These are guest posts and not intended to replace your medical advice you received from your doctors. Sources are attached as always. Enjoy.
The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the human body. The kidneys help to detox and filter impurities from the blood, as well as waste products from your urine. Kidney stones form when the kidneys are not able to process toxins efficiently. Specifically, a crystallization of unprocessed minerals builds up. Kidney stones cause pain and possible blockage of urine flow.
The following are some simple natural remedies that may help soothe the discomfort of kidney stones and speed up the body’s natural healing process.
1. Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one of my favorites and easily one of the most effective remedies for kidney stones and the pain they cause. At the first symptom of stone pain, mix 2 oz of organic olive oil with 2 oz of organic lemon juice.
Drink it straight and follow with a 12 ounce glass of purified water. Wait 30 minutes. Then, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink. Repeat the lemon juice, water and apple cider vinegar recipe every hour until symptoms improve.
2. Uva Ursi
Uva Ursi is a common folk remedy for kidney stones. Not only will it help fight off infection in the kidneys, but it may also help reduce pain and cleanse the urinary tract. 500mg three times a day is recommended for kidney stones.
3. Dandelion Root
Organic dandelion root is a great kidney tonic and cleanser. Taking up to 500 mg twice a day may be beneficial.
4. Kidney Beans
The shape of this bean may be indicative of its healing potential. An effective urinary home remedy for kidney stones, traditionally the pods were used as a medicinal tonic.
Try removing the beans from inside the pods, and then boil the pods in purified hot water for six hours. This liquid can be strained through cheese cloth, cooled and taken throughout the day for one day to ease kidney stone pain.
Horsetail tea is an effective natural remedy for kidney stones. Drink up to 3-4 cups of horsetail tea daily or 2 grams of the herb in capsule form daily.
6. Pomegranate Juice
We’ve all heard that pomegranates have many health benefits. But, more specifically, the seeds and juice of pomegranates can be considered another natural remedy for kidney stones. This may be related to their sourness and astringent properties. I prefer eating organic pomegranates and drinking freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice.
Studies show that people with recurrent kidney stones who took magnesium supplements had a 92.3 percent improvement rate in reduction of kidney stones. 300 mg of magnesium orotate is recommended daily for prevention and reduction of stones.
8. Organic Celery
Celery in vegetable form and celery seed are great urine-promoters and kidney tonics. Regular use of celery seed, as a spice or as a tea, may prevent kidney stone formation.
A kidney tonifier, basil tea can be taken throughout the day for overall kidney health. If you have kidney stones, try taking one teaspoon each of basil juice with raw honey daily for up to six months. It’s believed that folk remedies with pure basil juice can help induce stone expulsion from the urinary tract.
10. Change in Diet
Unhealthy food intake is a primary cause of kidney stones. Cut down on the amount of soda and energy drinks you consume. Avoid processed foods and alcoholic beverages. Add more fruits and veggies to your diet, especially those listed above.
You Can Prevent Kidney Stones with Lifestyle Changes
Many people mistakenly believe that there’s nothing you can do to prevent kidney stones. In reality, many risk factors are under your control, and many are remarkably simple.
- Drink Plenty of WaterThe number one risk factor for kidney stones is not drinking enough water. If you aren’t drinking enough, your urine will simply have higher concentrations of substances that can form stones. NKUDIC recommends drinking enough water to produce at least two quarts of urine in every 24-hour period, but a simpler way to know if you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine; you want your urine to be a very light yellow.Every person’s water requirement is different, depending on your particular system and activity level, but simply keeping your urine light yellow will go a long way toward preventing kidney stones. Remember to increase your water intake whenever you increase your activity, and when you’re in a warmer climate.If you happen to be taking any multivitamins or B supplements that contain vitamin B2 (riboflavin), the color of your urine will be a very bright, nearly fluorescent yellow and this will not allow you to use the color of your urine as a guide to how well you are hydrated.
2. Make Sure You Get Adequate MagnesiumMagnesium is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body, and deficiency of this mineral has been linked to kidney stones. It also plays an important role in your body’s absorption and assimilation of calcium, as if you consume too much calcium without adequate magnesium, the excess calcium can actually become toxic and contribute to health conditions like kidney stones.Magnesium helps prevent calcium from combining with oxalate, which is the most common type of kidney stone.Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, and one of the simplest ways to make sure you’re consuming enough of these is by juicing your vegetables. Vegetable juice is an excellent source of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts like almonds, and seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Avocadoes are also a good source. However, surveys suggest that many Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets.It’s been estimated that up to 80 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in this important mineral, according to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author ofThe Miracle of Magnesium.If you decide to supplement with magnesium it is important to understand that its complementary partner is calcium. So you should use both. Typically you would use twice as much elemental magnesium relative to the elemental calcium. That ratio works out quite well for most
- Avoid Sugar, Including Fructose and SodaA diet high in sugar can set you up for kidney stones, since sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body by interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption. The consumption of unhealthy sugars and soda by children is a large factor in why children as young as age five or six are now developing kidney stones.One South African study2 found that drinking soda exacerbates conditions in your urine that lead to formation of calcium oxalate kidney stone problems. Sugar can also increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in your kidney, such as the formation of kidney stones
- ExerciseYou’re more prone to kidney stones if you’re bedridden or very sedentary for a long period of time, partly because limited activity can cause your bones to release more calcium. Exercise will also help you to resolve high blood pressure, a condition that doubles your risk for kidney stones. You can find my comprehensive exercise recommendations, including how to perform highly recommended Peak Fitness exercises, here.
- Eat Calcium-Rich Foods (But be careful with supplements)In the past, kidney stone sufferers have been warned to avoid foods high in calcium, as calcium is a major component of the majority of kidney stones. However, there is now evidence that avoiding calcium may do more harm than good. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study of more than 45,000 men,3 and the men who had diets rich in calcium had a one-third lower risk of kidney stones than those with lower calcium diets.It turns out that a diet rich in calcium actually blocks a chemical action that causes the formation of the stones. It binds with oxalates (from foods) in your intestine, which then prevents both from being absorbed into your blood and later transferred to your kidneys.So, urinary oxalates may be more important to formation of calcium-oxalate kidney stone crystals than is urinary calcium. It is important to note that it is the calcium from foods that is beneficial — not calcium supplements, which have actually been found to increase your risk of kidney stones4 by 20 percent.It is important to note that it is the calcium from foods that is beneficial — not calcium supplements, which have actually been found to increase your risk of kidney stones by 20 percent.Check out my nutrition plan for a simple, step-by-step guide for what types of foods to eat to reduce your risk of kidney stones and other chronic and acute health conditions.
- Avoid Non-Fermented SoySoybeans and soy-based foods may promote kidney stones in those prone to them, as they may contain high levels of oxalates, which can bind with calcium in your kidney to form kidney stones
- Avoid these foods that are high in oxalates. Spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, cocoa powder, chocolate, beets, beet greens, peppers, strawberries, tea (both black and green), okra, peanuts, pecans and wheat germ and bran contain sufficient oxalic acid to increase urinary oxalate excretion.
“…the current average fiber intake in the United States is about 13 grams a day for women and 17 for men. Increasing these amounts by seven grams a day would bring them close to the recommended levels of 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 for men. ‘Seven grams a day increase is an achievable goal…’ ‘You’re talking about… increasing vegetable and fruit by two portions a day.’”
|Chia seeds||Berries||Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts|
|Root vegetables and tubers, including onions and sweet potatoes||Almonds||Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds|