The kidneys, located in the posterior of the abdomen, are designed to remove waste, poisons and toxins from the bloodstream. Besides the cleaning function, the bean-shaped organs also regulate and maintain healthy electrolyte levels, red blood cell production and blood pressure. Kidneys work best when you exercise regularly, have a healthy diet and are properly hydrated. Besides, many herbs can help promote kidney health. Some work as diuretics that flush out kidney stones and excess toxin. Others can prevent and even treat kidney problems.
Herbal Medicines for Kidney Health
Try these herbs for better kidney function. But remember to seek your doctor’s permission beforehand.
While parsley is taken for granted in the kitchen, this herb helps to flush out toxins by increasing production of urine. Studies have shown that the two ingredients in parsley – apio and myristicin – not only give it the diuretic properties, but also help to remove kidney stones and prevent buildup of bacteria.
2. Celery Root
Celery root has neutralizing properties that help to maintain a balanced pH within the body. It has diuretic properties that stimulate kidneys to remove excess microorganisms from the bloodstream. Celery root constitutes herbal medicine for kidneys with medically proven ability to treat some kidney diseases. The herb is also a rich source of potassium, an important mineral in better kidney functions.
Irrigation therapy is an alternative kidney stone treatment method that employs goldenrod and a large amount of fluids to flush the kidneys, reducing inflammation and the accompanying pain. The herb prevents bacterial infection in the kidneys and the whole urinary system.
5. Marshmallow Root
You are more likely to know marshmallow as a sweat fluffy treat. But the marshmallow root is also used as herbal medicine for kidneys. A diuretic and calming herb, marshmallow increases urine production, relieves pain and helps remove kidney stones.
Cranberries have traditionally been used as herbal medicine for the urinary tract. However, recent studies have showed that cranberries can prevent kidney stones, thanks to the quinic acid they contain. Because the human body is unable to dissolve quinic acid, consumption of cranberries leads to very acidic urine, a non-conducive environment for calcium and phosphate ions to interact. This prevents formation of kidney stones.
Dandelion is another diuretic herb that increases urine production, effectively promoting elimination of waste and toxins from the bloodstream. Dandelion is also a rich source of potassium, zinc, iron, vitamins A, B-complex, C and D. Some active ingredients in dandelion root are believed to have kidney stone dissolving properties.
Ginger has been used to treat various ailments, including as herbal medicine for kidneys for more than 2000 years. And recent research has established that ginger has antioxidant properties that help to protect kidneys and dissolve kidney stones. The herb also contains important nutrients, including protein, iron, calcium, vitamins B3, C and folic acid.
9. Hydrangea Root
Native Americans traditionally used the hydrangea root to improve and maintain bladder and kidney health. The herb is believed to aid in assimilation of calcium, thereby preventing the formation of kidney stones. It is also believed to dissolve the edges of kidney stones.
10. Gravel Root
Gravel root, also known as Joe Pye weed, was traditionally used by Native Americans and settlers to tone kidneys and urinary tract. The herb contains euparin, a solvent that destroys harmful microorganisms, thereby preventing infection.
Also known as bearberry, the uva-ursi herb has antibacterial property that helps treat bladder and the urinary tract infections. Studies have established that uva-ursi contains compounds hydroquinone, arbutin and tannins which cause mucous membranes in the urinary tract to shrink. Uva-ursi leaves can be steeped to make tea.
Turmeric is a highly portent herb with antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties mean that turmeric has both preventive and curative abilities against many microorganisms and inflammations in the kidneys, urinary tract and the rest of the body. The herb’s most important ingredient is known as curcumin.
13. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is increasingly becoming an important herb in the management of diabetes and kidney diseases. It has antioxidant property that helps reduce free radicals in the bloodstream and kidneys in particular. The herb also detoxifies the body against environmental and chemical toxins, including alcohol. Silymarin helps to repair and regenerate kidney cells by increasing proteins and nucleic acid.
Astragalus is a herbal medicine for kidneys. Its antioxidant, adaptogenic and diuretic properties help to detoxify and regenerate damaged tissues. Active ingredients in the herb include flavonoids and alkolids, as well as zinc, chlorine, copper and vitamins. Astragalus is consumed in the following forms: dry root, herbal tea, capsules, liquid, tincture, powder, and tablet.
15. Corn Silk
Corn silk has been traditionally used to prevent and treat kidney problems. It soothes pain in urination caused by kidney stones, reduces inflammation and treats fluid retention. Studies have also shown that corn silk is an effective diuretic and helps inhibit bacterial growth. Corn silk is available at most herbal stores.