8 Proven Home Treatments for Kidney Stones

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body. They help to detox and filter impurities from the blood, as well as waste products from the urine. Therefore it is important we keep these organs as healthy as possible.

Kidney stones are hard masses that develop in the kidneys formed by minerals and acid salts which can vary in sizes. Mostly commonly kidney stones occur when the minerals crystallize and adhere together, occurring when the urine gets too concentrated.

Kidney stones can develop in one or both kidneys at any age but usually occur between the ages of 30 to 60. With around three in 20 men and two in 20 women suffering from them at some stage in their lives makes them a fairly common ailment. The medical term for kidney stones is nephrolithiasis, although if they begin to cause severe pain it’s then known as renal colic.

Small kidney stones may go undetected and be passed out painlessly in the urine. Although it is fairly common for a stone to block part of the urinary system such as the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder) or the urethra (the tube that urine passes through on it’s way out of the body). A blockage can cause severe pain in the abdomen or groin and sometimes cause urinary tract infections.

Symptoms of kidney stones

Symptoms of kidney stones usually appear if they get stuck in your kidney, start to travel down the ureter or if they cause an infection.

In these cases symptoms of kidney stones can include:

  • A persistent ache in the lower back, which can also be sometimes felt in the groin -men may even have pain in the testicles or scrotum.
  • Periods of intense pain in the back or side of your abdomen, or occasionally in the groin area, that last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Feelings of restlessness and an inability to lie still.
  • Feelings of nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • A need to urinate more often than is normal.
  • Pain when urinating (dysuria).
  • Blood in your urine (haematuria) -this can be caused by the stone scratching your kidney or ureter.

A kidney stone that blocks the ureter can lead to a kidney infection.This is due to the waste products being unable to pass the blockage, which then causes a build-up of bacteria. The symptoms of a kidney infection are similar to symptoms of kidneys stones though they may also include:

  • A high temperature or fever of 38C (100.4F) or plus.
  • Chills and /or shivering.
  • Feeling very weak or tired.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Cloudy and bad smelling urine.

Read more about kidney infections here.

Common causes of kidney stones.

Often, there is no one single cause that results in an individual developing kidney stones. Many factors may combine together and result in the formation of these masses. The stones are usually composed of:

  • Calcium- Most kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate deposits. Certain foods contain high levels of oxalate such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Oxalate is also made by the liver.
  • Struvite- Kidney stones that are made of struvite develop due to infection. These stones can enlarge rapidly.
  • Uric acid- Individuals who consume too many protein-rich foods may be at risk for developing these uric acid stones.
  • Cystine- These stones are rare and occur usually due to a genetic condition in which the kidneys excrete high amounts of certain amino acids.

Identifying the type of stone is useful in determining the cause and also helps in future prevention of the stones returning. There are also a large amount of factors that can increase (or can cause) a person’s likelihood of developing kidney stones alone or in combination. Among these factors are:

  • Hereditary factors
  • The male sex
  • Adulthood
  • Dehydration
  • Obesity
  • Diets that are protein-rich, or high in sodium or sugar
  • Gastric surgeries
  • Medical conditions such as urinary tract infections and cystinuria
  • Diseases that affect the digestive system
  • Improper diets
  • Excessive consumption of vitamin D
  • Mineral imbalances
  • Gout

 

Our 8 proven home treatments for kidney stones.

Here are our 8 proven home treatments for kidney stones. Although, always do remember to consult with your doctor for a real diagnosis. However, if any of our home treatments conflict with your doctor’s advice do not perform them, instead follow your doctor’s orders to ensure your health and wellbeing.

Lemon juice and olive oil

This combination of lemon juice and olive oil is traditionally used in many home remedy treatments, usually to expel gallbladder stones but can also be used for kidney stones likewise. The citric acid found in the lemon helps to break-down the calcium-based kidney stones and halts any further growth in the size of the stones. Here is how to make the lemon and olive oil mixture:

  • Take four tablespoons or a quarter cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Add an equal amount of olive oil to the mixture.
  • Drink this concoction followed by plenty of water.
  • Repeat for two to three days, up to three times a day. You need not continue to take this remedy if you pass the stone (or stones) in a single dose.

However, this remedy may not be suitable for passing larger stones so always remember to consult with your doctor on the best possible method for you.

Pomegranate

Both the seeds of the pomegranate and the juice have astringent properties that can help in the treatment of kidney stones.

  • Try eating one whole pomegranate or drink one glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice daily. You can also add pomegranate into a fruit salad to make the fruit more palatable if you are not keen on the particular taste.
  • Alternatively, you can grind one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds into a fine paste. Eat the paste then alongside a cup of horse gram soup once daily, this remedy will help to dissolve the stones. Horse gram soup can be found in most Indian markets or specialist stores.

Nettle leaves

Treatments for Kidney Stones 1

The nettle leaves help to maintain the flow of water through the kidneys and the bladder, promoting smooth urinations, whilst simultaneously helping to keep the crystals from forming into stones and keeps bacteria away. Nettle tea or soups will also enhance the benefits of water by acting as a natural diuretic.

  • Add two to three teaspoons of dried nettle leaf to a cup of boiling hot water, let the nettles steep for 10 minutes and then strain. Drink two to three cups of this mixture daily for several weeks.
  • Another option is to make a nettle soup rather than tea. There are many nettle soup recipes all over the internet, this is my personal favourite.

