A research conducted by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center recently, revealed that a common herbal extract, available in regular health food store, has the ability to reduce frequent urinary tract infections, while also enhancing the ability of antibiotics in killing the bacteria responsible for most bladder infections.

On conducting a series of experiments in mice, researchers discovered that during antibiotic treatments, majority of the bacteria are either eliminated during urination or are killed. However, few bacteria survive antibiotic treatment, as they slip into the bladder lining. On completion of the antibiotic treatment, they come back and begin multiplying. This problem can be tackled by use of forskalin, an extract derived from the Indian Coleus plant, as it flushes out the hidden bacteria, thereby making them susceptible to the antibiotic treatment. Hence the use of this herb, in combination with antibiotics, would help in expelling the bacteria completely so that they can be treated with antibiotics, and recurrent infections can thereby be prevented.

Though, forskalin has been used for centuries in treating variety of ailments, it is mostly used in treating cases of painful urination. It is also included in bodybuilding products, as it is claimed to increase bone mass, and is considered an effective weight-loss aid.

However, as the herb is yet to be tested and regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the researchers suggest that patients with urinary tract infection should consult their physician prior to trying forskalin.