13 Herbal Remedies With Proven Efficacy For Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are a common medical problem that affects about one in ten people. Stones occur in the urinary tract and can cause pain, infection, and even kidney failure. Kidney stones are most often composed of calcium crystals (about 3/4ths of cases) and magnesium (struvite), uric acid, and cystine are the other less common stone types. Conventionally, kidney stones are treated mechanically by breaking them up, removing them, and re-routing urine that cause us to think of urologists as a type of very specialized plumber. Some prevention is obtained through diet changes, diuretic medicines, and alkalinization of the urine but with unfortunately limited success. Fortunately a newly published review gives us several effective natural remedies for both preventing and helping to treat kidney stones.
Remember to find organic or biodynamically grown remedies for the best vitality and action.
1. Green Tea
Green tea (Camillia sinensis) has many medical uses. Its phytochemicals and polyphenols help prevent stones in the kidneys. Epigallocatechin gallate has known potent effects against oxalate (found in the common calcium stones). Studies show less calcium crystals deposited in the urinary tract when taking green tea. The overall antioxidant effect helps to prevent kidney stones. Black tea is considered a trigger of kidney stones so it is interesting to see that green tea has an overall beneficial effect.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is an excellent addition to help with kidney stones. It helps to increase urine volume and this has been reported to help flush stones out. Fruit and tea from the leaves has been used. There are phytocompounds in raspberry that interfere with stone formation and studies have found it helpful in all types of stone prevention.
3. Common Madder
Madder is good for the bladder! Common madder (Rubia cordifolia) is a relative of coffee. It has glycosides, triterpenoids, anthraquinones, saponins, quinones, and tannins (powerful plant chemicals) that help decrease the formation of calcium kidney stones. It also has antioxidant properties good for protecting the kidneys.
Much more than a decoration on the side of your plate! Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is naturally high in vitamin c and many other powerful plant compounds. Parsley's effects are various- antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic (making more urine flow), kidney-protective, enzyme-modulatory, and anti-hypertensive! In studies it has been found to make the urine incapable of allowing calcium crystals to form- and helping to dissolve crystals that are there already. Parsley is high in magnesium (related so closely to light) and is a friend of all people with kidneys.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is renowned to be packed with helpful plant compounds. These are helpful in urinary and kidney complaints. The fruit is high in free radical scavengers which help protect the kidney (it encounters toxins on a continuous basis). The seeds and oil are noted to be helpful for kidney failure. Pomegranate naturally helps smooth muscle to relax which helps to allow stones to pass through the ureter more readily. This property also is beneficial in gallstones and other ailments. This alone can mean the difference between surgery and not needing surgery. Pomegranate extract has been found to decrease enzymes in humans that are responsible for too much calcium crystals in the urine. This remedy is another very promising natural food that has multiple benificial actions.
6. Mastic Tree
This remedy (Pistacia lentiscus) is a relative of the pistachio and any relative of the pistachio is my friend. It has been found to have specific kidney protective effects by protecting stressed kidney cells from death and also decreasing the occurrence of kidney stones.
7. Thai Green Eggplant
This is plant (Solanum xanthocarpum) is a popular traditional medicine in India. Extracts of this plant have been found to prevent kidney stone formation. It is a diuretic and strong anti-oxidant. It increases glutathione- an important protective cellular molecule.
8. Stinging Nettle
You don't want to fall into a patch of this otherwise friendly herb but it has multiple potent healing effects. This herb (Urtica dioica) is used commonly in Anthroposophic medicine for its support to the I organization. The stinging nettle has strong benefits to the kidneys. It has been shown in studies to decrease creatinine (improve kidney failure) as well as dissolve and decrease the tendency towards kidney stones. It can be found wild or purchased as a tea.
9. Horse Gram
Another popular healing plant from India, Horse gram (Dolichos biflorus) is a known kidney tonic. The seeds of this plant have strong anti-kidney stone properties. Studies show them to both prevent and dissolve calcium type kidney stones.
10. Ammi visnaga
This Egyptian healing plant is in the carrot family. It has been shown to have stone dissolving effects in both cystine and calcium type stones.
11. Black Cumin Oil
This oil from Nigella sativa is a versatille supplement also used in treating ear infection. Thymoquinone, one of its active ingredients, has been shown to have stone dissolving properties and reduces calcium crystals in the urine.
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is an African remedy for kidney stones. Studies show a tea from roselle has good effect on decreasing the occurrence of calcium stones as well as uric acid stones.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is well known as a common spice. Used as a supplement its three main actions of increasing urine volume, reducing spasm, and dissolving stones make oregano a great help in kidney stones. This herb has many plant compounds that help our kidney including flavonoids, terpenes, coumains, saponins, alkaloids, sterol, and tannins.
Most of the above herbs are readily available either fresh or as an oil or tea. They all have scientifically noted studies supporting their effect on helping your body heal from kidney stones. If you have ever experienced a kidney stone you will likely have as a priority that you never get another one! These herbal supplements can be a real help in prevention of stones- so difficult to obtain allopathically.