You’re always worried about your heart, eyes, stomach, etc., but one of the hardest working organs that are often overlooked is your kidney. In fact, most people only start to pay attention to these MVPs once something starts going wrong!
Your kidneys are extremely important to your health. They filter through almost 200 quarts of blood every day to weed out the waste and toxins, approximately 2 quarts of which is then excreted through urine. Kidneys are also vital in the processes of blood pressure regulation, increasing the production of red blood cells, and synthesizing vitamin D.
This is why it’s important to keep your kidneys clean so that they can continue to work in the best possible manner. One way to do this is to incorporate the use of herbs in your diet. A simple additional step can go a long way in keeping you healthy! Here are the 9 herbs that are best for cleansing your kidneys:
1. Chanca Piedra
A South American herb called Chanca Piedra is given the name “stone breaker” because it is believed to treat kidney stones. Having been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties, there are claims that it can relax the urethra, clear out stone fragments, and help in weeding out excess calcium (as calcium oxalate stones are the most common type of kidney stones).
Clinical trials have also proven the effectiveness of the herb, although the exact ways in which it works have yet to be determined. Generally considered safe to digest, chanca piedra is most commonly taken in the form of a tea.
Another herb that has been known to cleanse kidneys is goldenrod. Clinical trials have found that goldenrod can reduce inflammation and help fight infections in animals. It is also a diuretic, which helps detoxify the kidneys and tone the urinary tract (preventing UTIs).
The type of goldenrod that is safe for consumption is derived from the Solidago species, not Verbascum densiflorum. However, people who are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and similar flowers would be best to avoid goldenrod as well.
3. Hydrangea Root
As a solvent, hydrangea root is thought to smooth the ragged edges of kidney stones, and also to aid the proper allocation of calcium in the body. Medical trials are also been conducted to determine how effective the use of hydrangea root can be in the fight against diabetes, arthritis, and several autoimmune diseases.
Hydrangea root is available in tinctures or you can find the dried root in capsule form. Although it is safe for consumption, the dosage should be limited to less than 2 grams per day and it is not meant for long term usage.
As a diuretic and antioxidant, horsetail is known to support the overall health of your kidneys. It can be beneficial to those suffering from edema, incontinence, bladder/kidney stones, and urinary tract infections. However, extended use of the herb can lead to a thiamine deficiency since horsetail breaks down the vitamin through a chemical component known as thiaminase.
Typically taken as a tea or capsule, the varieties of horsetail that are safe for consumption come from Equisetum arvense, Equisetum hyemale, or Equisetum telmateia. Horsetail that is derived from the Equisetum palustre variety has proven to be toxic in cattle.
5. Celery Root
Celery is the most widely known herb that has made it into this list! Specifically, the seeds and root of the celery are what provide the most benefit to your kidneys as they are abundant in potassium and sodium.
Not only do these stimulate the kidneys, as a diuretic, celery root (celeriac) and seeds can also help flush out your kidneys. Celeriac is also known to help those with stiff joints and even colon cancer! It can help even the blood levels of anemic people, and also aids in digestion and bowel movements.
The root of the celery is edible, nutritious, delicious, and incredibly versatile! Not only can you actually cook with, but it is also available in extract or capsule form. However, as common sense would state, you shouldn’t eat celery root or seeds if you’re allergic to celery.
6. Gravel Root
Also known as Joe Pye weed, gravel root has been associated with kidney health for a long time. This is mainly because of a solvent present in it called euparin, which can help protect against kidney infections, kidney stones, gout, and UTIs.
However, you need to be careful when taking gravel root. When buying it at the store, look for mentions of “hepatotoxic PA-free”, without which it would be unsafe for consumption. People with a history of liver disease or cancer in their family should also be careful with it as it contains hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These can also cause birth defects, so its a no-no for pregnant women as well.
Commonly used as a cure for infections in folk medicine, uva-ursi or bearberry is an astringent that can help cleanse the kidneys as well as soothe and tone the urinary tract. In fact, even clinical trials in the UK have suggested that uva-ursi, when taken along with ibuprofen, could help alleviate mild cases of UTI without the need for antibiotics.
Nevertheless, uva-ursi shouldn’t be taken in large doses or for a long period of time continuously. It is most commonly found in the form of tea or capsule.
8. Marshmallow Root
With its many antibacterial properties, marshmallow root has been known to have a range of health benefits and is commonly used in herbal medicine. It helps fight inflammation in the body, reduces urinary tract issues, and its diuretic properties help soothe mucous membranes.
Tea is the most commonly preferred method for consuming marshmallow root, especially in the case of kidney cleansing. The herb is generally considered safe for consumption.
9. Dandelion Root
The dandelion plant is filled with antioxidants that can help prevent cell damage, but the root itself is a diuretic. Its benefits include fighting inflammation, controlling blood pressure, balancing blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels.
This herb is nutritious and provides several health benefits, and is considered safe to eat and maybe even in medicinal amounts. You can consume it as a tea, tincture, or capsule. However, people who are allergic to dandelions, ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums, and marigolds shouldn’t use this kidney cleanser.
Here are some things to take away from what we’ve read so far: herbs are good! However, some of the herbs we’ve talked about aren’t meant to be taken in large doses, so be careful with them. You can even grow many of them in your own garden. In fact, some of them – like a dandelion – probably already do! Make sure to keep your garden free of chemical pesticides and herbicides, though. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water so your kidneys have enough to work with!
The final, final note is that even if you don’t go out and find these herbs, the least you can do utilize the herbs that are already available in your kitchen properly. For instance, parsley is worth a lot more than to be a garnish. It is a diuretic and is an abundant source of vitamin K. You can even chew on it to freshen your breath! One thing to note is that parsley isn’t suitable for people taking blood thinners due to its vitamin K content.