Many of us rarely give our kidneys a second thought, but these bean-shaped organs play a vital role in keeping us healthy.
Kidneys essential work to filter out the blood and expel the waste through urine, which collects in your bladder. They also play a role in fluid and electrolyte balance. By clearing and expelling excess fluid, they make sure that these fluids don’t gather in your tissues (1).
So how do you get kidney stones?
Kidney stones are produced when your urine contains too much calcium, oxalate, and uric acid (2). The fluid in your urine can’t keep competing with these nasty impurities and is unable to dilute them. Additionally, your urine may be deficient in substances that prevent crystals from sticking together and forming these painful stones which cause kidney pain.
Stones range in size and can be as small as a sugar crystal, or as large as a tennis ball. The kidney pain is frequently described by sufferers as “the worst pain they’ve ever had”.
Kidney stones can be excruciatingly painful, but there are many natural remedies that will help in passing a kidney stone, and which can provide pain relief fast and effectively. If you’re here, you’re probably curious about how to get rid of kidney stones or how to prevent kidney stones.
Warning Signs Of Kidney Stones
According to NHS UK, kidney stones symptoms include (3):
- Terrible pain in your back and the side of your body
- Frequent need to urinate
- Pain when urinating
- Cloudy/smelly urine
- Blood in urine
- Problems sitting still
If you experience one or more of the symptoms of kidney stones, then you look into a kidney stone treatment. This is especially true if you suffer from kidney pain. Visit your doctor to confirm your condition, but be cautious: he’ll probably give you pharmaceuticals or book you for surgery.
21 Home Remedies For Kidney Stones
Passing kidney stones with these simple medical life hacks is much easier than you would think.
1 . Lemon Juice And Olive Oil
This old home remedy is considered one of the most effective natural treatments in providing fast pain relief and helping to eliminate kidney stones.
Lemon contains citric acid attacks the stones, softening them until they dissolve. The citrus fruit juice is also a natural antibacterial, reducing the chances of an infection. Try an organic lemon juice cleanse to clear up your kidney and detox your liver!
Olive oil coats on the narrow tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder, making the passing of stones easier.
How to use them:
- Mix 4 tablespoons of organic olive oil with 1/2 cup of organic lemon juice.
- Drink and follow with a glass of filtered water.
- Repeat daily as needed.
2. Ride a Rollercoaster
More specifically, ride the Magic Kingdom’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster ride at Disney World. Researchers were told by patients that the ride dislodges kidney stones so they gave it a try.
Using a 3-D kidney model and filling it with urine and kidney stones, they tested out the ride. On each of the 20 test rides, stones lodged in the upper passages of the kidneys were dislodged. Stones in the lower passages, however, we more stubborn (4).
To make the most of your time at the amusement park, sit at the back of the ride. This should guarantee the loss of at least 2-3 stones per ride!
3. Have More Sex
One more reason to spice up your sex life! A study conducted at the University of Ankara, Turkey, found that having sex helps pass kidney stones. In the controlled study, the sex group passed along twice as many stones as the tamsulosin (drug) group. They also passed stones along quicker than the drug and control group (5). Tamsulosin, if you didn’t know, is a drug used to treat kidney stones and prostate problems.
If you want to maximize your time in the bedroom, aim for 3-4 sex sessions a week. This will make kidney stone pain will be a thing of the past.
4. Increase Your Intake Of Magnesium
Magnesium is a fundamental mineral for every organ, especially the kidneys. It works to activate enzymes and helps regulate the levels of important nutrients in our bodies. It’s actually an electrolyte too and plays an important role in hydration.
The University of Maryland Medical Centre suggests eating foods rich in magnesium could help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones (6). Sadly, most people suffer from magnesium deficiency.
Stock up on the following magnesium rich foods to raise your mineral levels: kelp, almonds, cashews, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, tofu, soybean flour and brazil nuts. You can also try other sources of magnesium, like this homemade lotion!
