9 Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

| Modified: Sep 26, 2018
Said to be more painful than childbirth, kidney stones need solutions that will provide fast and effective relief! Natural remedies can bring swift resolution to kidney stones and relieve pain in the meanwhile. Home treatments include combinations of olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, herbs, supplements and dietary changes.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

Kidney stones usually cause pain in the back or side. The pain is often severe. There may be blood in the urine, frequent urination or pain while urinating. Urine flow may be hindered due to the stone. A urinary tract infection can accompany kidney stones and may cause fever. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon.

The first time kidney stones are suspected, a medical diagnosis is wise to rule out another more serious condition.

Types of Kidney Stones

There are four different types of kidney stones.1 Some remedies may be more effective at eliminating certain types of stones. Without a lab analysis it may be difficult to know which type of stone is the problem. However, certain risk factors are connected to each type of stone, making it easier to predict the kind of stone that is involved. This can make it easier to choose an optimally compatible remedy.

Calcium Stones

Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stone. They are usually in the form of calcium oxalate, though they can be in the form of calcium phosphate.

Struvite Stones

Struvite stones are most likely to accompany an infection.

Uric Acid Stones

Uric acid stones can be a result of chronic dehydration. Uric acid is also a cause of gout. High protein diets can also be connected to uric acid stones.

Cystine Stones

Cystine stones are connected to a hereditary disorder.

How are Kidney Stones Treated?

Traditional kidney stone treatment includes diagnostic tests, medications, including pain medication, rest, and sometimes surgical procedures.

In lieu of traditional treatments natural remedies are often considered due to their safety, availability and effectiveness.

Home Treatments for Kidney Stones

1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil

Hands down the lemon juice and olive oil protocol for kidney stones is the most popular. Typically, two ounces of each are consumed several times a day until the stones pass. This is not surprising since lemon juice is useful in dissolving calcium stones, the most common type of kidney stone.2

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

In the world of natural remedies, when in doubt, apple cider vinegar always seems to come to the forefront. Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is a useful remedy for kidney stones.

3. Juice

Lemon juice, lime juice, pomegranate juice and other juices have been use to dissolve or relieve kidney stones. Surely quality fluids are especially important during a bout of kidney stones and make a great addition to other kidney stone protocols.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a useful remedy for uric acid stones because it increases the alkalinity of the urine, which can help dissolve the stones and prevent future stone formation.3 Ideally when using baking soda for stones, pH test strips are used as well to find the ideal amount of baking soda to consume daily to get the urine to the ideal alkalinity, specifically 6-6.5. Baking soda, when used as a natural remedy is taken in water, usually by adding ¼ teaspoon to water. If the desired alkalinity is not reached with ¼ teaspoon baking soda in water, the amount can be increased to ½ teaspoon, etc.

5. Herbs

There are a number of herbs that have been proven useful for kidney stone sufferers. Chanca Piedra is a popular remedy, and no wonder – its nickname is “stonebreaker.”

Other herbs are useful as well. Some work by dissolving stones. Others work by providing a more comfortable passage of kidney stones. Alfalfa, cornsilk, gravel root, and marshmallow root are common herbs that benefit the urinary system in general and kidney stones in particular.

6. Castor Oil

Castor oil is especially useful as a pain remedy. A topical castor oil pack can be used with along with internal remedies as a complementary treatment

To make a castor oil pack for kidney stones follow these directions:

  • Fold a large piece of cotton flannel or wool (a square of cotton bath towel will work in a pinch, but it will not ever be able to be used as a bath towel again) into a rectangle about 6 inches by 8 inches.
  • Slowly add castor oil to the cloth until it is wet with castor oil but not soaked.
  • Place the cloth against the skin at the area where the pain is most intense.
  • Cover the cloth with a piece of plastic wrap.
  • Use an ace bandage to secure the cloth and plastic to the body.
  • Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to the castor oil pack. Keep the heat applied for 2 hours. (It is not recommended to sleep with a heating pad!)

The castor oil pack can be used as long as desired. If used overnight it can be placed in a plastic bag and reused the next night, and even up to 20 or more applications. More castor oil may need to be added.)

Castor oil works well to relieve pain. It may also help some types of stones to dissolve, soften or dislodge.

7. Warm Bath

A warm bath can be soothing for kidney stone pain. Adding 1 cup of magnesium can help with relaxation.

8. Supplements

Some useful supplements for kidney stone sufferers include:

  • B-64
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C

9. Dietary Changes

A good diet will benefit overall health and can prevent kidney stones.

Some general guidelines include:

  • A diet that is mostly comprised of a variety of whole foods.
  • Sugar and processed foods are kept to a minimum.
  • Coffee and soda should be used in careful moderation.
  • Alcohol should be consumed sparingly.
  • Hydration is important for kidney health and can prevent stones! Herbal tea and pure water are ideal sources of hydration.
  • Watermelon is an especially wonderful food for kidney stone sufferers. Not only does it promote hydration it is sometimes used as a natural remedy for kidney stones.

Do you have a natural remedy for kidney stones? Please send us some feedback!

Sources:

1.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes/syc-20355755

2.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18946667

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21121431

4.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10203369


About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created EarthClinic.com in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.


