Diet and lifestyle directly affect kidney health, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Kidneys are designed to help to cleanse the body, but dehydration and poor diet diminish kidney functioning. Once kidneys are sluggish or weak, problems often develop, such as a kidney infection or kidney stones, according to the Mayo Clinic. When drinking extra water doesn't aid in solving such problems, certain herbs may help to promote kidney wellness.Of course, you should talk to a doctor before trying to treat yourself with herbal remedies.
Herbs with Antioxidant Benefits
Bilberry or blueberry fruit and juice help to prevent fluid retention and provide antioxidant benefits for kidney health. The leaf properties are used as an effective urinary antiseptic, according to "Herbal Remedies" by Andrew Chevallier.
Cranberry juice is a well-known home remedy for bladder infections. However, the juice and the fruit also help to maintain kidney health. Rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, it helps the overall vitality of the urinary tract and works as a powerful disinfectant. Cranberry includes ingredients that efficiently flush out harmful bacteria. It's most effective when used as an extract or unsweetened juice, according to author Andrew Chevallier.
As an effective antioxidant, the globe artichoke supports detoxification by strengthening kidney and liver function, says Chevallier (see ref #2). Either the flower head is eaten, or the leaf is used in herbal medication to protect the liver and kidney.
The seeds, seed oil and leaves as well as the fruit from grapevine are used in herbal medicine for its astringent, antioxidant and nutritive properties. For sluggish kidneys, naturopathic cleansing including grape fasting helps to detoxify the body by expunging toxins from the kidneys and liver, according to Chevallier (see ref #2).
The fruit, flower and root of puncture vine is used in herbal remedies for kidney and urinary tract problems. Puncture vine is primarily used with other herbs to clear kidney stones, explains Chevallier (see ref #2). However, always check with your health care professional before diagnosing health problems and taking or combining herbal concoctions.
Even with the popularity and use of maize or corn around the world, not too many people know that the natural silky wrapping on a corn cob is used for medicine. Cornsilk is not only a cleansing diuretic but also a potent urinary antiseptic. It helps to flush out the kidneys and bladder and ease inflammation, according to Chevallier.
Crataeva root or stem bark is prepared as an herbal tonic for kidney problems, according to Chevallier. It's a cleansing antiseptic that helps to clear infections, dissolve kidney stones and soothe the urinary system.
Chevallier points out that the root and leaf of dandelion are used in common remedies for many health conditions, but dandelion also works as a diuretic and cleanser by relieving fluid retention and detoxifying the kidneys. However, if you suffer with chronic kidney disease, dandelion is listed as one of several herbs that are possibly harmful to ailing kidneys, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Although goldenseal is another herb to be cautious with, it is often recommended for cleansing and detoxification. It also helps the body fight off stubborn infection, such as fungal infection and other types of illnesses. It is often combined with echinacea; however, check with your health-care provider before taking either of these herbs.
The parsley leaf and root are used in herbal mixtures to help remedy urinary tract problems. Parsley is a diuretic and antiseptic that not only helps with the prevention of kidney stones but also with treatment, according to Chevallier. It assists in keeping kidneys healthy and clean by eliminating waste and toxins.
- National Kidney Foundation: Use of Herbal Supplements in Chronic Kidney Disease
- "Herbal Remedies"; Andrew Chevallier; 2010
- Mayo Clinic: Kidney Stones