Often, the kidneys are overlooked until issues such as kidney stones, infections, or chronic kidney disease arise. However, the kidneys play a significant role in overall health, including the well-being of the adrenal glands. Therefore, when dealing with adrenal fatigue or low energy, it is vital to prioritize kidney health. Here are some dietary suggestions and a selection of beneficial herbs that can aid in maintaining or restoring kidney health.
The Importance of Diet
If you would like to keep your kidneys healthy, diet plays a major role. Focus on foods high in antioxidants and electrolytes. Cranberries, black cherries, and blueberries are outstanding for maintaining kidney health and detoxification. Besides being high in antioxidants, cranberries help to prevent UTIs that often develop into kidney infections, which is something you obviously want to avoid. One caveat — if you have a tendency towards the development of kidney stones, do not use cranberry as it is a high-oxalate food. Blueberries and black cherries are an excellent source of resveratrol, a compound that helps to eliminate uric acid. Elevated levels of this acid contribute to chronic kidney disease.
Lemon juice is another food that is helpful for keeping the kidneys healthy and strong. Not only does it aid detoxification, but research has shown that it can help to prevent the formation of kidney stones as well. Heavy metals also take a toll on your kidneys and other organs. Seaweed is an exceptional option for chelating these troublesome compounds. Spirulina, chlorella, kelp, and dulse are all good choices.
Keep in mind that your blood sugar level directly impacts the health of your kidneys. When blood sugar is high, as in the case of diabetes, the kidneys are forced to work harder to filter your blood. Over time, this can lead to kidney damage. If you need help in managing your blood sugar, have a look at the article: Struggling with Diabetes? Here are My Top 4 Herbal Remedies.
Key Medicinal Herbs for Kidney Health
Infections and Excess Fluid Accumulation
Usnea — One of my favorite medicinal herbs, usnea is a true botanical powerhouse. Usnea has been traditionally used to support the immune system. By promoting a healthy immune response, it may help prevent or reduce kidney inflammation associated with autoimmune conditions or infections. It has strong antibiotic properties and helps to heal urinary tract, bladder, and kidney infections. It is also antiviral. Moreover, usnea tackles bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, strep throat, colds, and influenza. Make sure to use a dual-extracted Usnea tincture, like the one in my apothecary, for full benefit.
Lungwort Lichen — A medicinal lichen found throughout the world, lungwort is helpful for kidney health because of its ability to flush out excess fluids. It also treats urinary tract infections and encourages detoxification. Lungwort lichen contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can contribute to kidney damage, and by reducing inflammation in the body, lungwort lichen indirectly supports kidney health.
Stinging Nettle — Traditionally used to support kidney health, stinging nettle is high in vitamin C, which helps to flush excess fluids from the body. This is one of the mechanisms that contributes to its anti-inflammatory properties. Stinging nettle is also an outstanding remedy for allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema.
Pipsissewa — A Cree name meaning “to break into small pieces”, pipsissewa is legendary for its ability to break up kidney stones. It also contains hydroquinone, which acts as a disinfectant for the urinary tract and heals inflammation of the bladder and urethra.
Chanca piedra — Otherwise known as “stone breaker” herb, chanca piedra is well-known for dissolving kidney stones and preventing new ones from forming. It also helps to protect the liver, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, and fights infections. Some studies suggest that chanca piedra may help inhibit the formation of calcium oxalate crystals, which are a common type of kidney stone. It may also promote the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue in the ureter, making it easier for stones to pass.
Cat’s Claw — An excellent herb for detoxification, cat’s claw removes heavy metals, toxins, and drugs from the body. It is also effective for supporting the health of the kidneys, pancreas, and digestive system. Cat’s claw contains active compounds, such as alkaloids and flavonoids, that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation can contribute to kidney damage, and cat’s claw may help reduce inflammation in the kidneys, promoting their health.
Bilberry — Helping to improve the function of the liver and kidneys through the removal of harmful toxins and heavy metals, bilberry contains detoxification compounds that chelate arsenic, lead, cadmium, and iron from the blood. Bilberry has been used traditionally to support urinary tract health. It may have mild diuretic properties, promoting urine production and potentially aiding in the elimination of toxins and waste products from the kidneys.
The Bottom Line
Prioritizing kidney health is crucial for overall well-being, especially when dealing with adrenal fatigue or low energy. By incorporating a kidney-friendly diet, including foods high in antioxidants and electrolytes, such as cranberries, blueberries, and lemon juice, you can support kidney function and prevent issues like kidney stones and infections. Additionally, medicinal herbs like Usnea, lungwort lichen, and stinging nettle can aid in treating infections and excess fluid accumulation.
For kidney stone prevention and dissolution, herbs like pipsissewa and chanca piedra are renowned. Lastly, herbs such as cat’s claw and bilberry can assist in detoxification, removing toxins and heavy metals from the body while supporting kidney and liver health. By incorporating these dietary tips and herbal remedies, you can take proactive steps towards maintaining or restoring the health of your kidneys ad ultimately enhancing your overall vitality.