by Dr. David Jockers
(NaturalNews) The kidneys are one of the most vital and under-appreciated organs in our body. Each day, they filter about 200 liters of blood, sifting out about two liters of waste and water that our body excretes as urine. Keeping your kidneys healthy and functioning at a high level is of utmost importance for a healthy life. Key herbs such as goldenrod, bearberry leaf and stinging nettle leaf work together in a synergetic matter to improve kidney and urinary tract health.
The kidneys function to excrete toxins through the urine and balance out our electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and phosphorous) and amino acid levels. It is especially important for effective elimination of ammonia, which is highly toxic and destructive to brain tissue.
The kidneys can become damaged and weak due to chronic inflammatory processes in the body. The most common issues that destroy kidney tissue are diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and chronic infections.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is considered to be abnormalities in kidney or urine function for three months or longer, has become much more prevalent in the last 10 years. CKD is now considered to be the ninth leading cause of death in the US.
Most people do not know about the health of their kidneys until it is too late. This is because kidney symptoms often come too late. Most experts say that symptoms of kidney disease do not appear until 60-70% of kidney function is lost.
Warning signs of kidney problems:
- Chronically high blood pressure
- Circulatory problems
- Poor diet
- Recurrent kidney stones
- Urinary tract and kidney Infections
- Chronic alcohol usage and/or smoking
- Chronic NSAID (Tylenol, aspirin, advil) usage
- Pain medications
- Multiple antibiotic prescriptions
- High c-reactive protein (CRP) levels
Goldenrod has been used in Europe for centuries to treat urinary tract inflammation and prevent and treat kidney stones. Goldenrod is a key ingredient in many traditional teas used to help flush out kidney stones and stop inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. (1)
Goldenrod has been shown to possess diuretic, antioxidant and astringent properties. (2) It has been used to treat chronic kidney disease and cystitis as well as most issues with the urinary tract. The saponin compound in goldenrod is very effective against Candida and E. coli infections that are the common factors in urinary tract and kidney infections. (3)
This herb also goes by the name uva-ursi. The leaves of this small shrub have been used as an herbal folk medicine for centuries as a mild diuretic and astringent, and in the treatment of all forms of kidney and urinary tract infections (UTIs). (4)
It has been shown to be particularly effective against E. coli and Candida, which are the two most common culprits with UTIs, kidney infections and interstitial cystitis. The glucoside arbutin goes largely unchanged through the body and is excreted by the kidneys. During its excretion, arbutin exercises an antiseptic effect on the urinary mucous membrane. (5)
Bearberry can help reduce accumulations of uric acid and relieve the pain of bladder stones by strengthening and imparting tone to the urinary passages. Bearberry contains allantoin which helps soothe, strengthen and tighten irritated and inflamed tissues. (6)
Stinging nettle leaf:
While stinging nettle root is used to treat prostate problems, the leaf is used to soothe and treat urinary tract infections and kidney problems. Nettle contains bioactive phytochemicals that are responsible for its immune-supporting and soothing properties. These include key polysaccharides that activate the immune system and improve its ability to fight off infection. (7)
Nettle is also rich in plant sterols, lignans and flavonoid antioxidants that support the bladder and kidney cell walls. (8) These nutrients reduce inflammatory prostaglandins and increase urinary volume to wash out bacteria and toxins from the urinary tract. (9) This also helps prevent and treat kidney stones.
Sources for this article include:
5) http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov [PDF]
About the author:
Dr. David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems. www.drjockers.com