5 Natural Methods For Maintaining Kidney Health, Combating Sludge & Preventing Stones

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5 Natural Methods For Maintaining Kidney Health, Combating Sludge & Preventing Stonesimage © decade3d – fotolia.com

Your kidneys play one of the most important roles in keeping the body healthy. They filter out unwanted toxins from the blood and purify it. If they stop working, these toxins build up in the body (called azotemia), damaging different organ systems and causing a build-up of fluid in the lungs and extremities. In worse case scenarios, a person would have to undergo dialysis just to filter out the blood. Here are five natural ways to support your kidneys and help them function at an optimum level.

#1: Fresh Vegetables And Fruit

If your immune system is greatly compromised (as is with the case for most renal disease cases), be careful in your raw vegetable and fruit intake. Make sure they are cleaned properly and come from reputable sources. Other than that, a renal diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for renal cell carcinoma, found in a 2004 study. Risk reduction can reach up to 40 percent with frequent consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, which boosts the immune system and keeps the kidneys healthy. [1]

Another important thing to remember when eating fruits and vegetables is their alkaline properties, which directly fight against the formation of kidney and urinary stones. Compared to the acidifying effect of protein from meat, fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium which has been linked to a reduced risk for stone formation. This can be attributed to an increase in urinary citrate. [2]

#2: Adequate Water Intake

Too much or too little of anything is bad – we need to achieve a balance when it comes to water intake to prevent damage to the kidneys. Too much fluid causes blood pressure to shoot up, which can destroy the delicate blood vessels in the kidneys. However, a large number of people are chronically dehydrated. Urinary output of two to four liters a day is considered safe – and even protective to our kidneys! When we drink enough water, it suppresses the production of vasopressin in the body, a process that has been linked to kidney damage and disease. With enough water, kidney function is well-preserved by promoting a healthy filtration rate by the pair of organs, ridding the body of sodium–a common component of kidney stones. [3][4]

#3: Chanca Piedra Tea

Chanca Piedra tea is made from a plant called Phyllanthus nirurii, also known as stonebreaker and used in traditional Spanish medicine. This plant has had a long tradition of being considered able to exert an inhibitory effect on the formation of crystals or stones, improving excretion of citrate in the urine. Its use after extracorporeal shock therapy further decreased the risk for kidney stone formation compared to the shock therapy alone. Chanca piedra has also exhibited abilities to protect the liver, fight hepatitis B, and lower lipid levels in the blood. [5][6][7][8][9]

#4: Horsetail Tea

Valued by herbalists since at least Roman and Grecian times, horsetail tea is a known diuretic and has been shown to improve renal health. A recent study published in 2015 revealed that treatment with horsetail tea significantly prevented the deposits of calcium oxalate in the kidney (hence no kidney stones!), as well as improving the urine output of test subjects. The tea was also seen to have strong antioxidant properties which can boost the kidney’s immunity. [10]

#5: Avoid Too Much Salt And Calcium

Everything in moderation is the key! Most kidney stones are made up of either sodium or calcium salts. Food that is high in sodium like preserved meats and canned items increase your risk for the formation of kidney stones made with sodium. The same applies to too much calcium in your diet – while drinking milk and dairy is recommended, too much can cause the formation of calcium oxalate stones in your kidneys. Sources of oxalate include coffee and tea. [11][12]


[1] Rashidkhani, B., Lindblad, P. & Wolk, A. (2004). Fruits, vegetables and risk of renal cell carcinoma: A prospective study of Swedish women. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.20577/full

[2] Meschi, T., et. al. (2004). The effect of fruits and vegetables on urinary stone risk factors. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815503475

[3] Choi, H., Park, H. & Ha, S. (2015). High Water Intake and Progression of Chronic Kidney Diseases. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737661/

[4] Wang, C., Grantham, J., & Wetmore, J. (2013). The medicinal use of water in renal disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23423255

[5] Freitas, A., Schor, N. & Boim, M. (2002). The effect of Phyllanthus niruri on urinary inhibitors of calcium oxalate crystallization and other factors associated with renal stone formation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12010223

[6] Micali, S., et. al. (2006). Can Phyllanthus niruri affect the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones? A randomized, prospective, long-term study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16890682

[7] Khanna, A., Rizvi, F. & Chander, R. (2002). Lipid lowering activity of Phyllanthus niruri in hyperlipemic rats. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874102001368

[8] Harish, R. & Shivanandappa, T. (2006). Antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective potential of Phyllanthus niruri. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605000130

[9] Liu, S., et. al. (2014). In vitro and in vivo anti-hepatitis B virus activities of the lignan niranthin isolated from Phyllanthus niruri L. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874114004334

[10] Crescenti, A., et. al. (2015). Antiurolithiasic effect of a plant mixture of Herniaria glabra, Agropyron repens, Equisetum arvense and Sambucus nigra (Herbensurina®) in the prevention of experimentally induced nephrolithiasis in rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26634575

[11] Gasinska, A. & Gajewska, D. (2007). Tea and coffee as the main sources of oxalate in diets of patients with kidney oxalate stones. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17711092

[12] Bush, N., et. al. (2014). Title of the original manuscript is: Prevalence and Spot Urine Risk Factors for Renal Stones in Children Taking Topiramate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644535/

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