Best Natural Pain-Reducing tools for Interstitial Cystitis




I was recently contacted by a very nice young woman, who was diagnosed with IC and was obviously suffering tremendous pain. Having been there myself for many years in agony, I decided to write a post about the many tools I acquired over the years that really made a HUGE difference in my ability to control the pain, inflammation and urgency. They are all inexpensive, non-toxic household ingredients that can be used regularly to minimize the pain and support the immune system during the healing process. Part of controlling the pain is understanding that bladder health is linked to the health of our guts, genital health and thus connected to our whole body. Treating more than just the bladder is very beneficial in reducing the acidic pain and inflammation responsible for IC symptoms. In this article I will not be getting into dietary or over-all lifestyle suggestions but here’s a quick overview: as most of you know, the dietary basics are avoiding all processed foods, sugars, soft-drinks, alcohol, over-consumption of commercial meats (a small amount of organic pastured meat is okay-lamb is better than beef), all dairy unless raw organic and preferably goat-derived. I personally suggest avoiding toxic medications, drugs, negative thinking and over-exercising as well which depletes an already ill body. Adequate sleep (ideally 10 or more hours a night), proper hygiene, adequate (non-tap) water intake and deep breathing are all very essential as well. Generally this goes for healing from all diseases.

Please bear in mind that some of my pain-management methods may seem a little ‘weird and wonderful’ to some (you may even ask yourselves how on earth I thought to do some of these things or why I am publicizing it?!), but when you are deep in the misery of a nasty ‘flare-up’, most of us are desperate enough to place our hands in dog poo if it promised relief, and don’t lie to yourself…you would so do it!! I truly hope that some, or all of these methods are able to help bring you the tremendous comfort they did for me. Don’t forget to always drink a lot of water, dehydration and concentrated urine creates unbearable pain!! So here goes:

1- The first thing I recommend to EVERYONE who has IC (or any disease, especially cancer and any disease ending with ‘itis’!) is to immediately begin taking organic turmeric every day, 3 times per day if you can. You have the option of using organic (so it’s not irradiated as conventional spices are) turmeric powder from a health store, or if you can find fresh raw turmeric root (it looks like ginger) and eat it fresh with meals or juice it with veggie juices. Personally I find it easiest to use the powder, 1/2-1 tsp. in lots of  water first thing in the morning and 2 other times in the day, between meals. This beautiful golden powder possesses a powerful ability to neutralize free radicals and toxins in the body by supplying abundant anti-oxidants as well as having the unparalleled ability to squelch inflammation and is a naturally strong analgesic (pain-reliever). Who ever needs aspirin?! This traditional Ayurvedic/Indian herb is the perfect IC-pain tool and also supports the natural healing process of the body long-term. It can be taken indefinitely, as long as you are not allergic of course!

2- Natural Baking soda WITHOUT ALUMINUM. Please consider that this particular tool is for short-term, temporary use ONLY and should not be taken internally for a prolonged period of time in large amounts. Also over-consumption of this substance can be very dangerous to the body, please use only in the amounts suggested. To immediately help with the fire-burning pain of IC or any UTI, I like to use 1/2 tsp. of baking soda, with a bit of fresh lemon juice in a large glass of water on an empty stomach, 1-3 times a day during bad flare ups.  This glorious, pristinely alkaline substance neutralizes acids in our urine; inhibiting pathogenic overgrowths which contribute to many IC attacks. It is a wonderful tool to very quickly alkalize the body and urine, removing the assaultive acid on your raw tender bladder. The lemon juice helps with the taste and adds minerals.

3-  Garlic. There are a few wonderful things you can do with these precious bulbs! I recommend eating as much garlic as you can, raw is best. I love to juice a bud with my veggie juices and put raw garlic in all of my salad dressings or sprinkled on soups, to marinate meats and so on. This gorgeous seasoning not only tastes awesome (and you can invite your friends to share the meal so they are not repulsed by your rank-garlic breath!), but it is the most potent natural antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-parasite, anti-yeast food there is. Allicin in garlic literally destroys almost all types of pathogens in the gut and bloodstream, making the body inhospitable to unwanted invaders. In addition to being a notable anti-inflammatory and possessing the ability to dissolve arterial and cellular plaque, aiding in circulatory and cardiovascular health as well. “And the nobel Prize goes to…”

