The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that play a vital role in keeping the body healthy. They are located in the lower back, just below the ribcage. The kidneys filter waste from the blood and produce urine. They also help regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production (14). Over time, the kidneys can become damaged due to disease, infection, or other factors. This can lead to kidney dysfunction or a decrease in kidney function (19). Kidney cleansing herbs are thought to help boost kidney function and improve overall health. In this article, we’ll list 10 of the most popular kidney cleansing herbs and explain how they are said to benefit your health. Always talk to your doctor before trying any new herbal teas or supplements.
Dandelion is an herb that may have mild diuretic properties which could potentially that help promote urine production and reduce water retention (9). This would help relieve some of the symptoms associated with kidney problems, such as swelling in the legs and feet.
Dandelion is also a source of antioxidants, which might help protect the kidneys from oxidative stress (9).
Parsley is an herb that’s often used as a garnish. However, it’s also said to be a powerful kidney cleansing herb. Parsley may have mild diuretic properties which could help promote urination. This would help remove toxins via the kidneys and reduce swelling from water retention (13).
Parsley is also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K. These nutrients might help protect the kidneys from oxidative stress and improve overall health (13).
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry is an herb found in many kidney cleansing supplements. It’s thought to be a natural diuretic which might help promote urination. This would help remove toxins via the kidneys and reduce swelling from water retention (16).
Juniper berry is also a good source of antioxidants, which might protect the kidneys from oxidative stress (16). Note that it should be consumed in moderation.
Horsetail is an herb that’s often used in traditional medicine to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones (15). It’s also thought to improve kidney function by working as a diuretic to help the body eliminate excess fluid (17).
Cranberry is a small, red fruit that is often used to make juice, jams, and pies. Cranberry is also believed to have health benefits, including the ability to fight urinary tract infections (6).
Cranberries contain a compound called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which might help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and causing infection (7).
Cranberry juice is also thought to help increase the amount of water in the urine, which helps to flush out bacteria and toxins.
In addition to its urinary tract benefits, cranberry is also a good source of antioxidants, which might help protect the kidneys from oxidative stress (6).
Read More: The Renal Diet List Of Foods: How To Eat For Kidney Health
Sambong is an herb that is native to the Philippines. It’s a member of the mint family and has a strong, slightly bitter taste.
Sambong is traditionally used to treat kidney stones and urinary tract infections. It’s also thought to improve kidney function by working as a diuretic to help the body eliminate excess fluid (4) (18).
7. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is an herb that has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It’s often used to treat digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea (25).
Marshmallow root is also thought to be beneficial for the kidneys. It may be a natural diuretic which promotes urination. This would help remove toxins via the kidneys and reduce swelling from water retention (25).
8. Uva Ursi
Uva ursi is an herb that’s often used in traditional medicine to treat urinary tract infections. It’s thought to work by preventing bacteria from clinging to the walls of the urinary tract.
Uva ursi is also thought to be a natural diuretic which helps promote urination. This would help remove toxins via the kidneys and reduce swelling from water retention (26).
Hydrangea is an herb that’s native to China and Japan. It’s often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat kidney stones. Hydrangea is thought to work by helping the body break down and eliminate kidney stones (24).
Hydrangea is also thought to be a natural diuretic which promotes urination. This would help remove toxins via the kidneys and reduce swelling from water retention (24).
Goldenrod is an herb that’s native to Europe and North America. It’s often used in traditional medicine to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Goldenrod is thought to work by increasing urine production and helping the body flush out toxins as a diuretic (20).
If you wish to cinch your waist, tone up your bat wings, blast away the muffin top – our fitness app was created to cater to all your needs! BetterMe won’t give excess weight a chance!
How To Do A Kidney Cleanse At Home
Incorporating kidney cleansing herbs into your diet is intended to improve kidney function and protect your kidneys from damage. Always talk to your doctor before trying a kidney cleanse or incorporating any herbal teas or supplements. Here are some simple ways to do a kidney cleanse at home:
Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is simply the best way to flush out toxins and waste products from the body (28). Aim to drink eight glasses of water per day, or more if you are active or live in a hot climate. If you are taking any medications or supplements that may act as diuretics, you need to drink extra water to avoid dehydration.
Drink Herbal Tea Or Juice
Supporting your kidney function may take time, so it’s important to be patient. Start by incorporating kidney cleansing herbs into your diet or drinking herbal tea or juice made with these herbs.
You can also find kidney cleansing supplements at health food stores. Follow the directions on the label carefully and start with a lower dose, increasing it gradually as needed.
Always talk to your doctor before incorporating any herbal teas or supplements.
Eat Foods That Are High In Fiber
Eating plenty of fiber is a great way to cleanse your kidneys and promote urinary function (8). Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
Include Kidney Cleansing Foods In Your Diet
In addition to drinking plenty of fluids and eating a high-fiber diet, you also can include kidney cleansing foods in your diet. These include:
- Beets – Beets are high in fiber and contain betaine, which helps the liver process toxins (3).
- Cabbage – Cabbage is a good source of fiber and also contains sulfur, which helps to support the liver (11).
- Garlic – Garlic has natural antimicrobial properties which may help fight infection (18).
- Lemons – Lemons are high in vitamin C and may help promote detoxification (1).
- Parsley – Parsley may be a natural diuretic which helps increase urine production (13).
- Watercress – Watercress is a good source of fiber and also contains sulfur, which helps support the liver (11).
In addition to including kidney cleansing foods in your diet, there are also certain foods that you should avoid or limit. These include:
- Ultra processed foods – Ultra processed foods are high in sodium which may make it more difficult for the kidneys to regulate blood pressure (2).
