Kidney disease, also known as kidney failure, is any condition that causes kidney dysfunction. The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse states that dysfunctional kidneys fail to perform several important duties, including the removal of excess waste products, minerals and fluid, which can have harmful effects on your body. Some herbal remedies may be a helpful adjunct therapy for your kidney disease, but you should only use herbs after first clearing them with your physician.
Kidney Disease and Health
Decreased kidney function, notes MayoClinic.com, may not be observed until your kidneys experience significant dysfunction. Some of the most commonly experienced signs and symptoms of kidney disease, or dysfunction, include reduced urine volume, reduced appetite, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, muscle twitches and cramps, swelling in your lower extremities, and reduced mental alertness. There are several risk factors associated with this condition, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity and long-term smoking.
Common Herbal Remedies
Certain herbal remedies have long been used in treating kidney problems and other problems associated with the urinary tract. In his book "Therapeutic Herb Manual," naturalist and herbal medicine expert Ed Smith notes that the following herbs may be particularly helpful in treating infection or inflammation of your kidneys, bladder and urinary ducts: goldenrod flowering tops, corn silk, horsetail, uva ursi leaf and juniper berries. Few herbs used in treating kidney problems may have been subjected to rigorous studies using current scientific testing procedures.
Buchu is an herbal remedy that is commonly used in treating kidney disease and various conditions of your urinary tract. Buchu, notes certified nutritional consultant and nutrition researcher Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," has historically been used in controlling kidney problems and may be helpful in treating water retention, cystitis and prostate inflammation. This herb -- the leaves of the plant, specifically -- may be particularly helpful in treating kidney disease when taken in tea form, notes Balch.
Kidney disease, or kidney failure, may lead to numerous health complications if left untreated, including cardiovascular disease, impotence and permanent kidney damage. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, discuss the long-term health implications of this condition with your doctor or specialist and what you can do to mitigate its damaging health effects. Talk with your doctor about natural treatment approaches, including the use of herbs, and what role these therapies might play in your care.
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Kidney Failure
- "Therapeutic Herb Manual"; Ed Smith; 2007
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010