Kidney stones are one of the most common urinary disorders. They may be present without noticeable symptoms, but if left to become larger will eventually cause symptoms ranging from excruciating radiating back pain, which can affect the lower abdomen and groin, to chills and fever, blood and/or pus in the urine, frequent urination or lack of urine.
People who have kidney stones tend to have quite a high reoccurrence rate.
The causes of kidney stone formation lie in conditions occurring in the body that favour excessive excretion of relatively insoluble urinary constituents (mineral salts).
These stones are usually calcium stones (calcium oxalate), but can also be uric acid, struvite (stones derived from bacteria), calcium phosphate or cystine stones.
High calcium levels can be hereditary, but also occur where the parathyroid is malfunctioning, magnesium and/or vitamin B6 levels are too low, there is an over use of anti-acids or excessive intake of vitamin D (more common in countries where milk products are fortified with vitamin D).
Diets high in oxalic acid can also contribute as the body will try and neutralise oxalic acid
with calcium, forming calcium oxalate.
Black tea and chocolate both contain relatively high amounts of oxalic acid. Dehydration can also be a contributing factor, as can a diet high in refined carbohydrates.
Uric acid stones would be more likely to be associated with gout, struvite stones with urinary infections and cysteine stones with hereditary cystinuria.
To treat kidney stones or to decrease to likelihood of them occurring:
Increase the amount of magnesium foods in the diet (green vegetables, brown rice, rye, millet, soy, buckwheat, oats, avocado, banana, potato) or supplement with magnesium and vitamin B6.
Supplementation with magnesium is often relevant to people living in parts of New Zealand where soil magnesium levels appear to be quite low.
Decrease foods that can contain high oxalic acid levels, or eat them in moderation (asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, brassicas, chocolate, cocoa, black tea and coffee).
Decrease refined foods and excess sugar.
Be sure to take in enough fluids, especially in hot weather.
Avoid all anti-acids, especially calcium carbonates.
Herbal blends that will help eliminate kidney stones would include herbs such as Hydrangea root, Parsley Piert (this herb belongs to the same family as Lady’s Mantle and is no relation to garden Parsley) and Gravel root to help expel the stones. Marshmallow root to soothe the urinary tract and garden Parsley (especially fresh parsley),
Juniper and Dandelion leaves as diuretics to increase urinary flow.
Herbs that are urinary antiseptics such as Cornsilk, Couchgrass, Barberry and Golden Seal are good to include if infection is implicated. An excellent blend to use long term to prevent infection is 50:50 Cornsilk and Pau d’arco taken 3-4 ml twice daily.
Relaxing herbs such as Lobelia and Kavakava are useful as relaxants if a kidney stone gets lodged in the urethra.
The following is an old prescription used for removing stones/gravel from the
1 oz. Parsley Piert
1 oz. Pellitory of the Wall
1 oz Gravel Root
1 oz Marshmallow
Mix together and boil in 2 ½ pints of water. Simmer down to 2 pints. Cool. Strain.
Take 1 wineglassful three times daily. It could quite possibly be effective in removing stones from the kidney.
Another old recipe was to boil together: ½ ounce each of Clivers, Yarrow, Couchgrass and Horsetail in 2 pints of water, cool, strain and also take at a rate of 3-4 wine glasses daily.