15 Super Herbs That Help Cleanse Your Kidneys

Your kidneys lie in your back on each side of your spine and just under your ribs. They have a very important function in the body… Simi - June 3, 2018

Your kidneys lie in your back on each side of your spine and just under your ribs. They have a very important function in the body which is to remove wastes and toxins from your blood. Every day your kidneys filter almost 200 liters of blood and remove about two liters of waste from your body in your urine.

Apart from getting rid of waste, the kidneys have other functions too. They reabsorb certain molecules when filtering the blood such as ions, glucose, calcium, sodium, and potassium. They also produce certain hormones which play a role in good health. The kidneys are indirectly involved in regulating blood pressure as they influence the concentration of sodium in the system.

In our modern lives, we are subjected to much more pollution and contaminants from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. This can put stress on the kidneys. Problems with the kidneys can include fatigue, moodiness, pain, bloating, kidney stones and infections. If you stay well hydrated, eat healthily and exercise, you should be able to keep your kidneys functioning well.

Adding some herbs to your diet can help to cleanse your kidneys and relieve the stress on them. Many of these herbs help to prevent common kidney infections and act as diuretics, flushing out excess fluid. Some of them act in more of a preventative capacity by boosting kidney function while others help with existing issues. Many herbs are beneficial for supporting kidney function, but if you have kidney disease, you will need guidance on whether you should use them and dosage. Some herbs may not be suitable for those taking certain medications or suffering from serious health conditions.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for centuries as a spice to add flavor and color to curry dishes. It also has many health benefits due mainly to a substance it contains called curcumin. The strong antioxidant properties of curcumin protect the cells from free radical damage. It has significant anti-inflammatory properties making it useful in treating infection and disease.

Chronic kidney disease is an inflammatory disease which can eventually result in renal failure with the patient needing dialysis and a kidney transplant. Studies show that curcumin can blunt the production and action of inflammatory molecules, helping to ameliorate chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure is another factor that’s significant in causing kidney problems. Preliminary evidence from studies suggests that curcumin might effectively lower blood pressure and help to reduce this risk.

Curcumin has also been shown to increase the production of enzymes in the liver and improve blood circulation. As the liver and kidneys work in tandem, a healthy liver takes some pressure off the kidneys. Taking turmeric can be as helpful as taking some non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs if it is taken in the proper dosage. It is available in many forms such as teas, tinctures, and supplements.

While turmeric has benefits for the kidneys, too much is not good. As turmeric is full of potassium, it is not suitable for those who already have high blood potassium levels. Medical experts believe that people with a tendency to form kidney stones should stay away from turmeric because it contains high levels of oxalate. You must consult a doctor before adding turmeric to your diet if you are taking prescription medications or have certain health conditions. For instance, turmeric should not be used by those with gallbladder disease.

2. Celery

Celery is from the same family as fennel and parsley. The ribs of celery are crunchy and are often used in salads or to make soup. Celery has a salty taste so when it’s used in juice it is best mixed with fruit juice. The natural organic sodium in celery is safe for consumption, unlike when too much table salt is consumed. The seeds and roots of celery can be used as a natural diuretic to support the removal of toxins from the blood and promote healthy, normal kidney function.

Eating celery regularly can prevent the formation of kidney stones and reduce the risk of infections because it contains nutrients that help to stimulate kidney function. The root has long been used as a tonic due to its vital nutrients that support kidney health such as potassium and sodium. The polyacetylene in celery provides relief from inflammation if you are already suffering from an infection. This root vegetable also helps to neutralize the pH balance in the body.

Using green celery is best because it contains more chlorophyll. Drink a glass of celery juice every day for a couple of weeks to cleanse the kidneys. You will find that it also lowers your blood pressure which is also helpful for kidney health. Blend carrot, celery, parsley, and cucumber into a nutritious, diuretic juice if you don’t enjoy celery on its own.

Be careful if you are juicing, that you don’t drink much more potassium than you should. People with kidney disease may have high potassium, sodium and phosphorus levels in the blood due to the failure of their damaged kidneys to keep the right electrolyte balance. For this reason, they should rather stay away from celery with its high sodium and potassium content.