5. Gravel Root Tea
The Global Healing Centre writes that gravel root is a ‘timeless, must-have’ remedy, and praises its effectiveness in breaking up kidney stones. Many cultures have utilized gravel root over the centuries, notably Native Americans (7,8).
The most valuable parts of the herb are its leaves, roots, and rhizomes (root-like stems). Nowadays, it’s mostly taken in tea or capsule form.
Here’s how to steep it:
- Add one teaspoon of gravel root to 235 ml of water, bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes.
- Cool slightly before drinking and add a touch of honey to sweeten it.
- Drink the tea three times a day.
6. Aloe Vera Juice
Native to Africa, the aloe vera plant is recognized for its extensive healing properties. Its leaves contain a nutrient-rich gel that protects kidney tissue (9). The most common way to use it is by drinking aloe vera.
Better yet, aloe vera is a very easy plant to care for, requiring little water and plenty of water. Keeping your own aloe vera plant at home will ensure you can reap its benefits 365 days of the year.
How to make the ultimate aloe vera drink:
- Break off a few leaves from the plant. Wash them and pat dry.
- Use a sharp knife to peel away the plant leaf rind then the yellow layer beneath the rind and throw away.
- Scoop up the gel with a spoon, discarding any gel that looks greenish.
- Add the gel to 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice and 2 tablespoons of honey and blend.
- Drink immediately.
7. Uva Ursi
Uva ursi (arctostaphylos uva ursi), also known as bearberry, is a herb that is common across the northern hemisphere. It’s been used for centuries as a home remedy for kidney problems (10). This is because the herb naturally increases your need to urinate and prevents small stones from growing larger.
Here’s how to use it:
- Put 1 tablespoon of uva ursi leaves into a pan filled with two cups of water.
- Simmer for about half an hour or until there’s only half of the water left.
- Strain and cool before drinking.
- Drink half a cup twice a day.
8. Horsetail Tea
Horsetail is a thin plant with the appearance of a horse’s tail. The herb fights inflammation eradicates toxins and bacteria in the urinary tract and acts as a natural diuretic.
To make tea:
- Place 1 tablespoon of dried horsetail and1 teaspoon of dried dandelion in a strainer. Place the strainer in a tall empty cup.
- Add boiling water, cover and allow it to steep for ten minutes.
- Add honey to taste. Drink twice daily.
While dandelions are considered the bane of a gardener’s existence, their roots are packed with vitamins and nutrients and have excellent healing properties. This ‘weed-like superfood’ has the ability to clear the kidneys of waste, salt, and excess water by increasing urine production.
How to steep it:
- Add two teaspoons of dandelion root to a cup of boiling water.
- Steep for about ten minutes and cool before drinking.
- Drink regularly throughout the day until your symptoms begin to improve.
10. Celery Seeds
Kidney Atlas praises celery as a natural kidney tonic that works as a diuretic, an antioxidant, and an anti-inflammatory (11). Celery seeds target the kidneys immediately, and by using it regularly you may prevent the formation of kidney stones altogether.
To make celery seed tea:
- Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of organic celery seeds and steep.
- Let it cool then strain and drink.
- Drink 3 times a week, once a day.
11. Kidney Beans
The shape of the kidney bean is a clue as to which organ reaps the most benefits from it. They are renowned for being one of the richest antioxidant foods, and the fact they are high in fiber makes them ideal for dealing with kidney problems. Fiber helps reduce inflammation and reduces your risk of cancer and all-around risk of death.
To use them:
- Remove the beans from their pods, rinse, and boil in water for several hours. You can also use dried beans and boil until they are fully soft.
- Use a muslin cloth to strain the water then allow it cool for about eight hours.
- Strain out the water again, and then drink it for every two hours for seven days.
12. Nettle Leaf Tea
When we think of nettle we think of its sting and not much else, but this plant is our friend when it comes to eliminating kidney stones. Nettle leaf has the ability to maintain the flow of water through the kidneys and bladder. This helps to prevent crystals formation from the get-go.
