On a pain scale of one to ten, passing a kidney stone is around nine. There is blood in your urine, a constant urge to urinate although you urinate little every time, and sharp pain in the lower back.
The ordeal rarely lasts more than a few days until you eventually pass the stone, but you obviously don’t want it to form again, which it will in the vast majority of cases. Here, then, are 5 incredible home remedies for kidney stones, and one that will cure you completely!
If your kidneys don’t ‘work’ well, the waste in your bloodstream doesn’t get filtered out. Urine is a byproduct of this waste. Mineral deposits build up with time in our urine, which is how kidney stones develop. Not drinking enough water can exacerbate the problem. Certain medications, a family history of kidney stones and conditions such as Crohn’s Disease can also heighten their incidence.
Kidney stones can cause mild discomfort or acute, unbearable pain depending on their size. Stones over 2 cm in size will not present any symptoms except a dull pain in the lower back. Usually people find out about them accidentally during a regular checkup at the doctor’s.
If they are smaller, they may be passed, which is what causes great pain (the stone tears through the urinary tract until finally leaving the body through the stream of urine).
You don’t need this happening more than once, right?
Among the medicinal treatments offered are alpha blockers that relax the lining of the urethra to help stones pass more easily. Your doctor may also prescribe something for the pain. If the stone is over 2 cm in size, it can only be removed by means of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
Now let’s move on to our list of kidney stone remedies. I’ll also tell you a bit about what foods cause kidney stones and the types of kidney stones.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the size and type of the stone. Common ones include the following:
- Frequent and painful urination
- Sudden, severe pain that comes and goes in intensity. Common areas afflicted include the back, groin, abdomen, side, and genitals
- Blood in the urine or abnormal urine colors
- Nausea and vomiting
Kidney stones are rarely life-threatening, but the symptoms are not pleasant. If you don’t know what’s causing the pain, you might even call emergency.
What to do when passing a stone:
- Get a big bottle of water
- Start drinking as much and as fast as possible
- Sit on the toilet seat
The stone will pass. It’s a good idea to keep it (no, really) and get it analyzed. The doctors will tell you what type it is and what diet to start based on that.
The following kidney stone remedies apply to all types of stones. They have proven to be effective for a large number of people suffering from kidney stone disease.
1. Lemon Juice, Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar – Zesty Sourness
OK, I know it sounds bad. There is a reason most recipes call for either lemon juice or vinegar, never both. The sourness of these two combined will do wonders for your kidneys though, as many kidney patients have claimed. Olive oil aids in lubrication so the stone will pass more easily. Use extra virgin because it is the healthiest and thickest.
Lemon juice and olive oil are a well-known remedy to expel gallbladder stones too. The citric acid content of lemons helps break down calcium oxalate kidney stones or at the very least stop them from growing.
- Four tablespoons or a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice
- Four tablespoons or a quarter cup of olive oil
- One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Two very big glasses of water
- Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar and drink the mixture. You should do this when you start to feel pain. Drink the water right after drinking the mixture although you’ll need to anyway so I don’t have to encourage you.
- Do this three times a day, morning, afternoon and evening up to three days or until you pass the stone. When you do, you can stop. If you want this treatment to be really effective, wait half an hour after drinking the mixture and the water and squeeze the juice of half a lemon into 12 ounces of purified water, add and drink. Do this every four hours for a few days up to a week.
If your symptoms haven’t improved after a week of this treatment, you should stop and try another one of our remedies because the high acidic content of lemons can destroy tooth enamel and cause heartburn and even ulcers.
2. Vinegar and Honey – Packing a Powerful Punch
You already know vinegar helps dissolve kidney stones. It also has an alkalinizing effect on urine and blood. Apple cider vinegar is particularly effective because it contains a lot of citric acid, which could play a role in breaking down kidney stones, helping you pass the stones more easily.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar helps prevent the formation of kidney stones due to its alkalinizing effect promoting the production of hydrochloric acid, which causes them to build up.
- Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- One teaspoon of honey
- One cup of warm water
Mix the ingredients thoroughly and drink the mixture several times a day, especially prior to a meal. I won’t lie to you – it doesn’t taste good even with the honey. Actually, the honey makes it worse. It has, however, been shown to be effective in many cases. Even after you pass the stone, keep drinking this solution once or twice a week to prevent kidney stones from forming again.
