Anatomy and Physiology: Aromatherapy for the Urinary System

One of the excretory systems of your body, your urinary system includes two kidneys, two ureters, one urinary bladder and one urethra. It rids your body of waste through the kidney's production of urine. Blood is filtered of the waste products of metabolism by the kidneys, from which urine is produced and transported by two ureters to the bladder for temporary storage until it is discharged from the body via the urethra.

Cleansing and purifying

The kidneys also maintain the correct fluid balance of your body. For example, if a large amount of fluid enters your body you urinate more, if less fluid enters you urinate less. Overall, your urinary system is responsible for cleansing and purifying your body and maintaining the correct fluid-mineral balance.

urinary system

But when it becomes prone to infection this can leave you feeling debilitated and weak.

Essential Oils for your Urinary System

Urinary infections can often be treated with essential oils that are antiseptic, while other disorders such as water retention benefit from the use of diuretics. It is strongly recommended, however, that if disease develops in the urinary system, medical advice is sought immediately alongside the use of essential oils.


One of the most important essential oils used to treat urinary tract infections is sandalwood. It is astringent, bactericidal, diuretic and fungicidal. In Ayurvedic traditions (the oldest comprehensive system of medicine in the world) sandalwood is used as a urinary (and respiratory) tonic. Other antiseptic oils useful for your urinary system include bergamot, cajeput, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, palmarosa, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.


Cedarwood, cypress, fennel, geranium, grapefruit, juniper and lemon oils all have diuretic properties that aid in water retention and the elimination of toxins.

Treating the Urinary System

There are several methods of use that may be employed to effectively treat infections of your urinary system, including baths, sitz baths and douches.


Often caused by the infection of the bacterium Escherichia coli, cystitis sees an inflammation of the urinary bladder accompanied by the increased need to urinate and the passing of urine with a burning sensation. In severe cases, there is a painful passage of blood in the urine and the lower abdomen experiences cramping sensations after the bladder has emptied. Conventional treatment involves taking antibiotics and a recommended increase in fluid intake.

sitz bath

Essential oils that bring relief to the symptoms of cystitis, while also fighting infection, are sandalwood, lavender and bergamot. Blend these three oils in a three percent dilution in 30ml of base oil for use in a bath.
You can also use one of these oils in a sitz bath.

A sitz bath involves sprinkling four to six drops of oils in a warm bowl of water and sitting in it for 10 minutes.


Thrush is a common infection that most women and men will experience, though it is more common in females. It is caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. This organism lives normally on the skin, mouth, gut and vagina, but vertain bodily changes or conditions can cause it to overgrow and lead to infection. These include taking certain prescribed antibiotics, diabetes, pregnancy, wearing too-tight trousers or nylon underwear and using toiletries that may cause irritation, such as vaginal deodorants. It is possible to catch thrush through sexual intercourse with someone who is already carrying the infection, though it isn't usually sex-related.

Antiseptic oils such as bergamot, lavender and tea tree can help treat thrush. Use these in baths and/or to wash the area with a jug douche. Fill a one-litre jug with warm water and add six drops of essential oils. Pour over the vaginal area while standing in the bath.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (renal calculi) are very common and despite the name can be found in any part of the urinary tract from the kidneys to the ureters and bladder. They are more likely to occur in men than women and the problem is often recurring. About 60 percent of sufferers will develop another kidney stone within seven years of the previous one. The exact cause is often difficult to detect. It may be through dehydration, urinary tract infection, prolonged periods of bed rest or even diet. In the case of the latter, a diet rich in oxalic acid (found in coffee, spinach, dark leafy greens and rhubarb) increases the risk. Calcium stones can also occur due to a disorder in the metabolism of calcium in the body.

Though medical advice should be sought, natural remedies are helpful in treating kidney stones. Diuretic and cleansing oils of fennel, geranium, juniper and lemon may be diluted in a blend and massaged over the kidney area.

kidney massage

Childhood Bedwetting

The medical term for bedwetting is nocturnal enuresis an it is not generally considered to be a problem unless it continues after the age of five. By the age of three most children have outgrown bedwetting. One of the challenges of the toddler years is to achieve conscious control over urination and most children don't become toilet trained until ages two to four. Generally, boys take longer than girls to develop full control over their bladders. The most common cause of bedwetting is due to this immaturity of the nervous systems to control urination. Also, the urethra's muscles may not be fully developed.

Aromatherapy uses cypress oil blended in a one percent dilution in olive oil and rubbed on the stomach before bedtime. Sitting in a cool sitz bath for about five minutes daily can also help tone up urethral muscles.