10 Most Effective Herbs to Treat Kidney Stone and Associated Symptoms
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Oct 04, 2019
Aside from the fact that kidney stones can cause considerable discomfort and pain, most people know little about the problem. These stones form as a result of calcification of minerals and salts like calcium, with dehydration being the main risk factor. Poor fluid intake slows the movement of waste fluids through the kidneys, increasing the chance of calcification. Increased water intake is therefore the most logical solution for the long term, but to get relief from the problem you also need to make dietary changes. Natural remedies and herbs for kidney stones can also play a significant role, helping treat the condition and lower the risk of recurrence. It’s worth noting here that most patients have a 50% chance of recurrence within 5 years of the first stone formation. Here are some of the most effective natural remedies for kidney stones.
10 Herbs for Kidney Stone Relief
1. Lemon juice
Freshly squeezed lemon juice can help in the treatment of kidney stones because of their citrate content. This compound, which is found in citric fruits, helps in the breakdown of calcium stones, also inhibiting their growth. In other words, lemon juice can ease the passage of kidney stones and lower the risk of stone formation in the first place. This remedy is obviously most effective when dealing with calcium stones.
Tulsi is one of the most prized herbs in Ayurved, used to treat a variety of ailments, including those that affect the urinary tract. The herb’s helpfulness in treating kidney stones is linked to the presence of compounds that help stabilize uric acid levels, which inhibits the formation of stones. In addition, tulsi contains acetic acid, which can help in the breakdown of kidney stones to ease their passage. Tulsi can be used to prepare herbal teas and can also be found in Ayurvedic medications for kidney stones and UTIs.
Another herb that has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, gokhru is most popular as a remedy for conditions that affect the urinary and reproductive systems. Often used as an Ayurvedic remedy for kidney stones, the herb also finds some support from studies suggesting that it may inhibit stone formation by lowering urine phosphate levels.
4. Pomegranate Juice
Like most fruits, pomegranates are incredibly nutritious, but they can also be therapeutic when dealing with kidney disorders. It is believed that the fruit’s antioxidant and astringent properties can help prevent kidney stone formation. This protective effect is not just connected to antioxidants, but also to organic compounds in the fruit that can lower urine acidity, making stone formation less likely. You can consume whole pomegranates or the fresh fruit juice to fight kidney stones.
Although not as well-known as many other Ayurvedic herbs, kalonji is familiar to every Ayurvedic physician. It is regarded as a highly effective natural kidney stone treatment and is used as an ingredient in some of the best Ayurvedic medicines for kidney stones. This traditional use of kalonji is now backed by evidence from studies, which show that supplementation with kalonji can significantly reduce formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidneys.
An important medicinal herb in classical Ayurvedic texts, prajmoda is today most popular as a culinary ingredient in cuisines across the world. It is better known internationally as parsley, but its traditional Ayurvedic use is what is most interesting. It is believed to pacify kapha buildup, which is regarded as a contributing factor in stone formation. There is some evidence supporting this traditional use of the herb, with a study in the American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Urology finding that supplementation could increase urine flow and improve pH levels in urine, thereby reducing the risk of stone formation.
If you can get your hands on punarnava or any Ayurvedic medication containing the ingredient, you probably won’t need to look for any other remedies. It is one of the most effective of all herbs for kidney stones, also finding mention in the ancient Ayurvedic text Sushruta Samhita. Studies have validated this ancient wisdom, with the herb described as nephroprotective; it has been shown to offer protection against kidney stone formation, as well as against kidney damage caused by oxidative stress.
Noted for its diuretic properties and therapeutic functions, varuna also finds mention in classical Ayurvedic texts and is still used in a range of Ayurvedic products. It is sometimes used as a primary ingredient in herbal medications for kidney stones and has proven anti-lithogenic and anti-crystallization effects that can help in both the treatment and prevention of kidney stones.
Shatavari is best known as an herb that supports female reproductive function, used in various Ayurvedic formulations for women, but its therapeutic potential is far greater. It can also be used in the management of kidney stones, reducing the risk of stone formation and helping treatment. Studies show that the herb can inhibit oxalate stone formation, most likely through its effect of increasing the concentration of magnesium in urine.
Guduchi, also known as amrita, is an important herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, appearing in almost all of the major classical texts. It is a common ingredient in Ayurvedic medications for a wide range of conditions including inflammatory disorders and skin conditions. You can also use the herb to treat kidney stones at home, as studies show the herb to possess antiurolithiatic properties, inhibiting the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys.
Keep in mind that the effectiveness of Ayurvedic herbs for kidney stones can vary, depending on the type of kidney stones. If you don’t get relief despite using natural treatments, speak to an Ayurvedic physician for an accurate diagnosis and personalized recommendations.
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