Kidney stones are quite common and usually affect people aged 30–60 years of age. A kidney stone is a solid mass made up of tiny crystals formed in the kidneys from dietary minerals in the urine. Most of kidney stones are made out of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is an organic salt that when combined with calcium it produces an insoluble mass which is the most common compound in kidney stones.
Kidney stones are much more common in men than women. Also overweight and obese people are more likely to get a kidney stone than people of a normal weight.
Symptoms of a kidney stone include flank pain which can be quite severe, inner thigh pain, blood in the urine, cloudy urine and crystals in urine.
It’s also worth noting that kidney stones are one of the reasons for leukocytes (white blood cells) in urine. The journal Urology published a report showing that almost half the patients who had kidney stones also had a high urine leukocyte count.
After a kidney stone has formed, your body will try to pass it out of the body in the urine. Small stones may be passed out painlessly in the urine and may even go undetected, but larger stones can be very painful to pass.
How to Naturally Prevent or Treat Kidney Stones Based on Science
People who tend to suffer from kidney stones can reduce the recurrences and prevent new calcium oxalate stone formation by treating kidney stones naturally:
Diet + Water
You should avoid or lower the consumption of foods rich in oxalate such as: chocolate, tea, caffeine, salt, nuts, beets, rhubarb, spinach, wheat bran and phosphate based soft drinks.
According to a research also grapefruit juice increases the risk of kidney stones. It is recommended to increase fiber consumption and to drink plenty of water that will make the calcium oxalate more soluble and less likely to form crystals.
You can add to your water half a cup of lemon juice a day, as lemon juice also helps to reduce kidney stone formation because it increases urine citrate levels.
Magnesium + Vitamin B6
One scientific study has shown that the combination of vitamin B6 + and magnesium citrate can dramatically reduce the rate of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Recommended dosage is 500 mg magnesium citrate and 40 mg B6 vitamin a day.
Fish oil helps to reduce urinary oxalate thus reducing the risk of kidney stones. EPA and DHA are the two omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oil.
One scientific study mentioned that “consuming 1,200 mg per day of fish oil has been associated with significant decreases in urinary calcium and oxalate concentrations and increases in urinary citrate concentration”
Another medical study concluded that a consumption of 1800 mg EPA per day can reduces the risk of calcium stone formation.
Cold-water fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich sources of EPA.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. Some people claim that when we ingest acetic acid it has an alkaline effect and a healthy body needs to be more alkaline than acidic. It is claimed that calcium oxalate, cystine, and uric acid stones form when the urine has too much acid in it.
One scientific study found that people who consumed fermented vinegar (like apple cider vinegar) had less chances to develop kidney stones.
The best way to use apple cider vinegar for kidney stone prevention is to mix 6 teaspoons or so in about a gallon of purified water and drink throughout the day.
For more information read my article on how to use apple cider vinegar for kidney stones.
Chanca piedra is an herb that is indigenous to the Amazonian rain forest of South America. Chanca piedra means in Spanish “stone breaker” and has been used by many cultures as a remedy for kidney stones.
There is a research on the plant that was done in Germany, Brazil and India that has found the herb to be effective treatment for kidney health, as well as for other ailments. According to the research, the herb was given to more than 100 people with kidney stones, and 94% of them eliminated their stones within two weeks.
What’s good about it is that chanca piedra caused no side effects other than cramping during the passage of the stones. This herb can be prepared as a tea, or it can come as a tablet or tincture form. You should consult your doctor before taking extracts of this plant to avoid interaction with other medications.
Although research on the health effects of the phyllanthus herb is very limited, there’s some evidence that the phyllanthus niruri may help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Phyllanthus is a genus of plant long used in herbal medicine and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.
To date, there is not enough information about the safety of long-term use of supplements containing extracts of phyllanthus herb. It’s therefore important to consult with your doctor before taking supplements containing extracts of phyllanthus as it may interfere with other medications.
Uva Ursi (also known as bearberry) is an evergreen shrub that is common in the Northern Hemisphere including the United States. The leaves of the plant contain natural substances with antibacterial properties that are known to improve the function of the urinary system.
One medical study reported that uva-ursi (bearberry) has been approved for use for urinary tract inflammation by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices and is available on prescription in Germany for this indication. Uva-ursi (bearberry) is reported to have diuretic, urinary antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties
This plant is used for kidney stones because of the plant’s natural diuretic properties that increase the urine flow, so that it is easier to flush the kidney stones out of the body.
Uva ursi is available in tea form, in capsules and in tablets. People who use this plant can experience mild nausea for the initial days of treatment. You must consult with your doctor before using uva ursi as a natural kidney stone treatment to ensure it is safe for you.