Bran flakes

A study by the American Society of Nephrology found that whole-grain rich diets have been associated with a reduction of kidney stones as they contain sufficient amounts of minerals, vitamins and fibre. Furthermore, the insoluble fibre found in wheat helps reduce calcium in the urine as it combines with any calcium in the intestines thus eliminating it through your bowel movements. Therefore when suffering from kidney stones it is essential to eat foods high in fibre, and there is nothing more high in fibre than bran flakes! The fibre will help to get rid of the calcium in your urine and in turn reduce the risk of you developing kidney stones, or prevent the kidney stones you already suffer from growing in size. One bowl of bran flakes can provide around 8 mg of fibre.

Many whole grain foods such as bread can also help greatly lower your risk for kidney stones as they are a brilliant source of nutrients, fibre, magnesium and protein. The magnesium especially can help to stop the coalescing of crystals in the kidney, disallowing them to form larger kidney stones. Eating two to three slices of whole grain bread a day can therefore reduce the size and or likelihood of getting kidney stones.

Lastly, pasta is another brilliant way to keep fibre within your diet allowing you to have easier to pass stools and less chance of developing or worsening kidney stones. As well as other whole grain cereals that are on the market other than bran flakes.

Watermelon

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Watermelon is a brilliant and effective way to treat kidney stones composed of calcium and magnesium phosphates and carbonates. The potassium present in the watermelon is an essential ingredient for healthy kidneys, helping to regulate and maintain acid levels in the urine.

Along with potassium, watermelon also consists of a high concentration of water which helps to flush out the stones and hydrate the body in order to be able to function at it’s best. The regular consumption of watermelons can help greatly in the treatment prevention of kidney stones.

Another option, rather than eating watermelon, is to make a watermelon seed tea to consume twice daily for around one to two weeks. Here is how to make:

  • Grind your watermelon seeds with a pestle and mortar.
  • Pour boiling water over the ground watermelon seeds, allowing them to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, strain and then consume.

Kidney Beans

As kidneys beans are high in fibre, they can be effective in the treatment of many kidney or bladder problems including kidney stones. How to prepare the beans:

  • Remove the beans from inside their pods, then place them in hot water in a saucepan. Simmer the water with the beans in on low flame for hours until the beans become soft and tender. Strain the liquid and allow to cool. Once the liquid has cooled strain again. Drink this several times a day to relieve kidney stone pain. The liquid should not be kept for more than 24 hours however, as it will lose any therapeutic properties.
  • You can also consume whole kidney beans in soups or salads, or just simply in your main meals to gain the same effect.

Celery

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A simple glass of raw celery juice can help relieve pains originating from kidney stones due to the anti-spasmodic properties. Celery juice helps to clear out toxins that contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Raw celery juice is also a diuretic which means it increases the volume of urine you produce helping to flush out the masses.

  • Drink a glass of celery juice daily in order to prevent more stones from forming and to flush out any you do have.
  • Also, the celery seed can be used in treating kidney stones. Drinking herbal teas made with celery seeds can help treat kidney stones that have formed due to a uric acid accumulation.

Chanca piedra

Chanca piedra, or phyllanthus niruri, is a well-known plant from the Amazon rainforest that has proved to be powerful in supporting bladder, kidney, gallbladder and liver health. Thus chanca piedra has shown high success rates in kidney stone treatment. This herbal remedy breaks down the kidney stones and prevents them from re-forming. All-natural, chanca piedra has been shown to scientifically crush kidney stones to dissolve them.

  • Take 400 mg of lab grade chanca piedra when you wake, allowing for one hour before eating to ensure maximum uptake of the herb.
  • Then take another 400mg before bed each night until the stones are passed.

The correct diet to help prevent kidney stones in the future.

So now you’ve read our various home treatments for kidney stones it may be helpful to learn what foods to consume on a regular basis will help in the prevention of these masses. If you consult your doctor he may refer you to a nutritionist to create a personalised diet plan in order to create the best possible outcome for yourself. The basics are as goes:

  • Foods that are rich in fibre help to eliminate excess calcium and oxalate from the urine.
  • Carrots contain vitamin A which is highly beneficial for the health of the kidneys. Other foods that are rich in vitamin A are kale, pumpkin, spinach and sweet potatoes.
  • Chicken is an excellent source of the B vitamins which are useful in preventing kidney stones. Your doctor when consulted may recommend taking the supplement B6.

Final thoughts

We know kidney stones can be painful and rather inconvenient when they occur and passing them as quickly and easily as possible is all that you want to do. That’s why we compiled this list of some of the best home treatments for kidney stones, in order to help you readers deal with these uncomfortable masses.

From nettle leaves to watermelons if it works we’ve included it on our list. Hopefully these methods, whether you try just the one or a combination of a few, work well for you and aid you on the road to recovery whilst also giving you the knowledge on how to prevent any kidney stones from returning once again. With this knowledge implemented you can enjoy a kidney stone free life once again and reduce the chances of further epidemics.

However, always consult your doctor if you are unsure if you are unsure whether or not you are suffering from kidney stone. If the pain worsens in any way or the symptoms increase contact a physician for advice as even though we know our home remedies work for smaller sized kidney stones, we cannot be sure that you as an individual will not suffer any complications or infections due to the stones increasing in size or getting stuck anywhere in the body.

We’d love to hear from you down below in the comments section. Feel free to let us know which treatment worked best for you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.