Herbs vitamins food etc. to aid a kidney?

flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)March 12, 2005

a family member recently found out she only has one kidney..... she has high blood pressure and the doctor is putting her on a "special" diet (just high fiber foods etc. like everything or everyone says for somewhat health anyway....) are there any additional foods supplements or herbs that can aid a taxed kidney?

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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Most people can live happily with just one kidney--- that is why living people can donate a single kidney for transplant to a relative. And those with transplants only have one. The single kidney is not "taxed".

High blood pressure can damage kidneys or be the result of a damaged kidney, your family member should ask whether her single kidney is working well or not. The diet may be more to lower blood pressure than to help the kidney.

Since the kidney filters metabolism byproducts from the blood and many herbs and drugs, some vitamins and some foods (high protein especially) can damage the kidney, your family member should not take any supplements, herbs or eat large amounts of any one food without consulting her doctor about their safety.

Below is a link to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Reduce Hypertension) diet, shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dash Diet

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:12AM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

Her kidney is "taxed" that's what the doctor said just because you can live with one kidney doesn't mean it doesn't put extra pressure on that one.... especially when you have high blood pressure.... the kidneys and heart are related.... they share certain blood vessels that make high blood pressure especially bad for a kidney especially "taxed" one that's doing all the work on its own.... was just looking for kidney supporting herbs etc.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 6:33PM
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Judy is right about a single kidney working fine in most people, without there being any undue stress on the organ.

As this link shows, there are a number of reasons why someone might have just one kidney. While blood pressure can be slightly higher in people with one kidney, most cases of significant hypertension are not due to a kidney problem. A healthy diet will help keep blood pressure in the normal range and may be designed in this case to lower the protein load reaching the single kidney. This doesn't necessarily mean that there are any problems with kidney function at this time.

Apart from good diet and safe exercise programs, there's no need to take any special herbal medications to "support" the kidney - and any meds should be checked out with the doc first to make sure they are not toxic and doing more harm than good.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 7:26PM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

I didn't say the hypertension was because of the kidney problem but the doctor said the the hypertension could affect the kidney..... it was the doctor not myself or my family member who said that the kidney was somewhat taxed in its extra responsibilities..... he recommeded the dash diet (which doesn't look oh so special to me) for her blood pressure..... I was wondering if there were any herbs that supported kidney function..... :) ?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 9:43PM
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I have a friend who when he went to an naturopath and saw in his iris a hugh black spot over his kidney.
When asked he admitted to not drinking much water.

This was the problem,to much soft drinks and not enough water.

He did some study on it and heard that hot water on its own was very good for the kidney's.

He also read that first thing in the morning was a good time to drink water.

So what he does,every morning 30 mins before breakfast,500mm (half a litre)of the warmest water he can drink...not scorching hot.

6 months later he went back to the naturopath and the black spot had gone.

water..every day helps the kidney to limit its stress by giving it what it needs to rid itself of rubbish that builds up because of all the filtering it does.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 10:57PM
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mayura97(KL, Malaysia)

Yup, I agree with Kevin, water definitely is the most improtant 'supplement' for the kindey. Hmm, maybe the reason here that the doctor mentioned about the 'taxed' kidney is because your family member might have a 'taxed' kidney, that's all, not because she has only one kidney. (But come to think of it, two people digging a well will be faster than one people digging a well) Anyway, it's most essential to not eat so much vitamins and unnecessary supplements. This will tax the liver as well. also, watch her sodium intake, this is ,too, important. In addition, do not eat high cholestrol food. High Fibre diet is helpful too. too high a blood pressure will result in the cappilaries of the kidney burst, thus releasing red blood cells into the urine. So, care must be taken to avoid this problem. I hope her well in everything she does and will do... :) God be with you.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 6:02AM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

pre-caveat: I'm not a doctor or herbalist by any stretch of the imagination. My interest is purely because of my own health issues... Specifically diagnosed type 1 diabetes at age 37. (whoever thought you could get juvenile diabetes at that age?!? GRRR).

anyway. It's my understanding that a high protein diet will not damage a **healthy** kidney. And in some cases of people with type 1 diabetes can actually help *heal* a mildly damaged kidney. I got this from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution book. (he's a type 1, diagnosed in adulthood who became an MD as a result of that diagnosis).

But since I'm not always 100% accurate in my recall, you must do your own research, of course.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 6:28PM
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marie_in_wa(8 (coastal))

Cranberry juice is very good for the kidneys.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 7:49PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Your family member's doctor is correct is saying that high blood pressure will tax her kidney; it would tax both her kidneys if she had two. Hypertension also taxes (damages) the heart, the lungs, the eyes, the brain ....

She needs to control her hypertension, not support her kidney.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 11:15PM
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To help your kidneys: lower the amount of meat protein in your diet. Kidneys filter proteins; less is less work. For high blood pressure take hawthorn. several grams of it. this is especially true if she feels a fullness in her upper abdomen. Apples and apple juice help to clean kidneys and soften urinary stones. So does hydrangea root-just dry it and soak it in your apple juice. The previous suggestion of drinking water is good too--2 quarts a day if she does not have edema or retention problems. She should start drinking the larger amounts of water after her period starts or she will probably bloat if she starts during the progesterone phase.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 10:03PM
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johnyb(QLD Aust)

just DON'T take Hawthorn for hypertension if you are currently taking drug medications for hypertension, they INTERACT. It is possible to take both and lower the amount of drug taken in the process, but it inevitably depends upon the knowledge and attitude of your doctor, however if the patient suffers bad side effects from a drug, and has tried others with limited success, the doc might consider it.

Also don't take Hawthorn if you're taking digitalis.

