Do you know healthy kidneys can filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and excess water? Kidneys are our body’s natural filters, and at times we tend to forget the role of kidneys in our lives by leading an unhealthy lifestyle and take-away food culture.
Hence, it is time to give the precious kidneys a much-needed detox with incredible herbs and foods. But, before having a look into the ways to keep your kidney healthy, take a look at why is it necessary to start thinking about kidney health.
List of 15 Herbs and Foods to Maintain Kidney Health
- Green Tea
- Hydrangea Root
- Chanca Piedra
- Celery Root
- Marshmallow Root
- Gravel Root
- Dandelion Root
- Java Tea
- Couch Grass
Enlisted below 15 Good Herbs for Kidney
Extensively used by Native American tribes to maintain the health of their urinary tract, Goldenrod helps in detoxifying the kidneys. Researchers have proven that Goldenrod has a positive effect on the urinary tract.
Horsetail is a powerful food for your kidney health. You can consume it as tea or a capsule supplement. The weed has diuretic properties which means it helps in increasing urine output and flushes the kidneys and urinary tract.
Further, it is loaded with antioxidants that are known to be quite beneficial for the kidneys and the renal system. Thus, include it in your diet for a healthy system.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is known for its numerous health benefits and one such benefit is keeping your kidneys hale and hearty. Yes, green tea too counts among the good herbs for kidneys. It is not fermented like the Black tea and Oolong tea.
As such it has high nutritive value and works as anti-inflammatory, astringent and a diuretic compound easing kidney detoxification. It is also known to contain Polyphenols which are known to have high antioxidant properties that prevent many diseases related to kidneys including the formation of kidney stones(1).
[ Read: Do You Know Green Tea has Side Effects? ]
4. Hydrangea Root
Another popular herb used by Native Americans and the early settlers of the continent, Hydrangea root is known to boost the health of kidney and the urinary bladder.
The herb acts as a solvent that helps smoothen rough edges of kidney stones. It also is known to prevent the formation of kidney stones by ensuring proper usage of calcium that causes stone formation in the body.
A widely known herb in China, Rehmannia has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Steamed roots of the herb are known to fight numerous kidney troubles.
A study shows that Rehmannia has excellent protective properties in case of renal failure. The herb is known to lower angiotensin II which has a major role in the progressive renal failure(2).
6. Chanca Piedra
Chanca Piedra called“the stone breaker” for its capability to dissolve kidney stones is counted among the top kidney support herbs. It is commonly used in South America for maintaining the health of the kidney.
Being widely used in the region and known to have proven results, the herb has attained a great reputation worldwide and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to boost the health of bladder, liver, and kidney.
7. Celery Root
Celery root also tops the list of useful herbs for kidneys. It has been long used for maintaining kidney health for its diuretic properties that help increase the urine output and flush out toxins from the body. Thus, it acts as a natural kidney detox. Both the roots and seeds of the plant are naturally diuretic.
It is also known as a stimulating tonic for kidney as it contains important nutrients like potassium and sodium that are useful for maintaining kidney health(3).
8. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is another great herb to maintain the health of kidney. The soothing herb helps calm the tissues of the urinary tract thus enabling smooth excretion process. The herb is also moderately diuretic promoting urination.
[ Read: Home Remedies for Kidney Stones ]
9. Gravel Root
Gravel root or the Joe Pye Weed has been used since long by Native American tribes and the early settlers of the continent for its ability to boost the health of kidney. This is due to the presence of an effective compound known as Euparin.
Euparin is a solvent which can kill harmful bacteria and other organisms that are known to cause kidney infections.
10. Dandelion root
Dandelion is one of the best among the kidney detox herbs. Though referred to as an annoying weed, Dandelion is a powerful herb packed with nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium and vitamin B complex. Both roots and leaf of the herb are quite useful.
The roots of the herb are diuretic and thus help in detoxifying kidneys. These also contain some active compounds that can dissolve kidney stones.
11. Java Tea
Java tea is one of the most beneficial herbs for kidney and is sold in the pharmacies of France, Switzerland, and Indonesia. It is diuretic, thus aids in removing the nitrogenous compounds from the body.
Comprising nutrients like glycoside, potassium and volatile oils, Java tea is quite effective in curing kidney infections and promoting good health. Some researches even claim that Java tea can effectively dissolve kidney stones(4).
Besides being the favorite of chefs for its great flavor and scintillating aroma, Parsley has great medicinal value too. As a diuretic herb, it helps in kidney detoxification and prevents accumulation of toxins inside the body. It one of the most effective herbs for Kidneys and is widely used in herbal medicine.
Uva-Ursi also was known as bearberry has been in use traditionally as a powerful kidney cleanser. It has astringent properties that help soothe the urinary tract and reduce irritation. This is due to the presence of arbutin that breaks into hydroquinone and sugar. Hydroquinone reacts with glucuronic acid and creates a compound which acts as an astringent(5).
Banaba, the ornamental plant found in Australia, India and south-east Asia is known to cure several kidney and bladder related problems. It has been used since years owing to its diuretic properties.
One can get relief from urinary infections by consuming the leaves of the plant. It has also been found that regular consumption of the plant prevents the formation of gallstones and cures all the discomfort related to the kidney stones.
15. Couch Grass
Couch grass is another powerful herb for kidneys that increases production of urine, thus helps in effective elimination of toxic substances in the body and curing infections related to the urinary tract. Rich in polysaccharides, volatile oils and other vital nutrients, couch grass is also effective in dissolving kidney stones(6).
Given below is a list of few Kidney Cleansing Foods
After having read about the herbs for kidneys have a look at the foods good for kidney health.
Though pungent smelling, garlic is known to be great food for health. Rich in antioxidants, garlic helps in lowering down inflammation. Further, it is known that garlic juice helps in preventing renal reperfusion-induced injury.
Onion is greatly beneficial for people with reduced kidney function. These contain prostaglandin, a substance that naturally reduces the viscosity of the blood lowering down the blood pressure. This reduces the strain on kidney preventing any effect on its functioning.
Strawberries are a good choice to maintain kidney health. These have high antioxidant content along with Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. Their anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties make them a friendly fruit for kidneys.
Loaded with nutrients, Apples are great for the health of your kidney too. Being a good source of pectin, which is a soluble fiber, consumption of apples regulates your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Also, these are a rich source of antioxidants that effectively work as kidney detox foods and help flush out toxins from the body. Apples not only help maintain kidney health but are also known to treat kidney-related diseases at their initial stages.
5. Lemon juice
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and citric acid which help in boosting immunity and strengthen your body system. Besides it, lemons also count among the foods good for kidneys. Lemon juice is known to treat kidney problems. Add it to your diet with no processed sugar to see great results(7).
[ Read: Health Benefits of Lemon Water ]
Kidney and its role
Kidneys are vital organs of the human body that perform specific functions.
Given below are the vital roles performed by the kidney.
- Maintain water content in the body
One of the major functions of the kidney is to maintain the appropriate content of water in the body. It aids in retaining water in case your body has less of it and removes extra water if your body has an excess of it.
- Regulate the mineral content in the body
In addition to water content, kidney also helps in regulating the mineral content in the body.
- Remove waste from the body
The next vital function of the kidney is to remove wastes from the body. All the food that we eat is not used by the body, some of it is excreted out of the body and that function is carried out by kidneys.
- Production of hormones
Kidneys are also known to produce hormones in the body. These hormones are the messengers that carry out several important functions like regulating blood pressure, production of red blood cells, etc.
- How to flush Kidneys?
As kidneys carry out the excretion process, it is possible that toxic substances stick to them hampering their function. Such genetic disposition can lead to malfunctioning of kidneys thus affecting our overall health. Thus, to ensure that kidneys function properly at their optimal level, it is necessary to cleanse them from all the toxins.
Following are the ways to flush your kidneys and keep them healthy:
- Drink a lot of water
First and the foremost rule is to keep yourself hydrated. Excess of water helps in dissolving the waste material that easily gets excreted in the form of urine. Hence one should drink water whenever feeling thirsty.
- Eat foods that help in healthy kidney function
What you eat greatly affects the functioning of your kidney. Add more of fresh fruits and vegetables which are easily absorbed into the body and do not strain the kidneys. If you wish to improve the health of your kidney then include the following herbs and foods in your diet.
What is bad for your kidneys?
While there are many herbs and foods good for kidneys, certain foods and habits should be avoided in the best of kidney health. Have a look at the things that are bad for your kidneys and should be avoided in every manner(8).
People nowadays have developed the habit of taking a lot of medicinal drugs. But such drugs especially the painkillers like Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not good for kidneys and harm them. If you are under prescription then take not more than the recommended dosage.
- Foods high in Salt content
Food high in salt is not good for your overall health as well as the kidneys. It is known to increase the blood pressure and in turn, have a harmful effect on the kidneys. Adding salt over food should also be avoided.
Instead of using salt, flavor your food with herbs and other beneficial spices that not only lift the taste but are healthy too.
- Processed Foods
Processed foods are known to have a high content of sodium and phosphorous which is bad for kidneys. Studies have shown that taking too much of phosphorous can develop kidney related troubles among individuals. Hence one should include more of fresh food in their diet rather than processed food.
- Foods high in sugar content
Eating too much sugary food is not good for your overall health. Increased intake of sugars directly contributes to obesity which makes you vulnerable to health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which can lead to kidney diseases. Eat more of natural sugars than processed sugars.
Not only the desserts but many processed foods like white bread, breakfast cereals, etc. contain a high amount of processed sugar. Do check foods for their content before picking up any.
- Too much meat
Meat is a good source of protein hence often mistaken as to be one of the foods good for kidneys, but it is not so. Why? Because meat is a source of animal protein that is known to generate acid in the blood. This acid in large quantities can be harmful for kidneys.
It can cause a condition called acidosis in which kidneys are not able to flush out the acid quickly. Thus, too much meat should be avoided. Go for a balanced diet with the adequate amount of nutrients that balance your food intake and put less strain on kidneys.
Regular consumption of alcohol can lead to chronic kidney diseases. It has been found that too much drinking with smoking instigates kidney diseases.
[ Read: How to Cure Alcohol Poisoning ]
- Dairy products
Dairy products are high on calcium and studies have shown that too much dairy consumption leads to increased excretion of calcium with urine. This is known to cause kidney stones. Thus, dairy products are counted to be among foods to avoid for bad kidneys.
You may like caffeine, but your kidneys do not. Caffeine found in coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks, being a stimulant is not good for your kidneys. It increases blood flow causing an increase in blood pressure, hence putting stress on the kidneys. Caffeine is also known to cause stone formation in the kidney.
How to strengthen Kidneys?
After having learned about the foods that are good and bad for kidney, take a look at the ways that you can employ to ensure a better kidney health.
- Hydrate yourself
To keep your kidneys healthy and clear of all the toxins, drink a lot of water. Drinking water helps in flushing out the waste materials and ensures that your kidneys function optimally.
- Eat healthily
There are so many foods that are known to ease the function of the kidney and put less strain on it. Add those to your diet. Healthy eating habits have a positive effect on your overall health.
- Be cautious with herbal remedies
Herbs are no doubt good for kidneys but the amount that you intake should be monitored. If you are onto medications, then it becomes furthermore important to take the advice of your doctor before including any herb in your diet. Combination of certain herbs and chemicals can harm your body.
- Quit smoking
If you wish to strengthen your kidneys, then quit smoking. Smoking leads to increased blood pressure and is known to cause damage to the blood vessels inhibiting the flow of blood to the kidneys. It thus hampers the functioning of the kidneys.
[ Read: Remedy to Quit Smoking ]
- Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly helps keep your body active and reduces the risk of obesity and high blood pressure. Exercising along with healthy eating habits help in keeping your kidneys in their best state.