- Sugar – Sugar can promote inflammation and lead to weight gain, which can put a strain on the kidneys (2).
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a toxin (21).
Read More: Healthy Spices List: 13 Flavorful Herbs And Their Health Benefits
Up Your Intake Of Kidney-Friendly Vitamins
Some vitamins and minerals are especially important for kidney health. These include (27):
Vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper function of more than 100 enzymes in the body. It’s also needed for red blood cell production and helps protect the kidneys from damage.
Vitamin B2 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and helps protect the kidneys from damage.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from free radical damage. It’s also necessary for collagen production and helps keep the blood vessels healthy.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage.
Selenium is a trace element that’s necessary for proper immune function. It’s also an antioxidant and can help protect the body from free radical damage.
Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps keep the heart healthy and also plays a role in blood sugar control.
By eating a balanced and varied diet, you should be able to meet your needs for all of these vitamins and minerals and many more. If you think you may be having trouble getting enough of certain nutrients in your diet, talk to your doctor or dietitian about changes you can make or whether they recommend that you take a multivitamin.
Take Steps To Reduce Stress
Chronic stress can take a toll on your health, including your kidneys (23). Try to find ways to reduce stress in your life through relaxation techniques, exercise, and time management.
BetterMe is your fast-track ticket to a long-lasting weight loss! Tailor your fitness journey and maximize your results with just a couple of swipes!
Exercise is not only great for your overall health, but it can also help promote kidney function. Exercise helps blood flow increase and helps the kidneys to filter out toxins more effectively (10).
A combination of aerobic and strength-training exercises is best, but any type of exercise is better than none at all.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for good health, and that includes kidney health. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body’s ability to fight infection and repair itself is impaired (22).
Try to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
Manage Your Weight
Being overweight or obese puts extra strain on your kidneys (12). Losing even a small amount of weight can help to reduce the load on your kidneys and improve their function.
If you’re having trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan that’s right for you.
Smoking is bad for your health, period. But it’s especially harmful to the kidneys. Smoking increases the risk of kidney cancer and can also damage the blood vessels, leading to kidney disease (5).
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health, including your kidneys.
Limit Your Intake Of Alcohol
While moderate alcohol consumption isn’t necessarily harmful, heavy drinking can put a strain on the kidneys and lead to damage (19). If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
What Are The Signs That A Kidney Detox Is Working?
After consistently following a kidney cleansing diet and lifestyle for some time, you may notice some changes in your body that indicate the detox is working. These changes can include:
You may notice that your urine is lighter in color and has less of a strong odor. This is a sign that you are well hydrated and your kidneys are filtering out toxins more effectively.
Increased Energy Levels
When your kidneys are functioning properly, you may find that you have more energy.
Clear skin might be a sign of good kidney function because the kidneys help to eliminate toxins from the body.
Inflammation could be a sign that the body is trying to fight off toxins. When your kidneys are functioning properly, you may notice that inflammation decreases.
The Bottom Line
Kidney cleansing herbs can be a helpful addition to a kidney detox diet. These herbs are thought to help to boost kidney function and promote detoxification. If you’re considering using herbs for kidney cleansing, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Ascorbic Acid Promotes Detoxification and Elimination of 4-Hydroxy-2(E)-nonenal in Human Monocytic THP-1 Cells (2009, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Association between ultrapocessed food and chronic kidney disease (2021, sciencedirect.com)
- Beneficial Effects of Betaine: A Comprehensive Review (2021, mdpi.com)
- Blumea balsamifera—A Phytochemical and Pharmacological Review (2014, mdpi.com)
- Cigarette smoking: an important renal risk factor – far beyond carcinogenesis (2002, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health (2013, academic.oup.com)
- Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dietary Fiber, Kidney Function, Inflammation, and Mortality Risk (2014, cjasn.asnjournals.org)
- Diverse biological activities of dandelion (2012, academic.oup.com)
- Exercise and renal function (1984, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Natural Sulfur-Containing Compounds: An Alternative Therapeutic Strategy against Liver Fibrosis (2019, mdpi.com)
- Obesity and Kidney Disease (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Parsley: a review of ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities (2013, sciencedirect.com)
- Physiology, Renal (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of the Genus Equisetum (Equisetaceae): A Narrative Review of the Species with Therapeutic Potential for Kidney Diseases (2021, hindawi.com)
- Potential of Juniperus communis L as a nutraceutical in human and veterinary medicine (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial to Assess the Acute Diuretic Effect of Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail) in Healthy Volunteers (2014, hindawi.com)
- Recommended Medicinal Plants as Source of Natural Products: A Review (2018, sciencedirect.com)
- Risk factors for chronic kidney disease: an update (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Solidago virgaurea L.: A Review of Its Ethnomedicinal Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Activities (2020, mdpi.com)
- The Diuretic Action of Weak and Strong Alcoholic Beverages in Elderly Men: A Randomized Diet-Controlled Crossover Trial (2017, mdpi.com)
- The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The impact of stress on body function: A review (2017, hncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Total Coumarins from Hydrangea paniculata Show Renal Protective Effects in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Kidney Injury via Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Activities (2017, frontiersin.org)
- Unani perspective of Khatmi (Althaea officinalis) (2016, phytojournal.com)
- Uva Ursi – LiverTox – NCBI Bookshelf (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Vitamins and Minerals in Chronic Kidney Disease (n.d., kidney.org)
- Water, hydration, and health (2010, academic.oup.com)