Natural Health Remedies for You

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Natural remedies for kidney stones include the safe use of vitamins, herbs, and minerals, as well as dietary control.

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts on the inner surfaces of your kidneys. Normally, the substances that make up kidney stones are diluted in the urine. However, when urine is concentrated, the minerals may crystallize and form kidney stones. Many kidney stones are very small and they pass unnoticed. However, sometimes they may become very large - up to the size of a marble.

There are different types of kidney stones, depending on the minerals they are composed of:

  • Calcium: Most kidney stones (about 80%) are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate.
  • Struvite: Struvite stones are found more often in women and are almost always the result of urinary tract infections.
  • Uric acid: Uric acid is a byproduct of protein metabolism. Uric acid stones are formed if you eat a high-protein diet. Gout also leads to uric acid stones.
  • Cystine: Only a small percentage of kidney stones are cystine stones. People with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete excessive amounts of certain amino acids may develop this type of stones.

As a majority of kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones, this page focuses on this type of kidney stones.

Causes of Kidney Stones

It is common for kidney stones to have no definite, single cause. A number of factors, often in combination, create the conditions in which susceptible people develop kidney stones. Some such factors include:

  • A poor diet
  • Nutrient deficiencies (particularly a potassium and magnesium deficiency)
  • Dehydration
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g. Cushing's disease, hyperparathyroidism)


Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Smaller kidney stones that pass unnoticed do not cause any symptoms. When a bigger kidney stone moves into the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney and bladder), some of these signs and symptoms may occur:

  • Pain in the side and lower back, below the belly.
  • Bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine.
  • Pain on urination.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Persistent urge to urinate.
  • Fever and chills if a blockage and an infection is present.


Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

For smaller kidney stones, natural remedies are effective in managing pain as well as preventing the stones from growing in size. More importantly, natural remedies can be used to prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place.

Various natural remedies for kidney stones are available. These include the use of vitamins and minerals, herbs, and dietary management.

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones - Vitamins and Minerals

In many cases, calcium-oxalate stones are formed due to a deficiency of nutrients in the diet. Supplements can help prevent kidney stones from recurring.

  • Magnesium: This mineral can prevent the formation of calcium-oxalate stones. Appropriate dosage is 500 mg daily.
  • Vitamin B6: Studies have shown that people who have kidney stones tend to be deficient in vitamin B6. In another study, it was shown that a combination of B6 and magnesium reduced kidney stone formation by 92 percent.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is healing to the urinary tract, and it has been found that a deficiency of vitamin A can lead to kidney stone formation.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E may help prevent the recurrence of kidney stone formation.


Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones - Herbs

Herbs are also effective natural remedies for kidney stones. Various herbs can help prevent and treat kidney stones in people.

  • Cranberry: Cranberry can reduce urinary calcium levels in people with a history of kidney stones. It is also effective for urinary tract infection. You can get a standardized extract of cranberry from health food stores.
  • Uva Ursi: This herb is traditionally used to treat kidney stones. It has pain-relieving properties. In addition, it can cleanse the urinary tract and fight infection.
  • Dandelion root: This is a diuretic herb and can cleanse the kidneys.
  • Cleavers: Another herb with diuretic properties is Cleavers. This herb can also prevent urinary tract infection.
  • Aloe Vera: The juice of aloe vera is said to be effective in reducing crystals in the urine.


Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones - Diet

As mentioned above, a poor diet is one factor that may cause kidney stones in people. If you are suffering from kidney stones, be sure to take a careful look at what you eat.

Base your diet on fresh, raw vegetables and whole grains. For protein, instead of eating red meat, eat high-quality sources of white meat. Better yet, get your protein from fish, beans, nuts, and seeds. (The animal fat in red meat causes the body to excrete calcium, creating calcium build-up in the kidneys.)

Oat and wheat bran reduce the risk of kidney stone formation; therefore, consider including them in your breakfast every day.

To get plenty of vitamin A, consume lots of green and orange-yellow vegetables.

Also include in your diet foods that are rich in magnesium (e.g. kelp, apples).

Last but not the least, be sure to drink plenty of clean water every day. Keeping your body hydrated is one simple yet important way to prevent and treat kidney stones. If you have a kidney stone, try to drink 13 to 14 glasses of water every day. Once the stone has passed, drink at least 8 glasses to keep your body hydrated.

If you have calcium-oxalate stones, you should avoid foods rich in oxalic acid. These include rhubarb, beets, collards, okra, refried beans, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, sesame seeds, almonds and soy products.

Also avoid foods rich in calcium such as milk, cheese, and ice cream.

Other foods to avoid include alcohol, caffeine, and salt since they can easily dehydrate your body and increase mineral concentration in the urine.


Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004). (

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