What's the best herbal tea for kidney stones?
Kidney stones are becoming increasingly common in both men and women.
It is estimated that at least one in ten people will develop a kidney stone problem at some point during their lifetime.
Although they are tiny (about half the size of a grain of rice), kidney stones are one of the most painful and discomforting conditions.
According to a lot of people, passing a kidney stone causes excruciating pain that lasts minutes or hours.
Luckily, some home remedies have been proven to reduce kidney stone formation effectively.
In this article, you will discover the 10 best herbal teas for kidney stones and the science behind why they work.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
Also called renal calculi or urolithiasis, kidney stones are a common disorder of the urinary tract.
Kidney stones are small, hard objects that result from chemicals (minerals and salts) in the urine.
The stones usually form on the interior surface of the kidney.
However, some stones may move from the kidney into the ureter (small tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder).
The most common cause of kidney stones include diet, obesity, too much/too little exercise, weight loss surgery, some medical conditions, lack of fluid intake, and certain medications.
Kidney stones typically form when your urine becomes too concentrated, causing minerals to crystalize and clump together.
Kidney stones symptoms usually arise when a kidney stone moves around within the kidney or if larger stones block your urine flow.
The most common symptom includes a sharp, severe pain in the back and side.
The pain often fluctuates in intensity, and it can radiate to the lower abdomen or groin.
Other symptoms include a burning sensation while urinating, smelly urine, blood in urine, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
According to several studies, people who have developed kidney stones once are at a higher risk of developing other stones within 5-10 years.
Health experts recommend drinking plenty of water to help treat and prevent kidney stones. Staying hydrated keeps your urine diluted.
This means that the concentration of minerals is reduced, lowering the risk of stone formation.
With that said, here are the best herbal teas to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation.
10 Best Herbal Teas for Kidney Stones
1. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos tea is a popular drink made from the fermented leaves of a shrub called Aspalathus linearis.
Also known as red bush tea, rooibos tea is high in antioxidants and polyphenols responsible for its nutritional benefits.
This caffeine-free beverage does not contain oxalic acid and is rated as one of the best tea for kidney stones.
That’s primarily because studies show that rooibos tea consumption can help prevent the accumulation of high levels of oxalates, preventing the appearance/reappearance of this debilitating condition.
Rooibos tea is associated with other health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and relieving allergies, stomach cramps, and irritated skin.
It has also been shown to have a protective effect against free radical damage, reducing the risk of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
2. Green Tea
Green tea intake is one of the best ways to treat and prevent kidney stones.
People with this painful disorder may find that green tea help pass a stone easily.
Green tea extracts have been shown to bond with calcium oxalate, enabling crystals to take different shapes.
This prevents the crystals from piling up in the kidney to form stones.
A recent study found that green tea can effectively inhibit urinary stone formation.
According to the study, the potent antioxidants in green tea are responsible for inhibiting stone formation.
In a previous study, green tea drinkers were shown to have a lower risk of kidney stones compared to non-tea drinkers.
3. Lemon Tea
Calcium oxalate crystals are the most common type of kidney stone.
People with calcium oxalate kidney stones believe that they should avoid calcium intake.
In fact, the opposite is true. Low-calcium diets may lead to an increased risk of kidney stone.
Comparably, taking meals together with calcium supplements may help reduce the risk of this type of stones.
Low in sugar and calorie, lemon tea has been linked to a lower kidney stone risk.
Calcium and oxalate bind with each other, forming calcium oxalate crystals that lead to kidney stones.
According to experts, the citric acid in lemon tea coats these deposits, preventing them from clumping together.
This herbal beverage may also prevent kidney stones by increasing urine volume.
It acts as a cleansing agent, promoting the removal of the crystals that cause stones in the kidney.
4. Pomegranate Tea
Pomegranate tea and juice have high levels of potent key chemicals, including antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and free radical damage.
This herbal tea is commonly used to lower blood sugar levels, reduce high blood pressure and boost heart health.
However, research suggests that pomegranate may have the potential to treat kidney stones.
Rich in antioxidants, this fantastic tea can help decrease calcium oxalate, which leads to kidney stones.
Pomegranate’s antioxidants have also been found to prevent oxidative stress, which has been linked to the formation of stones.
A systematic review of data from the 1980s to the 90s shows that those with a self-reported history of stones had between 8%-11% lower levels of antioxidants, making pomegranate tea a beneficial option.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Tea
Apple cider vinegar is often consumed as an iced tea to treat kidney stones.
This tea contains acetic acid, which is thought to help break down and dissolve calcium oxalate stones.
If you already have this condition, ACV may help soften and reduce the size of kidney stones, allowing you to pass them in your urine easily.
Interestingly, a new study found that vinegar’s acetic acid may help prevent the formation of kidney stones by regulating urinary citrate and calcium.
Citrate and calcium play an essential role preventing the formation of kidney stones.
6. Hibiscus Tea
Consuming hibiscus tea on a regular basis can help reduce the risk factors of kidney stones.
This type of tea has a high level of antioxidants, meaning that it can help protect your cells against free radical damage.
Free radical damage plays a role in chronic diseases like cancer.
According to this clinical trial, hibiscus tea may help lower the levels of uric acid in your blood, encouraging its excretion through urine.
By doing so, hibiscus tea reduces your likelihood of developing uric acid stones.
This herbal tea for kidney stones also has a natural diuretic effect.
Diuretics help rid your body of excess salt (sodium) and water via urine.
This means that hibiscus tea can help you pass an already-formed kidney stone through the urinary system.
7. Wheatgrass juice
The natural compounds in wheatgrass juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and helping pass kidney stones.
This homemade remedy is thought to increase urine flow, making it easier to pass a stone.
Wheatgrass is also an excellent source of minerals and vitamins C, A, and E, which are vital for a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention.
The chlorophyll and plant-based nutrients in this beverage may also help detoxify the body.
8. Holy Basil Tea
Also known as tulsi tea, basil tea is made from the leaves of the holy basil plant.
This deliciously spicy beverage does not contain caffeine but has high levels of vitamins A and C, chlorophyll, calcium, and iron.
It also contains acetic acid, which helps break down and dissolve kidney stones.
However, it’s important to note that scientific studies to back up these claims are lacking.
9. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea has a long history of use as a traditional medicine to encourage weight loss and boost overall health in women.
This tea has high levels of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, calcium, and magnesium, which contribute to its nutritional benefits.
According to a small study done in 2011, raspberry tea may help prevent the formation of kidney stones by reducing the amount of oxalate, calcium, and phosphorus in urine.
However, it’s important to note that the leaves of raspberry contain high concentrations of oxalates.
Hence you should avoid high doses if you’re trying to reduce the risk of oxalate kidney stones.
10. Parsley Tea
Rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants, parsley tea is commonly consumed as a natural remedy for digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating.
Several animal studies have shown that parsley tea has a preventative effect on kidney stone formation.
For instance, during a 2017 rat study, scientists concluded that parsley effectively reduced calcium and protein levels in urine, which helps prevent kidney stones.
Herbal Teas for Kidney Stones - The Bottom Line
Kidney stones are a common condition that results from the deposition of different minerals and salts in the kidney.
It is associated with debilitating symptoms such as blood in urine and severe pain in the lower back.
While the stones do not cause permanent damage if treated in a timely manner, passing them can be quite painful.
Luckily, the above natural home remedies have been shown to help prevent and treat painful kidney stones.
However, it’s essential to talk to your healthcare provider to recommend the best diet and lifestyle changes that can help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.
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