Note: Do consult your doctor before taking these herbs. They may not be suitable for people with kidney disease and other medical conditions. They may also interact with certain medications.
Kidneys –bean-shaped organs located at the posterior side of your abdomen– perform very important functions in the body.
They are responsible for removing toxins and waste from the blood. In addition, they release three important hormones – erythropoietin, renin and calcitriol.
These hormones play a key role in maintaining good health. The kidneys work with other organs 24/7 to regulate blood pressure, increase red blood cell production and synthesize vitamin D.
Kidneys are actually self-cleansing organs. To support this function, you must consume adequate fluids, which can include foods like fruits and vegetables as well as water and other liquids.
In addition to the removal of toxins, proper kidney cleansing can also help keep your blood pressure in check and improve functioning of the urinary tract and bladder.
Plus, you may have to take extra steps to cleanse your kidneys if you have symptoms such as feeling fatigued or unusually moody, pain in your kidneys after eating, eczema, acne, skin rashes, bloating, sudden weight gain and problems like kidney stones and frequent bladder problems or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
A healthy diet, exercise and staying hydrated are essential for supporting your kidneys. For a little extra help, you can include some herbs in your diet that can help cleanse your kidneys.
Here are the top 14 super herbs to cleanse your kidneys.
Parsley is a potent, natural diuretic herb that can cleanse the kidneys. It promotes increased urine output to help flush bacteria and germs out of the kidneys. Parsley owes its diuretic effect to the compounds apiol and myristicin.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that rats that drank parsley seed extract produced significantly more urine over a 24-hour period than those that drank water.
- Drink a few cups of parsley tea for about a week to cleanse your kidneys. To make the tea, add 1 tablespoon of crushed fresh parsley to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes, then strain it.
- Alternatively, prepare a detoxifying drink by mixing ¼ cup of parsley juice, ½ cup of water and a little honey and lemon juice. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks.
- You can also include this herb in your salad and other dishes.
Note: Avoid eating large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant.
2. Dandelion Root
According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, dandelion works as a diuretic in humans and increases urine production. Due to its diuretic properties, it helps cleanse both the kidneys and the liver. Moreover, dandelion relieves water retention and soothes irritation in the urinary system.
To cleanse the kidneys, you can drink 2 cups of dandelion tea twice daily for a few weeks. To make the tea:
- Boil 2 teaspoons of dried dandelion root in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, cover and steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain, add some honey and drink the tea.
You can also make this tea with dandelion tea bags.
Note: As this herb may react with certain medications, consult a doctor prior to using dandelion to cleanse your kidneys.
Marshmallow also contains diuretic properties that encourage increased urine flow. This helps cleanse the kidneys from the buildup of toxins and promotes kidney health. Moreover, marshmallow can fight kidney, urinary tract and bladder infections.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow roots and leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 8 to 10 minutes, then strain it.
- Drink 2 cups of this herbal tea daily for a week to cleanse your kidneys.
Note: Avoid marshmallow if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have diabetes.
Ginger is another effective cleansing herb for the kidneys. It can help flush toxins and harmful materials out of the kidneys as well as improve digestion. This herb is also beneficial for cleansing your liver.
- One of the best ways to enjoy ginger’s cleansing benefit is sipping ginger tea. To make the tea, simmer 2 teaspoons of fresh-grated ginger in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon juice as per taste, and drink it 2 or 3 times daily.
- Also, include raw or dry ginger in your everyday cooking to keep your kidneys in good health.
Turmeric is another well-known herb that has cleansing properties. It cleanses the kidneys, detoxifies your liver and purifies the blood. Moreover, it contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent and treat kidney inflammation and infections.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of raw turmeric juice, the juice of ½ or 1 lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a little honey in a cup of warm water. Drink it once daily for a few weeks.
- Another option is to add ½ teaspoon each of turmeric powder and dry ginger powder to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, then strain it. Add the juice of ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Drink it once daily for a few weeks.
- You can also eat a little raw turmeric or add it to your meals.
Celery has natural diuretic properties. It aids in removing toxins and harmful materials from the body by increasing urination. In addition, celery contains essential nutrients that stimulate your kidneys. In fact, regular celery intake can prevent kidney stones and infections.
- Drink 1 glass of celery juice every day for a few weeks.
- Alternatively, make a glass of juice by blending 2 celery ribs, ½ cup fresh parsley, 1 carrot and 1 cucumber in a juicer. Drink this once daily for a few weeks.
7. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle can also help cleanse your kidneys. Due to its diuretic properties, it increases urine production, helps remove metabolic waste and promotes renal excretion.
At the same time, this herb helps keep crystals from forming into stones and keeps bacteria away to reduce the risk of kidney infections.
- Steep 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried stinging nettle in a cup of hot water.
- Allow it to steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and add a little honey.
- Drink this herbal tea twice daily for a couple of weeks.
Note: As this herb can interfere with blood-thinning, high blood pressure, diuretic and diabetic medications, always consult your doctor before including it in your diet.
Horsetail is a common herb with diuretic properties. It increases urine output to flush harmful toxins and materials out of the body. In addition, its antioxidant properties offer many benefits to the kidneys and renal system.
- To make horsetail tea, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried horsetail to a cup of boiling water. Cover, steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain the herb before drinking the tea. You can drink 2 to 3 cups of this tea daily for a week to cleanse your kidneys.
- You can also take horsetail supplements to promote flow of urine. Consult your doctor before taking supplements.
9. Uva Ursi
Also called “bearberry,” uva-ursi has been used by many cultures. It’s an astringent that can soothe and tone the urinary tract and research has also found evidence to support its traditional use for cleansing the kidneys.
10. Corn Silk
Corn silk is diuretic in nature and stimulates urine production for the removal of waste and water from the kidneys. You can use it to treat bladder infections, kidney stones and urinary infections.
- Put 2 teaspoons of dried corn silk in a cup.
- Pour boiling water over it, cover and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain it.
- Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day.
- Make sure to drink plenty of other fluids when you use corn silk tea to cleanse your kidneys.
Note: As this herb may interact with certain medications, consult your doctor before using it.
- Avoid smoking, tobacco products and excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
- Strive to maintain normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Keep your cholesterol level in check.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
- If overweight, try to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Avoid fried foods and too much salt.
- Follow a diet rich in fruits, green vegetables and whole-grain foods.
11. Gravel Root
Also known as Joe Pye weed, gravel root has a long history of use by Native Americans and early American colonists for promoting kidney and urinary health. Its effectiveness may be partly due to its euparin content — a solvent with potent activity against harmful organisms. This may explain why many believe it’s effective at discouraging infections.
12. Hydrangea Root
Hydrangea root was popular among Native Americans and early settlers, both of whom used the plant for promoting kidney and bladder health. Hydrangea root acts as a solvent and is thought to smooth the jagged edges of kidney stones. Hydrangea root also appears to help the body properly use calcium, an action that may be helpful for discouraging kidney stones from forming in the first place.
Goldenrod was used extensively among many Native American tribes for promoting urinary tract health. Research has found that the herb tones the urinary tract and is helpful for detoxifying the kidneys.
14. Chanca Piedra
Chanca piedra, or “stone breaker,” is a favorite in South America for supporting the kidneys and clinical trials have confirmed the plant’s effectiveness. It’s common in the region and its widespread use has earned it a positive reputation in Ayurvedic medicine as a helpful herb for kidney, bladder, and liver health.
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