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9 Herbs to Improve Kidney Health and Stop Stones
Your kidneys are one of the most underappreciated, yet one of the most important, organs in your body. Each and every day, they filter about 200 liters of blood and remove about 2 liters of water and waste material via urine. It’s of vital importance that you keep your kidneys healthy and functioning at their optimal levels. There are key herbs that work together to help to improve your urinary and kidney health, while there are others that can help remove stones or keep stone from forming to begin with.
The job of your kidneys is to remove toxins through your urine while balancing out the electrolytes in the body. One of the most important things your kidneys remove is ammonia, which is highly toxic and can destroy brain tissue.
Your kidneys can become damaged or weak due to numerous issues such as chronic inflammation, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and chronic infection. Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is an abnormality within the kidney or urine function for three months or longer. CKD has become much more common in the past 10 years, in fact, it’s now considered to be the 9th leading cause of death in the United States.
Unfortunately, most people do not know that they have kidney problems until it’s far too late. This is because most kidney problems don’t show themselves until they are advanced. Many people are unaware that they have a problem with their kidneys until about 60 to 70 percent of their kidney function is gone.
Take a look at some of the best herbs to improve your kidney health and prevent those painful kidney stones.
This herb has been used for centuries in Europe to prevent and treat kidney stones, as well as to treat inflammation of the urinary tract. In fact, goldenrod is the main ingredient in many teas that are designed to help flush out kidney stones and stop inflammation within the urinary tract itself.
Goldenrod has antioxidant, astringent, and diuretic properties. It also contains saponins compounds that are effective in fighting Candida and E. coli infections that are common factors for kidney infections and infections in the urinary tract.
2. Bearberry leaf
Bearberry leaf is sometimes called uva-ursi, and the leaves from this little shrub have been used for centuries as an astringent and diuretic as well as the treatment of any and all forms of kidney and urinary tract infections.
These leaves have been shown to be particularly effective against Candida and E. coli, which are common culprits with kidney and UTI’s (urinary tract infections). Bearberry can reduce the accumulation of uric acid. It can also help relieve the pain of bladder stones by strengthening the urinary passages. The allantoin in bearberry helps to strengthen, tighten, and soothe irritated tissues.
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3. Stinging nettle leaf
Although the root of this plant is often used for problems with the prostate, the leaf is used to treat UTI’s and kidney problems. Stinging nettle contains a bioactive phytochemical that is responsible for its soothing as well as immune supporting properties. Stinging nettle has polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system and improves its ability to help fight infections.
Nettle is also rich in lignans, plant sterols, and flavonoid antioxidants that provide support for the bladder and the cell walls within the kidneys. These compounds increase the volume of urine and wash out bacteria and toxins from the urinary tract. This will also help treat and prevent kidney stones.
4. Gravel root
If you have kidney stones, taking gravel root will help to break down the stones and make it easier to pass them. Add 1 tablespoon of dried gravel root to about 3 cups of boiling water and let steep for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Drink about one half, to one cup of this tea three to five times a day for best results.
5. Black Tea
You can also drink black tea three times per day to reduce your chances of developing kidney stones to begin with.
6. Marshmallow root tea
This is another great herb for helping the body to pass kidney stones. Steep 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow root in about 1 quart of cool water overnight. Drink between 2 to 4 cups daily.
7. Change your diet
Eating more foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium to help reduce the oxalate levels in the body is perhaps one of the best ways to avoid painful kidney stones in the first place. Eat more foods like avocados, dark green veggies, nuts, and seeds, strawberries, turmeric, and apricots. As always, eat organic for the best possible health. You should also cut back on alcohol, red meat, and sodas. The phosphoric acid in sodas may cause a buildup of uric acid in the body, which contributes to kidney stones.
SEE ALSO: Foods To Avoid In Kidney Disease Infographic
This “weed” is rich in beta-carotene and potassium. It works as gentle diuretic. Taken as a tea, dandelion is a terrific kidney and liver tonic. Steep the roots as a tea, or eat the leaves raw in a salad. If it’s not to your liking, you can take 500mg supplements twice a day.
9. Celery Root
The roots as well as the seeds of everyday celery have been used for many hundreds of years as a natural diuretic. Diuretics are helpful for eliminating toxins by increasing your urine output. Celery contains potassium and sodium and has been considered a good way to stimulate the kidneys for many years.
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While you can’t stop your kidneys from getting older, you can slow down the process. Check out these tips for keeping your kidneys in good shape and working well your entire life.
1. Stop smoking
Nicotine is a major factor for many negative health issues and one of them is the development of kidney disease.
2. Keep those levels under control
We mean blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. All of those have an impact on the health of your kidneys.
3. Pay attention to your digestion
Eating more probiotics, prebiotics, and high fiber foods can help with elimination. Avoid pesticide laden produce that puts extra strain on your kidneys.
4. Avoid over the counter pain medications
These can tax your kidneys. If you must take them, always take the minimum amount and for the shortest possible time. You might want to consider taking milk thistle (between 80 to 160mg) two or three times per day to counteract any damage.
5. Stay hydrated
Find out surprising reasons for dehydration.
6. Cut back on alcohol
Eat well, stay hydrated, and be kind to your kidneys!