15 Super Herbs That Help Cleanse Your Kidneys

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… Simi - June 3, 2018

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 be 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 form 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 a 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 19070s, 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 benefit.   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 power 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 if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking prescription medications or suffer 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, purifying 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.