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Herbal Extract May Be Balm for Recurrent Bladder Infections

Herbal Extract May Be Balm for Recurrent Bladder Infections

DURHAM, N.C., April 9 -- A common herbal extract may alleviate the pain of a recurrent bladder infection, suggest experiments on mice.

The most common cause of a bladder infection is uropathogenic Escherichia coli, and the painful condition often recurs even after apparently successful treatment with antibiotics, according to Soman Abraham, Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center.

In experiments in mice, Dr. Abraham and colleagues found that the bacteria appear to hide in vesicles on bladder epithelial cells, where they are protected from antibiotics, the investigators reported online in Nature Medicine.

But the cells can be flushed out by forskolin, an extract from the Indian coleus plant, which is widely available in health food stores and is used in bodybuilding products, Dr. Abraham and colleagues found.


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