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 are highly effective in managing and preventing kidney stones. They contain citric acid which is 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 (See study 1 & 2).
Consuming lemon juice 2-3 times daily in a dose of one squeezed lemon in a glass of warm water, may help to reduce kidney stones.
This herb is often referred to as “Stone Breaker”. It has a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic medicine for various conditions including kidney stones and liver problems. Chanca Piedra has become quite popular recently for kidney stones as it works quite efficiently and within relatively quick time. In clinical research, supplementation with Chanca Piedra was found to reduce stone size and 2/3 of people taking it (see study)
Cystone is a well-studied herbal Ayurvedic medicine manufactured by The Himalaya Drug Company. It contains several herbs including Pasanabheda (Saxifraga Ligulata) which possesses diuretic, demulcent and antimicrobial properties as well as Shilapushpa (Didymocarpus pedicellata) which possess antilithiatic, lithotriptic, and antimicrobial properties. Both of these herbs are well known for their ability to break down kidney stones and sooth the inflamed tissue. In a systematic review of 50 clinical trials, Cystone was found to be effective in the clearance of renal stones, symptomatic relief, improved urine volume, and a reduction in the minerals found in urine that form kidney stones. Along with this, Cystone demonstrated very mild side-effects (see study)
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 (See studies 1, 2,& 3).
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 (see studies 1, 2, 3, 4).
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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