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Staying hydrated can help pass kidney stones faster. Certain substances, including apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, may help dissolve kidney stones, making them easier to pass.
Drinking plenty of fluids is a vital part of passing kidney stones and preventing new stones from forming. Not only does the liquid flush out toxins, but it also helps move stones and grit through your urinary tract.
Although water alone may be enough to do the trick, adding certain ingredients might be beneficial.
Talk with a doctor before getting started with any of the home remedies listed below. They can assess whether these strategies are right for you or if they could lead to additional unwanted effects.
Be sure to drink one 8-ounce glass of water immediately after drinking any flavored remedy. This can help move the ingredients through your system.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using any remedies. A doctor can determine whether a juice may cause side effects for you or your baby.
When passing a stone, upping your water intake can help speed up the process. Strive for 12 glasses of water per day instead of the usual 8.
Once the stone passes, you should continue to drink 8 to 12 glasses of water each day. Dehydration is one of the main risk factors for kidney stones, and the last thing you want is for more to form.
Pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be a very light, pale yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
You can add freshly squeezed lemons to your water as often as you like. Lemons contain citrate, which is a chemical that prevents calcium stones from forming. Citrate can also break up small stones, allowing them to pass more easily.
A great deal of lemon juice would probably be needed to make a huge effect, but some may help a little.
Lemon juice has numerous other health benefits. For example, it helps inhibit bacteria growth and provides vitamin C.
There are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in basil juice, so it could maintain kidney health. But there’s little evidence to support this remedy.
To try it, use fresh or dried basil leaves to make a tea and drink several cups per day. You may also juice fresh basil in a juicer or add it to a smoothie.
It’s not known whether basil juice is safe to consume in large quantities, or over longer periods of time. Without more research, the long-term effects remain unclear.
Although there’s very little research on how effective basil is for kidney stones, it does have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid helps dissolve kidney stones.
In addition to flushing out the kidneys, apple cider vinegar may help ease pain caused by the stones.
One lab study found that apple cider vinegar was effective in helping reduce the formation of kidney stones. But more studies are needed to see whether vinegar has the same effect on kidney stones inside the human body.
To try this remedy, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 6 to 8 ounces of drinking water.
You shouldn’t consume more than one 8-ounce glass of this mixture per day. You can also sprinkle apple cider vinegar onto salads or add it to your favorite salad dressing.
If ingested in larger amounts, apple cider vinegar can cause issues such as damage to tooth enamel, acid reflux, and sore throat.
People with diabetes should exercise caution when drinking this mixture. Monitor your blood sugar levels carefully throughout the day.
Celery is used in some traditional medicines as a remedy to help with kidney stones.
One study found that female participants with kidney stones ate less celery on average than female participants without kidney stones.
Blend one or more celery stalks with water, and drink the juice.
Like other plant extracts, it’s possible for celery to interact with other medications or treatments, which may cause unwanted effects. It’s always best to check with a doctor before trying new remedies.
Pomegranate juice has been used for centuries to improve overall kidney function. It will flush stones and other toxins from your system. It’s packed with antioxidants, which help keep the kidneys healthy and may have a role in preventing kidney stones from developing.
It also lowers your urine’s acidity level. Lower acidity levels reduce your risk of future kidney stones.
Pomegranate juice’s effect on preventing kidney stones needs to be better studied, but based on a 2014 animal study, there could be some benefit in taking pomegranate extract. In the study, it lowered the risk of stones.
It’s not clear how much pomegranate juice you can safely drink throughout the day, but a serving or two each day is likely reasonable for most people.
The broth from cooked kidney beans is a traditional dish, often used in India. Some people claim that it can improve urinary and kidney health, but there’s little evidence to say whether this remedy is effective. To try it, simply strain the liquid from cooked beans and drink it several times a day.
The following home remedies may contain ingredients that aren’t already in your kitchen. You should be able to buy them from your local health food store or online.
The dandelion plant has long been used as a digestive aid. Various parts of the plant are thought to help eliminate waste, increase urine output, and improve digestion. Dandelions have vitamins A, B, C, and D and minerals such as potassium, iron, and zinc.
You can make fresh dandelion juice from the plant’s leaves or buy the roots as a tea or extract.
If you make it fresh, you may also add orange peel, ginger, and apple to taste.
While small amounts of dandelion are likely safe for most people, it’s not known whether it’s safe to consume dandelion products in large amounts. Some people can be allergic to dandelion, especially if you have an allergy to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, or daisies.
High doses of dandelion may be unsafe for people with certain health conditions, such as:
- heart conditions
- high or low blood pressure
- liver or kidney conditions
Talk with a doctor before taking dandelion root extract, as it can interact with some medications. If you’re taking diuretics, dandelion is typically not recommended.
Wheatgrass is packed with many nutrients and has long been used to enhance health. Wheatgrass increases urine flow to help pass the stones. It also contains vital nutrients that help cleanse the kidneys.
You can drink 2 to 8 ounces of wheatgrass juice per day. To prevent side effects, start with the smallest amount possible and gradually work your way up to 8 ounces.
If fresh wheatgrass juice isn’t available, you can take powdered wheatgrass supplements as directed.
Taking wheatgrass on an empty stomach can reduce your risk of nausea. In some cases, it may cause appetite loss and constipation.
Horsetail is used as a diuretic to increase urine flow. It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that could aid in overall urinary health. It may also reduce inflammation. Altogether, these effects could potentially help your body flush out kidney stones.
The European Union’s European Medications Agency notes that horsetail shouldn’t be used by people with serious heart or kidney conditions. It’s possible to have digestive side effects when using horsetail, and allergies have also been reported.
Horsetail isn’t recommended for children or people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or chestfeeding.
See a doctor if you’re unable to pass your stone within 6 weeks or you begin experiencing severe symptoms that include:
A doctor will determine whether you need medication or any other therapy to help you pass the stone.
Although it may be uncomfortable, it’s possible to pass a kidney stone on your own.
You can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to lessen any pain you may be experiencing. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve).
Be sure to continue to follow a doctor’s instructions until the stone passes, and don’t drink alcohol.
Once you pass a kidney stone, you may want to save it to take to a doctor for testing. To save the stone, you need to strain your urine.
You can do this by using a urine screen, which you can get from the doctor’s office. A doctor can determine what kind of stone it is and help develop a targeted prevention plan.
Talk with a doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent more stones from forming. Always check in with a doctor before trying home remedies, herbs, or supplements.
Herbs aren’t regulated for quality and purity by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so research your choices and sources for purchase.
A recent analysis of 27 different supplements for kidney health found that two-thirds of them included ingredients that have no research to support their use.