Facts & Remedies You Should Know to Prevent and Cure Kidney Stones
If you have been diagnosed with kidney stones, you know how painful it is to live with these stones- big or small- in your kidneys. The acute pain in your left or right flanks going towards the lower abdomen and groin area and even towards your back is something that makes you shudder even if thought about. The feeling of nausea and vomiting along with the burning sensation while you pass urine and also the urgency and frequency of urinating, all these have led you to wish that you get rid of kidney stones as soon as possible.
You can get rid of these kidney stones through various means- medicines, surgery, and home or herbal remedies. Even if you remove those kidney stones through modern surgical or non-surgical ways, there is always a risk of their recurrence. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you avoid certain foods and habits to prevent your kidney stones make a comeback.
Understanding Kidney Stone Formation
It is a basic thing you should know- how kidney stones are formed. Then only can you take steps to prevent them from occurring and reoccurring?
When certain substances- minerals and salts – deposit into your kidney, there forms kidney stones. To be precise, these stones get created when calcium, oxalate and sometimes uric acid, as well as some other minor substances, crystallize in urine. All the crystals then join together to form what is known as kidney stones.
These stones generally form in the kidney where your urine collects before going into the tube (ureter) which leads to the urinary bladder. Small stones do not face any difficulty while passing out of the body with the urine. Normally, you do not even notice these smaller stones. The problem lies with the bigger stones that block the way of urine passage which then gives rise to pain and all the other symptoms through which you know that there are stones in your kidney. If left unattended, these stones may erode the inner tissues leading to even bleeding through the urinary tract.
This was one of the causes for kidney stones- urine becoming saturated with minerals and salts. There is one other cause and that is kidneys stop making such substances as citrate in adequate quantities. Citrate prevents stones by attaching to calcium and escorting them out of the body through urine.
About 80% of stones are made up of calcium. Thus, the home remedies for kidney stones revolve around the idea of either flushing out the mineral-salt crystals before they can join and formstone or production of such substances in the body that can fight off or prevent the kidney stones from forming.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Kidney Stones
Those were the home remedies to prevent kidney stones. Now let’s talk about certain herbal remedies to cure them. Treating kidney stones necessarily mean either dissolving the stones in your ureter and kidney or facilitate these stones to pass out of your body through urine. Many herbs and natural ingredients recommended by Ayurveda as well as other traditional medicine cure kidney stones this way.
1. Have Nettle leaves a herbal tea
You should have two to three cups of nettle leaf tea daily.
You will need:
• Dried or fresh nettle leaves
• Hot water
• Take one cup of hot water.
• Add 1-2 tablespoons of nettle leaves in it.
• Let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
• Strain and have it.
Store dried nettle leaves in an airtight container and fresh ones in a plastic bag in a refrigerator.
2. Make an Ayurvedic herbs concoction
Ayurveda places great importance on Horse Gram (Kulth) for curing kidney stones. This herbal preparation has horse gram as one of its main ingredients.
You will need:
• Powdered bark of Varun tree (three-leaved caper tree)
• Powdered Gokhru (puncture pine)
• Powdered Kas (thatch grass)
• Powdered Kulth (horse gram)
• Take equal quantities of all the four powdered herbs and mix them. If you want, you can mix larger amounts and store in an airtight container.
• Take 1 teaspoon of this mixed herbs powder.
• Add it in a cup of water.
• Mix well and drink it.
• Have this preparation 3-4 times a day.
This herbal preparation is said to be one of the best home remedies for kidney stones.
3. Have horse gram and pomegranate seeds soup
If you can’t get other herbs mentioned in the previous remedy, you can use horse gram with pomegranate seeds as an alternative remedy.
You will need:
• Horse gram – 1 cup
• Crushed pomegranate seeds- 2 teaspoons
• Water- ½ liter
• Add 1 cup of horse gram with half a liter of water.
• Boil them together till the water is reduced to 1/5 of the original quantity.
• Strain to get the prepared soup of horse gram.
• Now add two spoons of crushed pomegranate seeds to it and mix well.
• Have this soup once a day.