3. Parsley

Parsley is commonly used by chefs because it is flavorful and aromatic. It’s good for your health too because it contains powerful antioxidants which strengthen the immune system. It is also rich in minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and iron. It has also been shown to increase the production of urine so it can help flush out harmful toxins.

To make parsley tea, put a tablespoon of fresh, crushed parsley in a cup and cover with boiling water. Let it steep for about five minutes before straining. Drink this twice a day for a few weeks. You can also add about five sprigs of parsley to boiling water and once it has boiled for a bit, add the juice of a lemon. Drink four cups, one in the early morning on an empty stomach, one at lunchtime, one in the afternoon and one in the evening and do this once or twice a week.

Despite its health benefits, pregnant women and those using blood-thinning medications should not eat too much of it. Conflicting advice exists as to whether parsley juice should be used by people who suffer from kidney disease. The problem lies in substances called oxalates in the parsley which could be a problem for those with kidney disease. It’s best to consult a knowledgeable health practitioner before adding too much parsley to your diet if you have kidney disease.

On the other hand, parsley has been long considered as a beneficial herb for kidney health. Both dried tea and the fresh herb are often recommended to help with kidney stones or infections. Parsley juice is often thought of as too strong to drink on its own and can be mixed with other fruits or vegetables when juicing. It is not well tolerated on an empty stomach because of its detoxifying effect, and when combined with food it is absorbed much slower which prevents minor side effects.

4. Mallow Root (Marshmallow)

Mallow root has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes. It is also called marshmallow, which you may think of as the white, fluffy treat but the name comes from the fact that it usually grows in marshes. People used mallow root for a variety of purposes, and in the Middle Ages, the plant sap was used in tea to soothe sore throats. However, its diuretic qualities mean it also supports kidney health and may help to ease water retention.

Its most beneficial quality is as a demulcent. This means it contains an agent that creates a soothing film over a mucous membrane. This helps to relieve inflammation and minor pain. By soothing the membranes of the urinary organs, the risk of potential damage from the toxins carried in the urine is reduced. As a good diuretic and a soothing, pain reliever, it can help kidney stones to pass with less discomfort.

When marshmallow root is used by herbalists, it is often in the form of a tea or a cold infusion. You can make the tea easily yourself by using a tablespoon of the root in a cup, pouring over boiling water and steeping for five minutes. Marshmallow root is also available in a variety of other forms such as tinctures, fluid extracts or in capsules.

When it is combined with Uva Ursi in tea, it is very useful for healing urinary tract infections. Prepare the tea by steeping a tablespoon of each of the herbs in a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Drink the tea four times a day for five days for a urinary infection. If you do add the Uva Ursi to a tea, you need to be careful as overuse can cause liver dysfunction. You need to drink plenty of water, especially with added lemon, to flush the urinary tract. Marshmallow root should be avoided if you have diabetes or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

5. Ginger

We are all familiar with ginger for its culinary uses as a fresh root or a ground powder with its slightly sweet, warm flavor. It is also nutrient-rich and is commonly used in herbal medicine. The antioxidants in ginger help to neutralize free radicals that cause inflammation and damage to the cells and tissues of all organs, including the kidneys. Zingerone is a compound found in the ginger root that may help to provide protection against kidney inflammation.

Studies have shown that a diet that is too low in antioxidants increases oxidative stress in patients with kidney disease. Supplementing the diet with ginger can also help to lower blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can lead to organ damage, and the kidneys are at risk if blood sugar levels are consistently high. Research has also shown that 200mg of ginger extract per kilogram of body weight promotes the activities of antioxidant enzymes in kidney function.

The recipe for ginger tea is easy. Take some fresh ginger root and grate it, pour boiling water over it and let it steep for five to ten minutes. If you want to get the full diuretic effect, drink this ginger tea two or three times a day. The bonus of doing so is that you will also protect yourself from colds and a sore stomach!

Ginger does not interact well with blood-thinning medications. Ask your doctor about possible interactions with prescription medications you are taking before using them in conjunction with ginger. No human studies of the effects of ginger on kidney disease. Consult a nephrologist for any kidney-related diseases and don’t rely on ginger to solve your problems if you think your condition may be serious.