Apple Cider Vinegar, Chanca Piedra  

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Posted by Su (New York) on 02/14/2018
1 out of 5 stars

I have 8 mm kidney stone . Took 2 tablespoons ACV 2 x a day and chanca piatra for 3 months but the kidney stone stilll the same.. Ended up with lithotripsy

Replied by Teena
Melbourne, Australia
02/15/2018
138 posts

How much CP did you take? Mine says 5 cups of CP tea a day for treatment, start to see benefits in two weeks..


Replied by James
Westminster, Colorado Usa
09/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Update.....there was no stone in my bladder. Screening my urine revealed the stone had been dissolved into a fine powder. I don't know if it was a combination of the 2 treatments, but if I had to choose only one, I would go with the caster oil/heating pad. I was able to urinate freely withing 45 minutes of the first oil pack treatment and the stone dissolved the next night 75 minutes into the oil pack treatment.


Probiotics  

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Posted by Art (California ) on 07/01/2018 401 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Chronic Recurring Kidney Stones

Many people get kidney stones and are able to effectively eliminate them with Chanca Piedra or the olive oil with lemon juice remedy, but what do you do if the stones keep recurring? If they are like the majority of stones, they are likely formed from calcium oxalate, so reducing calcium intake may be helpful, but what else can you do to try and prevent them from coming back?

The following PubMed abstract suggests that probiotics containing some common Lactobacillus strains may be just the ticket to help deal with this common and often painful problem. Considering that probiotics can have a myriad of positive health effects, this may be a very nice option to have!

Art

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25291139

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2014 Nov-Dec;48 Suppl 1:S91-5. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000228.

Screening of different probiotic strains for their in vitro ability to metabolise oxalates: any prospective use in humans?

Mogna L1, Pane M, Nicola S, Raiteri E.

BACKGROUND:

Oxalate is the salt-forming ion of oxalic acid and can generate oxalate salts combining with various cations, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Approximately 75% of all kidney stones are composed primarily of calcium oxalate (CaOx) and hyperoxaluria, a condition involving high urinary oxalate concentration, is considered a primary risk factor for kidney stone formation, known as nephrolithiasis. Current therapeutic strategies often fail in their compliance or effectiveness, and CaOx stone recurrence is still common. After an initial stone, there is a 50% chance of forming a second stone within 7 years if the condition is left untreated. The potential therapeutic application of some probiotics, mainly lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, in reducing hyperoxaluria in vivo through intestinal oxalate degrading activity is compelling and initial reports are promising. This study was undertaken to screen different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for their capacity to degrade oxalate in vitro using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

METHODS:

The oxalate-degrading activity of 13 lactobacilli and 5 bifidobacteria was tested using a novel HPLC method after growth in a broth culture added with 10 mM ammonium oxalate. Experiments were repeated 3 times. Oxalobacter formigenes (DSM 4420) was used as positive reference to validate HPLC oxalate-degrading capability assays.

RESULTS:

Lactobacillus strains were more efficient than bifidobacteria in degrading oxalates. L. paracasei LPC09 (DSM 24243) gave the best result, as 68.5% of ammonium oxalate was converted at the end of incubation, whereas the following best converters belong to the L. gasseri and L. acidophilus species. The relatively low conversion rate observed for most bifidobacteria can probably be attributed to intrinsic oxalate toxicity toward this genus.

CONCLUSIONS:

Humans lack the enzymes needed to directly metabolise oxalate, and this potentially toxic compound is, therefore, managed using alternative pathways. As oxalate-degrading bacteria are present in the endogenous microbiota of the human intestine, although with significant individual differences, it is possible to hypothesise that the administration of selected oxalate-degrading probiotics could be an alternative and innovative approach to reducing the intestinal absorption of oxalate and the resulting urinary excretion.

Replied by Paracelsus
Orlando, Fl
07/05/2018
11 posts

You can't go wrong supplementing with probiotics. However, another important point here is for people who struggle with recurring kidney stones is to increase magnesium intake. Reducing calcium intake and increasing magnesium intake is key. In the presence of Magnesium, oxalates will combine with magnesium to form magnesium oxalate instead of calcium oxalate.

Per Wikipedia, " Magnesium (Mg2+) oxalate is 567 times more soluble than calcium oxalate, so the latter is more likely to precipitate out when magnesium levels are low and calcium and oxalate levels are high."

In other words, if you have enough magnesium, the oxalates will be excreted through the urine without forming stones.

Incidentally, there is a lot of misinformation on YouTube and the internet by so called experts who advise avoiding foods high in oxalates. Some of the foods they list are absolutely super foods, such as spinach, avocado and almonds. What these so called experts don't take into consideration is that while these foods have high levels of oxalates, they are also among the foods with the highest levels of magnesium.

Yes, mother nature has more wisdom than our scientists and does not make mistakes!

Replied by Angela
Yachats, Or
08/09/2018

Incredibly useful information. I will try this. I tried the olive oil/lemon method, and it made my condition 10X worse, putting me on the ground in even worse agonizing pain. Probably the worst pain I've ever been in my life. I will never do it again. Will try this. Thank you Art for sharing this information!

Replied by Angela
Or
08/24/2018

The olive oil/lemon thing caused me to be in the worst agony I have ever been in in my life.

Next, I tried magnesium. Magnesium was able to break it up within 1 week and finally passed pieces of what appeared to be a VERY large stone, as big as a pea. Frightening. Now I see why I was in so much pain. Magnesium is incredible..

Replied by Brian L.
Osoyoos, Bc, Canada
09/25/2018

Angela,

How much magnesium were you taking?