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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 can be beneficial. 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.
Talk to your doctor before getting started with any of the home remedies listed below. They can assess whether home treatment is right for you or if it could lead to additional complications.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid using any remedies. Your 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 lemons would be needed to make a huge effect, but some can 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, and it may help maintain kidney health.
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.
You shouldn’t use medicinal basil juice for more than 6 weeks at a time. Extended use may lead to:
- low blood sugar
- low blood pressure
- increased bleeding
There’s very little research on how effective basil is for kidney stones, but 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 can help ease pain caused by the stones. There are numerous other health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
One lab study found that apple cider vinegar was effective in helping reduce the formation of kidney stones, though more studies are needed. But because of the numerous other health benefits, there’s probably little risk.
To reap these benefits, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 6 to 8 ounces of purified water. Drink this mixture throughout the day.
You shouldn’t consume more than one 8-ounce glass of this mixture per day. You can also use it on salads straight or add it to your favorite salad dressing.
People with diabetes should exercise caution when drinking this mixture. Monitor your blood sugar levels carefully throughout the day.
You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:
Celery juice is thought to clear away toxins that contribute to kidney stone formation and has long been used in traditional medications. It also helps flush out the body so you can pass the stone.
Blend one or more celery stalks with water, and drink the juice throughout the day.
You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you have:
- any bleeding disorder
- low blood pressure
- a scheduled surgery
You also shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:
- levothyroxine (Synthroid)
- lithium (Lithane)
- medications that increase sun sensitivity, such as isotretinoin (Sotret)
- sedative medications, such as alprazolam (Xanax)
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 for future kidney stones.
Pomegranate juice’s effect on preventing kidney stones needs to be better studied, but there does appear to be some benefit in taking pomegranate extract, lowering the risk of stones.
There’s no limit to how much pomegranate juice you can drink throughout the day.
You shouldn’t drink pomegranate juice if you’re taking:
- medications changed by the liver
- blood pressure medications, such as chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- rosuvastatin (Crestor)
The broth from cooked kidney beans is a traditional dish, often used in India, that has been used to improve overall urinary and kidney health. It also helps dissolve and flush out the stones. Simply strain the liquid from cooked beans and drink a few glasses throughout the 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.
Dandelion root is a kidney tonic that stimulates the production of bile. This is thought to help eliminate waste, increase urine output, and improve digestion. Dandelions have vitamins (A, B, C, D) and minerals such as potassium, iron, and zinc.
You can make fresh dandelion juice or buy it as a tea. If you make it fresh, you may also add orange peel, ginger, and apple to taste. Drink 3 to 4 cups throughout the day.
Some people experience heartburn when they eat dandelion or its parts.
You shouldn’t drink this mixture if you’re taking:
Talk to your doctor before taking dandelion root extract, as it can interact with many medications.
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 for nausea. In some cases, it may cause appetite loss and constipation.
Horsetail has been used to increase urine flow to help to flush out kidney stones and can soothe swelling and inflammation. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that aid in overall urinary health.
However, you shouldn’t use horsetail for more than 6 weeks at a time. There are dangers of seizures, decreased levels of B vitamins, and loss of potassium.
You shouldn’t use horsetail if you take lithium, diuretics, or heart medications such as digoxin.
Horsetail isn’t recommended for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Horsetail contains nicotine and shouldn’t be taken if you’re using a nicotine patch or trying to quit smoking.
You also shouldn’t drink horsetail juice if you have:
See your doctor if you’re unable to pass your stone within 6 weeks or you begin experiencing severe symptoms that include:
Your 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 pain relievers to lessen any pain you may be experiencing. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve).
Be sure to continue treatment until the stone passes, and don’t drink alcohol.
Once you pass a kidney stone, you may want to save it to take to your doctor for testing. To save the stone, you need to strain your urine. You can do this using a urine screen, which you can get from the doctor’s office. Your doctor can determine what kind of stone it is and help develop a targeted prevention plan.
You might add these remedies to your usual regimen and continue use after the stone passes. This may help prevent more stones from forming.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking medications or herbs.
Herbs aren’t regulated for quality and purity by the 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.