6. Dandelion root

You may think of dandelion as a weed, but the leaves have a slightly bitter flavor that can work well in a salad. The Native Americans use an extract of dandelion to treat many conditions, including kidney problems. It can help to detoxify the kidneys due to its diuretic qualities. This herb is also a great source of nutrients such as potassium, zinc, iron and B complex vitamins.

Dandelion root also has antiviral properties. The roots also contain compounds that are believed to help to dissolve kidney stones. Researchers believe it may provide a useful alternative to conventional antibiotics to treat urinary infections. It works by increasing the production and flow of urine as well as preventing bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. By helping to prevent bladder infections, it also prevents kidney infections which often occur when bacteria ascend from the bladder.

To cleanse the kidneys, drink two cups of dandelion tea twice a day for a couple of weeks. To make the tea, you boil two teaspoons of the dried dandelion root in a cup of water for about five minutes. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes and then strain. Add a little honey and drink the tea. Dandelion root is quite bitter which is why honey is used to make it more palatable. The honey also adds a digestive enzyme boost. Drinking this dandelion root tea can help break up kidney stones and help them to pass.

Dandelion root does react with certain medications so you should consult your doctor before using it to cleanse your kidneys. It may interact with prescription medication used for high blood pressure or diabetes.

7. Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is used as a culinary herb, but it is also used for medicinal purposes. It acts as a diuretic, increasing urine production and helping with the removal of metabolic waste. It is approved in certain European countries for treating common kidney ailments. Stinging nettle has anti-inflammatory properties as it prevents the production of natural inflammatory substances in the body called prostaglandins.

Stinging nettle can effectively remove excess water from the body. This makes it useful in helping treat urinary tract infections. By increasing the volume of urine, it may help to remove bacteria from the kidneys and urinary tract. It may be used as irrigation therapy, whereby a large amount of fluid is moved through the kidneys to treat inflammation. Some people use stinging nettle to prevent and treat kidney stones.

Stinging nettle is available in dried leaf form or as a tincture or an extract. It also comes in capsule form. To make stinging nettle tea, place two teaspoons of dried or fresh stinging nettle in a cup. Pour in hot water and allow it to steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and add some honey. Drink the tea three times a day for a few weeks. Always try to drink additional water along with the tea to help flush the kidneys.

Stinging nettle is generally considered to be safe with only a few mild side effects being reported. However, you need to be careful with this herb because it can interfere with diabetes, high blood pressure and blood-thinning medications. Do not use it when pregnant as it can increase the risk of miscarriage. Consult your doctor about the dosage and possible side effects and interactions before using it.

8. Horsetail

Horsetail is a herbaceous plant that grows in fields or meadows in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Fresh or dried plant parts have been used medicinally by many cultures for centuries. It contains several substances with medicinal benefits, including minerals like calcium, potassium, and silicon. It is an exceptional diuretic that gets rid of excess water and toxins and maintains a stable flow of urine.

It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a powerful astringent which proves beneficial in removing harmful bacteria from the kidneys. It soothes the mucous membranes in the urinary tract, treats irritation and allows toxins to be removed without damage. It is also used for incontinence and general disturbances of the kidney. It can be used together with other herbs like juniper and elderflower in the treatment of uric acid kidney stones associated with gout.

One of the best ways to consume horsetail is by making tea. Use two to three teaspoons of dried horsetail, steep in a cup of boiling water and strain. You can drink tea two or three times a day for a week to cleanse the kidneys. It can also be taken in the form of a tincture, an extract or a capsule.

Horsetail should not be used in treatments that last longer than two weeks. You must not drink alcohol while using horsetail. Consult your doctor before taking it to find out about interactions, side effects, and dosage. If you are pregnant, have diabetes or have renal failure you should not use it. You should also not use it if you take an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure or if you have congestive heart failure.

9. Corn Silk

Corn is high in nutrients and is eaten by itself or as an ingredient in many dishes. Very few people realize that the long, silky fibers at the top of the ear of corn also have benefits, especially for cleansing the kidneys. Corn silk was widely used in the past for its diuretic properties which helped in the treatment of inflammation of the urinary system.

Corn silk is believed to decrease the risk of developing kidney stones and flush out deposits that already exist. As a natural diuretic, it contains saponins and tannins that stimulate urine production. This reduces the concentration of salts in the urine and drains away any tiny stones that may already have formed in the kidney.

