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The increasing prevalence of kidney stone has become a worldwide health issue. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey report, almost 8.8 American adults have kidney stone problem. The incidence rate in more among male than females. In the last twenty years, the kidney stone prevalence has tremendously increased due to global warming, alteration of dietary intake, lifestyle changes and increasing trend of obesity. 

Kidney stone formation is a complex process that occurs due to physicochemical changes, including supersaturation, crystallization, enlargement, aggregation, and retention within the kidneys. Kidney stones are classified according to chemical composition. The size of stones also varies and the sign and symptoms depend upon the size of the stones. 

The urine passage is obstructed due to kidney stone formation and produce discomfort, back pain and unbearable pain in lower abdomen that arise in aggravated condition. The obstruction depends upon the size and position of the stone. The clinical signs like pain result from inflammation of the kidney, bladder or ureters. The scope of reoccurrence is high and almost 50% percent of initially affected patients have recurrence issue within 7 years time period. Therefore, the preventive measure is very important to restrict the reoccurrence. 

Kidney Stones

Why natural treatment for Kidney stones become popular? 

The usual medical treatment of kidney stone involves invasive intervention including ureteroscopy, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, or percutaneous nephrolithotomy. But, the high recurrence rate needs preventive measures. Moreover, some synthetic medicines are also prescribed to ease the excretion of kidney stones like α-1 blockers and calcium channel blockers. But medication like α-1 blockers has significant side effects, such as nasal congestion, dizziness, hypotension, and ejaculatory disturbances. Some drugs like potassium citrate, Thiazide diuretics and Allopurinol are also prescribed as preventive measures. But the patients usually avoid taking these medications due to their side effect burden. Potassium citrate can cause gastrointestinal disorder and diarrhea; thiazide diuretic lowers blood pressure, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, and erectile dysfunction; whereas allopurinol increases the risk of rashes.

Natural treatments have no such significant side effects and have sufficient evidential support to efficacy. Kidney stone preventive measures require long-term management, therefore affected individual are keen to take natural therapies to prevent recurrence.  In addition, some natural therapy has urolithiasis property, which means splitting the stones and further accelerating stone excretion.  

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Natural Therapy

Acupuncture

Intolerable pain due to kidney stone is one of the major health concern. Synthetic strong analgesic medicines are usually prescribed to control pain symptoms. But these medications are not recommended for long-term administration due to their side effects. Acupuncture is better alternative analgesic treatment in kidney stone associated pain management. A research study has compared the analgesic effect of acupuncture with morphine to treat a kidney stone. The study result showed acupuncture provides faster pain relief and better-tolerated treatment outcome than intravenous administration of morphine.

Herbal Medicine   

Multiple herbs are identified which are effective to treat and prevent kidney stone. A traditional medicinal system like Ayurveda, Chinese Traditional medicinal system uses different herbs to treat the condition. However, modern herbalist also recommends herbal treatment for treating and preventing kidney stone.   

Melia azedarach

This herb is also known as a chinaberry tree, which belongs to Meliaceae family. Oral juice of this plant leaves acts as diuretic, antilithic and also has a preventive effect against urinary stone formation. The efficacy of this natural remedy has been studied in animal research model and urolithiasis efficacy has been proved through this study.   

Bergenia ligulata 

This herb is an important Ayurvedic medicinal ingredient for treating a kidney stone. The common name of this herb is Paashaanbhed and belong to Saxifragaceae family. Aqueous extract of this herb can specifically treat calcium oxalate crystals and calcium phosphate crystals by inhibiting the growth of calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate crystals. Whereas, the alcoholic extract has the ability to dissolve renal calculi or kidney stone. 

Celosia argental

The English name of this herb is quail grass and belongs to Amaranthaceae. In the traditional Indian medicinal system, this herb is specifically used for kidney stone treatment.  The kidney stones are dissolved and extracted by oral administration of the aqueous decoction.  

Tribulus terrestris

This herb is commonly known as Puncture vine, belongs to Zygophyllaceae family. This herb provides antiurolithiatic activity by regulating oxalate metabolism and decreasing urinary oxalate excretion. Antiurolithiatic activity means a reduction of stone-forming constituents in urine.  In-vitro research report described that aqueous extract of this herb can inhibit calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate crystals growth. 

MORINGA OLEIFERA

The common name of this herb is Drumstick, which belongs to Moringaceae family. The whole plant parts of this herb including leaves, pods, and roots have therapeutic benefits. The aqueous extract of the bark of this plant specifically used for the antiurolithiatic activity. It has been also found that root wood significantly decreases urinary oxalate synthesis.

RAPHANUS SATIVUS

This is used as a vegetable and known as radish. Radish is an edible root of the plant and belongs to Brassicaceae family. Animal research study confirmed that aqueous extract of this herb has antilithiatic activity against calcium oxalate crystals. 

VACCINIUM MACROCARPON

Cranberry is the common name of this herb and belongs to Ericaceae family. Cranberry juice decreases phosphate and oxalate urinary excretion. Cranberry has ability to alter biochemical and physiochemical risk factor, which induces calcium oxalate kidney stones formations. Thus, this fruit juice ingestion assists to prevent kidney stone development. 

TAMARINDUS INDICA

This is very common kitchen ingredient for many cuisines and local name of this herb is Tamarind. This herb belongs to Fabaceae family. Tartaric acid is one of the active phytochemical of this herb is effective to acts against calcium phosphate types of urinary stones formation. 

MUSA PARADISIACA 

The scientific name of banana is Musa paradisiaca, which belongs to Musaceae family. Animal study result reported that stem juice of this herb is effective in dissolving the phosphate type of stones. Another animal research study showed that stem juice of Musa paradisiaca has the ability to excrete out urinary oxalate, glyoxylic acid-glycolic acid, and phosphorus and prevents kidney retention. 

ASPARAGUS RACEMOSUS 

Therapeutic benefits of Asparagus racemosus is well described in Ayurveda and its common name is Shatavari. This herb belongs to Asparagaceae family.  This herb prevents kidney stone formation by decreasing the magnesium level in urine and lessen the concentration. In addition, Asparagus racemosus also reduces calculogenic ions level in urine and decrease the risk of kidney stone formation. 

HOMONIA RIPARIA

This is a mangrove species herb commonly known as willow-leaved water croton and belongs to Euphorbiaceae family. This herb has an antiurolithiatic activity and provides preventive and curative effect against kidney stone by reducing calcium deposition in the kidney. This also acts as herbal remedy against preformed kidney stones made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate. 

Combination of mountain knotgrass (Aerva lanata), monarch redstem (Ammania baccifera), Mimosa (Mimosa pudica) and Aquatic Rotula (Rotula aquatica) is effective to treat calcium oxalate type of kidney stones.  

PUNICA GRANATUM L.

This is a very easily available herbal remedy of kidney stone. The common name of this herb is pomegranate. Pomegranate juice has potent anti-oxidative activity and provides a protective effect against crystal deposition. Animal research study result provides evidence that Pomegranate juice has Antiurolithiatic activity. Regular Pomegranate juice consumption improves anti-oxidant activity in the body which is effective to reduce deposition of calcium oxalate and urinary oxalate excretion. 

OCIMUM SANCTUM 

The holy herb Ocimum sanctum is locally known as Tulsi and belongs to the family Lamiaceae. This herb has multiple therapeutic benefits, including kidney stone treatment. Expert herbalists recommended consumption of Ocimum sanctum leaf juice with honey for six months can expel kidney stone stuck in the urinary tract.   

Natural Treatment for Kidney Stones

References

Reviewed by:  Nandita Das 

Healthy Lifestyle, Kidney Stones


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