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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
Some useful supplements for kidney stone sufferers include:
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.