Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Herbal Fix for Bladder Infection?

Herbal Medicine Forskolin May Reduce Urinary Tract Infection
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 9, 2007 -- Forskolin, an herbal medicine made from the Asiatic coleus plant, may help treat urinary tract infection.

That's according to preliminary tests done in mice.

The researchers who conducted those tests included Duke University microbiologist Soman Abraham, PhD.

They note that forskolin has been used for centuries in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments, including painful urination.

The scientists tested forskolin in female mice with bladder infections caused by E. coli bacteria, which cause most urinary tract infections.

Twenty-four hours after the mice were infected with E. coli, the researchers injected forskolin directly into the mice's bladders or their belly.

For comparison, the scientists injected saltwater into the bladders of other female mice with E. coli bladder infections.

One day after treatment, the mice in the forskolin group had less E. coli bacteria in their bladders than the mice that got the saltwater shot.

The forskolin group also had lower levels of inflammatory chemicals in their urine, the study shows.

"This type of treatment strategy may prove beneficial for patients with recurrent urinary tract infections," Abraham says in a Duke University news release.

He notes that antibiotics get rid of most bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, but some bacteria may hide in the bladder's lining. Forskolin may force those hidden bacteria out of the bladder's lining, where they could be targeted by antibiotics.

"Ideally, use of this herb would expel the bacteria, where it would then be hit with antibiotics. With the reservoir of hiding bacteria cleared out, the infection should not occur," Abraham says.

The researchers didn't test forskolin on people.

The study appears online in Nature Medicine.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror