These are actually mineral deposits which are made up of calcium, uric acid or the amino acid cysteine.
There are many different theories as to how these "stones" form, but no one seems to know for certain.
Regardless of how they form, they can often be avoided and eliminated naturally, without resorting to mainstream drugs or treatments.
Experts agree that diet is a major factor and note that kidney stones only develop about half as often in vegetarians and other people who eat plenty of fresh vegetables as is the case with people whose diets do not include plenty of vegetables.
Other risk factors include obesity and repeated kidney infections.
Kidney stones have become a more common health complaint than heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, according to figures released this year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of people suffering from them has doubled in the past 15 years.
If you fall into that crowded category, you might want to start downing lemonade.
Lemon juice has the highest levels of citrate of any citrus juice, and that citrate helps dissolve any calcium deposits that will eventually turn into kidney stones.
Squeeze your own fresh lemons to make lemonade, or buy a commercial mix.
Doctors say you can get as much citrate as you need from this refreshing beverage, without having to literally suck on a raw lemon.
Another effective way to dissolve kidney stones is to consume large quantities of watermelon and nothing else for an entire day.
Watermelon fasts help cleanse your kidneys and the rest of your system as well.
Regular consumption of watermelon helps keep kidney-stones at bay.
Hydrangea tincture may dissolve kidney-stones in only hours.
If you have the plant in your garden you can make a tea from the leaves, taking one tsp. 3 times a day.
Uric acid stones are found in overly acidic urine.
Cherries, strawberries, apple juice, asparagus and nettles help make urine more alkaline.
One thing that can cause overly acidic urine is too much of protein.
The herbs meadowsweet, sarsaparilla, joe-pye weed and plantain (which is widely used by the Chinese to treat kidney problems) help rid the kidneys of excess uric acid.
Parsley is an excellent diuretic and as such it is used for edema and urinary stones.
It is believed to increase the elimination of waste products like urea and other acidic metabolites.
Fresh parsley is also very nutritious.
Note: Parsley should not be used during pregnancy, nor is it recommended during painful menstrual periods.
Some other herbs that can help with kidney stones are:
* Joe-pye weed is aptly nicknamed "gravel root" for its ability to get rid of stones.
* Goldenrod has received official recognition in Germany for its effectiveness in getting rid of kidney-stones.
* Agrimony, horsetail, yarrow, shepherd's purse, St-John's Wort and nettles benefit the kidneys and can also help reduce bleeding from kidney stones.
Two effective kidney stone remedies are:
1. "Kidney-stone Tea"
* 2 tsp. hydrangea root
* 1 tsp. wild yam root
* 1 tsp. cramp bark
* 1 1/2 qt. water
* 1 tsp. joe-pye weed
* 1/2 tsp. each corn silk, plantain leaf and yarrow leaf
Place the water in a saucepan and add hydrangea, wild yam and cramp bark to water in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the other herbs, then cover the pan and steep for at least 20 additional minutes.
Strain and keep refrigerated.
Drink 3 to 4 cups daily.
If bleeding occurs, add 30 drops shepherd's purse tincture to each cup of tea.
2. "Chicken Bone Grass" herb, dried red dates and water.
This Chinese remedy reportedly works very well on kidney stones.
Simmer all ingredients in three cups of water until reduced to only one cup of water.
Drink it twice a day and repeat for 10 days.
Occasional regular use of the remedy should also prevent future kidney stones.
"Chicken Bone Grass" is a common herb which found in Chinese herb shops.
This remedy also works on gallstones.
A variation of the remedy is to make a tea out of dried red dates and water and drink twice a day for three weeks.Tweet
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