Kidney stones have become a very common problem. While small stones form and go away with urine, as they grow larger, it becomes difficult to pass and become a very painful condition causing vomiting, bleeding etc. Before you lean about the home remedies to prevent and treat kidney stones, it is important to learn about the ‘types of kidney stones’ because, you will have to follow the remedies depending on the type of stone that is being formed. Unfortunately, there is a high possibility of kidney stones to form again in people who were already treated earlier.
1. Drink more water
A golden rule, you can say, to prevent or treat kidney stones, is to keep yourself hydrated by drinking more water. You can drink more of other fluids such as juices, beverages etc but it is better to prefer water to keep yourself hydrated.
Drinking more water makes you visit the toilet more times in a day, which in a way is good because, all the uric acids, the residues in the urine filtered by the kidneys will be flushed out. Drinks like tea, coffee, beer, wine, fruit juices pose less risk of formation of kidney stones but sugar sweetened or drinks made of artificial sugar pose a higher risk of kidney stone formation. Sugary drinks make the body collect more of calcium oxalate and uric acid in the kidneys. These are the basic constituents of kidney stones and they start by forming small crystals which eventually become bigger and become difficult to pass.
2. Eat more citrus fruits
Fruits such as amla (Indian goose berry), oranges, lemons (in the form of lemon juice) contain a compound called ‘citrate’. Citrates prevent the formation of certain type of kidney stones and also help in breaking up of already formed stones.
You need to note that, artificial supplementation with Vitamin C is not being recommended here. According to some studies conducted, people who were supplemented with Vitamin C were at higher risk of developing kidney stones. People who were given Citrus fruits (or Vitamin C) in natural form were found to be at lesser risk of developing kidney stones.
The takeaway here is – Go natural when it comes to consumption of Vitamin C (Citrus fruits).
3. The holy basil (Tulsi / Tulasi)
Needless to say that eating basil leaves has numerous health benefits as per ayurveda. The acetic acid present in Basil helps by breaking down kidney stones and reduces pain. Basil helps in solving digestive and inflammatory disorders.
You can either consume Basil leaves directly every day. Or you can dry the leaves of Basil, make them into powder and have it with hot water like green tea. Basil should not be consumed for more than 6 weeks as one course because it can cause low blood sugar, low blood pressure and increase bleeding.
4. Limit Oxalate foods consumption
If you have read through our ‘Types of Kidney Stones’ article, you should have seen that Calcium Oxalate stones are one type of kidney stones that are formed due to oxalate consumption and production by the body. You must cut down on green leafy vegetables, fruits and cocoa to reduce the intake of oxalates.
It is important to know the type of kidney stones that are being formed in your kidneys. If your doctor tells you that the kidney stones are formed due to deposition of Calcium Oxalate in your kidneys, avoid Oxalate rich foods will slow down the formation of such stones.
5. Reducing the intake of salt
Sodium present in salt can make the body remove more calcium from the body. Such a release of calcium can get deposited in the kidneys during the filtering process and result in formation of Calcium based kidney stones.
Cut down on packed foods, Indian pickles along with reducing the intake of salt at home.
6. Make sure you taking enough Magnesium
Magnesium helps in metabolic process of the body including energy production and muscle movement. Inadequate levels of Magnesium can result in the formation of calcium oxalate based kidney stones. If you are unable to cut down foods rich in oxalate, you can at least add magnesium to your diet so that they don’t result in stone formation.
7. Cut down on animal protein
Eating more animal based protein can result in more calcium filtering in the kidneys that can help in the formation of kidney stones. Animal proteins are rich in purines. Purines are broken down in the body into uric acid which can in-turn result in the formation of uric acid based kidney stones.
Prefer plant based proteins that can be easily absorbed by the body and help in avoiding the formation of kidney stones.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Just like the Basil, Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid that can help in dissolving kidney stones.
- You can add Apple Cider Vinegar to your salads.
- You can add 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to water and consume the mixture all through the day. (2 teaspoons for 200ml water, once a day)
Just make sure that you don’t intake too much of Apple Cider Vinegar as this can result in lowering your blood sugar levels.
9. Pomegranate Juice
Have as much as you can in a day. Pomegranate juice has proven to flush out the kidney stones from your body along with other toxins. The anti-oxidants present in this juice helps in preventing the formation of kidney stones.
10. Kidney beans broth
Along with foods cooked with kidney stones, you can just boil kidney stones, filter out the beans and drink the broth everyday to keep your kidneys at optimal health and prevent kidney stones.
Can you try home remedies without seeing your urologist?
If you are diagnosed with kidney stones, you can try home remedies along with your medication. It is always advisable to check with your urologist on what you can try as home remedies and what not. Self diagnosis and treatment is not advisable at any time because you can do more harm than good to your body.
If you are already diagnosed and treated for kidney stones, you can expect them to reoccur in a period of 5 to 10 years. In the mean time, you can adopt any of these remedies and delay the recurrence of kidney stones.