Another wonderful garlic tool that has literally SAVED me from the depths of my bladder-anguish, is to use a whole garlic clove as a vaginal suppository during severe flare-ups. Okay, I know this sounds wacky as hell (and not so dead-sexy), but please hear me out, as this can make the WORLD of difference! Contrary to popular understanding, most cases of IC are caused by pathogenic infections, in combination with malnutrition, toxicity, over acidity and poor energy flow within the body (homeostatic imbalance). The reason Doctors do not find an infection in your bladder with IC when they test you is because most modern tests are only able to detect a bacterial presence. Well guess what?! The most common infections in the body are not bacterial ones. Most of us are loaded with nasty microscopic parasites and worms that lay eggs in mucous membranes all over our bodies; particularly our genito-urinary systems (hello Bladder! and genitals-FUN) and our respiratory systems and guts (hence why we have such an outbreak of Inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis, IBS and Crohn’s, as well as such an epidemic of Asthma and sinusitis!) these nasty critters also carry viruses into our bodies that are tiny and opportunistic as well, passing in and out of our cells, laying dormant until our bodies are depleted enough for them to come out and play. These organisms cause systemic infections in bodies that are low in vitality- hence all of us with IC! This is not to mention Candida and other destructive pathogenic yeasts that overgrow abundantly in bodies that have had their immunity compromised with the use of alcohol, antibiotics, birth control pills and nasty processed, sugar and chemical-laden diets as well as through negative thinking. If you do not believe me, ask your Doctor to run a bladder infection test for your IC and ask them to test for the presence of white blood cells in your urine. Most cases will show increased white blood cell activity in the bladder (even without bacteria); which does not exist in a healthy bladder. White blood cells are an immune response to INFECTIONS!! This also explains why most people with IC also have regularly or have had at least one vaginal bacterial or yeast vaginal as well and why IC has all of the same symptoms as a regular bacterial urinary tract infection, only worse. This is where garlic can help:

 What you do: Basically you take a peeled medium sized garlic clove, using a knife to cut few shallow slits into it in several locations, lube it up with coconut oil  (be generous so that insertion is easy) and insert it the way you would a tampon with no applicator. You do this whenever you have bad IC flare ups, or overnight if you have bacterial or yeast infections (5 nights in a row). DO NOT FORGET TO GO GET IT OUT THE NEXT MORNING OR AFTER SEVERAL HOURS- it does not dissolve. It will not harm you if you forget it for 24 hours or less so do not panic, but more than that it can cause some non-serious vaginal irritation- still no need to panic.  To make removal easy, you can always use a needle and long piece of thread to pass through the center of the clove before you insert it, this will leave a string out so you can remove it easily and externally. Whatever floats your boat!

What this does: This works to ease inflammation of the urethra and sanitizes the internal and external genitals, which reduces irritating microscopic substances that may be hanging around the base of your urethra, or heading up into the bladder via the urethra and adding to your pain. The garlic also gets absorbed through the vaginal wall into the blood stream where it fights full body pathogenic activity and boosts your immune system, as well as contributing to over-all vaginal health. Although it is NOT a form of birth control and does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases, this can be a great tool for women to use after sex, to ensure that no dormant ineffective organisms are passed to you from your partner. He or she may not have symptoms from these organisms, as they’re bodies are stronger than yours, but these organisms may contribute to infection in YOU if you are already compromised as is the case with those with IC.


4- Extra virgin organic coconut oil: This oil has the similar activity to garlic and can be used as a vaginal cream, a sexual lube to destroy ineffective substances and can be taken internally daily to destroy pathogenic activity in the body. If you take a small bit and freeze it for 30 minutes, you can then insert this vaginally and as it melts it will coat the vaginal wall and destroy pathogens and soothe inflammation, as well as cleaning the urethral area. This brings near-instant relief for many IC sufferers and is a natural and wonderful alternative to chemical lubes.

5- Ginger, oil of oregano, and Apple Cider Vinegar- Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory, digestive aid and gut-soother, it helps immunity and strengthens resistance to systemic infections. Oil of oregano is a yeast-buster and helps destroy parasites in the body as well, a great tool for any person struggling with ineffective diseases like IC. Apple cider vinegar can be added to bathwater to help with urinary pain and can be taken internally (1tsp-tbsp, 30 minutes before meals in water, 3 times/day). This increases stomach acid, which helps with digestion and balances gut pH which helps destroy unwanted materials and organisms in the food we eat or that already live inside us. It can also be used as a great facial toner!

These are my best tools for helping immediately soothe IC pain. Although I am a Naturopath, an IC survivor and through my own experience, marvel at the power of natural healing, I cannot tell anyone what to do during their individual healing journeys. I simply ask that you use your gut instinct and logic to determine what is best for your particular situation. Please consider that before the last 100 years, all Doctors used natural methods for healing, as chemical drugs and synthetic meds did not exist. With the exception of poor living sanitation, many people were healed using natural methods, or our species would not have survived and we would not be here today.  The body is NEVER sick because it is deficient in synthetic chemicals or meds, therefore an insufficiency in modern medicine is not the ROOT cause of your illness and therefore not a cure either. No disease is truly eliminated if the root cause of the damage, depletion and thus dis-ease is not addressed.