Apple cider vinegar has a very high acidic content. It can erode esophagus tissue if you consume too much of it, so do not use any in dishes and salads when trying this home remedy. Do not try this treatment if you have high blood pressure or diabetes and are taking some medication for them.
3. Pomegranate Seeds – the Juice is Also Delicious
We’ve all heard of the many health benefits of pomegranates. But did you know their juice and seeds can help dissolve kidney stones? This may be due to their sourness and astringent properties. We highly recommend drinking freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice and eating organic pomegranates.
Try to eat a whole one or drink a glass of freshly squeezed juice every day. You can also make a fruit salad with pomegranates.
- one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds
- one cup of horse gram soup (available at Indian shops and markets)
Grind the pomegranate seeds into a fine paste and stir the paste into the horse gram soup. Mix well and eat once a day. This remedy will help break down the stones. Horse gram soup has many other health benefits – read more about it here.
4. Basil – Cheap and Simple
Basil tea is a known kidney tonifier that can be consumed throughout the day for the overall health of your kidneys. It can also help dissolve and expel kidney stones from the urinary tract.
- One teaspoon of basil juice
- One teaspoon of honey
Mix the basil juice with the honey and consume daily for several months.
You can drink only basil juice if you don’t like honey. You can also chew two to three basil leaves a day or drink basil tea. Put five to six basil leaves in boiling water and let them simmer for about 10 minutes, cool to room temperature and drink. You can add a teaspoon of honey to improve the taste.
5. Vegetable Proteins Are Good For Your Muscles Too
Are you a meat lover? Then your stones shouldn’t surprise you all that much because certain animal proteins are known to cause kidney stones. If you are suffering from the condition, perhaps you should think about replacing some of the meat in your diet with vegetable proteins.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop eating all animal proteins! Many people can’t imagine their lives without fish, eggs, pork, beef, chicken, milk and cheese. It would also be dangerous for your health if you suddenly stopped eating all these things.
Some excellent vegetable sources of protein include chia seeds, beans, quinoa, green peas and spirulina. On average, the human body needs around 50 grams of protein per day. You will find more information about the protein contents of these foods here.
Note: Nuts and soy are also a great source of protein, but if you have calcium oxalate stones, you should not eat them.
And now, the 100% free and 100% effective remedy for kidney stones is…
We have all heard how great water is for the kidneys and even more so if you have kidney stones. The problem is that people don’t know how much water they are supposed to drink. Doctors will tell you to start drinking a gallon a day and send you home. Understandably, you aren’t just going to do it if you have been having only a glass or two a day so far.
Drinking more water is a simple, but not an easy way of curing yourself of kidney stone disease. I suggest you start small. If you drink two glasses per day now, then drink three tomorrow and set new goals for yourself each week.
Yes, you will spend more time in the bathroom, but look at the bigger picture. You will be less likely to keep forming stones if you are better hydrated. This means that water can reduce doctor visits and symptoms and ultimately less time lost away from work. If you can’t go to the bathroom constantly because of the specifics of your occupation, make up for it when you are not at work.
Going back to the original question – 2 - 3 liters of fluids a day will provide around 2.5 liters of urine volume. This is a fair target. On average, an adult’s bladder holds about 500 ml, meaning you’ll be going to the bathroom about 6 times a day.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones
Preventive measures used to stop the formation of kidney stones include changing your diet and behavior. This includes consuming less salt, drinking more water (see above) and being active (but not excessively).
Finally, we come to the question of what foods to avoid with kidney stones. Around 85% of stones are calcium oxalate. If you have these, meat is actually OK for you, as are carbs. Oxalate is naturally found in:
- nuts and seeds
- sweet potatoes
and a few more. Oxalate content can vary due to differences in ripeness. You shouldn’t completely stop eating these though, because some of them are quite healthy.
Oxalate binds to calcium to form kidney stones. Calcium-rich foods are milk, cheese etc. Obviously you shouldn’t stop eating cheese and drinking milk. Research shows that eating and drinking calcium and oxalate-rich foods together works better than eliminating oxalate completely because oxalate and calcium bind in the stomach before the kidneys begin processing.
Thus, kidney stones are less likely to form. This is good news because cutting out calcium and oxalate entirely will not leave much to eat. Only proteins and carbs will remain.
Did you enjoy our list of natural remedies? Did anything on it surprise you? Kidney stones can be life-threatening - now you know how to protect yourself without taking expensive medication! Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who also suffer from kidney stones.