Kidney stones can cause excruciating pain, especially since they have to be passed out via urination. Not only are they painful, but they’re also very difficult to get rid of when they get large. Kidney stones tend to form as a result of Oxalates. Oxalates are found in foods like Spinach, Kale, Nuts, Beets, and Bran flakes. In addition to this, Uric acid and Calcium play a role in Kidney stone formation as well. In some cases, stones may be made up of cystine, ammonium acid urate, xanthine, or dihydroxyadenine.
When the urine becomes over saturated with these substances, stones begin to form. These stones may then block the flow of urine and cause a multitude of symptoms including:
-Pain in Kidney region
-Difficulty or painful urination
Depending on where the stones form and collect (bladder, ureter, utero-pelvic junction), various other symptoms may also be present including:
Lemons contain citric acid which are known to break down oxalates and dissolve kidney stones. In fact, one study suggests that lemon juice can work as an alternative to potassium citrate in treating urinary calcium stones (1,2). Consuming lemon juice 2-3 times daily in a dose of one squeezed lemon in a glass of warm water, will help to reduce kidney stones.
Commonly known as “Punarnava” in Ayurvedic Medicine, this herb is a potent anti-urolithiasis effects. Studies have shown that Boerhaavia can reduce size and count of Calcium-Oxalate Monohydrate crystals as well as Calcium-Oxalate Dihydrate crystals. It also possesses effective nephroprotective effects and is a potent diuretic (3-5).
Another well known Ayurvedic herb, Tribulus has a reputation for being an aphrodisiac, yet it’s diuretic, anti-lithiatic and lithotriptic effects have been overlooked. Known as “Gokshura” in Ayurveda, this herb is used primarily for the purpose of clearing, protecting and treating the urinary system. The formulation used for clearing kidney stones is called “Gokshuradi Guggulu”. It contains Tribulus, Guggulu, Triphala, Black Pepper, Ginger, and Long pepper. It can be beneficial in reducing pain, dissolving stones, and reducing inflammation. It also promotes healthy urination and reduces blood pressure (6-9). Tribulus is also a key ingredient in a clinically proven formula known as “Cystone” by The Himalaya Drug Company. (10)
Other Potent Lithotriptics and Anti-lithiatics:
Foods that reduce kidney stones:
I’ve witnessed cases where kidney stones were eliminated by simply eating the above mentioned foods along with lemon water. Hence one should not underestimate the power of food as medicine.
Try avoiding the consumption of oxalate rich foods, milk/dairy, and other foods with high mineral content while trying to get rid of kidney stones.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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