Often compared to a pain far worse than giving birth, kidney stones are no laughing matter, so knowing natural remedies to combat them can offer great relief and prevention. With no single cause for kidney stones, they can affect anyone at any time. Typically, kidney stones are the formation of uric acid, calcium, and oxalate into crystals.
When small, they can easily be passed when we urinate. But the larger they become, the greater pain they cause, and surgery may be required to remove them. Kidney stones can be seen using an X-ray or scan, but pay attention to symptoms such as foul-smelling urine, chills, fever, vomiting or nausea, and blood in the urine for other tell-tale signs.
If you have kidney stones and want to hold off on surgery, here are some natural remedies.
11 Natural Remedies to Bypass Kidney Stones
Water: A potential cause of kidney stones is dehydration. You want to flush out as much of the minerals that can form into crystals leading to kidney stones. To help reduce them, drinking water is key. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you do this. Not a fan of water? Try infusing it with mint, lemon, orange or other fruits to give it some flavor.
Apple cider vinegar: Is there anything apple cider vinegar can’t do? It appears on many natural remedy lists, so it should be of no surprise apple cider vinegar can help relieve kidney stones. Apple cider vinegar can work to break down kidney stones as well as prevent future ones if consumed daily. Apple cider vinegar can be quite strong in flavor, so diluting two tablespoons in some water is an easy and effective way to drink it.
Lemon juice and olive oil: When stones are small and more likely to pass, lemon juice and olive may help ease this process. Mixing lemon juice and olive oil, followed by drinking water, can help break down smaller stones.
Pomegranate juice: In a 2008 study it was revealed that pomegranate juice may prevent certain forms of kidney stones. Aside from its antioxidant content, not only will pomegranate juice improve your health, but it can reduce your risk of kidney stones. Keep in mind that many fruit juices contain high amounts of added sugar. If possible, opt for an organic variety.
Fiber: Fiber is required for overall good health and it, too, is a great remedy for kidney stones. Just like how fiber can move other things along it can also help prevent calcium from entering the urinary tract. Good sources of fiber include whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.
Watermelon: Watermelon is a natural remedy for kidney stones because it not only hydrates you but provides potassium as well. Potassium helps keep the kidneys healthy by maintaining acid levels. Furthermore, its water content will keep you hydrated and help minerals move out of your body.
Kidney beans: Why not treat a kidney problem with a food of the same name? Kidney beans contain fiber, which we’ve already discussed to help reduce the onset of kidney stones.
Celery: The use of celery is beneficial with pain management associated with kidney stones. Celery contains antispasmodic properties and it can help eliminate toxins that may be present in the body. You can drink celery by running it through a juicer or snack on it throughout the day.
Horsetail juice: One of the least known natural remedies for kidney stones, this antibacterial juice has been used for centuries to help increase urine flow to flush out kidney stones. It can soothe swelling and inflammation and aid in overall urinary health. Do not use for more than six weeks at a time.
Wheatgrass juice: A juice packed with many nutrients that have long been used to enhance health. Wheatgrass increases urine flow to help pass stones and, also contains important nutrients that help cleanse the kidneys. To prevent any side effects, start with a small amount, and work your way up to 8 ounces.
Dandelion root juice: This juice is a kidney tonic that stimulates the production of bile. It is thought to help eliminate waste, increase urine output, and improve digestion. Make a fresh dandelion juice or buy it as a tea and enjoy 3 – 4 times throughout the day.
These eleven home remedies for kidney stones can break down existing stones, prevent future ones and even reduce some of the pain associated with passing them. Although treating kidney stones naturally is ideal, if the pain and fever associated with kidney stones become substantial, seeking medical attention is advised.
Prevention Tips to Bypass Kidney Stones
Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help to flush excess minerals out of the body that can otherwise build up in the kidneys. This may increase the risk of stones. Try using a reusable water bottle and keep it nearby to drink from throughout the day.
Calcium is not the enemy: Too much calcium can be harmful, but what many people don’t know if that too little can also do har. It is best to get your recommended daily amount through diet by consuming dairy products, vegetables high in calcium, or fortified juices, cereals, and bread.
Limit salt intake: High amounts of salt in a diet has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones. Lowering salt intake means cutting down on certain foods including lunch meats, salted snacks, canned soup, and processed foods.
It’s not just the oxalate: The risk of kidney stones could be higher if you consume a lot of foods high in oxalates. These foods include spinach, beets, okra, nuts, cocoa powder, French fries, and cereals such as shredded wheat and raisin bran.
Limit animal protein: If you suffer from kidney stones, it may be a good idea to limit the amount of beef, chicken, pork, and eggs you eat. For some people, dairy may also need to be limited. Try swapping animal proteins for plant-based options including nuts or seeds, legumes, or soy products.
Avoid stone-forming foods: Many foods can raise the risk of kidney stones, so if you have a history of them, limiting some foods may be recommended. Beets, chocolate, tea, and many others are all products that should be consumed in smaller quantities.