4. Use basil leaves and honey to get rid of kidney stones
Easily available honey and basil leaves can do wonders to prevent and cure kidney stones.
You will need:
• Basil leaves – 10-15
• Honey – 1 tsp
• Take the basil leaves and crush them
• Squeeze the crushed basil leaves with hands or use a sieve to get the juice out of the leaves.
• Add 1 tsp of honey to this juice of basil leaves.
• Mix well and have it once daily.
These were some of the best home and herbal remedies for kidney stones. What actually will relieve you of these stones is both – cure and prevention because remember kidney stones can reoccur frequently. So cure them and better prevent them to stay healthy and hearty!
Home Remedies to Prevent Kidney Stones
Some changes in dietary habits and lifestyle can help you prevent stones to be formed in kidneys.
5. Drink lots of water
Drinking water is not only good for your kidney but for your overall health. Have at least 8-10 glasses of water every day and more if you are overactive during the day. This will flush out the salt crystals with urine before they could take the form of stone. And if this is the case, you may not even need any other remedy for stones to be treated. How to know whether you are drinking the required amount of water? Simply check the color of your urine. If it is pale (in fact, very light) yellow or crystal clear just like water, you are having sufficient amount of water. However, if the color of your urine is dark yellow, you are not giving your body sufficient water.
Other caffeine-free and non-alcoholic beverages including fruit and vegetable juices, coconut water etc. also count for your water intake. You should, however, consult with your doctor before having too much of decaffeinated tea because it leads to high concentration of oxalates in your urine.
6. Cut down on foods that produce oxalates
Now you know that oxalates contribute to forming kidney stones. So eat lesser of such fruits and vegetables that lead to their production. You can actually take the urine test after consulting your physician which tells whether your urine contains excessive oxalate. If the result is positive, avoid the following:
• Wheat Bran
You may not need to totally stop taking them but have them in limited amounts.
7. Don’t have excessive vitamin C
While Vitamin C is very important for the body, excess of it can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. This is because vitamin C has the potential of converting itself into oxalate once inside the body. Anyway, the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 90 mg (for men) and 75 mg (for women) in a day. A little above this amount is all right but don’t overdo it. The best way is to have vitamin C from natural sources- fruits and vegetables- instead of having supplements.
8. Limit your intake of meat and some types of fish
As you just came to know that uric acid to contributes in forming kidney stones, it is better to have less of meat and some fish like herring, mackerel, sardines, and shrimps. Animal protein tends to accelerate the formation of uric acid as well as calcium in urine- both known for their stone forming capacity.
You should also avoid having foods containing purines because when purine in protein or other foods breaks down, they form uric acid. Some of the foods high in purine include sweetbreads, beer, brains, heart, liver, kidney, and wine. Better limit their intake.
9. Exercise Regularly
Apart from many benefits that exercising has for a body, it has one special advantage for preventing kidney stones. Regular exercise facilitates the calcium in your body to pass out into the bloodstream and then to the bones, thus preventing the calcium from entering in your urine. AS said earlier, 80% of kidney stones are made up of calcium, it is desirable that you exercise on a daily basis to prevent it from forming stones in your kidney.
10. Balance out the intake of calcium
Calcium is but essential for your bones and teeth and some other functions of the body. So you cannot totally discard the intake of calcium. However, you must balance it- neither exceed nor deprive your body of it. While excessive calcium forms stones, not getting sufficient calcium can, in fact, increase the chances of forming kidney stones. Strange but true! And why this happens? Because when your body realizes that it has lower levels of calcium, it starts producing more oxalate making you more prone to have stones. So how much of calcium do you need daily? The recommended dietary allowance say it is between 1000 to 1200 mg a day. This means about three glasses of milk. However, you may not need to have three glasses of milk every day as you can always have milk plus other foods having calcium in them. Some of the measures you can take to balance out the intake of calcium in your body include:
- Have milk regularly, on the daily basis
- Most of the dairy products to have calcium in them.
- Avoid having antacids out of habit. Over-the-counter antacids are made up of calcium-based formula. If your daily antacid’s label reads ‘calcium,’ better avoid it
- Exercise regularly, as told earlier, to facilitate pass calcium into bones rather than into urine.