I haven't had much success with alternative remedies, but D-Mannose powder works, it works fast, and it works every time if you take it early enough. This is good stuff.
D-Mannose, in powder or capsule form, is the sugar found in cranberries that makes them useful in treating urinary tract infections. The sugar prevents bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Taking the sugar directly is much more potent than taking either cranberry juice or cranberry capsules. For me, it clears up the pain of a bladder infection within hours.
D-Mannose in powder form is mostly tasteless and mixes well with water. There is a very slight sweetness to it. The body doesn't digest much of this type of sugar, instead flushing it through the urinary tract. There are less than 10 calories in a serving, and I don't notice any sugar high or that type of thing with it.
The key to using D-Mannose successfully is to take it at the very first sign of a bladder infection. This keeps it from ever becoming a serious issue. One teaspoon in a glass of water is often all it takes for me to keep the first signs of mild pain from turning into a full infection. At most, I'll take it for a couple days. It's an excellent preventative as well, if you get infections regularly or know what triggers them.
It's very important to pay close attention to your symptoms if you're treating yourself with alternative remedies. While D-Mannose is very potent at clearing up a bladder infection, it can't clear bacteria out of the kidneys. If you notice any kidney pain at all, go to the doctor immediately. I once had the experience of taking D-Mannose too late in a bladder infection, a week or two into it when it had already had time to get very bad and spread to the kidneys. The D-Mannose was a life saver in that it eased the bladder symptoms immediately, but it couldn't do anything to stop the kidney infection. If you have symptoms of a bladder infection for more than a couple days, with or without D-Mannose, go see your doctor. Kidney infections are not fun.
If you keep some D-Mannose on hand, you may never have more than the hint of a bladder infection again. It also works for pets. After researching to make sure it was safe for animals, I gave it to my cat to help prevent his frequent urinary tract infections too.