Brittany Auerbach





  1. I used to drink 2 tbsp of ACV in a glass of water every morning before I started having bladder issues, but now that I’ve been diagnosed with IC, I’m terrified to try ACV again. Isn’t vinegar something to avoid if you have IC? I know ACV works differently than other vinegars, so I’ve been meaning to ask a naturapath if it can irritate the bladder. I know it has many health benefits and would like to start using it internally again.

  2. I found your website when I put interstitial cystitis and apple cider vinegar in the google search bar. 🙂 I have also noticed the pain relieving effects of curcumin. It dulls the pain for me but does not take it away. I am a guy so will just have to stick to eating the garlic I guess. lol I was given some raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar by my sister to try for my ic. I have tried most all of the otc remedies recommended on the icnetwork site with no relief. After my first tablespoon in water this eve I was able to go 4 hours without going to the bathroom so I”m not sure if that was some kind of coincidence but it prompted me to research the subject. I really have enjoyed reading your posts and watching your videos so..thanks for putting the info out there for us to get some relief. Sam

  3. Dear Brittany Auerbach,

    I tried cocunut oil remedy and it has done tremendous wonders.
    It has given soothing and calming effect to my bladder and urinary frequency has also become normal.
    ~~~~~~Rock n roll~~~~~
    This remedy has blown wind of life to my distressed life.
    Lots of thanks to u

  4. louise pearce

    Really helpful, thank you.

  5. Sherrie Eckert

    Do you have an additional web site you mentioned on your video referring to naturopath? Very good information Brittany. Thank you so much!

  6. Jennifer Chagnon

    Hi there! Thank you for the tips! 🙂
    I just had a question about the turmeric-is it true you have to add pepper in order to activate it’s healing properties? Just curious if I should be doing that when I’m making my tea. Thank you!

  7. PTs can also teach you bladder and bowel retraining techniques to help you control and reduce urgency, frequency, and incomplete emptying. They can help you make dietary changes to avoid bladder irritants and constipation and to maintain good nutrition. They can also tell you how best to use heat and cold for comfort.

  8. Hi Brittany,
    Thank you so much for sharing all your information. It has giving me hope for healing my IC and many other health problems. I have been dealing with candida now for my years and now I have IC. I do a lot of research to fine answers for healing all my health problems. I have a questions for you, I have recently come across information on mucoid plaque from the colon. Is this something you have tried to get rid of mucus, parasites, biofilm etc? Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you again for sharing all your information.


  9. Tabi raines

    Is there any way u could post pics of some of the brands of these u use. For example what kind of baking soda? And turmeric powder? Can u just take the tumeric pills? And the garlic…maybe a pic of size u would use to insert? That kinda scared me to think of doing that but I’ll try anything at this point. Thanks!!

  10. Ellen Cohen

    I’m very interested in trying the turmeric, but anything spicy or acidic (like vinegar) causes a relapse!

  11. You are the first montrealer I know who.has IC like me. I feel like I found God. Thank you for all this. How long have you been in remission?

    • Won’t putting more acid into your body hurt your bladder more? I have real bad flares ( can’t sit, squat and walk sometimes). Having acid in you bladder is a big no no. I can tell baking soda helps some but what about the Apple cider? More acid? I need relief so bad, I get up at night every hour to pee cause it hurts bad. There is no 10 hour sleep for me. Help please

      • Brittany Auerbach

        You can mix the baking soda with the ACV to neutralize it, and still get the benefits of the vinegar. Both are alkalizing to the body, it’s the astringent nature of ACV that makes it pull acids out via the kidneys and bladder! Half teaspoon of baking soda to 1-2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar works as a good ration!

  12. I was jus diagnosed with IC last week via Hydrodistention… I’m basically starting from scratch and working on the elimination diet, having a hard time finding food I can eat.. any suggestions.?I like these suggestions and may need to try them

  13. Hi Brittany, I LUVVV your articles and videos. Your skin is so beautiful! Can you tell me some things you’ve done/are doing? Also, I know you mention apple cider vinegar as a toner, but do you dilute it or use it full-strength? Thanks so much!

  14. Luther Huffman

    Have you had people have success using hemp oil

  15. I know this is a few years late, but interesting article!
    People do need to know that turmeric can have side-effects and interactions, so there are some people who should not use it. If you’re pregnant, have liver problems, gallbladder problems, some kinds of cancer (breast, uterine, etc. basically hormone-related ones), or diabetes it can be contraindicated. Also, if you’re on blood thinners you shouldn’t take it. Or if you’re going to have surgery. Or if you need iron supplements (it can prevent absorption of iron).

    Also, I’m curious why lemon juice in water (with the baking soda) is okay if citrus isn’t? I realize the baking soda may neutralize the acid, but just wondering what the benefits of the lemon juice are.

  16. Do you know what causes ic? I have been wondering what I have done to cause this…

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