Sunday, April 27, 2008

Natural remedies for kidney problems

As it turns out, my husband has a kidney infection on both sides. Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds. I tend to get them on my right side a lot when I am pregnant because all or our babies seem to like to "make their nest" there. So over the years I have learned how to deal with an acute infection myself rather than immediately going to the doctor.

This is not professional medical advice. If your symptoms get worse, or don't improve after 24 hours of treatment, you must see a doctor right away. Kidney infections can become dangerous very fast, and can leave you with life-long damage if not cleared up properly.

- Uva ursi: Can be taken as liquid extract and/or drunk as tea. Drink the tea as hot as you can tolerate, and follow with equal amounts of filtered water. Aim for 2 quarts of tea per day. Uva ursi capsules take a few days to start working and are not advisable.

- Corn silk tea: Simply husk fresh ears of corn, and brew the corn silk with hot water to make tea. One corn husk will make about 2 cups of tea. Again, follow with equal amounts of water.

- Kidney tea: Mix equal parts of the following, all of which can be found in the bulk herb section of good health food stores and herb shops: uva ursi, corn silk, marshmallow root, and dandelion root.

- Cranberry: Can either be drunk as tea or juice. If you get the juice, be sure to get 100% cranberry juice with no added sugar. Cranberry juice cocktail is NOT good for you, nor should you get a mixture that (although all juice) contains other juices for added sweetness, such as white grape or apple juice. Only 100% cranberry juice will help you get better. Aim for three or more cups per day.

- Solaray Kidney blend: This is pretty easy to find at most health food stores. Very effective and fast-acting.

- Heat: You can apply heat to your kidneys by wrapping a wool scarf around your waist. You can also make a quick heat pack by filling a cotton sock with white rice, putting a knot in the top, and heating it in the microwave for 2 minutes. This can be used again and again.

- Diet: Avoid all refined carbs such as sugar, white flour, etc. You should also avoid all dairy products except for soured ones (yogurt, sour cream, etc.). Try to eat as many raw foods as possible, and avoid animal proteins to give your kidneys a break.

- Rest: Lying down is by far your best option. Even sitting can be strenuous, and constricts the flow to and from your kidneys.

You should notice improvement within 8-12 hours of starting aggressive treatment. It is important to continue the therapy for at least a week to avoid a flare-up of the most resistant bacteria. Again, if your symptoms worsen or do not improve within 24 hours, seek medical treatment immediately.

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