The use of corn silk to cleanse kidneys is quite simple. Harvest the corn silk before it turns brown, clean it and dry it out. You can also buy corn silk tea from a herbal supplier. Make tea from the dried corn silk by putting two teaspoons of it in a cup and pouring boiling water over it. Steep it for 10 minutes and then strain it. Drink it three times a day to see results.

Corn silk is safe for most people to use. It can decrease potassium levels in the blood which may be a problem for some people. A large amount of corn silk is unsafe for pregnant women as it may stimulate the uterus and cause a miscarriage. There is also concern that too much of it could lower blood sugar which could be a problem in people with diabetes. It may interact with the medications used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure.

10. Bearberry Leaf (Uva ursi)

Uva Ursi, or Bearberry Leaf, was used for centuries as a common folk remedy. The plant and leaves were used to make medicine for treatment of various illnesses, including urinary tract problems. Today it is also used as a diuretic which helps to flush out toxins and excess water. It is especially effective when used to treat urinary tract infections.

Uva ursi contains antibacterial chemicals, arbutin, and hydroquinone, that work well on infections. It also contains astringent tannins that can reduce swelling of the mucous membranes in the urinary tract. This is helpful for soothing the tract and enabling bacteria and harmful toxins to leave the body without causing damage. It is also believed to help with prevention of the formation of kidney stones and to help with eliminating stones that have already formed.

This herb can be imbibed as herb tea or taken in supplement form. To prepare a Uva Ursi tea, use a tablespoon of the herb for one cup of water. Place the herbs in a jar and cover with boiling water. Put the lid on the jar and let the herbs infuse. Drink a cup on an empty stomach, half an hour before eating three times a day. Drink plenty of water when using the tea, or it will dehydrate you. The dried leaves are also crushed and made into capsules.

This herb should not be used by those with kidney disease or by children. Long-term use may even cause liver damage, and children are more vulnerable. Overuse may cause serious symptoms. If too much is consumed, it can cause nausea and may even inflame the lining of the urinary tract and bladder.

11. Chanca Piedra

Chanca Piedra is indigenous to the rainforest. The term chanca piedra can be translated as ‘stone breaker’ because it works so well for dissolving kidney stones. Many cultures have used the herb for this purpose for centuries. It has a very positive reputation in Ayurvedic medicine for kidney, liver and bladder health. It can relieve infections of the urinary tract and help with kidney stones.

Kidney stones are formed when your urine contains too many substances that form crystals. One of these is calcium, but uric acid is also responsible. These substances are normally found in the kidneys, but they are usually able to flush them out. However, sometimes there’s just too much to flush, and they start accumulating and forming a stone. Once a stone is formed, getting rid of it can be excruciating.

Chanca piedra seems to help with kidney stones in multiple ways. It seems to interfere with the stones as they begin to form, helping to reduce the aggregation of the crystals. It also helps to modify their structure and composition. It also helps to relax the ureter and promote clearing of stone fragments.

Chanca piedra is traditionally taken in tea form, but it is also available in tincture and tablet form. Participants in studies using chanca piedra only report mild side effects. It is usually safe when taken by mouth for a short time period of up to three months. However, consult your doctor before using the plant because it may be contraindicated with some medications prescribed for diabetes and heart conditions and if you have certain medical conditions. Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It might slow down blood clotting, so you need to avoid use two weeks before having to undergo surgery.

12. Goldenrod

Goldenrod has been used for centuries to treat urinary tract infections and strengthen the kidneys. Much herbal literature from the past cites it as being used to treat kidney stones. Modern science also supports its use as a diuretic with antiseptic and astringent properties. By tightening the tissues of the urinary system, and providing antibacterial action, it is well suited to addressing kidney issues.

An alternative treatment for kidney stones involves taking goldenrod with large amounts of liquids. This helps to flush out the stones and reduce inflammation. The goldenrod reduces inflammation of the lining of the urinary tract and lessens the risk of infection. It may also help to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place by preventing the accumulation of minerals that lead to them forming.

To make tea for relief from infections, steep two to three teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes. Drink it three times daily for relief. The tea is tasty as it is slightly sweet and astringent and it packs an antioxidant punch, with much higher levels than those found in green tea. Goldenrod is also available as a tincture, fresh juice, fluid extract or powder.

