Kidney Stones: Causes and Home Remedies

Kidney stones also known as Renal colic occurs when a stone gets lodged in your urinary tract, often in a ureter. The stone stretches and widens the area, causing extreme pain.

Causes of Kidney Stones

A few factors increase your risk of getting kidney stones, including:

  • a family or personal history of stones
  • a diet high in substances that cause stones to form, such as oxalate or protein
  • dehydrationfrom not drinking enough fluid, or from losing too much fluid through sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • obesity
  • gastric bypass surgery, which increases your body’s absorption of calcium and other substances that form stones
  • metabolic disorders, inherited diseases, hyperparathyroidism, and other conditions that can increase the amount of stone-forming substances in your body
  • urinary tract infection

Home Remedies For Kidney Stones

Talk to your doctor before getting started with any of the home remedies listed below apart from water. They can assess whether home treatment is right for you or if it could lead to additional complications.

1. Water

Increasing your water intake can help speed up the process of passing out kidney stone and preventing new ones from forming. Drink up to 12 glasses of water daily instead of the usual eight.

Once the stone passes, you should continue to drink eight to 12 glasses of water each day. Ensure to drink one 8-ounce glass of water immediately after drinking any flavored remedy. Dehydration is one of the main risk factors for kidney stones.

READ ALSO: 9 Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones

Pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be a very light, pale yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.

  1. Lemon juice

Lemons contain citrate, which is a chemical that inhibits calcium stones from forming. You can add freshly squeezed lemons to your water as often as you like. Citrate can also break up small stones, allowing them to pass more easily.

Lemon juice has numerous other health benefits. For example, it helps prevent bacteria growth.

  1. Basil juice

Basil contains acetic acid, which helps to break down the kidney stones and helps to reduce pain. It also helps to lower uric acid levels, which reduces your risk of stones forming in the future.

READ ALSO: 8 Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Use fresh or dried basil leaves to make a tea and drink several cups per day. You may also juice fresh basil or add it to a smoothie.

You shouldn’t use medicinal basil juice for more than six weeks at a time. Prolonged use may lead to:

  • low blood pressure
  • low blood sugar
  • increased bleeding
  1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar called ACV for short, contains citric acid which helps to dissolve kidney stones. ACV can help alkalize blood and urine and increase stomach acids to prevent the formation of new stones. In addition to flushing out the kidneys, ACV can help ease pain caused by the stones.

To reap these benefits, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 6­­–8 ounces of purified water. Drink this mixture throughout the day.

You shouldn’t consume more than one 8-ounce glass of this mixture per day. If ingested in larger amounts, apple cider vinegar can lead to low levels of potassium and osteoporosis.

People with diabetes should exercise caution when drinking this mixture. Monitor your blood sugar levels carefully throughout the day.

You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:

  • insulin
  • digoxin(Digox)
  • diuretics, such as spironolactone (Aldactone)
  1. Celery juice

Celery juice helps to flush out the body so you can pass the stone and it also clears away toxins that contribute to kidney stone formation.

Blend one or more celery stalks with water, and drink the juice throughout the day.

You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you have:

  • bleeding disorder
  • low blood pressure
  • a scheduled surgery

You also shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:

  • levothyroxine(Synthroid)
  • lithium(Lithane)
  • medications that increase sun sensitivity, such as isotretinoin(Sotret)
  • sedative medications, such as alprazolam(Xanax)
  1. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice can helps to lower acidity of your urine and improve overall kidney function, as well as flush stones and other toxins from your system. There’s no limit to how much pomegranate juice you can drink throughout the day.

You shouldn’t drink pomegranate juice if you’re taking:

  • medications changed by the liver
  • blood pressure medications, such as chlorothiazide(Diuril)
  • rosuvastatin(Crestor)
  1. Kidney bean broth

The broth from cooked kidney beans helps improve overall urinary and kidney health. It also helps dissolve and flush out the stones. Simply strain the liquid from cooked beans and drink a few glasses throughout the day.

  1. Dandelion root juice

Dandelion root is a kidney tonic that stimulates the production of bile. This helps to eliminate waste, increase urine output, and improve digestion. Dandelions have vitamins (A, B, C, D) and minerals such as potassium, iron, and zinc.

You can make fresh dandelion juice or buy it as a tea. If you make it fresh, you may also add orange peel, ginger, and apple to taste. Drink 3­–4 cups throughout the day.

Some people experience heartburn when they eat dandelion or its parts.

You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:

  • blood thinners
  • antacids
  • antibiotics
  • lithium(Lithane)
  • diuretics, such as spironolactone (Aldactone)

If you are taking medications, talk to your doctor before taking dandelion root extract as it can interact with many medications.

  1. Wheatgrass juice

Wheatgrass is packed with many nutrients and has long been used to enhance health. Wheatgrass increases urine flow to help pass the stones. It also contains vital nutrients that help cleanse the kidneys.

You can drink 2–8 ounces per day. To prevent side effects, start with the smallest amount possible and gradually work your way up to 8 ounces.

If fresh wheatgrass juice isn’t available, you can take powdered wheatgrass supplements as directed.

Taking wheatgrass on an empty stomach can reduce your risk for nausea. In some cases, it may cause appetite loss and constipation.

  1. Horsetail juice

Apart from soothing swelling and inflammation, horsetail increases urine flow. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Don’t use horsetail if you take lithium (Lithane), diuretics, or heart medications such as digoxin.

Horsetail is not recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Horsetail contains nicotine and should not be taken if you are using a nicotine patch or trying to quit smoking.

You also shouldn’t drink this mixture if you have:

  • alcoholism
  • diabetes
  • low potassium levels
  • low thiamine levels

When to see your doctor

See your doctor if you’re unable to pass your stone within six weeks, or if you begin experiencing severe symptoms that include:

  • blood in your urine
  • severe pain
  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Your doctor will determine whether you need medication or any other therapy to help you pass out or dissolve the stone.


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