What are the Best Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in the kidneys. They are produced when minerals and salts, most commonly calcium oxalate, crystallize in the kidneys, creating hard, crystal-like stones. If you've ever had a kidney stone, we're sure you won't want to repeat the experience!
Ideally, you never want to have to go through this painful process. Fortunately, several steps and natural treatments can be used to reduce the chances of suffering them. In this article we'll examine how these annoying solidifications originate and how to treat them effectively and quickly with natural remedies.
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are solid mass made up of tiny crystals. One or more stones may occur at the same time in the kidney or ureters. The stone formations can consist of calcium oxalate, phosphates, or cystine. Stone formation occurs when urine is high in certain crystal-forming substances. The stones have to travel through the urinary tract to leave the body, which is known as eliminating kidney stones, something that can be utterly painful.
Deposits made of calcium are the most common ones, and they can be formed by combining with phosphate or carbonate. But there are also calcium oxalate stones, which involve a nutrient present in certain foods like spinach and vitamin C supplements. These can be recurrent in people suffering from small intestine diseases, increasing the risk of kidney stones.
The crystals can turn into stones over weeks or even months, so you may not have symptoms until the stones move down the tubes called ureters, through which urine empties into your bladder. This is why it is possible to have kidney stones without you noticing any discomfort at the beginning.
However, the main symptom is intense pain that begins and disappears suddenly. This acute pain can be around the abdominal area or a side of the back, and sometimes it spreads to the groin area. Some more advanced symptoms include an abnormal color of urine or blood in the secretion, shivering, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Kidney Stone Treatments
Before trying any home remedies, it is necessary to speak with a doctor, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or you are taking prescription medication.
Kidney stones that cause serious problems can be treated with a technique called "extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy," which is a technique that can break up these stones from outside the body, allowing them to pass out through the urethra more easily. However, occasionally, surgery may be necessary.
For those who can spontaneously pass a stone, the conventional treatments are pain relievers and drinking lots of fluids. But if you already know that you frequently suffer from "silent" stones or those that do not cause symptoms, they can be mainly treated with preventive dietary measures alone. These methods include increasing fluids, modifying your diet, and taking medications or supplements that alter urine chemistry.
Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones
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Make sure you are constantly hydrated. Drink enough liquid to generate at least 2.5 liters of urine daily. If you do not drink enough, the chances of developing deposits are more significant, and, therefore, the formation of stones will increase. If you avoid products from the processed food industry, you will already reduce sodium consumption, which is responsible for increasing urinary calcium excretion and present in high quantities in almost every preservative additive. Drinks such as sodas are a big facilitator for the formation of stones. This is why water—at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day—is the number one aid in both preventing and expelling kidney stones.
This amazing herb, native to South America, is one of the best natural remedies for kidney stones. It is rich in minerals that cleanse and detoxify the body, and it has been used for decades by the ancestral healers of Peru with wonderful results and a very low incidence of side effects. It is also used for the treatment of cystitis and urethritis resulting from the presence of calculi in either the kidney or bladder.
If you buy a Chanca Piedra product and aren't sure of its source, it's likely that it's not as potent as it could be. It's essential to choose reputable supplements to really take advantage of all the benefits and to be sure of its safety. Disolvatol is a supplement that uses 99.8% purity grade Chanca Piedra, making it an all-natural, safe, and effective herbal supplement designed to support kidney health.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains citric acid, which can help dissolve calcium deposits. Two tablespoons of pure apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces (0.24L) of water can reduce the symptoms of kidney stones and prevent their development. This mixture should be drunk several times a day and can be most effective when consumed before meals.
Citric acid consumption increases diuresis, and this benefits renal filtration. Therefore, juices that contain citric acid, such as lemon juice, have a diuretic effect and can help us for two reasons. The first is that they leave less calcium available in the urine, and the second is that 60% of the patients with kidney stones have a low level of citrate in the urine, which is responsible for preventing crystals from forming.
Basil contains compounds known to help stabilize uric acid levels, and since it contains acetic acid, it helps to dissolve existing stones too. By simply drinking one teaspoon of basil extract or pure juice a day for two weeks, you can pass your stones safely and naturally without surgery or drugs. Also, it can help prevent and treat possible future kidney stones.
Buying whole pomegranates and eating their seeds, or squeezing them for juice, is the easiest way to get the health benefits of this fruit. Pomegranate juice also contains compounds that decrease urine acidity, making it difficult to form stones. The astringent and antioxidant properties of pomegranates are believed to reduce the chances of developing kidney stones and facilitate their elimination.
Olive is the fruit of one of the most ancient trees on earth. Its cultivation goes back at least eight thousand years. It is a natural remedy for kidney stones. Because olive oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats, it is an excellent alternative to facilitate the removal of kidney stones by lubricating the urinary tract.
A 5-ounce (0.15L) glass first thing in the morning and another in the late afternoon, ideally at the same time as other herbal or home remedies, can reduce pain and discomfort.
These small red beans provide a robust and nutty flavor and are a natural remedy against forming kidney stones. Kidney beans are rich in nutrients that can affect the uric acid cycle, preventing calcium oxalate crystals.
Dandelion root and honey blend have been used as folk remedies for kidney stones for more than 100 years. It contains compounds that increase the production of bile and urine, which helps eliminate waste from the body. It is recommended to take 3 to 4 cups daily in the form of tea or juice.
Horsetail is one of the most prevalent kidney stone natural home remedies used by holistic practitioners for years due to its apparent ability to increase urine flow. The standard dose of horsetail is 1 g in capsule or tea form up to three times daily.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones
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Among the most common causes of kidney stones is a diet too rich in foods such as animal protein, bacon, dried legumes (peas, chickpeas, etc.), chocolate, cocoa, coffee, products with excess phosphorus or calcium.
Also, vitamin deficiency (in particular vitamins A), the acidity of the urine, or inflammation of the pelvis can play a role in kidney stones. Considering this, the primary tool to prevent kidney stones is to follow a healthy lifestyle, especially a diet based on vegetables, and abundant fruits, especially pears and grapefruit. Avoid eating foods that are high in oxalate, salt, and animal proteins, as well as eggs, strong cheeses, and alcohol.
When to Consult With a Doctor
Kidney stones are most common in men between the ages of 40 and 60. In many cases they can cause severe pain in the back, lower abdomen, or the side below the ribs. If not treated quickly, they can damage your kidneys, and they can even lead to a kidney infection, urinary tract infection, or complete kidney failure if they are left too long. It's a good idea to see a healthcare professional long before any of these complications arise.
If you have already been diagnosed with a blockage due to a stone, its expulsion should be confirmed either by trapping it in a filter during urination or with a follow-up X-ray under the supervision of a qualified doctor. Some cases could even require immediate surgery. Remember, having no pain does not in any way confirm or guarantee that the stone has already passed.
Warning signs that should be evaluated by a doctor include persistent lower abdominal or lower back pain lasting more than four weeks, fever, chills, or vomiting.
Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones Naturally
We can use natural aids in the form of supplements, herbs, or specific foods to help decrease kidney stones and improve urine diuresis. The best way to deal with kidney stones is to prevent them in the first place with naturally available nutrients and supplements. Knowing how to take advantage of the magical tools that Mother Nature puts at our disposal can make a tremendous difference in our well-being and lifestyle.
Sarita Vanegas is a writer based in Medellín, Columbia, where she covers environmentally-friendly products, natural health, and plant-based remedies. A former Baselang teacher, she is also passionate about learning languages and exploring other cultures.