No studies of the use of goldenrod as therapy have reported negative side effects. It is thus able to achieve the goal without the side effects of some of the drugs prescribed for kidney infections. It is still important to consult with your physician before using goldenrod. It causes your body to lose water, so if you are taking other diuretics, your body might lose too much water causing your blood pressure to drop too low and making you feel dizzy.

13. Hydrangea root

In the 1970s, the Cherokee Indians used the root of the hydrangea plant for urinary complaints. The roots of the plant contain many nutrients and phytochemicals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and selenium that have medicinal benefits. It is believed to help with the absorption of calcium, thus reducing calcium deposits and preventing kidney stones.

Some of the benefits appear to be a reduction of inflammatory processes in the urinary system. As a diuretic, it helps to remove impurities and lessens the risk of infection in the whole urinary system. It helps to maintain electrolyte and water balance in the body and has been used to address gout and water retention. Hydrangea root is used to prevent stone formation, reduce irritation of existing stones and dissolve stones. It is often used as a treatment for eliminating small kidney stones that are able to pass with a minimum of pain and discomfort. It is also an excellent choice for treating an enlarged prostate as a healthy urine flow helps to prevent constriction around the urethra, preventing stagnant urine from causing more infection.

The herb is typically found in herbal tinctures and combinations used to address elimination or cleansing. A hydrangea root decoction can be made by using one teaspoon of hydrangea root powder in 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drink three times a day.

It should be noted that the leaves of the hydrangea contain toxic substances and should never be eaten. Hydrangea root is not recommended for long-term use. You should consult with your doctor before using it because it can cause side effects, including breathing problems and low blood pressure.

14. Gravel root

Gravel root grows in marshy areas and was used by Native Americans to treat various health problems. It has diuretic, alkalizing and anti-inflammatory properties. As a diuretic, it helps to rid the body of harmful toxins and excess water. As an alkalizing agent, it helps to change pH levels from acid to alkaline. It also helps to get rid of inflammation in the kidneys and contains euparin which helps to fight off harmful organisms.

Gravel root is often used to treat kidney stones, breaking them down and making them easier to pass. The name gravel root comes from its ability to get rid of the ‘gravel’ in the kidneys which are the small deposits that could become stones. It helps to dissolve the crystals that could be building up in your system. It also tones and stimulates the mucous membranes so that if kidney stones are passed, they cause less damage.

To make a gravel root decoction, put a teaspoon of the herb in a cup of water, boil and allow to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drink the decoction three times a day. You can also use a tincture, taking one to two ml three times a day.

Gravel root is considered to be safe, except for those who have an allergy to the daisy family (Asteraceae). You should consult a doctor before taking it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking prescription medications or suffering from a chronic illness. Kidney stones should be carefully monitored by a medical professional as they can cause damage.

15. Burdock

Burdock is a large weed with heart-shaped leaves and purple flowers. Ancient civilizations used burdock to treat a wide variety of ailments. It was the dark roots that were used, not the leaves or flowers. Burdock is primarily used for its diuretic properties that increase urination, purify the blood and helping to eliminate toxins. It can be very helpful in treating urinary tract problems. It acts as a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial, appearing to be useful in killing large colonies of bacteria.

When you do not drink enough water, urine becomes concentrated and stays longer in your kidneys, allowing bacteria to multiply. Frequent urination can help to prevent this which is why a diuretic herb like burdock is helpful in treating urinary infections. Burdock seeds are believed to help prevent the formation of kidney stones and to break down stones that are already present. The small fragments are easier and less painful to pass.

Burdock is available in different forms such as tinctures, teas, dried root powders, fluid extracts, and supplements. A decoction can be made by boiling the herb in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Some studies suggest that burdock in fermented form works best so consider choosing a fermented tincture. Some teas also contain fermented burdock. As research still has to be done, no single recommended minimum or maximum recommended dosage exists.

As with all herbs, burdock can be harmful to some people. Children under 18, pregnant women, people with a history of plant allergies and those taking blood thinners, diuretics or diabetic medications should avoid burdock root. Any people with chronic or life-threatening health conditions should consult with a doctor before taking burdock root.