Cleaning the cleaners: herbs that help maintain healthy kidneys
The kidneys play a key role in helping the body get rid of toxic wastes. However, these organs also need to be healthy so they can function properly. Thankfully, there are herbs that can help your kidneys perform their crucial duty of filtering out waste products and removing excess fluid from the blood.
Both the leaves and fruits of the bearberry plant are known for their benefits for the kidneys. The leaves of the bearberry plant contain several natural antibacterial agents, including arbutin, methylarbutin and tannins. These substances have been found to be effective in treating inflammation of the urinary tract, urinary bladder and renal pelvis, as well as kidney stones.
Bearberry fruits contain substantial amounts of beneficial compounds, including antioxidants that protect against acute kidney disease. They are also used to alleviate the symptoms of urinary tract infections and promote the overall health of the urinary system. However, bearberry should not be taken long-term or in high doses as it can cause liver damage and other side effects.
While nasturtium is known for its ornamental value, it has properties that help the kidney maintain its functions. Its seeds, flowers and leaves can help treat several ailments, and its juice also provide medicinal benefits to those who drink it. Clinical trials have reported on nasturtium’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Nasturtium contains natural antibiotics that can kill bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Salmonella. These potent antibiotic compounds are released from the body via urination, passing through and disinfecting the urethra in the process. This makes nasturtium useful for treating both acute and chronic inflammation of the urinary tract.
While stinging nettle is known for its unpleasant reputation, it has also been known as a healing plant. It is rich in vitamin B and a variety of different beneficial compounds containing iron, calcium, or potassium. Moreover, stinging nettle contains acetylcholine – the nervous system’s chief neurotransmitter.
Both the leaves and stems of stinging nettle have diuretic effects, which increase the production of urine and promote urination. It can also help treat inflammation of the urinary tract and kidneys. Moreover, the plant’s young leaves have been found to lower blood sugar levels and cleanse the blood.
Celery is often used in the kitchen as a culinary herb. However, traditional Ayurveda medicine uses it alongside radish and others to help break up and expel toxins and debris in the kidneys. It also contains antioxidants and acts as a mild diuretic, helping the kidneys and urinary system function optimally.
A study published in the Journal of BioAllied Sciences back in December 2019 found that celery can help break down calcium crystals and organic matrix components in kidney stones. The study authors pointed to the flavonoid apigenin, which is abundant in celery, as the main plant compound responsible. “Kidney stones decay activity of apigenin is believed to be related to its ability as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial,” they wrote.
The stonebreaker herb gained its name due to its alkaline nature that prevents the formation of kidney stones and its effects on existing ones. Because of this, it has been used to support other herbs that dissolve kidney stones naturally. Stonebreaker is also known as an antiviral herb, making it a good choice for infections.
A June 2016 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology noted that stonebreaker is abundant in flavonoids, such as gallocatechin, rutin, quercetin and kaempferol. These plant compounds are known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can increase urine flow and relieve inflammation. The researchers also referenced stonebreaker’s use in the traditional medicines of Brazil and Malaysia for renal issues in their study.
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