Natural Treatment for Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be absolutely agonizing; anybody that has ever been unfortunate enough to have kidney stones will know just how painful they can be. They are not uncommon either; some 10 to 15 percent of adults will develop kidney stones at some point during their lifetime. In the US alone, around a million people are diagnosed with kidney stones each year and the chance of recurrence is very high.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones typically occur as a result of a build-up of minerals and acidic salt in the urine. These minerals and acids such as uric acid and calcium crystallize and form a solid mass in the kidney. You might develop kidney stones for a variety of reasons including the following risk factors:
- Poor hydration
Drinking insufficient amounts of water can cause kidney stones. Those living in hot and people who sweat more than normal are more at risk.
- Family and Personal history
If anybody in your family has had kidney stones you are more likely to develop them yourself. You are also more likely to develop kidney stones if you have had them in the past.
There is a well-established link between kidney stones and a high BMI.
Certain diets can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Those with diets high in sodium are especially prone because sodium increases the calcium level that your kidneys need to process. Diets overly high in protein and sugar are also linked to kidney stones.
- Digestive disease or gastric surgery can interfere with absorption of water and calcium resulting in the build-up of substances that cause kidney stones.
- Certain Medications such as Topomax, Xenical and Lasix can lead to kidney stones.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
The painful symptoms associated with kidney stones most often do not present themselves until the stone moves to the ureter but when that happens you are likely to experiences some of the following symptoms:
- Acute pain in your back and side.
- Waves of pain moving from your back and side down into the groin or lower abdominal areas.
- Abnormal urine which could be bloody, cloudy and foul-smelling.
- Pain while urinating.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- The constant urge to urinate.
- Fever or chills which might also indicate infection.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments
If you are suffering from kidney stones you should see a doctor immediately but there are also a number of well-known home remedies that you can try which might be effective.
1. Prevent Kidney Stones with Water
One of the major contributing factors to kidney stones is dehydration so it stands to reason that drinking plenty of water is the most effective way to prevent kidney stones. Poor hydration causes any number of complaints as well as kidney stones that occur when certain minerals and acids are not effectively dissolved in the urine.
A good indication that you are not drinking enough water is the color of urine that you produce. Your urine should be a light yellow color; if it is very dark, orange or brown then you are probably not drinking sufficient quantities of water. Take extra care to stay hydrated if you are sweating more than normal because of exercise or hot weather.
2. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
This is a traditional home remedy for gallbladder stones which is also used for kidney stone treatment. The citric acid present in lemon juice is said to help by breaking down the calcium which causes kidney stones and also preventing any recurrence.
- Add a quarter cup of olive oil to a quarter cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix it well.
- Drink the mixture followed by several glasses of water.
- Repeat the process three or four times a day until the stone has passed and your symptoms have improved..
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar contains a number of medicinal properties and is used at home to treat a variety of ailments. Apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on the blood and the urine which can help dissolve your kidney stones.
- Make sure that you use 100% organic and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink 3 times a day.
- If you cannot tolerate the taste, you may add a teaspoon of therapeutic grade manuka honey to sweeten the flavor.
4. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranates are an especially healthy fruit, which contain astringent and antioxidant properties that may be beneficial in treating kidney stones. Studies on animals show that pomegranates have a protective effect on the kidney. (1)
It is up to you how you choose to consume them but try to eat both the juice and the seeds daily.
- Simply eat a whole pomegranate several times a day; the fruit and seeds can be added to a healthy fruit salad.
- Make a pomegranate juice with the entire fruit.
- Grind the seeds into a paste and eat the paste once a day.
Another potential home remedy for kidney stones is basil. Basil is said to have overall health benefits for the kidney and also able to encourage the expulsion of stones from the ureter.
- Add a teaspoon of basil juice to an equal amount of good quality organic honey and take it daily each morning for as long as necessary.
- You could also make a basil tea by steeping a handful of basil leaves in a pot of boiling water. Add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten the taste.
6. Magnesium Supplements
Research has demonstrated that magnesium supplements can help to prevent and eradicate kidney stones. One study showed that over 90% of those taking a daily dose of magnesium supplement improved their symptoms and reduced their kidney stones.
The recommended daily dose is 300 milligrams of magnesium orotate.
7. Kidney Beans
Appropriately named and shaped, kidney beans are a high fiber product that can contribute to the kidney’s general health and help with many urinary tract infections as well as kidney stones.
- Soak the beans overnight then remove the beans from their pods and simmer for several hours until they are tender. Strain the liquid and drink it several times during the day to help ease your pain.
- The liquid loses its therapeutic properties if kept for longer than 24 hours so make sure that you drink it up in time.
8. Herbal Teas
Horsetail, dandelion and nettle leaf tea are all traditionally used to treat kidney stones.
Make a tea with any of these herbs and drink it 3 0r 4 times daily for as long as it is necessary.
9. Uva Ursi
Uva ursi also known as bearberry is a traditional remedy for kidney stone complaints and other infections of the urinary tract. It is available commercially in crushed leaf or powder preparation form.
You can make uva ursi tea by soaking 3 grams of dried leaves in 5 ounces of water for between 12 and 24 hours. Strain the mixture and drink it hot or cold 3 times a day.
Increasing your intake of dietary fiber is a proven way of preventing and reducing kidney stones. The American Society of Nephrology has stated that diets rich in whole grain and insoluble fiber can help reduce kidney stones by reducing the amount of calcium in the urine. Bran flakes, whole grain bread and other whole grain cereals are a great source of dietary fiber.
Celery has anti-spasmodic qualities that are said to help clear up the toxins which contribute to kidney stones. Celery juice also acts as a diuretic which increases the production of urine and helps to flush out the kidney stones.
- Juice your celery and drink it daily.
- Make a tea with the seeds or buy ready-made tea made with celery seeds to help prevent any future recurrence.
As well as its high water content that helps reduce and prevent kidney stones, watermelon is also a rich source of potassium and magnesium which help your overall kidney health and maintain the level of acid in the urine.