Hawthorn dosage is 1.5 grams of dried herb (with flower), steeped for 10 minutes, taken 3-4 times daily.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 11:30PM
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Ellen_in_Delaware(z7 DE)

Thorspippia, Cacye is right on target. High protein diets WILL put an overload on even a healthy kidney, and the typical American diet is grossly overloaded with protein. I seriously question Dr. Bernstein's position, would suggest you search the 'Net for valid medical sites with information from reputable urologists and diabetologists. I suspect it's not the protein per se, but eating more protein will displace the heavy carbohydrate load most people eat. High carb intake equals high blood glucose in many people, which definitly will cause long-term kidney damage. I am also a diabetic & a retired science teacher. Don't believe everything that is published as a "cure-all" Also note: people on dialysis are on very low protein diets, so if one kidney is functioning, don't do anything to upset the applecart. Drinking water is very good, temperature doesn't seem to matter, since water certainly gets to cool down by the time it reaches the stomach. (I use mint tea, hate plain water) And of course, a healthy diet high in green vegetables, lower in fruit & starchy veggies, and with NORMAL amounts of protein (my nutritionist & diabetologist said the amount of protein should be about the size of a deck of playing cards...there's the key, right there. Anything more does tax the kidney. Be very careful with herbal supplements, some are actually harmful.
Also very important: moderate exercise, which also has the benefit of bringing down blood pressure, as well as lowering high blood glucose. Best wishes to your family member, it's difficult changing eating habits. But the results are worth it.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 7:03PM
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Tylenol is linked to a higher rate of kidney problems. If taken to excess, it can use up an enzyme that normally is able to break down waste products that would otherwise poison the kidneys. Possibly using even normal amounts could have an incremental effect on some people.

I think that the breakdown products of proteins, in excessive amounts, can also be harmful to kidneys.

I agree that water in appropriate amounts is usually helpful, and cranberry juice is reputed to be helpful with urinary complaints. In all of these matters, though, she should really ask her physician.

There are new facts coming to light all the time. I recently read somewhere that cranberry juice is now suspected of influencing some blood thinners.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 12:38AM
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For the sake of accuracy when mentioning cranberry juice, we should really say cranberry juice cocktail which is how it is sold. This consists of water, corn syrup and cranberry juice (which is not suitable for a diabetic). I don't think pure cranberry juice is available, even if it was, it would be like drinking lemon juice.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 9:23PM
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Dandelion leaves will be helpful.They are used by herbalists in liver and kidney problems.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 10:55PM
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Instead of cranberry juice , I will recommend using dried fruits that are available in many diet food and herb stores.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 11:00PM
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judeth_ann(Z8 PNW)

I purchase 100% cranberry juice from our Walmart store here in B.C. There is "no sugar added" It goes off the shelf so fast that I usually purchase a half dozen bottles at a time and when I see it on the shelf, I purchase several more so that I never run out. Do you get fresh or frozen cranberries where you live, cook them up if you cann't get the juice. Last night, I added some cooked cranberries to apple sauce and it was very tasty. Good Luck,

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:57AM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

Lemons, lemonade, anything with lemon juice is good for the kidneys. Some cranberry juice cocktail has 27 percent cranberry juice, that's pretty good. It's diluted with water and sugars, including corn syrup, which add calories.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 4:15PM
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Wanted to add that my kidney specialists says not to eat red meat at all and white meat seldom if you have kidney stones. Also to go light on dairy products.
In the fall you can buy fresh cranberries and make and freeze your own juice using sugar, artificial sugar or no sugar. I use splenda.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:39AM
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Hi goshen,
Khella (Ammi visnaga), contains khellin an anti-spasmodic compound that relaxes the ureter muscles. With less constriction this allows more flexible space for stones to pass from the kidney into the bladder.
Please, look up any potential contra-indications that may relate to you.
It is a widely used herb for other conditions & should be easy to understand the useage.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:52PM
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There doesn't seem to be anything special about lemons or lemon juice in regards to aiding renal function or "cleansing" the kidney. If a good renal-protective diet is followed (when necessary), a squirt of lemon juice along with culinary herbs can help the taste of foods and substitute for salt, but it's hardly necessary to helpful to do a "lemon juice cleanse".

Here is a link that might be useful: Kidney-friendly diet

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 4:45PM
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Here's another article on kidney stones that focuses on diet and looks at herbal medicines that have been recommended for this condition.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kidney stones and holistic/herbal therapy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 11:35AM
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That link is to register to join something, not an article.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:26PM
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My 6 year old recently diagnosed with deformed left kidney 1st doctor wanted to remove it said it would be problems later. 2nd doctor stated with a low fat, low sugar, balanced healthy diet, and no carbonated drinks (EVER), kidney would be ok. Considering buying a juicer heard this is good for overall health will ask urologist first. Soda is very, very, bad for kidneys.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Unless there is something wrong with the kidney itself, I can tell you that you needn't worry. Just drink plenty of water. I have been living with one kidney for over 30 years and it functions just fine (empirically proven by BUN/CREA levels in a recent blood test). The fact of the matter is that the body can funtion perfectly well with one third of one kidney, so you shouldn't worry that the lone kidney is "taxed". Just stay away from high-protein, low carb diets (Atkins) since they throw the system into ketosis, which is not good for the kidney.
Just drink lots of water (and a healthy, balanced diet, preferably containing minimal processed foods).

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 5:12PM
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As Smeetoo mentions, lots of water is good *unless something is wrong with the kidney." That's an important caution, in case you came to this page because of a diagnosis of moderate or severe CKD -- chronic kidney disease. If you, or someone you are advising, has a damaged kidney or significantly reduced kidney function, then drinking extra fluids--even water--may *not* advisable. Most of the comments here are about healthy kidneys (whether one or two). Strangely, a lot of things that we normally think of as healthy to eat or drink can actually stress the kidney in someone with CKD.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:25AM
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