued for three or four days, by which time the inflammation should have subsided and the temperature returned to normal.
For the next two or three days, only ripe sub-acid fruits may be taken three or four times daily.
These fruits may include grapes, pears, peaches,apples, and melon, as available.
While the hot compresses are intended to relieve pain, the use of cold water compresses to the
abdomen is most valuable, if correctly applied, in relieving pelvic congestion and increasing the
activity of the skin. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that compresses do not cause
After the all-fruit diet, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The patient should avoid refined carbohydrates
and salt, both at table and in cooking. Salt disturbs the balance of electrolytes and tends to raise
blood pressure, which is frequently already raised in kidney troubles.
The prescribed dietary should exclude meat, fish and poultry. They produce uric acid. Most
cases of food poisoning and infections, which may lead to gastritis and colitis, are also caused
by the flesh foods.
In case of chronic cystitis, the patient should commence the treatment of strict adherence to the
dietary programme, designed to cleanse the blood and other tissues and at the same time
provide a rich source of natural vitamins and minerals in balanced proportions.
The patient may adopt the following restricted diet for seven to ten days.
Upon arising : A glass of unsweetened apple juice or carrot juice
Breakfast : Fresh fruits, selected mainly from apple, pear, grapes, melon, peach and pineapple
and a glass of buttermilk, sweetened with a little honey.
Mid-morning : Tender coconut water.
Lunch : A salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beetroot and cabbage, mixed with curd and a
tablespoon of honey. This may be followed by a ripe apple.
Mid-afternoon : One cup of unsweetened grape juice.
Dinner : A salad of green leafy vegetables and a fresh fruit, preferably a portion of melon
sweetened with a teaspoon of honey.
Before retiring : One glass of mixed raw carrot and beetroot juice.
After the restricted diet, the patient should gradually embark on a well-balanced diet , consisting
of seed, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. Even after the recovery from the chronic
condition, it will be advisable for the individual to live exclusively on vegetables or on tender
coconut water or raw vegetable juices for a day or two, every month. The water treatment and
other health building methods should , however, be continued to the greatest extent possible, so
that the patient may stay cured.