Professor Soman Abraham and his colleagues from the Duke University Medical Center found a herb that could help treat recurrent UTI or aid in antibiotic treatment.

The Indian herb called forskalin, also known as the Indian Coleus plant, has been used in ancient Asia a wide variety of ailments, especially painful urinations.

Today, the herb is being sold in health stores as a body building supplement, aid to decreasing allergies and as a weight loss supplement.

Urinary infections account for about 8.3 million doctor visits annually and almost 20% of women who have a UTI will have another. The reason of recurrent infections is that antibiotics used for their treatment are not able to target all bacteria. It is because bacteria often hide in recesses or pouches in the bladder wall and escape attack that way.

The forskolin herb helps by enhancing cellular activity in the bladder wall and in this way, the hiding bacteria are flushed out into the bladder or urine and hence vulnerable to action by the antibiotics.

However, since the herb hasn’t been tested on humans yet, the researchers are not advising self-medication. Its use should be discussed with a urologist.