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Are There Home Remedies for Kidney Stones - What Works

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Kidney stones are solid formations that are formed by chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium-oxalate, uric, phosphate, and cystine. Kidney stones can be removed with extracorporeal lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrostomy, or nephrolithotripsy. This health problem usually leads to the appearance of various unpleasant symptoms, such as back pain, blood in the urine, nausea, vomiting, fever, and others. And while medicine has different methods of treating them, are there home remedies that can also help?

Are There Home Remedies for Kidney Stones?

Maintaining hydration is key

Drinking plenty of fluids is a vital part of passing kidney stones and preventing the formation of new stones. The liquid not only throws out toxins, but also helps to move stones and grit through the urinary tract.

Although only water can be enough to do the job, adding certain ingredients can be beneficial. Consult a doctor before starting with any of the home remedies listed below. It is important to assess whether they are suitable for you or may lead to additional side effects.

Lemon juice

You can add freshly squeezed lemons to your water as often as you want. Lemons contain citrate, a type of chemical that prevents the formation of calcium stones. Citrate can also crush small stones, allowing them to pass more easily. Lemon juice also has other health benefits. For example, it helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and provides vitamin C.

Basil juice

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is full of nutrients.  [Ref. 1]  This agent is traditionally used for digestive and inflammatory disorders. In basil juice there are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, so it can support kidney health. But there is little clinical evidence to support it specifically for this purpose.

If you want to try it, use fresh or dried basil leaves to make tea and drink a few cups a day. You can also squeeze fresh basil juice into a juicer or add it to a smoothie.

It is not known whether basil juice is safe for consumption in large quantities or for longer periods of time. Without further research, the long-term effects remain unclear.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid helps dissolve kidney stones. In addition to cleansing the kidneys, apple cider vinegar can help relieve pain caused by stones.

A laboratory study found that apple cider vinegar is effective in reducing the formation of kidney stones. But more research is needed to see if vinegar has the same effect on kidney stones in the human body.

If you want to prepare apple cider vinegar against kidney stones, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 170-220 ml. water and drink.

Celery juice

Celery can be used as a means of treating kidney stones, although there are not enough studies. A 2019 study in rats found that celery extract helps break down kidney stones. To try this remedy, blend one or more celery sprigs with water and drink the juice.

Pomegranate juice

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Pomegranate juice has been used for centuries to improve overall kidney function. It can help remove stones and other toxins from the body. Pomegranate is full of antioxidants that help keep the kidneys healthy and may play a role in preventing the formation of kidney stones

It also reduces the level of acidity of urine. Lower acidity levels reduce the risk of kidney stones forming.

The effect of pomegranate juice on the prevention of kidney stones should be better studied, but based on a 2014 animal study, there may be some benefit from taking pomegranate extract. In the study, it reduced the risk of stone formation.  [Ref. 2] 

Dandelion

The dandelion plant (Taraxacum) has long been used as a means of aiding digestion.  [ref. 3]  It is believed that different parts of the plant help to eliminate waste, increase urine output and improve digestion. Dandelions have vitamins A, B, C and D and minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc.

A laboratory study shows that dandelion is effective in preventing the formation of kidney stones. But these results are from laboratory samples and there is little evidence of whether dandelion works the same way when consumed by humans. Research on humans is needed to establish whether this is a safe and effective remedy against kidney stones.

Wheat grass juice

Wheat grass is rich in many nutrients and has long been used to improve health. Wheat grass increases the flow of urine to help pass the stones. In addition, it contains vital nutrients that help cleanse the kidneys.

You can drink 50-200 ml. wheat grass juice per day. To prevent side effects, start with the smallest possible amount and gradually increase.

Horsetail

Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is used as a diuretic agent to increase the flow of urine.  [ref. 4]  It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can help the overall health of the urinary tract. It can also reduce inflammation in the body. In general, these effects could potentially help the body dispose of kidney stones.

  1. Are There Home Remedies for Kidney Stones?
    • Maintaining hydration is key
    • Lemon juice
    • Basil juice
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Celery juice
    • Pomegranate juice
    • Dandelion
    • Wheat grass juice
    • Horsetail

Summary

Renal colic is one of the strongest pain a person can experience. Then it is worth trying any means that would reduce suffering. In addition to standard painkillers, drug therapy, and good hydration, some homemade natural remedies in the form of tea, drinks with water, or smoothies can also help. Their drainage and diuretic action would contribute to easier disposal of stones, but still do not ignore your doctor's instructions until the stones pass definitively. 

References

  1. Basil
  2. Oxidative stress and nephrolithiasis: a comparative pilot study evaluating the effect of pomegranate extract on stone risk factors and elevated oxidative stress levels of recurrent stone formers and controls - Urolithiasis
  3. Taraxacum
  4. Equisetum arvense

The author

Bettina Tsvetkova is a Bachelor of Marketing and Master of Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and promotional materials on a healthy topic for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 



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