What are some Home Remedies for Kidney Stones?

The human urinary system does the job of moving the dissolved minerals out of the body together with excess water in the form of urine. Sometimes, due to an imbalance of salts or minerals in your urine, these substances accumulate to form into crystals which can harmlessly pass through the system if small in size, but if it builds up than it becomes a kidney stone (source:www.bupa.co.uk). Their passage begins in the kidneys, and continues through the ureter (connecting tube) to reach the bladder, before leaving the body through the urethra. Sometimes, the first indication of kidney stones is a sharp pain in the lower back, which can be confused with problems in the spine.

Most stones are calcium based, crystallizing around a nucleus of dead cells or other organic matter inside the kidneys. Often, the calcium will be bonded to oxalate molecules (C2O4), forming an insoluble compound that also becomes a calculus. Much less frequently, kidney stones are formed from uric acid. Because of a lowered excretion level of these compounds, the kidney becomes saturated and crystals result.

This high concentration of minerals in the urine has a number of causes, ranging from an excessive consumption of calcium-based foods (milk and dairy products, or hard, mineralized water) or vitamin D (which raises the level of calcium absorption from the intestines or from the bones), to a high acid level inside the kidneys or an excess of uric acid consumption (from gland meat, such as kidneys, liver, and heart of cattle, pigs, and sheep, or the gizzards of birds). Please Note: Vitamin D is important in maintaining calcium homeostasis, but its role in kidney stone disease and its effect on stone formation are still not clear. (source:medscape.com)

A high mineral concentration can also come from metabolic disorders which permit an excess of oxalate, endocrine imbalances such as hyperparathyroidism, or irregularities in the body's water balance (source:physio-pedia.com). This last factor can include too little water being consumed, or too much water being expelled from the body, caused by excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. Also, a lack of physical exercise causes the bones to give up part of their calcium, thus contributing to a saturation level in the kidneys.

As in the case of many physical disorders, the number one champion among home remedies for avoiding kidney stones is to change the diet. For reducing calcium in the diet, the consumption of all dairy products, leafy green vegetables and whole grains should be diminished. Also, calcium-based stones are alkaline and an alkaline pH favors the crystallization of calcium- and phosphate-containing stones, so instead of alkaline you must increase the acidity of the kidney environment to dissolve the stone or avoid the formation of stones in future. This can be done by eating more meats and eggs, and less vegetables and fruits. One exception seems to be pineapple, which is acid and helps dissolve the stones. Another quick method for acidifying the kidneys is to drink apple vinegar.

Oxalates come from spinach, tomatoes, rhubarb, grapes, figs, plums, green beans, beets (including their leaves), chard, okra, chocolate and tea, so all of these should be avoided if the kidney stones show the presence of this compound. For uric acid stones, the kidney content should be alkalinized (the opposite of a calcium buildup), which means more fruits and vegetables and less meat. As can be imagined, the problem can be worsened if a treatment for calcium stones is attempted on a patient with uric acid stones. For this reason, a correct diagnosis is always essential.

Another main home remedy for kidney stones is to increase the amount of water consumed. Increase the consumption of mineral water, which, contrary the name, often contains less harmful minerals than tap water. Put a few drops of lemon juice in each cup of water, which helps dissolve kidney stones. Some North American Indian tribes use the seeds of squash or pumpkins to relieve kidney stone attacks, either chewing these seeds or drinking them powdered in water. Also, drink more fruit and vegetable juices, especially those containing citrus fruits. Drinking coconut water is best home remedy for kidney stones. There are hardly any patients of kidney stones in South India as people drink coconut water all the time there as this fruit has maximum production there. (source : mdhil.com)

In some cases, drinking 2 liters of water within a minute or two can cause enough pressure in the urinary tract to force a stone to move, which can relieve the pain being caused. Certain plant components help to lubricate the passageways through which the stones must travel. These include teas of corn silk or avocado leaves, and especially olive oil. Repeatedly drinking 50-60 ml of olive oil with an equal amount of fresh lemon juice, followed by a glass or two of water, is one of the most popular home remedies for kidney stones (Watch this preparation on youtube).

Among the medicinal herbs that aid with kidney stones, the stone breaker plant (called Chanca Piedra in Spanish, or its equivalent from Brazil, Phyllanthus niruri, called Quebra Pedra in Portuguese) is a diuretic that also dilates the urinary tubes and permits stones to pass with less or no pain. A tea of the leaves of uva ursi, dandelion root or buchu leaves has a similar effect. Gravel root and clivers help to dissolve kidney stones. Horsetail is effective against inflammation of the urinary tract, which can be caused when the stones rasp the passage walls in their passing.

The best remedy for any ailment is prevention don't let the problem start. Home remedies that help avoid the formation of kidney stones from the beginning include always drinking at least 2 liters of water a day, and controlling the diet to reduce the intake of risky minerals and other crystallizing components. In the case of this painful condition, it's far better to never know the pain it causes. Ask anyone who's ever experienced kidney stones!

For best kidney stone resources you must visit kidney.niddk.nih.gov

Written By : David Michael (Terespolis, Brazil)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice