Healthy kidneys are vital for the health of the body. They help remove toxins and maintain hydration and mineral levels in the body. However, with unhealthy food and lifestyle habits, sometimes toxins accumulate in the kidneys and cause kidney stones. Fortunately, Ayurveda has a painless cure for kidney stones, involving herbs, home remedies and diet and lifestyle changes.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Also known as renal-lithiasis and nephrolithiasis, kidney stones are small deposits of minerals and salts that get accumulated inside the kidneys. These stones are extremely painful and can cause many health problems.
- Causes of Kidney Stones:
The main causes of kidney stones are less consumption of water, postponement of urinal urges, eating foods that lead to gas or bloating, irregular daily regimes, sedentary lifestyle, eating foods with preservatives, excessive consumption of alcohol and urinary tract infection.
- Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones:
When you have kidney stones, you tend to feel excruciating pain in the kidney area that may also shift towards the abdomen and spine. The other symptoms of kidney stones include nausea, restlessness, bloating, frequent urge to urinate, painful urination, and fever.
Basics of Ayurveda for Kidney Stones
Ayurveda describes kidney stones as Ashmari, Ashma meaning stones and Ari meaning enemy. It is also commonly called Mutrashmari and is included in the diseases of Mutra Vaha Srotas or urinary channels. In Ayurveda, kidney stones are considered one of the Ashta Mahagadas (8 deadly diseases) and therefore require immediate medical attention.
- Causes of Kidney Stones in Ayurveda:
According to Ayurveda, when an imbalanced Vata leads to the drying of Kapha in the body, it causes kidney stones to form.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Kidney Stones
The Ayurvedic treatment for kidney stones vastly depends on the size, shape, location and strength of the stones. If the stones are small in size, they can be removed through dietary changes and adequate water consumption. However, when the stones are medium-sized (larger than a grain of sand), Ayurvedic herbs are used to remove the stones.
In the case of large stones, Ayurveda recommends using flush therapy or invasive surgical methods.
Dietary Recommendations by Ayurveda for Kidney Stones
What Should you Eat?
- Eat Purana Shali (old rice), Kushmanda (white gourd), Patola (pointed gourd), Talaphala (toddy palm), Urvaru (cucumber), etc.
- Increase the consumption of carrots, Karela (bitter gourd), potatoes, radish and pumpkin.
- Include cereals such as barley, moong dal and horse gram in your diet.
- Certain fruits such as bananas, lemons, apricots, plums and apples are also good for kidney stones.
- Also, increase consumption of coconut water, lemon juice and buttermilk in your diet.
What Should you Avoid?
- Avoid vegetables such as brinjal, beans, capsicum, tomato and spinach.
- Also, limit the intake of oatmeal, bran and fine-wheat flour or Maida.
- Avoid eating certain fruits such as black grapes, kiwi and strawberries.
- Limit the intake of coffee, chocolates, dairy products and non-vegetarian foods.
Lifestyle Recommendations by Ayurveda for Kidney Stones
- Do not lead a sedentary lifestyle and indulge in regular exercises. You can practice Yoga and Pranayama to stay physically fit. Some of the best Yoga Asanas for kidney stones are Vajrasana (Diamond Pose), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose) and Uttana Padasana (Raised Legs Pose).
- Avoid sleeping during the daytime.
- Avoid suppressing or postponing the urge to urinate.
- Drink warm water in the morning to stimulate bowel movements.
Home Remedies for Kidney Stones
- Take one teaspoon of basil leaves juice and one teaspoon of honey. Mix them well and take this mixture in the morning.
- Take four teaspoons of horse gram and add them to ½ litre of water. Boil this water till the mixture is reduced to one-fifth. Then, add two teaspoons of crushed pomegranate seeds to the water and mix it well. Strain the mixture and drink it once a day.
- Take a glass of barley water every morning and evening.
- Drink coconut water every morning.
- Take a glass of lemon juice at least four times a day.
- Mix some green cardamom seeds with a little sugarcane juice and take this mixture twice a day on an empty stomach.
- Eat watermelons or take a glass of watermelon juice every day.
- Boil 2 figs or Anjeer in one cup of water and take it in the morning.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Kidney Stones
Ayurveda advises Panchakarma treatment to prevent and treat kidney stones. It is a cleansing process that involves five therapies to remove toxins from the body and improve the body’s innate healing ability.
Herbs in Ayurveda For Kidney Stones
Ayurveda also recommends many herbs to remove kidney stones, such as Punarnava (Boerhaavia Diffusa), Shigru (Moringa Oleifera), Pashanabheda (Bergenia ligulata), Kantkari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Bakul (Mimusops Elengi), Jasmine (Jasminum auriculatum) and Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum L.).
Your Ayurvedic practitioner may also prescribe some herbal formulations to treat kidney stones, such as Gokshuradi Guggulu, Punarnavadi Kashaya, Varanadi Kashayam, Shilajatu Vati, Gokshura Churnam, Varanasavam and Gomutra Haritaki Lehyam.
Ayurveda has a holistic treatment for kidney stones. Primarily, it involves using dietary regulations, lifestyle practices and home remedies to remove the stones from the body. However, in the case of medium-sized stones, your Ayurvedic practitioner may also recommend you to take some herbs or use Panchakarma therapy to treat the condition.