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12 Best Herbs that Support Kidney Health
More than 20 million people in America suffer from chronic kidney disease, and perhaps as many as half of these people are completely unaware that they have it. There are probably another 20 million others who are at an increased risk, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Although herbs that can aid the colon and liver have been extensively studied, herbs for kidney health or maintenance are somewhat hard to come by.
So while research might be limited, we do have other ways of verifying that some herbs are healthful for the kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation states that there are some herbs which, when used properly, they can promote kidney health.
Keep reading for 12 of the best herbs you can consume to support your kidneys and stay off the chronic kidney disease list.
Sometimes thought of as nothing more than a weed, it has powerful diuretic compounds which can increase urine output to help flush the urinary tract and kidneys. Horsetail is also loaded with strong antioxidants that offer a huge number of benefits to the kidneys and renal system. You can consume horsetail in either a capsule supplement, or as a tea. Either way, horsetail is a great herb to add to your daily diet.
2. Green Tea
The young leaves of the tea plant are known to have strong nutritional qualities. Most green teas are unfermented as opposed to oolong teas, which are semi-fermented, and black teas, which are fully fermented. Green tea has astringent, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic compounds. Green teas also have substances called polyphenols, which are known to help stop the formation of kidney stones. It’s these polyphenols have been widely researched for their antioxidant activities that can prevent disease that is caused by oxidative stress, including many kidney related diseases.
3. Hydrangea Root
Commonly used among Native Americans and pioneers in America, both of whom used the root of this plant for improving the health of both the bladder and the kidney. This root acts like a solvent and smooths the ragged edges of kidney stones. It can discourage kidney stones from forming by helping the body use calcium, rather than allowing it to form a stone in the kidney.
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4. Couch Grass
Couch grass has been used traditionally to increase urine production and treat urinary tract infections. This herb is rich in volatile oils, polysaccharides, and other nutrients. Couch grass can even be used partially dissolve kidney stones. In fact, in one study performed in Italy, scientists found that when they combined the extract of couch grass with potassium, it was able to significantly reduce both the number and size of kidney stones among the control group.
Research has found what Native American tribes have known for hundreds of years: that goldenrod encourages the health of the urinary tract and that this herb is great for detoxifying the kidneys.
A little known herb in the West, but used in Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The roots of this herb are steamed and used to fight various types of kidney disease. One study showed that rehmannia has protective effects on progressive renal failure by lowering angiotensin II.
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7. Chanca Piedra
The name means “stone breaker” and is a favorite in South American countries for supporting kidney health, and even clinical trials support its effectiveness. This herb is also wide spread in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to support bladder, liver, and kidney health.
Indigenous to India, Australia, and Southeast Asia, this ornamental plant has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for bladder and kidney problems. It’s also a natural diuretic. Although much of current research available for this herb focuses on its high levels of corosolic acid and its effect on diabetics, but the leaves of this plant are known to relive urinary tract infections. Regular consumption of this plant can prevent gallstones and alleviate the discomfort that comes with kidney stones.
9. Java Tea
This “tea” is sold in Dutch, Swiss, French, and Indonesian pharmacies as a remedy for kidney problems. Java tea has diuretic properties and helps the kidneys remove nitrogen containing compounds. Researchers show that Java tea helps to dissolve kidney stones, cure kidney infections, and offering support for healthy kidneys due to its potassium, glycoside, and volatile oils.
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When this “weed” is made into a tea, it can be a powerful assistant to the kidneys and the liver as well. Due to its diuretic compounds, dandelion is a great way to detox the kidneys. This herb is an excellent source of nutrients such as iron, zinc, and potassium, B complex vitamins and much, much more. Dandelion roots contain active compounds that will help dissolve painful kidney stones.
11. Celery Root
You can use both the roots and the seeds of good old fashioned celery as a natural diuretic, which help the body, remove toxins through increased urine output. Celery root has long been considered to be a stimulating tonic as it has many vital nutrients that support kidney health such as sodium and potassium.
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12. Gravel Root
Sometimes called Joe Pye Weed, this herb has a long history of use by Native American tribes and the early pioneers for its ability to promote kidney health. Gravel root contains a powerful compound called euparin, a type of solvent which can kill harmful organisms and bacteria in the body, which makes it perfect for stopping urinary tract and kidney infections.
It’s important to note that although many herbs are considered to be completely safe, they can have dangerous interactions when mixed with prescription drugs. Also, expecting mothers should always take precautions before consuming any herbs. Always consult with your doctor before starting any herbal program.