Plus, nettle has anti-inflammatory properties and can also increase urinary volume to wash out bacteria from the urinary tract.
To use it:
- Add 2 tablespoons of dried nettle leaf to a cup of hot water.
- Steep for about 10–15 minutes and strain.
- Drink 2-3 times a day for few weeks.
13. Hydrangea Root
Hydrangea root is present is just about every kind of traditional medicine. Among its most prized abilities is the fact that it’s a diuretic. In fact, hydrangea root tea increases urine volume to flush our kidney stones.
To turn it into tea:
- Place 2 to 4 tsp of dried hydrangea root into a cup of boiling water and leave it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drink three times daily, making a fresh batch each time.
14. Pomegranate Juice
As well as being delicious, pomegranates are excellent for improving the condition of your kidneys. This is related to its astringent properties and kidney-healing properties. Don’t have too much, though, since high doses of vitamin C can actually increase your risk of kidney stones (12).
To make pomegranate juice:
- Scoop out the seeds of one organic pomegranate and place them in a blender.
- Blend until the juice has been released from each seed.
- Using a mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a glass. Use the back of a spoon to ensure that you press out all of the juice. You can also drink it was a smoothie straight from the blender.
- Drink 8 ounces of organic pomegranate juice a day.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar
Like lemon, apple cider vinegar dissolves kidney stones to spare you the pain of passing them along. It can also break down larger stones to make them easier to expel.
- Add two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar to two cups of fresh water and mix well.
- Drink this solution once or twice a week, before meals.
16. Basil Tea
While we normally think of basil as a delicious and aromatic addition to our pasta dishes, it’s actually an excellent home remedy for getting rid of kidney stones. Use it for fluid retention and other kidney disorders too (13)!
To make tea:
- Steep 5–6 fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water for 8–10 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add honey to sweeten.
- Drink it lukewarm daily for up to 6 months.
According to the NHS, wheatgrass possesses the highest nutritional content of any vegetable. A 1 oz shot of wheatgrass holds as many nutrients as 2.2lbs of vegetables (14). Best of all, it helps to cleanse and nourish the kidneys while removing stones.
For a great kidney-boosting juice:
- Mix a glass of fresh wheatgrass juice with a teaspoon of organic lemon juice and 1 teaspoon basil juice.
- Stir and drink 1 cup 2-3 times a day until symptoms improve.
18. Marshmallow Root Tea
- Place one tablespoon of marshmallow root into a pot and pour one cup of hot water over it.
- Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain and drink once cool.
- Drink between 2-4 cups of marshmallow tea a day until the pain passes.
19. Corn Silk
Corn silk is a herb which is believed to have been first cultivated by the Aztecs and Mayans and has been utilized as a remedy by Native Americans since 5000 B.C. It works to rapidly ease pain while speeding up the healing in the urinary tract. Safe for anyone to use, dried corn silk can be found in any herbal store.
To take it:
- Place 1 tablespoon of corn silk into a teapot and add 2 cups of boiling water.
- Cover and let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and let cool.
- Drink 2-4 cups of corn silk tea every day.
20. Goldenrod Flower
Modern science supports goldenrod as an aid for urinary tract and kidney health (16).
To drink it as a tea:
- Chop the leaves and flowers.
- Place 1 tbsp of dried goldenrod in a cup.
- Add freshly boiled water, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
- Drink warm 3 times a day.
Probably the most delicious of all the remedies listed above, watermelon is a kidney healing treat!
Despite popular belief that watermelon is basically just sugar and water, Medical News Today suggests it’s actually a nutrient dense food, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For one, the potassium in the watermelon helps nurture your kidneys and make them work properly, while its high water content flushes out the stones (17).
To use, cut small cubes from you watermelon and eat several pieces every fifteen minutes throughout the day.
Ensure that you drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day.
All of the home remedies explored in this article are easy, inexpensive and kind to your body. You can find everything you need in your local health food store, supermarket, online and, more than likely, in your own cupboard!